The view from the roof at the 1978 Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo.

Spectators from nearly every state and several foreign countries show up for the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo each July. The arena is one of the biggest in the country, and the rodeo and race-track events present a nine-day panorama of action.

Frontier Days celebrated its 82nd birthday this year in Wyoming’s capital city, and more than 1,000 contestants showed up to vie for better than $200,000 in prize money — the Cheyenne contest is among the richest of the PRCA rodeos. Associate Editor Kurt Markus took his cameras to the roof over one of the grandstands near the bucking chutes to capture these photos.

Wild horse race.
Wild horses are “led” to the track in preparation for the wild horse race. Photo by Kurt Markus.
Cheyenne Frontier Days.
The “Daddy of ’em All.” Photo by Kurt Markus.

Rodeo is a game of contrasts. Steer roper Sonny Worrell of Altoona, Kan., won $10,000 at Cheyenne, while bareback rider Mark Michaleck of Reliance, S.D., and bull rider Rick Heaton of Waco, Tex., left the arena injured so severely that the resumption of their rodeo career is in doubt.

This article was originally published in the October 1978 issue of Western Horseman.