Wild Ride Joel H. Bernstein, Gibbs Smith, $24.95, Hardcover; 800-748-5439.

wildrideThe rodeo, from a Spanish word meaning “gather together,” began with arguments between cowpokes about who was best at what. In the 20th century, it evolved into a full professional sport.

This book discusses the development of the associations, the contentious beginnings of cowgirl participation and today’s stars in barrel racing, steer wrestling, team roping and bronc riding. The emphasis is on the human players, yet a chapter on the development of special stock for competition and the appropriate treatment of those animals would have filled out an otherwise thorough study featuring great graphics and an elegant design. —Cynthia Green

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