"It is very hard to trace the first rodeo in America. Many places make this claim including: Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1847, Deer Trail, Colorado in 1869, and Pecos, Texas in 1883. All early rodeos varied greatly by events and most were free to the public. Prescott, Arizona held their first rodeo on July 4, 1888 . Much of what we know today in the sport of rodeo grew from the Prescott Rodeo. The committee established the following that still hold true today: prizes awarded, rules for competition, admission charged, cowboys invited to compete and a committee to organize. The events included bronco riding, steer roping and cow pony races. In 1889, the first steer riding competition was held, later this event evolved into modern bull riding. By 1917, calf roping was added to the list of events at Prescott."
But regardless of where and when it started, it has become a culture and an American way of life.