No matter your age or background, cowboys and city slickers alike love the Jackson Hole Rodeo. From the moment the rodeo begins with rodeo girls racing through the arena with the United States and Wyoming flags, to the very last bronco and round-up, you never stop smiling.
The Jackson Hole Rodeo is a 2 hour program featuring local talent in various age groups vying for the annual prizes in bull riding, roping, bronco riding, and barrel racing. Even the younger children compete on bulls and sheep! The competitions continue throughout the year, so be sure to pack a sweater or hooded poncho and head out for one of the region’s most historic and family fun-filled activities.
Jackson Hole Rodeo’s staff is friendly, helpful, very professional; and the Emcee is entertaining and informative. The Rodeo Clowns are fantastic and very skilled horse men, and all of the children (even tourists!) are invited down to the floor during the middle of the program. The concession stands sell simple food like beer, soda, hot dogs and hamburgers, making it a convenient and relatively affordable evening activity when touring the Grand Tetons. Remember, rodeo is a sport that can be dangerous. More than one visitor will be surprised to see that some cowboys can be hurt by bulls or broncos.
A 100-Year History
Rodeo has been a part of Jackson Hole’s cowboy culture since the first settlers arrived over 100 years ago when, in 1890, Sylvester Wilson brought the first group of settlers over Teton Pass into what is now Jackson Hole. He came here with his family to raise cattle on the fertile grass growing abundantly in the valley and six generations later the pioneer spirit lives on through the family’s rodeo.
Rodeo also runs three generations deep in the family, starting back with Clark Wheeldon riding broncs in the rodeo before it was moved to Wilson (yes it is named after the family). Uncles Chet and Chancy rode bareback and saddled bronco horses. In fact, in 1976 Chancy earned a spot among the top fifteen saddle bronco riders in the world! The Wilson boys followed as well as cousin Buskin Wilson is a nationally-seated bullrider. Even the girls in the family, Karissa and Sadee, have won trophy saddles for professional barrel racing. In addition to his work organizing the family-owned Jackson Hole Rodeo, Philip Wilson is a former President and Chairman of the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association.