The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986 Page: 572
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
rules, a statement of prize money, and a point system that determined
the true world champion in each event.
The decade of the 1930os was a period of unrest and change, marked
by disputes between contestants and people who put on the rodeos.
The rodeo cowboy emerged from it more aware of himself as a profes-
sional, and of rodeo as something more than an occasion to have a good
time. As the competition and prize money increased, the contestant be-
gan to think of rodeo as a career.
By 1945, when the Rodeo Cowboys' Association (RCA) began keep-
ing records, rodeo attendance was second only to baseball, and prize
money for 1946 had grown to $2 million. In the 197os that trend con-
tinued, as such major corporations as Hesston, Coors, and R. J. Rey-
nolds Tobacco invested large sums of money in rodeo advertising and
In 1976 Tom Ferguson of Miami, Oklahoma, became the first rodeo
cowboy ever to win more than $100oo,ooo in one year. That amount of
winnings has become commonplace in the 980s, and rodeo winners
have also discovered that there is a gold mine to be found in endorse-
ments, books, movies, videos, and rodeo schools.
Rodeo, as the subtitle of this book suggests, has come a long way in a
hundred years, from the ranch cowboy looking for a good time and
pocket change to the professional athlete of today, who flies his own
plane to two or three rodeos a day.
Will success spoil the most American of all American sports? That
would make an interesting chapter in a future edition.
This is a well documented, clearly written account of a subject that
has not been of great interest to scholars. Fredriksson understands and
likes her topic, and it is obvious that she has devoted years of careful
study to rodeo and rodeo people.
JOHN R. ERICKSON
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 89, July 1985 - April, 1986, periodical, 1985/1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117151/m1/642/: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.