The bulls are taking a practice run, the American flag is up and the tri-tip is on the grill. Cowboys and cowgirls from around the nation are taking their places. But rising fuel prices are making it tougher to make it out west to compete.
Jana Jarreau, barrel racer, says "It costs about $1,000 to go 1,500 miles or so. That is just fuel and you have to pay your entry fees to get into the rodeo your stalls for your horses, vet bills."
And the list goes on. Although rodeo has grown in popularity in recent years, the economy is definitely beginning to impact the sport. Not so much for fans but contestants.
Vince Genco, Rodeo Arena Director, says "Well, we have about 7 to 10 percent contestants than last year and most of that is probably due to the fuel costs."
Some die hard competitors, like calf roper Jerome Schneeberger say no matter how challenging times may get, they'll find a way to rodeo, already some cowboys are carpooling to events. "Hopefully, you can win a check here and there and that helps out but it's just you look back and you wonder why you do it but you know we enjoy the sport and I wouldn't trade it for anything," says Schneeberger.
Even though costs are rising, many purses are too so that does help balance out things, if you win!