Big arenas are plentiful in the Pacific Northwest, but most keep the events standard. Roper's cattle are in a chute and they ask for them to be turned out when they are ready. Barrel patterns are set on a standard course.
Pendleton has taken the size of their arena and made changes that make it unique in the world of rodeo. Ropers still stand in a regulation box and call for their roping cattle. The cattle come from behind the grandstands and are pushed up an alleyway with someone yelling, "Started, halfway," etc. They also run downhill to enter the arena which speeds things up considerably. The roping events take place on the grass infield which adds an element of danger, well, another element of danger, because rodeo is dangerous all on its own.
This photo is former World Champion Team Roper Clay O'Brien Cooper. He was just about ready to throw his rope when his horse slipped on the grass. Both horse and rider walked away from the wreck, but I'll bet they were sore the next day.
This style of barrel racing is unique to the Pendleton Round-Up. Where a normal winning run is in the mid seventeen seconds, at the Pendleton Round-Up, the fastest time this year was 28.22 seconds.
Even with the barrels set in the dirt, the ground can be slick if the rider doesn't set her horse up correctly for the turns, causing a dangerous fall.
This horse and rider survived the crash without serious injury.
A big part of the Round-Up is a celebration of Indian Heritage, with pageants, dancing and handmade jewelry.