Visit: Pond Hill Pro Rodeo {Castleton, Vermont}

by Cate on July 29, 2015

A rodeo in the middle of Vermont? Yes, indeed, and I’m here to tell you all about it.


When it comes to Vermont, you might think of vast green landscapes, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, maple syrup, and just good old fashioned back to nature moments. But a rodeo? Yes, I was just as surprised as you. When we visited Vermont a few weeks ago, our hosts had planned and house outing to a local rodeo, and since the kids and I have never been to one (and Madeline LOVES horses), we couldn’t wait to go. Untitled

It was only about ten miles from where we were staying, in the town of Castleton, and as we neared, you could tell that this was a very popular local attraction. When we got on the property, we quickly fell into a long line of pick-up trucks going down the dusty dirt road, pulling into the parking lot.

Ten dollars for adults, and five for kids, our money (cash only) was collected as we pulled in.


Once we parked, we immediately got in the food truck line because we hadn’t had dinner and, with only two food trucks on the property, the line was already getting long. Nick is obsessed with Fried Oreos this year, so he eagerly scanned the menu to see if they had them.

Spoiler alert: no.

But they did have your usual fare of burgers, hot dogs, fries, and drinks.

Also cash only.

Once we had our food, we scouted out seats for our group on the stadium-style bleachers. I would gather that most anywhere you sit is a good seat, but we aimed for the middle of the stadium, about half way up, that way even our littlest (read: shortest) attendees would still have a view.

And then it started.


Everyone stood for the National Anthem, and as the parade of horses and the American flag went past, I got goosebumps.


And it didn’t hurt that the rodeo was in an awesome dip in the valley … which meant the perfect spot to watch the sun set while the rodeo began. Untitled


There were all sorts of events during the rodeo: barrel racing, calf roping, bull riding, and more. This being our first rodeo, we didn’t know quite what to expect, and I’ve got to be honest, the segments where they roped the calves and threw them to the ground and tied their hooves together were a little hard to watch.

In front of us was the sister of one of the calf ropers, and the mother of another calf roper.

Which means we tried hard not to loudly cheer when the calves won, but we mostly closed our eyes during those parts.

The entire rodeo lasts about two hours, but because of the single-lane exit, we skipped out about 15 minutes before the end to avoid the mad dash and ensuing long line of traffic.

Which was a totally solid call. Untitled

If you’re visiting Vermont, or looking to cross “rodeo” off your Bucket List, it makes for a fun night. Besides the Saturday night rodeo events, which run from the beginning of July through the beginning of September, they also offer trail rides and horseback riding lessons.


Pond Hill Ranch
1683 Pond Hill Ranch Rd.
Castleton, VT 05735


Hungry for more things to do in Vermont?
If you are visiting Vermont, the Quechee Gorge is a beautiful spot to hike and picnic.
We loved our visit to the Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works place in Montepelier. Because, maple syrup.
Our visit to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury was a delicious way to start the day.
Also in Waterbury, the Cabot cheese shop is right down the street and worth checking out.
The Vermont Country Store was an awesome stop and the last thing we did before heading home.
Our trip kicked off with a stop at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary July 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm

I love rodeos! I feel the same way about the calf roping, but I was barrel racer for a while with my horse and it was SUCH a good time!
Mary recently posted..Danny’s flight lands at 12:31AM…..


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