Rodeos are a timeless American pastime that have evolved somewhat over the years. Some rodeos are large and draw international competitors, others are imbued with small-town charm and give inexperienced performers an opportunity to earn their chops. A rodeo business requires hard work by professionals who are confident working with both people and animals. One of the easiest ways to start a rodeo business is to join the International Pro Rodeo Association and host sanctioned events.
Items you will need
- Sand or dirt arena
- Turn-out pastures
- Parking area
- Administration office
Obtain a business license from the county clerk in your area. This will allow you to do business under the name of your rodeo and will allow you to open a bank account in the rodeo business name.
Purchase or lease land on which to host your rodeos. You will need barns and turn-out pastures for all livestock, an arena in which to conduct performances, and sufficient parking for trailers, trucks and visitor cars. The land must be zoned for livestock.
Hire a livestock contractor. Contractors supply rodeos with stock for events such as bull riding, bronco riding and calf roping.
Hire a rodeo organizer to plan your events. This professional can organize all events in your rodeo and ensure you are in compliance with rodeo standards. It is best to hire through the organization under which you are hosting the rodeo, for example the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA), Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) or Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA).
Determine which events you will hold at your rodeo. Choices include barrel racing, cutting, bareback riding, bull riding, bronco riding and calf roping. If you have never run a rodeo business before, consider starting small and gradually increasing the number of events.
Solicit advertisers. Let local business owners know that you are hosting a rodeo, and invite them to advertise in the program or on banners in the arena. If you are hosting through a rodeo organization, they might be able to help secure sponsors.
Contract a drill team to perform at your rodeo. The drill team is a traditional opening act for rodeos all over the country. You might also want to hire a singer for the national anthem.
Decide how you will provide refreshments. You can either organize a refreshment area yourself or contract a vendor. Refreshments are a primary income source in the rodeo business.
Advertise the rodeo. Put up flyers and place advertisements in as many publications and local businesses as possible. Tack shops and feed stores are excellent sources of free advertising. Make sure to spread the news through word of mouth as well.
Cash prizes are standard at rodeos. So are belt buckles and trophies.
Keep in mind that rodeos must be safe. Have a veterinarian and an emergency medical services team on hand to ensure treatment is available immediately in case of accidents.
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