Rodeo women find companionship, safety through dogs

Meet the rodeo animals working behind the scenes

Rodeo women find companionship,...

REDDING, Calif. - The Redding Rodeo is back for its 96th year and hundreds of people from around the country flocked to Redding.

Crowds gather from all over the Northstate to see the rodeo cowboys and the animals, but the horses and cattle that are in the events, however, are not the only animals involved.

Almost every rodeo team has a dog that travels along with them.

Ivy Conrado from Colorado travels the country with her friend Darby from Idaho. The pair are barrel racers and are traveling to rodeos most of the year. 

Conrado said their dog Tezz makes them feel safe. Being two young women traveling the country, safety is definitely an issue. She explained the cost of the equipment, the horses, and the rig is a big concern for them as well. 

"It's close to 1.2 million dollars that you're driving down the road by yourself," Conrado said. "We do it, Darby and I, we'll do it by ourselves. You drive into a truck stop and it's just little old me, it's scary. It can be [scary] and having something along with you just gives you a little more confidence."

She explained that most of the dogs are pretty well trained. Some can herd the cattle, and some are K-9 trained to protect. All the dogs have to be trained to be comfortable around the large animals. 

Conrado and Darby said it's also about the companionship. They said sometimes rodeo life can be lonely.

"It's hard to find companionship rodeoing because it's such a hard lifestyle," Conrado said. "To be able to have something with you all the time to call yours, that's really important I think emotionally."

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