Women's Rodeo Event Makes History at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida

Gayle Kurtzer-Meyers

Practice makes perfect/Photo Source: Barbara Olsen from Pexels
"Life isn't always about candy, cowboy boots and horses, but it should be."-Horses and Heels-

Last weekend there was an incredible event at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida. A tie determined the outcome of the first-ever female calf roping event. Two women Makayla Mack and Taylor Smith, made history as they shared top honors after completing each of their separate passes in 2.6 seconds. The night was historical for the two ladies and the fans as well. There were only seven traditional events open to female professional riders including, bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer whistling, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and team roping. The women's calf roping differs from the men's, as they do not tie the calf down; they remain on top of their horses.

The breakaway roping, endorsed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2019, took place on Friday night, where hundreds of spectators enjoyed a great show at Osceola Heritage Park. Audience members expressed satisfaction with the performance. The mood could tell that it will continue to prosper and become a staple in PRCA. Also, the women's sport should find its way to prominence through local fundraising events and main events during annual tournaments.

It has become part of the local culture for the people of Florida. It is held twice a year at the historic Silver Spurs Arena Riding Club. The non-profit club stages its largest tournament in February. Unlike last year ( when no event took place because of the pandemic), it was made possible this year by the Osceola County Government, and it was bigger and better than ever before. Compared with the winter competitions, the summer one has been lower-key to make room for more events for local riders and youths.

Silver Spurs Arena/Photo Source: Jtelsa16 Wiki Public Domain

The history of Silver Spurs in Kissimmee

The Silver Spurs event is one of the top 50 events in the country sanctioned by PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association). May 1941 saw the formation of the Silver Spurs Club, which grew popular in the state within a short time. In 1942 there were performances to benefit physically challenged children, the Army-Navy Relief show, and the American Red Cross. In 1943, Henry O. Partin donated land to the club to build an arena ( it was the first). Today Kissimee's Neptune Road and Kings Highway meet at that corner.

In March 1944, the club held a show which drew over 1000 people to contribute to the loan from the fourth war. It led to tremendous success, and they made their first full-dress show on 4th July 1944. In 1949 the club acquired a 15 acre along the highway and built the Silver Spur Arena. Hitherto the Silver Spur Arena has held annual summer and winter events for the people of Kissimmee, Florida, and thousands of other visitors.

Demolition of the previous arena occurred in 1999, and construction of a new, state-of-the-art indoor facility began in 2002. In October 2003, the new Silver Spur arena reopened with 8300 seats, 12 luxurious skyboxes, and an indoor climate-controlled environment for sporting events, concerts, and much more.

Parking options/Photo Source: Silver Spurs Rodeo

The Silver Spurs Riding Club has more than 300 members, volunteers, and families helping prepare the events. The Silver Spurs Riding Club has helped preserve the tradition of the American rodeo for generations, and their steadfast love for animals is unmatched. For many years cowboys and cowgirls have found a way of life through the events. Most tournaments require professionals, especially those involving bull riding, which is a dangerous sport.

If you are not a fan, you could be missing out on a lot. Having women take part in all aspects of the event is remarkable, from crowns to briefcases. The Silver Spurs Riding Club established Miss Silver Spurs (MSS) in 1960. The winner would act as an ambassador and attend other fairs and community events throughout Florida. Over time, the MSS's responsibilities have expanded, giving her more roles.

Crown of victory/Photo by wildan alfani on Unsplash

Upcoming events

The Kissimmee Florida Ranch Rodeos and Cowboy Heritage Festival is an annual celebration held each year at Silver Spurs Arena. Cowboys and cowgirls compete all year in qualifying ranch tournaments in the state. All cowboys and cowgirls who won the previous competitions will be eligible for the state finals this year. The date set for the finals is not firm, 27th September 2021. However, it could change at any time, so keep an eye out for it. Competitions to be held include:

  • Ranch horse competition
  • Bronc riding.
  • Whip-popping contest
  • The ranch rodeos
  • The working Florida cow dog contest

The ranch rodeos will take place at 7 pm every night, do not miss the fun.

Check out the schedule for the events online in case the order of events changes. Here is a rough draft for the Kissimmee Florida tournament on September 27, 2021.

  • At 8 am, the working cow dog competition.
  • -The 7 Pm Ranch rodeos
  • - Ranch bronc riding
  • - Calf branding
  • - Team doctoring
  • - Colt riding
  • - Boot scramble
  • - Double Mugging
  • - Women team sorting
  • - Wild cow milking

On September date 28, the following events are tentatively scheduled to take place;

  • - At 9 am, the FCA Ranch horse competition
  • - 10 Am, Whip popping contest
  • - 2 Pm, silver sorting
  • - 7 Pm, ranch rodeos
  • - Calf branding
  • - Colt riding
  • - Team doctoring
  • - Double Mugging
  • - The Women Team Sorting
  • - Wild Cow Milikn
  • - 10 Am- 5 Pm, Cowboy poetry, Music, History, and Storytelling.

Book your tickets now for these upcoming events. I suggest you check with Osceola County for the official release of the dates and times for the competitions.

Breaking the barrier

The rodeos are a significant part of the tradition for the people of Florida for many years. It empowers the youth to pursue their talents through their events as a way of contributing to society. The Silver Spur Riding Club is also a channel that brings people together to uphold meaningful cultural events that bring harmony and unity. Additionally, it promotes gender equality by holding tournaments for women and men in the state.

Catch as catch can. See you at the rodeo.

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I am a Licensed Community Association Manager for the State of Florida and a published author. My top articles are about Florida RE, property management, and the many beautiful venues and activities available in the Sunshine State. Thank you for reading my work and joining me on the journey.

Kissimmee, FL

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