Riders from the 1st Cavalry Division horse detachment, along with British army Maj. Gen. Ben Cattermole, a III Corps and Fort Cavazos deputy commander, started off the three-day Killeen Rodeo event Thursday night.

As crowds filled the stands at the rodeo grounds for the 76th annual event, Stetsons and spurs could be seen among the competitors waiting in the wings. Following the national anthem, Rodeo Hall of Fame announcer Mike Mathis welcomed everyone to the first night of rodeo competition at the Killeen Rodeo Arena, 3301 S. W.S. Young Drive.

janak@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7551



(2) comments

Eric Mills

Rodeo is condemned by nearly EVERY animal welfare organization on the planet. It's mostly hype, a bogus, macho exercise in DOMINATION. It needs to end.

The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) outlawed all of rodeo back in 1934, followed by Germany and the Netherlands. Can the U.S. be far behind? Cesar Chavez was an outspoken critic, as is Pope Francis, as is almost anyone else with an ounce of compassion.


Rodeos are a cruel “tradition” that have no place in today's society. Animals, terrified by shouting crowds of people, are chased in an arena, roped or grappled by a lunging human, and wrested or flipped to the ground, often injuring them. Even ranchers agree that they would never treat their animals so callously and inhumanely.

Rodeos are nothing but barbaric displays of sheer power and domination over other sentient beings: “We're going to chase, rope and throw you to the ground just because we're stronger and we can.” What type of message does this send to our children? If people treated their dog or cat this way, they would go to jail. So why would we allow this for any other animal? What makes these creatures so much “less” in our eyes that we permit this?

I get it that there are powerful forces at work here encouraging the status quo. There’s a culture and tradition that many people hold dear. But let’s call rodeo what it is: nothing more than an orgy of machismo thinly disguised as a celebration of rugged western values.

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