CM Archive
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Claire Eamer and Thirza Jones.

Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, c1982.
124pp, paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-88833-086-3.

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Elaine Blakey.

Volume 11 Number 4.
1983 July.

The book begins with a history of rodeo in Canada, traces its development through the early days of the Calgary Stampede, explains the organization of the modern rodeo, and describes the action involved in the five main events of traditional rodeo: saddle bronc riding, bareback horse riding, bull riding, calf roping, and steer wrestling as well as some of the popular variations, such as chuck-wagon racing. The responsibilities of a number of the officials in charge of the rodeo are described. A dictionary of terms currently in use on the rodeo circuit, including both official and slang expressions and their meanings is provided. A list of outstanding rodeo competitors presents an interesting amount of biographical information about cowboys and cowgirls in western Canada. The book ends with statistics that identify the winners in the major categories from 1945 to 1981 at the national level.

Black-and-white photographs complement the text, providing action shots to illustrate the various types of competitions or identify major competitors in the past years. Many of the photos are from the Glenbow Archives, and the rest were taken by Claire Earner, one of the authors. Special interest is added throughout the book by the use of inserts that describe specific events or details not dealt with at great length in the main text. Examples include "A Cowboy's Prayer," "Wild Western Yaks," and "Cowgirl dress."

The book is written in a chatty style that is easy to read and sets the tone well to introduce and explain rodeo as a family activity. Additional evidence of the family aspect of rodeos is scattered throughout the discussions of events and people, as the same surnames are encountered several times among the competitors and the biographical details spell out the relationships that link winners together. One chapter describes the lifestyle of the rodeo cowboys and cowgirls as they "go down the road," that is, follow the rodeo circuit, often taking 1 their families along.

An interesting book and a good guide to details about outstanding competitors in western Canada.

Elaine Blakey, Normandeau P. S., Red Deer, AB.
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