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AWARD-WINNING


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2017 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

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PRESENTING SPONSOR City of Steamboat Springs

SERIES SPONSOR Wrangler

SPECIALTY ACT SPONSORS

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TIMED EVENT END, CALF & RAM SCRAMBLES

F.M. Light & Sons

SCOREBOARD TITLE, JUNIOR BARREL RACING & PEE WEE BARREL RACING

STEER WRESTLING

Ron and Janice Forcum

REGIONAL TEAM ROPING Ore House at the Pine Grove

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SCOREBOARD QUARTER PANELS

Coors Rodeo Jack Daniel’s RAM Rodeo Yampa Valley Electric Association

ILLUSTRATION

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BULL RIDING

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2017 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

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David and Shannon Dillard Don and Faith Martin Donna Meitus, CPA, PC Mark and Maureen Miller Stephen and Julie Siegele Hideaway Ranch, LLC Neal and Laurel Sittig Fisher Family/Bar A Ranch Hugh and Janice Grant Dan and Trisha Simons William and Marcia Link Michael and Hiliary Guerriero Rabbit Ears Motel Two Brothers Ranch Bruce and Leslie Allbright

PRE-RODEO ENTERTAINMENT Ron and Janice Forcum

VETERINARIANS

Dr. Mike Gotchey Dr. Lee Meyring Dr. Nate Daughenbaugh Dr. Louise Batt Dr. Marianne Marshall

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WelcomE

Board Members: Brent Romick, Chairman John Shipley, President Ward Van Scoyk, Treasurer John Kerst, Director Emeritus Steve Dawes, Director Emeritus Dean Vogelaar Ren Martyn Jake Booco Chad Bedell Laura Cusenbary Mark Gossman Walter Magill Paul Strong Michael Sisk Craig Robinson

Administrator Char Mighton

Rodeo Secretary Barbara Duggan

Timers Linda Urie, Doris Mayhan The 2017 Official Program for the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series is produced by Steamboat Today. Suzanne Schlicht, publisher Eugene Buchanan, magazine editor Lisa Schlichtman, editor Julia Hebard, advertising director Afton Pospisilova, creative services manager

Advertising Sales Debbie Wilson

Photographers

Welcome to the 2017 summer of Pro Rodeo!

Some of the country’s best cowboys and cowgirls will be traveling to our beautiful arena in America’s most beautiful rodeo town, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for this year’s 10-week, 21-performance Pro Rodeo Series, which also includes a Ranch Rodeo July 2. Contestants will be competing for more than $125,000 in purse monies and bonuses. After the dust settles the final week of the series, more than 1,500 cowboys and cowgirls will have competed for a total payout of nearly $250,000, counting their entry fees, in the nation’s best summer Pro Rodeo Series. Whether you came from across the globe or right down the street, we thank our fans for filling the stands and cheering on many of Pro Rodeo’s best contestants, clowns, bullfighters and specialty acts. The goal of our Board of Directors each year is to better previous years’ accomplishments, and this year promises to do just that! We are proud that in 2016, for the sixth straight year, we won the Mountain States Circuit – Small Rodeo of the Year, after being recognized in 2002 as the national winner of Small Rodeo of the Year. It says a lot about Steamboat Springs to have more annual pro rodeos than any other community in the Rocky Mountain Region. On behalf of our volunteer Board of Directors, the City of Steamboat Springs, Wrangler and our many sponsors, it’s my pleasure to tip my hat and invite you to enjoy an exciting evening of rodeo action.

— Brent Romick, Chairman of the Board/Arena Director

Matt Stensland, John F. Russell, Joel Reichenberger, Zan Blundell, Austin Colbert

Design and Advertising Production Afton Pospisilova, design manager Rebecca Fitzpatrick, design layout Darin Bliss, Madelyn LyBarger, Malisa Samsel For advertising information, call 970-871-4243. Cover Artwork by Greg Effinger

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INSIDE Welcome Letter............................................. 5 Schedule ...................................................... 6 Entertainment...............................................7 Calf/Ram Scrambles...................................... 8 Bulls & Bands................................................9 Behind the Scenes....................................... 11 Events/Who to Watch For............................ 12

Colorado Loses Two Rodeo Legends............ 17 Rodeo Clowns............................................. 19 Rodeo History............................................. 22 Cowboys Roundup Days.............................. 25 Arena Improvements................................... 27 Past Champions.......................................... 28 Stock Contractors........................................ 29 8 Seconds: Rodeo Announcer John Shipley..... 30

2017 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

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Summer schedule All performances are held at

Order of Events

Brent Romick Rodeo Arena at How- subject to change elsen Hill, 401 Howelsen Parkway Opening Ceremonies in downtown Steamboat Springs. Permit Bull Riding Tickets are $20 for adults; $10 for Sponsor Flags kids 7 to 15; and free for children Team Roping 6 and younger. To avoid waiting in Bareback Riding line, advance tickets are available at Clown Act the same prices at FM Light & Sons Steer Wrestling and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Calf Scramble Resort Association Visitors Center. Saddle Bronc Riding All tickets are general admission. Clown Act The main seating area is covered, Tie-Down Roping overflow seating is not. Handicap Ram Scramble parking and seating are available. Regional Team Roping Barrel Racing Visit www.steamboatprorodeo.com Junior & PeeWee Barrel Racing for sales and more information. Bull Riding

JUNE

16 - 17 — 7:30 p.m. 23 - 24 — 7:30 p.m. 30 - July 1 — 7:30 p.m.

JULY 2 — WSRRA Ranch Rodeo, 7:30 p.m. 3 — 7:30 p.m. 4 — 6:30 p.m. 7 - 8 — 7:30 p.m. 14 - 15 — 7:30 p.m. 21 - 22 — 7:30 p.m. 28 - 29 — 7:30 p.m.

AUGUST 4 - 5 — 7:30 p.m. 11 - 12 — 7:30 p.m.

A special thanks to the following sponsors: Wrangler City of Steamboat Springs FM Light & Sons Coors Rodeo/B&K Distributing Steamboat Flyfisher Yeti Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association RAM Rodeo Jack Daniel’s Wells Fargo Coca-Cola Justin Boots

The barbecue is open from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Pre-rodeo entertainment appears from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m on the entertainment stage.

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CONCESSIONAIRES/RODEO BBQ

Entertainment BARRELMEN, BARBECUE AND BANDS

There’s plenty more going on at the rodeo than the competition you see in the arena. Before each performance, sample award-winning barbecue at the concession stand, take in great music and let your kids play in the playground. Because of the intimacy of the rodeo grounds, you’ll also likely run into a contestant or two (identified by their back number). When you do, introduce yourself and learn about their lifestyle (for professional athletes, they’re super accessible). You can even take your kids’ picture with them, get their autograph, and root for them in the arena later.

And the rodeo contestants aren’t the evening’s only entertainers. Enjoy live music from some of the region’s best bands on the entertainment stage from 6 to 7:15 p.m. each night, and feel free to swing your partner and kick up your heels. Once the rodeo action starts, the country’s best barrelmen and specialty acts add to the fun, ensuring the entertainment lasts all night long with something for everyone. “Between our clowns, specialty acts, bands and other entertainment, there’s a lot going on for the whole family every night,” says Rodeo Series chairman Brent Romick. “It’s all part of what makes our rodeo such an award-winning event.”

2017 BARRELMAN/CLOWN – SPECIALTY ACT SCHEDULE June 16-17 June 23-24 June 30-July 1 July 3-4 July 7-8 July 14-15

J.W. Winklepleck J.W. Winklepleck Keith Isley Keith Isley Troy “The Wild Child” Lerwill Mark Swingler/Bobby Kerr’s Mustang Act

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July 21-22 July 28-29 Aug. 4-5 Aug. 11-12

Matt Tarr Scott Cameron/ Mexican Charro, Tomas Garcilazo Scott Cameron J.W. Winklepleck

Serving up the best rodeo-style vittles this side of the Mississippi is RJAZ Food Service, owned by Ron and Janice Forcum. “We strive along with our staff to bring the best tasting apple-smoked BBQ for all to enjoy,” says Ron, who with Janice and their 33 employees wrangle together all your dining, drinking and pre-rodeo entertainment needs. They also book the bands for the pre-rodeo show, which play from 6 to 7:15 p.m. every night. “We love doing this business,” he adds. “It’s a fun, great place to be – it’s Steamboat!” Select from their best-selling BBQ pork ribs, chicken and brisket to burgers, bratwurst, hot dogs, desserts and other treats. They also accommodate catered events with special seating for celebrating reunions, birthdays and other large groups. “The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo is a great tradition,” Janice says. “We’re honored to be a small part of this wonderful group of people. Come join us...the dinner bell is ringing!”

2017 Band Schedule

Don’t be afraid to kick up your heels during your rodeo visit, with the arena stage hosting live music, from country western to classic rock, bluegrass and acoustic americana, at each and every event. All bands play from 6 to 7:15 p.m., except on July 4 when they play from 4:30 to 6:15 p.m. June 16 Total Entertainment Mobile DJ June 17 Trevor G. Potter June 23 Tasty Vittles June 24 Shawn David Allen June 30 Yampa Valley Boys July 1 Jay Roemer July 2 Total Entertainment Mobile DJ July 3 Trevor G. Potter July 4 Walker Williams Band (4:30-6:15) July 7 John Gibbs & Randy Kelly July 8 Stevie Nicks Mobile DJ July 14 Yampa Valley Boys July 15 Total Entertainment Mobile DJ July 21 Stevie Nicks Mobile DJ July 22 Shawn David Allen July 28 John Gibbs & Randy Kelly July 29 Good Cop Bad Cop August 4 Jay Roemer August 5 Trevor G. Potter August 11 Shaw David Allen August 12 Total Entertainment Mobile DJ *Play time is 6-7:15pm except for July 4 (see above)

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2017 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

Cowboys and cowgirls aren’t the only ones with the chance to compete in Brent Romick Arena at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series. Your young’uns can get in on the action every night as well by joining each night’s Calf and Ram Scramble. Listen for the announcer to mention when to line up your children at the west end of the arena and then get ready to cheer them on as they scurry around to grab a ribbon off the tail of a calf or ram. The Calf Scramble is for kids ages 6 to 12, while the Ram Scramble is for kids 5 and younger, with a sheep substituted for a calf. “It’s definitely one of our most popular events; the kids and parents love it,” says the rodeo series’ Char Mighton, adding that up to 100 kids take part in the tail-grabbing action every night. “It’s the highlight of the trip for a lot of visitors.” The format is simple: kids gather in the arena, the calf or ram is released, and then the children run around trying to grab the ribbon off its tail. Sometimes it takes a few seconds and others up to 10 minutes as the calves and rams twist and turn away from every outreached hand. Eventually, someone winds up with the ribbon, winning bragging rights and special prizes. And every child walks away a winner for participating.

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BULLS & Bands NEW EVENT!

BRACE YOURSELF for a new actionpacked, rockin’ n’ rollin’, bucking, juking and jiving event taking Steamboat Springs by storm this summer: Bulls and Bands, an exciting Western triple event at Romick Arena. Showcasing some of the world’s top PRCA American freestyle bullfighters (a style of bull dodging developed by rodeo clowns to protect riders in the line of duty), the event series is part of a 19-event, nationwide PRCA tour and will take place on Wednesday evenings on July 12, 19 and 26. Great live country rock music performances accompany each show, setting the tone to kick up your heels and dance in the dirt. Here’s how it works: each 70-second competition entails a bullfighter attempting to outrun and avoid a bull by dodging, jumping and hiding behind barrels. At the end of the season’s series,

nine top finishers will earn a berth in this year’s PRCA World Championships. “It’s the bullfighter’s chance to help their sport become more mainstream,” says producer and co-owner Brent Romick. “Coupled with the great bands and bull riding, it should be a lot of fun for the whole family.” Interspersed with the bullfighting will be permit bull riding, featuring up-and-coming PRCA bull riders earning their cards to compete in PRCA-sanctioned events. Each event features a $6,000 purse for the bullfighters and a $1,500 purse for the riders. “It’s the ultimate representation of Western entertainment,” says producer and co-owner Treat Romick. “It’s a unique mixture of music, bulls, beers and adrenaline in a truly unique, Western-style event.”

Freestyle bullfighting is the art of engaging a bull bred specifically to fight with a type of a dance between man and beast. The art requires skill, grace, athleticism, bravery and talent. The goal is to engage the bull while performing a variety of maneuvers during the round, from tight runarounds to barrel hops. It is a game of intelligence and skill. “It’s a game of fractions of an inch,” says world champion bullfighter Miles Hare.

— PRCA Freestyle Bullfights

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Behind the scenes

A lot of work goes on behind the rides

you see every night at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series. From announcers and chute bosses to arena directors and burger flippers, it’s a combined effort to pull of one off the best rodeos in the country (a winner of the PRCA’s Rodeo of the Year). So tip your collective cowboy hats to:

Brent Romick, Chairman/Arena Director/ Timed Event Stock Contractor As arena director and chairman of the board, Brent Romick wears a big hat. He’s responsible for the event’s entire production, coordinating the rough stock and timed events, specialty acts and chute boss to ensure everything fits into a two-hour performance. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” says Romick, a gold card member of the PRCA and advisor to the All American Rodeo Committee. Romick has competed since his youth in riding and roping events and is a former series champion in team roping and bull riding. He still competes in team roping today while striving to produce the best pro rodeo series in the nation.

Jake Booco Growing up just a horse-trot away from Romick Arena, Jake Booco has been competing in the Steamboat Rodeo for 15 years, becoming the Steamboat Bull Riding Champion in 2013. Now he’s riding less but giving back by serving on the Rodeo Series’ board. He also serves as an active contestant consultant, acting as a liaison between riders and event organizers. But don’t be surprised if you still see him atop an occasional bull as well. “It’s always fun to ride in front of your hometown crowd,” he says. “Steamboat is my hometown rodeo, and it’s great because a lot of family and friends can come watch.”

Char Mighton, Administrator Paperwork piles up as high as the manure at a rodeo. Managing all that red tape for the Steamboat series is Char Mighton, the rodeo’s administrator since 1998 and the glue that helps keep it all together. “There are quite a few logistics to deal with in putting on a weekly rodeo series,” says Mighton, who also hires personnel, handles ticket distribution, supervises the gate and maintains standings. “I love the rodeo’s western way of life, the people I work with and our guests’ excitement during every performance. It’s also great to watch the competitors progress through the season toward the season championships.”

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John Shipley, Announcer

Shortly after arriving in Steamboat in 1982, John Shipley announced that he was going to ride bareback horses at the Friday Night Jackpot Rodeo. So he attended two rodeo schools and promptly got bucked off week after week. It wasn’t until a last minute substitution for a missing announcer that he realized he had “more aptitude describing it than doing it.” The switch — especially after tutoring under Hall of Fame announcer Hadley Barrett — led to joining the PRCA as an announcer in 1987. Since then, he’s announced rodeos from Oregon to Florida, receiving the PRCA’s coveted life membership Gold Card. Career highlights include announcing the National Finals Steer Roping, the Ram National Circuit Finals and Cheyenne Frontier Days. A 27-year president of the rodeo committee, he now concentrates his efforts solely on Steamboat, to the benefit of riders and spectators alike. “I love playing a small part in keeping an important part of our heritage alive,” he says.

Chad Bedell Rodeo board member and former world champion Chad Bedell is a true local cowboy, his family ranching along the Elk River for nearly 100 years. After winning the world championships in steer wrestling in 1996, he earned a degree in agricultural economics from Utah State University and now manages Marabou Ranch along the Elk River, raising grass-fed, red Angus steers while balancing development needs. “Rodeo has taught me the value of perseverance and the reward of hard work,” he says. “As a kid, I watched the Steamboat rodeo when it started as a weekly Jackpot, so it’s time to help out where I can. Steamboat’s rodeo committee has dedicated, intelligent people who donate a lot of time to make it work. It’s a privilege to learn from them and help make it a success.” A lot more people contribute behind the scenes to make the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series such a resounding success. Their “day” jobs include banker, lawyer, orthopedic surgeon, engineer/surveyor, CPA, ranch manager, real estate broker, property manager and more — including representatives from our partner, the City of Steamboat Springs — who take precious time away from their jobs and families to volunteer and keep the local rodeo tradition alive. They aren’t in the spotlight and they don’t get the recognition they deserve, but they’re the backbone of the Series.

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Event Round-up

WHO AND WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT THIS YEAR’S SERIES Reaching the overall winner’s podium at the end of each season is no easy task. It takes consistency, skill, guts and a little luck. If last year’s tight-as-a-belt-buckle rodeo season was any indication, this year will be no exception, with some of the best rodeo athletes in the country duking it out for champion honors. Each event often comes down to the wire, with many category winners determined by the last ride of the season. Following is a synopsis of each event, as well as a few riders to root for who have a shot at the season title.

BAREBACK RIDING Sponsors: Ski Town Cleaners The most physically demanding event in a pro rodeo may be bareback riding. Cowboys use one hand to grasp a leather “rigging” to stay on the horse and are judged on their spurring technique and bucking action of the horse. To score higher points, riders must turn the toes of their boots outward and lean way back. No score will be given if the cowboy does not “mark out” the horse. Judges watch closely to ensure that as the horse comes out of the chute, the cowboy’s feet are above its shoulders. The feet must remain there until the horse’s front feet hit the ground. A bareback rider must remain on the animal for eight seconds. KEEP AN EYE ON: Competing in his first year as a pro rider in the PRCA, Hunter Brasfield admits he had the lead for the title “about halfway through the season.” But it didn’t start off easy for the 2016 champion. In fact, his first ride was his worst. “In the first event I drew a horse named ‘Shamrock’ and it kind of rocked me pretty good,” says Brasfield, who also won the Cattleman’s Days Rodeo in Gunnison, Colorado. “It turned back on me right out of the gate and knocked me off.” Still, he finished strongly enough in the rest of the events that he had the title all but sewn up before the final. “I drew great rides – Steamboat has great stock – and I progressively rode better and better throughout the season,” he says. “And it was my first year as a pro, so I’m real happy about that.” The newcomer wrestled the crown away from 2015 winner Colton Onyett, who’s out to reap some revenge this year. And don’t overlook two-time winner Micky Downare, who won the bareback riding crown in 2007 and again in 2014, from giving him a run for his money as well, nor 2013 winner Anthony Thomas and three-time winner Craig Wisehart of Kersey, Colorado.

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2017 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

TEAM ROPING Sponsors: Steamboat Lake Marina (Regional Team Roping: Ore House at the Pine Grove) Team roping demands close cooperation between two cowboys (“header” and “heeler”) and their horses. The steer is given a head start as the header waits behind a rope barrier. If the header breaks the barrier, a 10-second penalty is assessed. The heeler follows. The header is the first one to rope and must catch the steer either around the horns, neck or one horn and the head. As soon as the header secures the loop, he “dallies” the rope around the saddle horn and rides to the left, turning the steer away from a right-handed heeler. As the header rides away, the heeler tries to rope the steer’s hind feet. A five-second penalty is assessed if the heeler catches only one foot. The two riders then back their horses to take the slack out of their ropes. The clock stops when all the slack has been taken up and the ropers are facing one another. KEEP AN EYE ON: In the touch-and-go world of team roping, though they didn’t rope together last season, Nick Pullara took it for the headers in 2016, with Josh Fillmore winning the title for the heelers, wrestling the crown away from Travis Bounds and Justin Price in 2015. “I was winning it through a lot of the season, but some people with double points came close,” says Pullara, who is excited to compete again this year. “But I won the very last weekend, so no one could catch me. I had a great season and look forward to this year.” A repeat might be tough, with Bounds and Price on his tail and 2014 winners Tyler Schnaufer and J.W. Borrego switching partners (Schnaufer, 27, is now roping with his younger brother, Trevor, 22). “I love coming to Steamboat,” adds Schnaufer. “I like the atmosphere, and it has a great crowd every night.” Other fan favorites include the Laramie, Wyoming, pair of Paul Beckett and Clayton Van Aken, who won in 2013.

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TIE-DOWN ROPING

STEER WRESTLING

Sponsors: Christy Sports After giving the calf a head start, the horse and rider begin their chase. As the cowboy throws his loop, the horse comes to a stop. With his horse still skidding to a stop, the cowboy dismounts, runs to the calf, throws it to the ground and ties any three legs together with a “pigging string.” The horse must keep slack out of the rope but not pull so tight that the calf is dragged. When the roper finishes tying, he throws his hands in the air to signal to the flag judge. Then, he gets back on his horse and rides toward the calf, putting slack back into the rope. The calf must remain tied for six seconds after the rope is slack or the cowboy will receive a “no time.” KEEP AN EYE ON: For tie-down ropers, it can all come down to the tie. It can come down to the wire, too, as far as end-of-the-year standings. That’s what happened last season, as Don Coffell, a school teacher and basketball and golf coach from Iredell, Texas, took the lead in the second-to-last rodeo of the season. In the final event, he says, “the guy behind me didn’t place, and neither did I, but I still had enough points to win.” With his students cheering him on back home, Coffell bested 2015 winner Brice Ingo and two-time winner Jake Hamilton, who won in 2013 and 2014. “It’s been super close each year,” says Wyoming’s Hamilton. “I love competing in Steamboat — it’s a great facility and great crowd. Everyone likes to win a Steamboat series.” And it might be easier for Hamilton and Ingo to regain their titles this year. While practicing for the Circuit Finals last year in Loveland, Colorado, Coffell broke his pelvis in a practice run and is out for the season. “The weird thing is it didn’t even happen in a fall,” he says. “It happened while I was running to the calf.”

Sponsors: Ron and Janice Forcum / RJAZ Food Service Steer wrestlers, also known as bulldoggers, try to toss a steer onto its side after jumping off a quarter horse. Courage, timing and balance are essential. The objective: Get the steer on the ground the fastest using only strength and leverage. Done correctly, the event takes only three to five seconds. The cowboy starts his run behind a barrier with another cowboy called a hazer, who keeps the steer from turning away. The steer is then given a head start. When it reaches the “scoreline” and the rope barrier is released, the steer wrestler and the hazer chase the steer until the wrestler can make his jump. The wrestler then hooks his right arm around the steer’s right horn, grasps the left horn with his left hand and digs his heels into the dirt and uses leverage to bring down the animal. KEEP AN EYE ON: In the rough-and-tumble steer wrestling event, for Jesse Jolly, of Agate, Colorado, it all boiled down to the last event of the season. “I didn’t have a horse, so I rode my friend Cole Dorenkamp’s, named Single Shot,” he says. “I only went to the last four events, but rodeos in August count double for points, and I won three of the four. I drew good – by that time of the year the good ones keep getting better; they figure out how to keep you from catching them.” Jolly, who plans to only compete in August again this year (saying “it seemed to work for me”), bested 2015 champ Dax Cathcart of Carpenter, Wyoming, as well as 2014 winner Cutter DeHart and three-time champion Shawn Mills. “I’ve been competing in Steamboat every year since 1990,” says Dan Cathcart, a two-time champion and Dax’s father. “It’s a great get away and a great rodeo. They treat the contestants well, it has a good climate and is a great town. I vote for it as Rodeo of the Year every season.” As for winning the crown, Cathcart adds that it comes down to luck and showing up. “A handful of guys could win it every year,” he says. “It just comes down to where you’re sitting towards the end of the season.”

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BARREL RACING

PERMIT BULL RIDING

Sponsors: RAM Rodeo (Pee Wee & Juniors: Steamboat Flyfisher) The goal of barrel racing is to run a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels in the fastest time. The horses pivot on their haunches at high speeds and execute each turn with only inches to spare. Normally, quarter horses are used in barrel racing. A knocked-over barrel incurs a five-second penalty. KEEP AN EYE ON: Keeping it all in the family, Camie Haskins won last year’s barrel racing crown, adding hardware to her aunt Julie’s five whopping wins. But it wasn’t easy wrestling it away from Lisa Mirabito of Granby, Colorado, who didn’t have to travel far to win the 2015 title. Local favorite Wendy McKee is also a frontrunner, winning championships in 2013 and 2014. All three Colorado racers will be looking for the title once again in the tight-turning race.

Sponsors: Steamboat Resorts by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Following the same rules as the regular bull riding event, permit bull riding was introduced to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series in 2012, and continues to be a crowd favorite. In short, it’s a PRCA event for younger bull riders who are just getting into the business and need to “fill their card” before they are issued a regular bull riding card. The competition has been heated in Steamboat, with some of the sport’s best coming to Romick Arena to try their hand. Last year it was Kaiden Decker from Hayden, Colorado, taking the overall title, with Jacob Smith from LaSalle, Colorado, winning in 2015.

SADDLE BRONC RIDING Sponsors: Mountain Valley Bank Unlike bareback riding, where the cowboy grabs a rigging fastened to the horse’s back, a saddle bronc rider grips a thick rein attached to the horse’s halter. He must then mark out the horse as in bareback riding. As the horse bucks, the rider bends his knees to pull his heels back and then snaps his feet back to the horse’s shoulder as the animal’s front feet hit the ground, synchronizing spurring with the horse’s movements. The rider is judged on spurring action, body control and the degree to which he keeps his toes turned out. The horse’s bucking action contributes to the score, just as in bareback riding. KEEP AN EYE ON: Last year local rider Garrett Buckley, 22, of Craig, Colorado, succeeded two-time champion Colin Stalley of Riverton, Wyoming, (who retired from competition) with consistent rides week in and week out. “The season went really well for me,” says Buckley, now entering his fifth year as a pro. “I did well drawing and had a good lead two rodeos before the end of the season.” As for any particularly memorable, rough rides, he says “none that I can really recall. I stayed on most of the time. Only two got me down the entire year, and one of those was for the rifle, not points.” While he’ll be hot to trot again this year, look for pressure from Missouri’s Cody Martin, who won in 2014. As for winning the title, three-time champion Brandon Munn sums it up this way: “Winning requires placing well in the majority of events; it takes consistency and a little luck.”

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BULL RIDING Sponsors: Booco’s Contract Services In what is hoped to be an eight-second ride, the adrenaline-addled rider holds a flat-braided rope in his glove hand. As he settles onto his bull in the chute, he pulls the rope’s tail through a loop and wraps the rope around his riding hand, at times weaving it through his fingers for better grip. Each bull has a different style of bucking; some spin, others circle, others throw in jumps or kicks and others move sideways in mid-air. As the cowboy waves his free hand to counter the bull’s gyration and maintain his balance, he must avoid touching the bull with his free hand or he is disqualified. The cowboy’s control and the bull’s bucking efforts each account for half of the score. KEEP AN EYE ON: New blood came to the bull riding podium last year when Cordell Curtis, out of Monte Vista, Colorado, captured the 2016 bull crown from Dacono, Colorado’s Brian Larson. “I was pretty far ahead all season,” says Curtis, who came in second at last year’s Mountain State Circuit Finals. “Even though I missed two events, I finished my rides in six of them and won a couple—but I fell off on my last ride.” Curtis, who says he loves “coming up to the hills of Steamboat,” can expect a strong challenge from four-time winner Clayton Savage of Yoder, Wyoming. Also in the hunt is high-flying 2012 winner Dillon Kujala of Burns, Colorado. “A lot of great circuit riders come to Steamboat, and just about any of them could win on any given day,” says Savage, adding that Steamboat’s bulls are some of the best in the business. “I love Steamboat because the atmosphere is great, the people are nice and it’s a beautiful arena in the mountains. Plus, the bonuses are great.” Adds rodeo announcer John Shipley, “Bull riding is always one of the crowd favorites, and it usually comes down to the wire for the season title.” 2017 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

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Remembering legends COLORADO LOSES TWO RODEO LEGENDS

HARRY VOLD (1924-2017) The rodeo world lost one of its most stalwart supporters this spring with the passing at age 93 of rodeo stock contractor Harry Vold (a.k.a. “Duke of the Chutes”), a longtime provider of stock to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series and other rodeos across the country. “Harry was the king of rodeo,” says Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series chairman Brent Romick. “He ate, slept and drank rodeo and was fair to everyone and was everything to everyone. He paid as much attention to barrel racing as he did bulls.” Vold was born in 1924 on a ranch in Alberta, Canada. After trying his hand at bareback and saddle bronc riding, and later auctioning horses, he entered the stock contracting business in 1952 when a hoof-and-mouth disease outbreak saddled him with 20 horses. He started stock contracting in the United States in 1967, moving to Fowler, Colorado, and forming the Harry Vold Rodeo Company in 1970. Now run by his daughter Kirsten, the company produces rodeos in seven states and provides bucking stock for over 100 rodeo performances each year. Considered one of PRCA’s best stock contractors of all time, and one of only two to provide stock

to all National Finals Rodeos since 1959, Vold raised some of the most acclaimed animals in the PRCA. An 11-time PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year winner, he was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994 (where his memorial was held March 20 to a standing room only crowd of more than 600) and Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2009, where he was named a Legend of Pro Rodeo. “He just loved rodeo,” says Kirsten Vold. “I don’t know anyone who loved rodeo more. He got to live his life how he wanted, around rodeo, stock and cowboys, and that’s all he could ask for.” The Steamboat series has benefitted from his stock for decades, and Vold always loved visiting and making the deliveries himself. “He always enjoyed Steamboat,” Kirsten adds. “It’s a nice break for the animals because it’s not so hot, and whenever we’d drive down Rabbit Ears Pass into town, he’d say, ’What a beautiful state Colorado is, and this is why.’ While Kirsten is still raising some of the best stock in the business, Harry’s passing leaves a big hole in rodeo’s history. “There’ll probably never be another one like him,” says Romick. “He was truly the last of a rare breed.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF PRO RODEO HALL OF FAME

HADLEY BARRETT (1929-2017) World-renowned rodeo announcer Hadley Barrett also passed away in March, leaving a legacy as one of the best in the business. Barrett announced with local rodeo announcer John Shipley in Steamboat several times, as well as at some of the biggest rodeos in the country. He was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1999 and was voted a four-time PRCA Rodeo Announcer of the Year. He was also an accomplished musician, whose band “Hadley Barrett and the Westerners” played venues and rodeos across the country, and he was one of the first rodeo announcers to ever ply his trade on horseback. “I was fortunate, early in my career, to be introduced to the man who was truly the ‘Voice of Rodeo,’” Shipley says. “He became a mentor, announcing partner, and for the last 25 years or so, an adopted dad. He was a tremendous talent, generous with his expertise and unquestionably deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame.”

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Rodeo entertainers The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series’ bullfighters and barrelmen are some of the best in the rodeo business, entertaining audiences while protecting cowboys once they’re off their mounts. How would you like to lure a bucking bull away from its intended target? But they’re also great entertainers, whose specialty acts have been polished for years. Following are the performers you’ll see jumping into barrels and jalopies this season.

J.W. Winklepleck June 16-17, June 23-24, Aug. 11-12 Opening and closing out this year’s Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series is crowd favorite J.W. Winklepleck. Winklepleck started riding in Steamboat in 1994, won the bareback competition in 2000 and almost another in 2007 before turning to entertaining. “I enjoy both clowning and riding,” he says. “But you can’t ride bucking horses forever.” He’s since carved out a niche as a barrelman and performer, getting up close with the audience the whole time. On any given night you’re as apt to see him donning his clown gear as snowboarding (manure-boarding?) behind a horse – something near and dear to those in Steamboat. He’s also known for his announcer rapport, with his banter providing some of the best entertainment of the night. “The atmosphere at the Steamboat rodeo is way above most other rodeos,” he says. “You can’t beat the scenery, it’s a fun committee and a great town.”

Keith Isley June 30-July 1, July 3-4 Ask Keith Isley to speak in front of people at a Kiwanis Club and he couldn’t do it. Believe it or not, he has a shy side. But with “make-up on in front of 10,000 people,” he says, “it’s nonstop action.” Isley got into rodeo at age 15 bareback riding and taking on bulls. He realized early on that he enjoyed protecting the cowboys more than the competition. He was voted PRCA Clown of the Year six years in a row and is an eleven-time PRCA Specialty Act of the Year award winner. He is also a five-time Coors Man in the Can. His acts include trick roping and riding, as well as animal routines. “We do quite a few different acts,” he says. “We try to do something different every night.” What started as a weekend gig has now turned into a career. He’ll work the biggest rodeo in the world one week and a high school rodeo the next. “I’m the most blessed person in the rodeo business,” he says. “I’m going to make dang sure I don’t forget where I came from.”

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Troy “The Wild Child” Lerwill July 7-8 That Troy Lerwill’s nickname is “The Wild Child” should say something about what’s in store in his act. Hint: it usually involves motorcycles. The Payson, Utah, native started his rodeo career before he reached puberty and was competing on a motorcycle by age 10. By age 18, Lerwill was the top ranked professional motocross rider in Utah. Now he’s moved on to safer sports, like bullfighting. Lerwill started his bullfighting career in 1994, first as a barrelman. But his lifelong love for motorcycles took over, and he quickly incorporated them into his acts. In 1998, The Wild Child was born. Now celebrating his two-wheeled act’s 18th year, Lerwill has performed at rodeos across the country, including the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, bringing his high-flying, wheel-spinning fun to crowds wherever he goes.

Mark Swingler/Bobby Kerr’s Mustang Act July 14-15 If there’s one thing about Mark Swingler’s act, it’s that the audience is assured to stick around to the end. “Mine’s a gotcha act,” says the Austin, Texas, native. “We lay a storyline in front of everyone, and it all comes together at the end. People even bring their friends back to see what their reaction is.” One of the PRCA’s best, Swingler has been with the PRCA for more than 20 years and has been a rodeo entertainer for 27. This year marks his seventh visit to Steamboat. “I love coming to Steamboat with the cool weather in the summer,” he says. “I’m wearing a jacket at night while it’s 120 degrees back home.” Joining him this year is the Bobby Kerr Mustang Act. A horse trainer for more than 40 years, Kerr comes to Steamboat with his trusty steed, Poncho, and plenty of backfiring jalopies. The founder of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Kerr is a multi-time Fan Favorite award winner, a finalist for PRCA’s Specialty Act of the Year and he’s even appeared with Poncho on Good Morning America.

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Matt Tarr July 21-22 Growing up around rodeo and livestock all his life, Matt Tarr, 33, of Cody, Wyoming, is a natural fit for clowning. Roping by age 3, he fought bulls for seven years before trying his hand at clowning, and he hasn’t looked back since – except maybe to escape a bucking bull or bronc. “I grew up wanting to be a rodeo cowboy,” he says. “Then, when I was working as a bullfighter at one rodeo, the clown couldn’t make it, so the stock contractor threw me a microphone and said, ‘Go be funny, see you in two hours.’ That’s how I got started.” Fans love Tarr’s quick wit and passion for making people smile and laugh. His act is honed by countless appearances at his hometown Cody Nite Rodeo, the only nightly rodeo in the country. He’s since taken his act on the road to rodeos throughout the country. Striving to be a great role model for all ages, he says his act ideas come from all walks, from bumper stickers to items at a store – “whatever I think I can make an act with,” he says. “I try not to go into the arena with jokes to tell. I make it more of a what’s happening now show. It makes it more relatable for people and makes them a part of it instead of just being spectators.” As for performing in Steamboat, it’s as close to home setting-wise as he can get. “My family and I are very excited to come to Steamboat,” he says. “It will be like we are home in the mountains.”

Scott Cameron/Tomas Garcilazo July 28-29; Cameron only Aug. 4-5 Get ready to be wowed by some fancy rope work. Mexico’s Tomas Garcilazo has studied floreo de reata (rope artistry) from an early age and was raised in his family tradition of la charreria, a skill performed by charros, who take pride in their horsemanship and roping abilities.Garcilazo incorporates his mastery of both into every performance, bringing audiences to their feet. Unlike most charros who only compete in Mexican rodeos, Garcilazo takes his show worldwide and has won several PRCA awards, most notably Specialty Act of the Year in 2007, 2012, and 2013. Part of Disney’s Wild West Show in France, he’s also toured with Linda Ronstadt and the Tony Award-winning Will Rogers Follies. Joining Garcilazo July 28 and 29 is veteran clown and bull fighter Scott Cameron, who also performs Aug. 4 and 5. Get ready for some banter with the audience. “If you talk to me long enough, I’m going to say something stupid, so I don’t really need to rehearse,” he says. “I’m situational. If something happens in the arena, I’ll comment about it.” Also look for acts involving his horse, which often play off the Triple Crown, and yes, chainsaws. “I know three horses that lay down and let you stand on top of them while firing up a chainsaw, and I’ve owned all of them,” he says.

2017 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

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When you watch the actionpacked Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, you’re taking part in a

History

time-honored, century-old tradition in town. “Ranching and rodeo have been important here forever,” says longtime rodeo announcer John Shipley. “They’re part of our town’s whole tradition.” Ever since the first settlers arrived in the Yampa Valley in the late 19th century, roping and riding have been a part of daily life here, with the sport blossoming by necessity. These early settlers established homesteads and raised horses and livestock as a way of life. Every year, cattle would have to be rounded up, bulls corralled and calves roped for branding. It’s those same skills long-used on area ranches that you see displayed today in Romick Arena. These cowboys’ rodeo skills migrated from ranches to competitions, quickly becoming a vital part of town gatherings. Spectators would form a rodeo ring by positioning their horses in a circle, heads turned inward. Later, cars were used to form the circle. The makeshift arenas didn’t dampen competitiveness. In the early 1900s, Steamboat reared some of the toughest buckers in the business, including such famous horses as

Pin Ears, Carrie Nation and General Pershing. Weekly festivities called the “Friday Night Jackpot” arose in the mid-1970s where riders competed for their combined entry fees. “Those original Friday night rodeos were pretty wild and loosely regulated,” says rodeo board member Brent Romick. In 1983, local Steve Dawes helped the Jackpot Rodeo grow to eventually include Saturday night events, and the Steamboat Springs Rodeo Series was born. In 1989, the 10-week series became fully sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and saw its name changed to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series. Throughout this 114-year history — from the first Cowboy Roundup Days, now celebrated every July 4, to today’s weekly pro series, a winner of the PRCA’s Small Outdoor Rodeo of the Year — the town’s ranching roots have continued to shine through. In fact, many of town’s original homesteads still provide stock for the events, which attract some of the nation’s top riders trying to earn their way to the National Finals. So tip your hat to the cowboys keeping one of town’s most lost-lasting traditions alive (just don’t be surprised if some of the cowboys ask you to circle your cars after the show).

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114th Annual Cowboys Roundup Days If you can make only one rodeo weekend this summer, make it the weekend of June 30 to July 4, when Steamboat’s rodeo action and summer activities kick in like a buckin’ bronc. For more than 100 years, Steamboat Springs has celebrated Independence Day in true western fashion, with everything from a whopping five straight rodeo performances to a hometown parade and giant dance party in the street. The weekend is as fun and actionpacked as any you’ll find all summer, consisting of two regular rodeos on June 30 and July 1, a locals’ Ranch Rodeo July 2, a rodeo July 3 and a Fourth of July extravaganza rodeo complete with one of the biggest firework shows in Colorado. Adding to the festivities are events like the annual Fourth of July Parade and Pioneer Day Block Party (featuring a free concert and

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Routt Beer Floats) – all proof that Steamboat’s western roots are alive and well. “It’s definitely the marquee rodeo weekend of the entire season,” says rodeo board chairman Brent Romick. “It draws some of the best competitors in the country and is packed all weekend long. It’s a great weekend to be in Steamboat.” It’s also one of the longest-running events in town, starting way before the current pro rodeo series began. “Fourth of July weekend in Steamboat is definitely one of the best of the entire summer,” adds Kara Stoller, CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. “From the riveting Ranch Rodeo and colorful Art on the Mountain festival, to the free concert at Howelsen and hometown parade rodeo and fireworks display, there’s something for everyone.” So rest up and get ready for one of the best western weekends you’ll ever find in Colorado.

JULY 2-4 Sanctioned Ranch Rodeo adds action to Cowboys Roundup Days July 2 Cowboys Roundup Days is a long-standing tradition in Steamboat Springs. Ranchers and local cowboys and cowgirls used to gather on the same site as Romick Arena starting back in 1902 competing in many events born from actual daily work activities on area ranches. `Today’s professional rodeo evolved from these impromptu gatherings across the West. Over the past 10 to 15 years there has been a re-birth of the original “rodeo” competition organized into local and sanctioned ranch rodeo events across the USA. Steamboat’s Cowboys Roundup Days provides a great weekend, featuring both Pro Rodeo and Ranch Rodeo performances. This year four Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo (PRCA) performances are scheduled on June 30, and July 1, 3 and 4, along with a WSRRA Ranch Rodeo and Ranch Bronc Riding at 7:30 p.m. July 2. The weekend is coordinated by the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series Board, the City of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. On the Ranch Rodeo side, Steamboat is hosting two Western States Ranch Rodeo Association (WSRRA) sanctioned events on Sunday, July 2, featuring 12 competing Ranch Rodeo teams and Ranch Bronc Riding. The 7:30 p.m. performance will open with an initial section of Ranch Bronc Riding, then feature six Ranch Rodeo teams. This will be followed by another section of Ranch Bronc Riding, and the final six Ranch Rodeo Teams before closing with the final section of Ranch Bronc Riding. The Ranch Rodeo events will include wild cow milking, calf branding, steer tie down and penning, all simultaneously in the arena. The WSRRA-sanctioned events provide an opportunity for “qualified” teams and Bronc riders to move on and compete in the WSRRA National Finals in separately sanctioned, stand-alone events.

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arena improvements PHASE II COMPLETE, ADDING SECOND ARENA

The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series is one of the most successful rodeo series in the country and an integral element in the summertime culture of the Yampa Valley. At its heart is the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, a vital part of the Howelsen Hill City Park complex and an important amenity for residents and visitors. And now it’s better than ever. Last spring, in cooperation with Great Outdoors Colorado, the City of Steamboat Springs and the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, the second stage of a four-phase improvement project was completed, consisting of all above-ground and sub-surface capital improve-

ments. Primarily, the project added a second rodeo arena; additional parking; enhanced livestock facilities, including new bucking and timed-event chutes; and a new sound system. “Basically, it includes all arena support infrastructure,” says board chairman – and arena namesake – Brent Romick. “It gives us two fully functional arenas, which will let us host events like the Colorado High School Finals. We’re now capable of hosting bigger events and rodeos that require two arenas. It’s a huge improvement.” There’s more to come as well. Phase Three plans to add more covered seating, as well as an amphitheater for musicians and other performers and enhanced concessionaire facilities.

Phase Four of the project will increase the arena’s seating capacity from its current 2,750 to 5,000. The end goal is a true multi-use facility for different community events and uses, including the addition of several plaza spaces promoting year-round community gathering and accommodating a variety of activities and group sizes, as well as increased safety for animals, contestants and visitors. The Rodeo Facility Improvement Committee is working with the Steamboat community to raise funds for these improvements. Interested donors are encouraged to visit steamboatsprings.net/recreation or SteamboatProRodeo. com for more information.

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Bareback Riding

Champions Tie-Down Roping

Matt Webber, 1985; Tracy Lawton, 1986; Mark Darling, 1987; Brian Swingle, 1988; Jesse Banek, 1989; Gordon Griffith, 1990; Gordon Griffith, 1991; Shane Call, 1992; Shane Call, 1993; Rick Bradley, 1994; Rick Bradley, 1995; Rick Bradley, 1996; George Harty, 1997; Rick Bradley, 1998; Mitch Walz, 1999; J.W. Winklepleck, 2000; Travis Carlson, 2001; Gary Burgener, 2002; Zach Curran, 2003; Cody Fox, 2004; Jerad Schlegel, 2005; Jerad Schlegel, 2006; Micky Downare, 2007; Larry Streweler, 2008; Craig Wisehart, 2009; Craig Wisehart, 2010; David Streweler, 2011; Craig Wisehart, 2012; Anthony Thomas, 2013; Micky Downare, 2014; Colton Onyett, 2015; Hunter Brasfield, 2016.

Jerry Green, 1984; Ben Grave, 1985; Jerry Kraft, 1986; Lyle Horn, 1987; Dan Johnson, 1989; K.C. Jones, 1990; Dan Johnson, 1991; Lane Johnson, 1992; Dick Carroll, 1993; Lyle Horn, 1994; Cory Zion, 1995; Charlie Kingsbury, 1996; Jack Hadley, 1997; Jake Clark, 1998; J.D. Crouse, 1999; K.C. Jones, 2000; Cory Zion, 2001; Chris Downey, 2002; J.G. Marshall, 2003; K.C. Jones, 2004, Joe Colletti, 2005; Trevor Theil, 2006; Trevor Theil, 2007; Joe Colletti, 2008; Troy Hubbard, 2009; Darnell Johnson, 2010; Mark Black, 2011; Chase Johnston, 2012; Jake Hamilton, 2013; Jake Hamilton, 2014; Brice Ingo, 2015, Don Coffell, 2016.

Saddle Bronc Riding

Steer Wrestling

Marty Forester, 1985; Wes Hertzog, 1986; Steve Claypoole, 1987; Clay Keller, 1988; Dane Noyce, 1989; Wes Hertzog, 1990; Harry Virden, 1991; Chuck Halloway, 1992; Tommy Cress, 1993; Wes Hertzog, 1994; Brett Brooks, 1995; Colt Bruegman, 1996; Marty Forester, 1997; Mitch Walz, 1998; Mitch Walz, 1999; Josh Bilbrey, 2000; Bryan Costner, 2001; Chet Johnson, 2002; Ryan Rodewald, 2003; Ryan Rodewald, 2004; Britt Trumbull, 2005; Chance Skelton, 2006; Brandon Munn, 2007; Brandon Munn, 2008; Travis Darling, 2009; Jake Griffin, 2010; Jake Griffin, 2011; Brandon Munn, 2012; Colin Stalley, 2013; Cody Martin, 2014; Colin Stalley, 2015; Garrett Buckley, 2016.

Bull Riding Steve Cooper, 1985; Ty Rinaldo, 1986; Steve Baker, 1987; Nick Buckley, 1988; Scott Pofahl, 1989; Jeff Cathcart, 1990; Kevin Malovich, 1991; Doug Joseph, 1992; Trent Knez, 1993; Eddie Faircloth, 1994; Hunter Cathcart, 1995; Troy Hipsag, 1996; John Pinnt, 1997; Scott Jacobson, 1998; Sid Killingsworth, 1999; Clint Walker, 2000, Justin Mildenberger, 2001; Jarrod Ford, 2002; Josh Koschel, 2003; Ryan Greenlee, 2004; Josh Kaine Johnson, 2005; Luke Gray, 2006; Clayton Savage, 2007; Clayton Savage, 2008; Clayton Savage, 2009; Lonny Graham, 2010; Brady Menge, 2011; Dillon Kujala, 2012; Jake Booco, 2013; Clayton Savage, 2014; Brian Larson, 2015; Cordell Curtis, 2016.

Mardell McKnight, 1989; Mark McNamee, 1990; Dick Schneider, 1991; Eric Pickering, 1992; Eric Pickering, 1993; Craig Stein, 1994; Dan Cathcart, 1995; Eric Pickering, 1996; R.C. Harbour, 1997; Doug Cox, 1998; Leon Vick, 1999; Wade Corliss, 2000; Wade Corliss, 2001; Jimmy Allen, 2002; Eric Pickering, 2003; Bill Claunch, 2004; Cole Fritzlan, 2005: Shawn Mills, 2006; Jake Simmons, 2007; Wyatt Johnson, 2008; Theo Federer, 2009; Shawn Mills, 2010; Shawn Mills, 2011; Tony Larsen, 2012; Dan Cathcart, 2013; Cutter Dehart, 2014; Dax Cathcart, 2015; Jesse Jolly, 2016.

Team Roping Merrit Linke, 1985; Port Toft, 1986; Dan Haskins, 1987; Marty Seeley, 1988; Port Toft, 1989; Lee Lancaster and Chris Glover, 1990; Steve Winnery, 1991; Kevin Norell, 1992; Joe Roderick, 1993; Grant Scheer, 1994; Lee Lancaster and Lynn Lancaster, 1995; Greg Barrier and Dennis Hathcock, 1996; Randy Mekelburg and Lee Lancaster, 1997; Dwight Arnold and Mike Christnick, 1998; John O’Connor and Taz Green, 1999; Paul Griesman and Bret Tonozzi, 2000; Troy Kreutzer and Tim Kreutzer, 2001; Paul Beckett, 2002; Luke Lancaster and Jason Gilchrist, 2003; Lance Allen, 2004; Lance Allen and Paul Beckett, 2005; Shawn Hagler and Alan Erickson, 2006; Jerod Farella, 2007; Jay Tittel, 2008; Shawn Harler and Riley Pedro, 2009; Lee and Luke Lancaster, 2010; Lance Allen and Jake Day, 2011; Lee Hagler and Riley Pedro, 2012; Paul Beckett and Clayton Van Aken, 2013; Tyler Schnaufer and JW Borrego, 2014; Travis Bounds and Justin Price, 2015; Nick Pullara and Josh Fillmore, 2016.

Barrel Racing Tina Lenard, 1985; Coleen Burman, 1986; Casey Fawcett, 1987; Susan Campbell, 1988; Sonja Rose, 1989; Vicki Donaho, 1990; Raedene Spears, 1991; Julie Haskins, 1992; Julie Haskins, 1993; Mary Anderson, 1994; Mary Anderson, 1995; Mary Anderson, 1996; Mary Anderson, 1997; Gayla Shaefer, 1998; Mary Anderson, 1999; Casey Shelsted, 2000; Bonny Wheatley 2001; Belinda Brownell, 2002; Ranette Taylor, 2003; Bonnie Austin, 2004; Margie Ward, 2005; Margie Ward, 2006; Margie Ward, 2007; Kelly Koeppen, 2008; Julie Haskins, 2009; Julie Haskins, 2010; Julie Haskins, 2011; Sami Jo Sweeney, 2012; Wendy McKee, 2013; Wendy McKee, 2014; Lisa Mirabito, 2015; Camie Haskins, 2016.

Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding Marty Forester, 1993; Eudell Larsen, 1994; Brett Brooks, 1995; Justin Miller, 1996; Brett Brooks, 1997; Mitch Walz, 1998; Todd McCaughey, 1999; Mitch Walz, 2000; Mitch Walz, 2001; Chet Johnson, 2002; Britt Trumbull, 2003; Brandon Munn, 2004; Andy Kurtz, 2005; Chad Mosher, 2006; Tate Owens, 2007; Brandon Munn, 2008; Travis Darling, 2009; Brandon Munn, 2010; Brandon Munn, 2011; Collin Stalley, 2012; Colin Stalley, 2013; Colin Stalley, 2014; Colin Stalley, 2015; Eric Gewecke, 2016.

All-Around Cowboy Steve Claypoole, 1987; Dar Haskins, 1991; Shane Call, 1992; Shane Call, 1993; Tammy Brennan, 1993; Tyke Bennett, 1995; Tyke Bennett, 1996; Randy Mekelburg, 1997; Mitch Walz, 1998; Mitch Walz, 1999; Chris Downey, 2001; Jarrod Ford, 2002; Luke Lancaster, 2003; K.C. Jones, 2004, K.C. Jones, 2005; Mario Baleztena, 2006; Joe Colletti, 2007; Mario Baleztena, 2008; Mario Baleztena, 2009; Cole Dorenkamp, 2010; K.C. Jones, 2011; Calvin Brevik, 2012; Clayton Van Aken, 2013; Cole Dorenkamp, 2014; Clayton Van Aken, 2015; Cole Dorenkamp, 2016.

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Hail to the stock contractors Forget about the riders you see before you. Let’s tip our hats to the animals they’re straddling and chasing. Behind every great ride you see in Romick Arena are the animals: the unsung heroes of all rodeos. Top-notch stock lures top-notch riders, and the Steamboat rodeo series brings in only the best. The four-legged contestants under every cowboy are as athletic as the riders on top of them, bred specifically for rodeo. They’re taken care of by the best stock providers in the country, arriving fresh and ready to go every weekend. And this is where the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series shines. The rodeo’s animal needs are subcontracted to the best stock contractors in the country, providing fresh mounts at every event — something not many rodeos offer. “The Steamboat rodeo uses a lot of differ-

ent stock contractors, so they always have great Texas, will provide the stock for the next four horses,” says four-time Pat Mantle Memorial weekends. Wrapping up the last two events of Bronc Riding winner Colin Stalley. “Competitors the season, Avondale, Colorado’s Harry Vold love that about the Steamboat rodeo.” Rodeo Company will bring its stock to town to This year’s close out the Steamboat contractor lineup HE STEAMBOAT RODEO USES A LOT OF Springs Pro Rodeo Series. promises high-flying “Quality animals DIFFERENT STOCK CONTRACTORS, SO fun all season long. THEY ALWAYS HAVE GREAT HORSES.” are the key to a great The series will see rodeo,” says stock pro— Colin Stalley (four-time Pat Mantle animals from three vider Kirsten Vold, whose Memorial Bronc Riding award winner) stock contractors, 32,000-acre Avondale ensuring the best ranch houses more than buckers in the business. “Every contractor has 600 horses and 150 bulls. “Riders and spectaits own competitor following, so three contractors always see quality buckers in Steamboat. tors ensure well-rounded participation,” says It’s a great rodeo.” rodeo administrator Char Mighton. “Everyone’s The Steamboat rodeo is also high on Southalways excited about riding fresh mounts.” wick’s list, which supplies more than 35 rodeos Providing stock for the first four weeks a year. “We have good, fat, healthy livestock this season is Southwick’s Rocky Mountain that will buck,” says owner Glenn Southwick. Rodeo from Jay Em, Wyoming. In the middle “And we know everything about them — from of the season, Pickett Pro Rodeo of Fairfield, the up-and-comers to the potential superstars.”

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8 seconds with... John Shipley has been involved with Steamboat Springs’ grandest tradition and one of America’s oldest sports, rodeo, for the last 35 years. When Steve Dawes and Steamboat Resorts stepped up with their checkbook in 1983 to ensure that the Friday Night Jackpot Rodeo would continue, Shipley first worked behind the scenes in advertising. He had already decided, against the advice of friends, that he should try his hand as a contestant. Luckily, for Shipley and today’s rodeo fans, that involvement led to his announcing role, which he’s enjoyed with greater longevity. How did you get started announcing? While helping with the marketing for the Friday Night Jackpot Rodeo committee in 1983, the announcer called me to the crow’s nest during the slack competition afterwards and asked me to take over while he relieved himself. It was the first time I had ever even touched a microphone, and I was scared to death. My first real performance was a year later as a last minute substitute when the regular announcer couldn’t make it. It was nice because I got in free, was the first one to learn the score, and unlike the contestants, I always got a check.

PHOTO BY JOHN F. RUSSELL

RODEO ANNOUNCER JOHN SHIPLEY

How hard is it to announce a rodeo? Any tricks to it? I like to tell the young announcers I’ve helped that a lot of work goes into making it look easy. With decades of experience, it’s not as intense as it used to be, but I used to figure there were about two hours of preparation that went into each hour of performance.

Does your voice ever get sore? I’m not a “screamer,” which is a style of announcing that has become popular at some rodeos and other live events, so it’s generally not a problem.

How do you interact with the audience? I try to help them understand what’s going on and enjoy themselves while keeping the spotlight on the contestants and clowns – rather than myself.

Any role models or influences in your career? A banker named Les Mergleman was the voice of the Jackpot Rodeo and the first person to put a microphone in my hand. My early performances involved repeating as much of what Les said as I could remember. After he moved out of town, new stock contractor Hal Burns heard that I’d announced and wondered if I wanted to do more. I said I was trying to ride bareback horses and didn’t know anything about announcing. He put his arm on my shoulder and said, “I’ve seen you get on horses, and you can’t be any worse an announcer than you are a bareback rider.” So a career was born. I also had the good fortune of being introduced to Hall of Fame announcer Hadley Barrett, who had a history of taking young announcers under his wing. Despite my alarming lack of experience, he agreed to help me and ended up being my mentor and great friend.

What do you like about announcing the Steamboat series? We have such a great local rodeo here in Steamboat, one of the best in the country, and I love playing a small part in keeping an important part of our heritage alive.

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Rodeo Program - Summer 2017  
Rodeo Program - Summer 2017