Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Westward Ho Parade

By Shanna Hatfield

Last month, Captain Cavedweller (aka my charming husband) and I had the opportunity to attend the world-famous Pendleton Round-Up and some of the festivities connected with the rodeo.

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There are many things that make the experience at this rodeo different from others.

bronc rider 4 
The grass covering the arena floor is one-of-a-kind in the world of rodeo, adding a unique challenge for competitors. I've heard the impact of landing on it wreaks havoc on the ankles and most of the steer wrestlers get their ankles wrapped for the extra support it provides.

The Native American encampment behind the arena is the largest in North America with more than 300 teepees annually joining in the event.

It was also the first rodeo to have rodeo royalty, starting with the very first Round-Up in 1910.

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People come from all over the world to see the rodeo and take in the entire Pendleton Round-Up experience. I know that for a fact because I shook hands with a man from Norway, directed a woman from England to a restroom and listened to Japanese tourists gush over the bling-y offerings at one of the vendor booths.

The Westward Ho Parade is one of our favorite activities to take in during the Round-Up. It is the longest non-motorized parade in the country. 

 For spectators, that means a great parade full of beautiful horses and wagons.

I was absolutely goofy for this horse and loved the Pendleton Wool saddle blanket, too.

Many of the riders and horses wear regalia that has been passed down from generation to generation. (Don't you love the colors?)

 There's even a team of oxen who get in on the fun, although toward the end of the parade they didn't appear to be enjoying it quite as much as the rest of us.

If you've ever thought about attending the Pendleton Round-Up, it is well worth the time and your trip to do it at least once.

The Round-Up is highlighted in both books in my Rodeo Romance series.
 In The Christmas Cowboy, Tate Morgan is a saddle bronc rider out to claim a World Champion title. He gets a little sidetracked, though, when he falls in love with Kenzie Beckett, a girl he meets at the airport who wants nothing to do with cowboys in general and him in particular.

 Wrestlin' Christmas is the second book in the series and again includes a scene at the Pendleton Round-Up. Sidelined after a major injury, steer wrestler Cort McGraw loses his direction for life. Shanghaied by his sister and best friend, he finds himself on a run-down ranch with a worrisome, albeit gorgeous widow, and her silent, solemn son.

A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a best-selling author of clean romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
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Kristy McCaffrey said...

Where is this rodeo located? Looks like a great time!

Shanna Hatfield said...

It's in Pendleton, Oregon. It is a lot of fun - and full of wonderful history! :)

Julie Lence said...

You have a bunch of beautiful photos Shanna!

Kathy Heare Watts said...

When we lived in Colorado Springs, CO we went to Rodeos and had a great time.

Jacquie Rogers said...

I've only been to the Pendleton Round-Up once, and that was a long time ago. Loved it. There's definitely a lot of history there, especially women roughstock riders. Then there's Bill Picket and Jackson Sundown.

It's a great experience.

Shanna Hatfield said...

There is a lot of history associated with the Round-Up and I agree, Kathy, rodeos are such fun!