Miles City Bucking Horse Sale and Other Eastern Montana Events
Stacey Faldetta | Sunday Jun. 1st, 2014
If you have never had the opportunity to head out to Eastern Montana and attend the Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City, put that on your bucket list; even if you aren’t a rodeo cowboy or into latigo and dust, the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale has a little something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Held mid May each year, the 2014 Bucking Horse Sale marked the 64th annual event. Kicked off each year with a country music concert showcasing country’s top performers, this year featured the talents of Andy Wemmer, Copper Mountain Band, Outshyne, and Diamond Rio headlining. The music was outstanding and the bands were all smashing successes enjoyed by young and old alike.
Friday’s events started at the Fairgrounds with the opening of the trade show and the always grandiose and ceremonious Rodeo Grand Entry and continued right into the always electric and popular Wild Horse Race. Four to five teams of five strapping young country men pit up against one unbroken, fiery horse to create a pure adrenaline rush for the crowd. The premise seems easy enough, to saddle and bridle the horse and have one cowboy ride it (without getting bucked off) the entire perimeter of the rodeo grounds track. This is no easy feat, however, as the buckin’ bronc has a completely different plan than do the cowboys, and that is to avoid being ridden at all costs. The tenacity of these men is as intense as the will of the horse and it ends up being a battle extraordinaire between the will of man, and the will of beast. Adding to that battle is the always present external fight with the elements, which see-saw every year between the surface of the sun and a giant mud bath that cowboys frequently are all too intimate with as the steed drags them relentlessly through the muck as the stubborn man holds fast to the lead rope. It is always a good time and one of the highlights of the Sale. Another highlight of Friday night was the Bucking Bull Sale. Not for the faint of heart, this is true Montana Rodeo at its core. Next on to Mutton Bustin’ for the young ones to test their chops against some smaller farm animals and then the festivities went right into another Wild Horse Race. That rounded out the Fairground events, and as the sun set, the day culminated into a social and musical dance in the streets of downtown Miles City.
Saturday events included a pancake breakfast, the parade on Main Street, complete with antique tractors and farm equipment, fire engines, horse drawn carts with old timers, dancers, costumed groups and best of all, candy!! The first Farmer’s Market of the year in Riverfront Park started at noon with numerous vendors selling everything from jewelry, lotions, and purses to homemade pot holders, jams, and goodies. And if you didn’t think there was anything to amuse the little ones, think again! Not only does Miles City have a lovely playground and park with a natural swimming oasis (recently cleaned and remodeled) for the festivities they set up an inflatable play land and a quick draw competition display that entertained kids of all ages for hours. And don’t forget the treats! Cotton candy and snow cones were served up by a local church group for no charge. Luckily, the weather cooperated this year, and the market and children’s activities went off beautifully.
Saturday afternoon the rodeo started up in full swing with the opening of the trade show, the horse races, the sheep shearing competition and finals, the Rodeo Grand Entry, and of course, the Bucking Horse Sale, featuring the World Class Bucking Futurity, and ended with more wild horse racing. An honorable mention for the trade show and concessions at the Sale, where you were able to find anything from western wear (Charlie the Hat Man) to NFL team collectibles and stunning jewelry and clothing; not to mention funnel cakes, hot dogs, and the beer gardens around every corner to quench a hard workin’ and hard partyin’ crowds’ pervasive thirst. The second night the Main Street live music and dance topped off the days activities.
But do not fear if you missed the Bucking Horse Sale this year, for there are several more things to experience in Eastern Montana this summer of 2014. Miles City hosts “the first annual (inaugural) Miles City “Cowtown Cook-off” on June 14, 2014 in conjunction with the Cowtown Poker Run, the Miles City Mosquito Festival, the Miles City Ranch Rodeo & the Montana Stockgrowers Convention. This is a sanctioned event through the Kansas City BBQ Society. There will be music and family entertainment throughout the event, ending with a street dance from 7:30pm - midnight. All proceeds from the Cook-off and Poker Run will benefit the Miles City Soup Kitchen.” Check out www.visitmt.com for more information on this event and others in the Miles City area.
80 miles east of Miles City on I-94 is Glendive and the historic Makoshika State Park. If you love dinosaurs and fossils, this is the place for you! The visitor center is packed with history and artifacts found right there at Makoshika. There are day use sites and trails galore for the hiking and nature enthusiast; but beware, as in all natural areas in our majestic state, wildlife such as rattlesnakes and mountain lions have been known to frequent the area! On June 13th at Makoshika is “Buzzard Day”. This marks the annual return of the turkey vulture to Montana and is celebrated with events for all ages including a pancake breakfast, Buzzard Burger lunch, festival games, and 5K and 10K runs. Admission is free and more information can be found at www.stateparks.mt.gov/makoshika.
Eastern Montana has its own serene beauty and charm and is truly where the prairie meets the Big Sky. Next time you and your family are in the mood for a road trip, why not consider the eastern part of our great state? It is a quick and easy drive, and there is so much to see and do. For more information on more summer events all over the state of Montana, visit www.visitmt.com, where you can choose which part of the state and what events you would like to see. Happy travelling!!!