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Photo of several people trying to saddle a wild horse while two men on horseback watch from the distance
A bucking bronco, circa 1900

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Cheyenne Frontier Days
A Local Legacy

A bull named Mr. T was one mean bull!

In the 1920s bull riding was added as an event to Frontier Days, a celebration of cowboy culture that was first held in 1897 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Bulls had names like Bad to the Bone and Mr. T. More than 180 cowboys tried to ride Mr. T, but he threw them all off. The longest any of them was able to stay on was eight seconds!

In the period following the Civil War, cowboys came to Wyoming looking for adventure and opportunity. They were skilled and fearless horsemen who herded longhorn cattle up the trails from Mexico and Texas to provide beef to various military posts in the Wyoming territory. The town of Cheyenne, located along the Union Pacific Railroad in the heart of ranch land, was trying to attract business and people. So, in 1896, a group of cowboys decided to hold a contest.

The following year, the first Frontier Days celebration took place. The cowboys roped steers and demonstrated rope tricks. They also challenged each other in the activity that is a true test of a cowboy's skill -- riding a bucking bronco (a wild horse that has a tendency to buck, or throw, its rider).

Cheyenne no longer has a problem attracting people. The Frontier Days celebration attracts more than 180,000 visitors!

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