Hot Broncs! :: Rodeo Days in Palm Springs are for Everyone
There’s something singular and especially all-American about a rodeo. Add "gay"to the event and you’ve got something no self-respecting, red-blooded American LGBT boy or girl could resist. Heck, American or not, who could buck the appeal of Palm Springs’ Hot Rodeo 2014?
"Hot Rodeo 2014 is a celebration of Western culture,"says Sammy Van Galder, vice president of rodeo operations for the Greater Palm Springs Chapter of the Golden State Gay Rodeo Association (GSGRA). "Anyone can have a great weekend at the rodeo, either as a spectator or by being a participant because it is an open, amateur rodeo."
Sanctioned by both GSGRA and the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), Hot Rodeo 2014 is designed to be a fun, family-friendly weekend that lets anyone try their hand at genuine Western culture as a rodeo participant with activities ranging from goat dressing to bull riding.
"If you’ve never been in an International Gay Rodeo Association-sanctioned event, you can register at the rodeo as late as the evening on the first day of the event," says Van Galder. "But if you have participated in an IGRA rodeo previously, you have to register for Hot Rodeo 2014 by Friday, April 18."
Registrations for new participants, those who have never been contestants, will be held at Hot Rodeo 2014’s host hotel, the Ivy Palm Resort, through Friday, May 2. For more information go to psrodeo.org/hotrodeo/constestant-info
"This is an amateur rodeo, which means anybody aged eighteen or older of any gender and gender-identity can enter," Van Galder told The Rage Monthly. "There’s still plenty of time to get involved whether it’s in traditional rodeo events, like calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing, pole bending - which is a horse event where six poles are set up and horses are ridden between and around the poles in different patterns - or even in our non-traditional team camp events, like goat dressing, steer decorating and Wild Drag Race." According to Van Galder, there is something for everyone at Hot Rodeo 2014.
When asked why cowboys are so hot, Van Galder seemed downright shy. "Gosh, I don’t know... they just are, I guess."
But when asked about animal safety and ethics, he was far from shy and, in fact, was very passionate. "We have a very strong sense of responsibility to the animals," he said. "They are treated exactly as what they are: skilled athletes who deserve extreme care and respect." According to Van Galder, there are clear rules of care and treatment for rodeo animals enforced by both the IGRA and GSGRA. "The animals are very well cared for and fiercely protected by rodeo officials and volunteers; we all watch out for them."
In fact, there will be a veterinarian on duty during the event. "Per IGRA Rule I, the hosting association must provide an on-call veterinarian and farrier as well as having an on-site veterinarian during the running of all events," note officials on the rodeo’s website. "Contestants are responsible for paying the veterinarian and farrier for any personal use."
According to Wikipedia, a farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses’ hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves, if necessary. A farrier combines some blacksmith’s skills (fabricating, adapting, and adjusting metal shoes) with some veterinarian’s skills (knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the lower limb) to care for horses’feet.
Proceeds from Hot Rodeo 2014 help benefit LifeGroup L.A., an HIV/AIDS services organization and Heart2Heart Equine Rescue, which saves and cares for unwanted, abused and abandoned horses. Sponsors of Hot Rodeo 2014 include: The Tool Shed, Frank Alvarez-Broker, Daddy Don’s Tax Service, Spurline, Hunters, Palm Springs Barber Shop, Bud Light, Windmere Real Estate, RDO Equipment, Tropicale, Streetbar, Digs, Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert, Judie Galloway, Bill Butler, Stone-Chase Ranch of Sky Valley, Pendleton Whiskey, gaycowboycentral. com and The Rage Monthly.
Hot Rodeo 2014 takes place from Friday, May 2 to Sunday, May 4, to purchase tickets, or for more information on all rodeo events and how to participate go to psrodeo.org