Flags, fire, bull riding and prayer: A night at the World’s Toughest Rodeo

Here are five things I learned from attending the World’s Toughest Rodeo at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

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1. It’s customary for the rodeo announcer to begin with a prayer. When Saturday’s announcer asked God to pray for the cowboys, cowgirls and livestock, the crowd responded with a solemn “amen.”

Some cowboys also find a moment to pray before heading to the chutes.

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2. Rodeos can involve sparklers, flares and other fire-themed entertainment.

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3. Sometimes horses try to jump out of the chutes.

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4. Getting trampled by a bucking horse is one of the dangers of being a rodeo cowboy.

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5. Cowboys are tough. The World’s Toughest Rodeo posted this update about the injured cowboy on its Facebook page:

UPDATE: The cowboy carried out of the arena last night (Saturday) was kept overnight for observation, but they are releasing him later today!!! Our sincerest thanks to all of our wonderful fans for your prayers and well wishes!

(Photos by MPR reporter Madeleine Baran)

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