Fat Tuesday reveals a hunger for rodeo

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There are a number of ways to describe today: Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras Day, Shrove Tuesday and, for those from southwest Kansas, International Pancake Day.

The latter comes from the annual event in which women race down the street flipping pancakes. It began more than 500 years ago in Olney, England, but in 1950, the race began between Olney women and those from Liberal, Kan. The fastest time wins.

So contestants battle one another without having to witness the other’s run. It’s not side-by-side competition like most races, but it’s still the same distance and the same parameters.

It’s a lot like rodeo, isn’t it? Though times in Jackson, Miss., aren’t counted against times in San Antonio or San Angelo, Texas, or any other rodeo going on this week, cowboys and cowgirls are competing against one another at different locales, trying to get the fastest times (or top scores in the roughstock events) at each stop along the way.

This time of year features indoor events all across this country, with a pile of lucrative events in Texas and across the Southeast. We crowned champions in Fort Worth, Texas, this past weekend, with barrel racer Taylor Jacob earning the biggest payday with $14,796.

We will announce the winners in Jackson  tomorrow night, and a week and a half later, San Antonio and San Angelo will pay out  their top prizes to the best of the best.

This time of year doesn’t feature non-stop rodeo like we’ll see in a few months, but it is very important to a lot of people who make their livings in this sport. Ask Kaycee Feild, the two-time reigning world champion bareback rider who owns the last two titles at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo.

That will provide Feild with a dose of comfort and flexibility as he moves forward, allowing him to relax a little more and allow his classic spur stroke to shine at every rodeo in which he competes. That’s a distinct advantage that hundreds of others would love to experience.


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