The modern cowboy who makes his living from his winnings is a full-time professional engaged in a difficult and dangerous occupation. He pays his own traveling and living expenses and an entry fee for every event in which he competes. Most rodeos charge such fees to discourage amateurs from entering the contests and to increase the prizes. When a cowboy enters a rodeo, he must sign a paper releasing the management from responsibility for any injuries he may sustain. Broken bones, gorings from horns, and cuts, bruises, and concussions from an animal's hooves are quite common in rodeos, and a cowboy must pay his own medical expenses. Promoters furnish the wild stock and prize money, and because only the winning contestants receive prizes, competition is very keen. Unsuccessful cowboys soon drop out of competition, and even successful ones generally last only a few years because age and injuries put them at a disadvantage in competing with younger cowboys. Despite the drawbacks, however, rodeo competition attracts many young men and the more successful ones are able to earn large sums of money.
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