The NRA Foundation Awards Thousands to Rodeo Associations

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posted on February 2, 2016
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The Arizona High School Rodeo Association (AHSRA) and Arizona Junior High School Rodeo Association (AJHSRA) were awarded more than $6,500 in grants from the NRA Foundation to support upcoming .22 smallbore rifle and trap shooting events. This grant money will subsidize the supplies and materials of the upcoming AHSRA and AJHSRA events allowing the organizations to lower the tournament admission costs. From now until May 2016 seven shooting competitions will be held throughout the great state of Arizona, including Payson, Casa Grande and Prescott. Finalist will continue on to compete at the National Rodeo Competition in Gillette, Wyoming, this July. Good luck, competitors!

Rodeos are one of the most diverse sports in the world. Cowboys and cowgirls compete in a number of events such as roping, barrel racing, goat tying, bull riding, steer roping and more. 

The beginnings of rodeo can be traced back to the early 1700s. During those times it wasn't a sporting event but an integral part of cattle-ranching in areas of Spanish influence. The roping, horse breaking, riding, herding and branding were all part of the vaqueros', or Spanish cattlemen, duties on the early ranches of the west. 

Possibly the beginnings of turning labor into a sport, arose from the exchange after a long cattle drive. Ranchers would bring their cattle to stockyards where they would be loaded on to trains to be transported to their final destination. Yet, after these long drives, the cowboys would hold informal competitions to find out which groups had the best riders, breakers, ropers and drovers. 

Today professional rodeos can be found throughout the U.S., with numerous associations dedicated to the sport such the AHSRA, AJHSRA, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, Professional Bull Riders, Women's Professional Rodeo Association and more. The events at rodeos have been modernized and incorporate new aspects that do not exactly mirror the ways of the vaqueros, but they will always be the inspirations for this unique sport. 

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