The Wild West is thriving in Michigan, judging from the schedule of rodeos for adults and children. Rodeos give riders of all abilities the chance to test their skills in roping, steer wrestling, bareback riding, barrel racing and other specialty events. Michigan rodeos have played an important role in enriching the lives of riders of all ages.
National Little Britches Rodeo Association of Michigan
Little Britches, one of the oldest children's rodeo associations in the United States, hosts 10 to 15 rodeos each year around the state. The Trail Hands division, for participants ages 5 and younger, teaches basic rodeo skills like roping. Little Wranglers offer barrel racing, flag racing and pole bending for ages 5 to 7. Kids at the junior level, ages 8 to 13, compete in breakaway calf roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding. Senior contestants 14 to 18 years old compete in steer wrestling, saddle bronco riding, bareback bronco riding and bull riding.
Michigan High School Rodeo Association
The Michigan High School Rodeo Association holds rodeos year-round for junior and senior youths. Cities throughout Michigan host the daylong rodeos. Students in grades 6 to 8 are eligible for the Wrangler Jr. Division. The Senior Division is for students in grades 9 to 12. Riders compete in bareback riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping, bull riding, calf roping, and cutting horse events. High school students can apply for a $1,000 college scholarship awarded each spring. The association also sponsors the national rodeo finals each year.
Michigan High School Rodeo Association 1029 14 Mile Rd. Marion, MI 49665 231-743-9525 mihsra.com
Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo
For more than 40 years, the Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo has featured three days of rodeo excitement to 20,000 visitors each September. The competitions include tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, and saddle bronco and bareback riding, and barrel racing. A Wild West parade, western art show, chuck wagon breakfasts, the Miss U.P. Rodeo Queen Contest and rodeo concert highlight the event.
Upper Peninsula Championship Rodeo P.O. Box 3 Iron River, MI 49935 888-879-4766 upprorodeo.com
Charlotte Frontier Days & Rodeo
Each September, the Charlotte Frontier Days & Rodeo welcomes rodeo lovers to its four-day extravaganza. Started in 1970, the rodeo hosts seven main events that challenge adult riders in bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronco riding, barrel racing, tie-down roping, team roping and bull riding. Other family festivities include a grand parade, pageants, a 5K race, an antique car show, a chili cook-off and children's day.
Charlotte Frontier Days 241 S. Cochran Ave Suite #3 Charlotte, MI 48813 517-543-3325 charlottefrontierdays.com