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Intersection: Cowboys & Cowgirls Saddle Up For Silver Spurs Rodeo

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Dusty Holley. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Cowboys and cowgirls take to the arena in Kissimmee this weekend for the 140th Silver Spurs Rodeo. They’ll compete in events like bull riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing. 

The ‘Big Boss’ of the rodeo, Dusty Holley, says a $100,000 prize pool makes this the biggest rodeo east of the Mississippi.

“What makes professional rodeo a little different from other professional sports, is those guys have to win to get paid,” says Holley.

“They don’t have a contract that pays them this much every time they go to a rodeo,” he says.

The Silver Spurs Riding Club held its first rodeo in the 1940’s as a fundraiser for the war effort. The landscape around Kissimmee is a lot different now, but Holley, a 3rd generation rancher, says the rodeo remains strong.

“Sure, there’s not as many Western TV shows on anymore, there’s not as many folks who want to be a cowboy, but there’s something still romantic about it that seems to still resonate,” says Holley.

“And a lot of folks, the only chance they ever get to interact or be around cowboys, is at a rodeo.”



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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »