MILES CITY — On Saturday in Miles City, horses took to the streets for a parade to kick off day two of the annual, world-famous Bucking Horse Sale.
“I think the Bucking Horse Sale has been going on, I believe, for 60-some years or 70. It goes way back," said Larry Jordan, a Montana resident and former National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifier, on Saturday. "Miles City has always kind of been the cow capital and the horse capital of the world."
This year's parade theme was "The Wild West-Cowboys and Outlaws". It began at 9:30 AM, and participants came dressed in their best Western outfits.
The annual event takes place the third weekend of May and attendees travel from far and wide. It's typically held over three days, from Friday to Sunday.
“The people are here from, I want to say 10 or 12 states," Jordan said. "And probably some from Canada and even Europe."
Jordan was invited as a special guest this year along with three other former NFR qualifiers.
“They’ve got four of us that went to the National Finals, and they’re going to turn about 30 or 40 head of horses loose at the rodeo and we’re going to bring them around the track into the arena. And then we’re going to line up and they’re going to do a little presentation,” Jordan said. “It’s been a great life. Rodeo is so good because you get to see all of the country and rodeo with some really great people."
But Jordan said he has long attended the event as a spectator.
“I’ve been coming for 30 years because of all of the people that we know and everything," Jordan said. "It’s one big celebration, and it’s probably one of the best celebrations in the state of Montana."
Another attendee, Darla Haughianwier, has a special connection to the event.
“Miles City is my hometown, I grew up here. I currently live in Lake Alvin, Minnesota. I’ve been gone for 38 years and I’ve only missed three since I’ve been gone,” Haughianwier said on Saturday. “I met my husband here at the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale. He’s here, and my two boys come back with us too."
Haughianwier said she has a hard time deciding what her favorite part of the parade is, but one attraction in particular always stands out—but it's not the horses.
"The unicyclers. The Sacred Heart unicyclers,” Haughianwier said.
Those unicyclers were thrilled to be back this year.
“I did do it last year,” said Amanda Muggli, a member of the Sacred Heart Parish School unicycle team, on Saturday. “I would say riding is my favorite part of the parade."
Muggli was excited to show her skills after a year of practice.
“Well I would say it was fun (last year), but I fell off a lot,” Muggli joked.
Muggli's unicycle coach, Curt Almy, said the crowd always goes crazy over the unicycles.
"When we come around that first corner, people just go wild when they see the unicycles. Every year there’s a big roar," Almy said on Saturday. "Everybody’s just struggling to stay upright. The thing about unicycles is they don’t stop. You can’t coast like you can with a bicycle so you’re always peddling."
But it's all worth it for one of Miles City's largest events.
"It’s a big parade. It’s a big deal for Miles City in general,” Almy said. "Come ride with us!"
A big deal—and anyone is welcome to check it out.
"There are so many friends here and so many people from the rodeo business or ranching business," Larry Jordan said. "It is the greatest place you can be at this time in Montana."
To learn more about the Bucking Horse Sale, click here.