Rodeos found a popular audience when organizers realized they should eliminate the five-hour brush-clearing competition. Brush up on your cattle-wrangling skills with today's Groupon: for $15, you get a ticket for the Friday ranch rodeo (a $20 value) and a Saturday grounds pass (up to a $10 value) to the Western Heritage Classic on May 13 and 14 (a $30 total value) at the Expo Center of Taylor County.
Created by a crew of local cowhands 26 years ago, the Western Heritage Classic has mushroomed into a three-day event bringing together thousands of lasso-loving Texans. The ranch rodeo ticket gets you inside the dirt-covered coliseum at 8 p.m. Friday, when rival ranchers test their mettle in a series of original events—roping calves, riding broncos, milking wild cows, branding cattle, and more recent additions such as team penning and bovine speed texting. Saturday's ground pass applies only to non-ranch-rodeo events, including the chuck wagon cook-off and the fiddler contest, in which bow masters pound out the jams to get cowboy boots shuffling. Those attending both days can hear the weathered verses of cowboy poets, the pastoral works of western artists and artisans, and witness rancher Charlier Trayer’s cowdog demonstrations.
On top of all these festivities, the Ranch Horse Association of America holds its national horse competition finals at the Western Heritage Classic each year. Friday's semifinals and Saturday's finals are included with the Groupon.