July 5 7:00 PM - July 6 10:00 PM
Shenandoah Riding Center
Galena, IL United States

Additional Information

Since 1975, the Shenandoah Riding Center has provided a pro rodeo in conjunction with Independence Day celebrations. The Freedom Reins Pro Rodeo hosts two nights of amazing entertainment through eight fiercely competitive and exhilarating competitions.

Friday, July 5th and Saturday July 6th.

Gates open at 4:30pm. Rodeo showtime is 7pm.

Ride the mechanical bull before the rodeo each night.

Free fireworks immediately following each performance.

Plus the After Party featuring Ten Gallon Hat both nights.

Tickets are available HERE.   Ticket prices:

0-4          Free

5-12       $20 online in advance

13+        $15 online in advance

A long history of entertaining people
The rodeo was born out of emulating skills used between horses and cattle to do tasks in ranch living. This entertainment, however; needs to be as safe as possible. Our Freedom Reins Pro Rodeo is a sanctioned rodeo. This means, among other things, there are governing rules and regulations for the competitions that protect the safety and well-being of competitors and animals.

A look at rodeo events
Rodeo competitions are broken into two categories: Timed and rough stock events.

Timed events are judged on agility, speed, and accuracy. There are roping events, barrel racing, and steer wrestling. The rough stock events require courage (or craziness!) in hanging on while a 1,000-to 2,000-pound animal tries bucking off the cowboy in eight seconds.
The roping events come from ranch work where cattle were caught for branding or medical treatment. Ranchers always look to be efficient, but also to never harm the animals.

In the tie-down event, cowboys rope a running calf and tie it down on the ground within three seconds. Girls' breakaway is, in essence, the tie-down competition without the calf being thrown to the ground and tied. Calves become steers, and steers are much bigger and heavier. Therefore, team roping requires two people to rope a full-grown steer.

The last two of the timed events are unique in their own right. Barrel racing puts agility and speed to the test. Riders race a cloverleaf pattern that for most of us the inertia around the barrels alone would send us one way and the horse in the opposite direction!

Steer wrestling most dangerous event
Contrary to many people’s impressions, steer wrestling is the single most physically dangerous event. Cowboys jump off a speeding horse to wrestle a full-grown steer to the ground. Aside from the threat the sheer mass a steer has to a cowboy, there are also horns to contend with during this “wrestling-to-the-ground” exercise.

Regardless of the overwhelming skill needed in steer wrestling, it is often the rough stock events that have people on the edge of their seats. Bronc riding (bareback or on a saddle) has strict limitations for the rider. The cowboy is only allowed to hang on via a lead rope (in layman’s terms). The strength and technique of the cowboy, along with the athleticism of the bronc determines the score.

Riding 2,000 pounds of muscle
Finally, the rodeo’s “big event” for most people, is bull riding. Up to 2,000 pounds of muscle and an unpredictable temperament make this event an adrenaline rush to watch! Bull riding is often referred to as “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.”

Because bulls can unexpectedly attack the cowboy who has fallen to the ground, rodeo clowns are poised and ready to distract the bull; keeping the cowboy safe.
A fun fact for rodeo trivia is that the average bucking bronc and bull only work five minutes a year in the arena!

Food and fun for the whole family
Gates open at 4 p.m. to purchase and enjoy the FREE Family Fun Fair. Food trucks and tents, offering a variety of options can feed the family dinner (please no coolers). Plus, a beer tent will keep the adults cool. There will also be shopping opportunities for cowboy merchandise, Freedom Reins items, and Grab Life by the Reins clothing. ATMs are available on site.

There are some bleachers, however, most people enjoy sitting on their blankets on the hillside.

We love our pets just as much as you do, but they are not allowed at Shenandoah Riding Center. Please, leave them home.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or text Shenandoah Riding Center at 815-777-9550 or email info@shenandoahridingcenter.com.

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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher