The sport of rodeo is as much about livestock as it is cowboys and cowgirls - bulls and horses trying to buck riders off and steers testing their speed against cowboys. Smithers Rodeo provides for the best possible safety and well-being of rodeo livestock as well as contestants.

 follows strict requirements regarding the equipment cowboys use in the arena.

C+ Rodeos stock Photo Credit: FOUR L FARM - SR McClary

Most questions regarding rodeo livestock concern the use of flank straps and spurs. The flank strap, which enhances the livestock's bucking action, is a sheepskin-lined strip of leather placed behind the horse's rib cage. Rules strictly regulate the use of the strap, which must have a quick-release buckle. Sharp or cutting objects are never placed in the strap.

C+ Rodeos stock Photo: Credit: FOUR L FARM - SR McClary

Dull spurs are utilized by cowboys in three events - bareback riding, saddle bronc and bull riding. Requirements mandate that spurs have blunt rowels (the star-shaped wheel located on the spur) that are approximately one-eighth of an inch thick and therefore cannot cut the livestock. Riders using non-regulation spurs are disqualified.

A licensed veterinarian is on call at the Smithers Rodeo arena at all times in the event that any livestock becomes ill or injured during any of the 3 rodeo performances.

As with any sport, these livestock are athletes, and there is always a chance of injury. However, the Smithers Rodeo Club ensures that all livestock at Smithers Rodeo are treated with appropriate care.