Cowboys enjoy life on the rodeo trail passing through fair
Thanks to the early morning downpour, the outside arena was caked with mud Saturday night. But that that didn't stop the rodeo, or mud rodeo, as the announcer called it.
Everyone who entered the arena got at least a smudge of mud on them. But the mud doesn't stop die-hard cowboys and cowgirls.
"Rodeos are the same as soup -- it's everything," said Marvin Hammack, who was part of a team roping duo. "It's an addiction -- better than a drug."
The Orleans-native travels with several other cowboys who participate in calf and team roping.
For calf roping, only one person goes out and ropes the calf. The horse is trained to pull the calf so the rope is tight, and the cowboy or cowgirl has to flip the calf on its back and tie up the calf's legs. The calf then has to stay tied for five seconds once the horse gives slack to make sure the rope is secure.
Team roping has a pair trying to rope a steer -- one person ropes the horns and another who captures a hind foot.
The men travel often, which makes them act more like family to each other.
"We did have families before we started roping," Hammack said. "No, I'm just joking. They understand it."
Mike Zimmerman, one the men in the group, got his grandson into roping as well.
"He loves it, better than anyone," Zimmerman said.
Nine-year-old Damian Zimmerman sat on horse and watched the rodeo with men who have traveled across the country doing what they love.
He said he planned to do the same.