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www.Steamboat Award-Winning Pro Rodeo June 17 - August 20

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2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


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2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series



We Thank Our Dedicated Sponsors for Helping to Keep the Rodeo Tradition Alive in 2016! PRESENTING SPONSOR

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Board Members:

photo by austin Colbert

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

Administrator/Corporate Secretary Char Mighton

Rodeo Secretary Barbara Duggan


Linda Urie, Doris Mayhan

Welcome to the 2016 summer of Pro Rodeo!

Some of the country’s best cowboys and cowgirls will be traveling to our beautiful new arena in America’s most beautiful rodeo town, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for this year’s 10-week, 22-performance Pro Rodeo Series, plus a Ranch Rodeo July 3. Contestants will be competing for more than $125,000 in added money and bonuses. After the dust settles on the final week of the series, more than 1,500 cowboys and cowgirls will have competed in the nation’s best summer Pro Rodeo Series for a total payout of nearly $250,000, counting their entry fees. 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. Each year the goal of our Board of Directors is to better the previous years’ accomplishments and this year promises to do just that! We are proud that in 2015 for the fifth 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


Welcome ............................5 Schedule ............................6 Entertainment .....................7 Calf/Ram Scrambles ............8 Pat Mantle Memorial...........9


Rodeo Clowns ...................11 Behind the Scenes .............16 Events ...............................18 Cowboy Roundup Days .....22 History ..............................23 Arena Improvements .........24

Rodeo Terms .....................25 Stock Contractors ..............26 Wrangler Network ............27 Past Champions ................28 Eight Seconds: J.C. Trujillo....30

The 2016 Official Program for the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series is produced by Steamboat Today. Suzanne Schlicht, publisher Eugene Buchanan, magazine editor Lisa Schlichtman, editor Laura Tamucci, advertising director Lindsay Porter, creative services manager

Advertising sales

Jenni DeFouw, Juila Churchill, Karen Gilchrist, Lori Griepentrog, Deb Proper, Kathy Wichelhaus


Austin Colbert, Matt Stensland, John F. Russell, Joel Reichenberger, (with special thanks to Zan and David Blundell)

Advertising design and production

Mirko Erspamer, Veronika Khanisenko, Chris McGaw, Mack Maschmeier, Jessica Wagner For advertising information, call Laura Tamucci at 970-871-4243. Cover photo by Zan Blundell

2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


Summer schedule

All performances

are held at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena at Howelsen Hill, 501 Howelsen Parkway in downtown Steamboat Springs. Tickets are $20 for adults; $10 for kids 7 to 15; and free for children 6 and younger. To avoid waiting in line, advance tickets are available at the same prices at FM Light & Sons, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association Visitors Center, Steamboat Central Reservations and Gondola General. All tickets are general admission. The main seating area is covered, overflow seating is not. Handicap parking and seating are available. Visit for sales and more information.

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


17-18 — 7:30 p.m. 24-25 — 7:30 p.m.


1-2 — 7:30 p.m. 3 — WSRRA Ranch Rodeo, 7:30 p.m. 4 — 6:30 p.m. (followed by fireworks display) 8-9 — 7:30 p.m. 15-16 — 7:30 p.m. 22-23 — 7:30 p.m. 29-30 — 7:30 p.m.


5-6 — 7:30 p.m. 12-13 — 7:30 p.m. 19-20 — 7:30 p.m.

Order of Events

(subject to change) Opening Ceremonies Bareback Riding Sponsor Flags Team Roping Calf Scramble Tie-Down Roping Ram Scramble Steer Wrestling Clown Act Saddle Bronc Riding Regional Team Roping Cowgirls Barrel Racing Pee Wee Barrel Racing Bull Riding

A special thanks to the following sponsors:

Wrangler City of Steamboat Springs FM Light & Sons Coors Rodeo/B&K Distributing Steamboat Flyfisher Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association RAM Rodeo Wells Fargo Jack Daniels Coca-Cola Justin Boots


Tr ail riding & lessons private instruction & Custom rides Sunset Trail Rides on


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Concessionaires/Rodeo BBQ

Entertainment Clowns, barbecue, bands spice-up rodeo evening

There’s plenty more going on at the rodeo than the competition you see in the arena.

Before each and every performance, you can sample award-winning barbecue at the concession stand and browse wares from our vendor partners, while your kids play in the playground. Because of the intimacy of the rodeo grounds, it’s likely you’ll run into a contestant (easily identified by their back number) before the event. When you do, be sure to introduce yourself and learn about their lifestyle. For professional athletes, they really are accessible. You can even take your kids’ picture with them and get their autograph, and then memorize their number to root for them in the arena later. And the rodeo’s contestants aren’t the


evening’s only entertainers. Each night you can also enjoy live music from some of the region’s best bands on the entertainment stage from 6:00-7:15 p.m. Included in this year’s line-up are such local acts as Jon Gibbs and the Yampa Valley Boys, as well as Vail’s Instant Cash and Kyle Martin all the way from Albuquerque. Feel free to dance along. Once the rodeo action starts, the country’s best barrelmen and specialty acts add to the picture, ensuring that the entertainment lasts all night long and offers something for everyone. “Between our clowns, specialty acts, bands and other entertainment, there’s a lot going on every night,” says Rodeo Series chairman Brent Romick. “It’s all part of what makes our Steamboat rodeo such an award-winning event.”

Great BBQ and treats are part of an outstanding rodeo. 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 applesmoked BBQ for all to enjoy,” says Ron. Ron and Janice along with 33 employees wrangle all of the tasks at hand to be at your service for your dining, drinking and pre-rodeo entertainment pleasure. They even book the live entertainment for the pre-rodeo show, with bands playing from 6-7:15 p.m. each rodeo night. “We love doing this business,” says Ron. “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. Everyone will be able to find something to satisfy their taste buds. They can also accommodate catered events with special seating for celebrating reunions, birthdays and other large groups. “The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo is a great tradition,” adds Janice. “We’re honored to be a small part of this wonderful group of people who believe in it and bring it to life for all to experience. Come join us ... the dinner bell is ringing!”

2016 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 17 Instant Cash (Vail) June 18 Shawn David Allen June 24 Theresa Rogers June 25 Trevor G. Potter July 1 Jon Gibbs/Randy Kelley July 2 Kyle Martin (Albuquerque) July 3 TBD July 4 Walker Williams Band (Denver) July 8 Jay Roemer Band July 9 Shawn David Allen July 15 Instant Cash (Vail) July 16 Yampa Valley Boys July 22 Trevor G. Potter July 23 Jon Gibbs/Randy Kelley July 29 Theresa Rogers July 30 Kyle Martin (Albuquerque) Aug. 5 Trevor G. Potter Aug. 6 Shawn David Allen Aug. 12 Jay Roemer Band Aug. 13 Old River Road Aug. 19 Instant Cash (Vail) Aug. 20 Kyle Martin (Albuquerque) *Entertainment subject to change


photo by austin Colbert


Calf, ram sCrambles let Kids Join the fun Yippee-kayay!

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 the Calf and Ram Scrambles. 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 age 6 to 12, while the Ram Scramble is for kids 5 and under, 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’ Charlene 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.


2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


Remembering a legend pat mantle memorial bronC riding

Will the fifth year be a charm?

Bronc rider Colin Stalley from Riverton, Wyoming, sure hopes so. For the past four years in a row, Stalley has earned accolades from his peers as well as a little additional prize money by winning the annual Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding — a single ride event paying homage to the late Pat Mantle, a cowboy with long-running ties to the local rodeo series. The event is held at the end of every season, pitting the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series’ top six saddle bronc riders against one another in a single ride event. The winner gets an extra $2,000 in prize money as well as a commemorative rifle. Last year, it was 32-year-old Stalley taking top honors again. With a high-flying last run, he managed to wrestle the title away from fellow


four-time Pat Mantle winner Brandon Munn. The two cowboys are the only ones to have won the event four times. “The last four years I’ve been able to make it down to Steamboat enough times to pull off the win,” Stalley says. “Last year I was lucky to have a great ride.” The contest celebrates Mantle, a Marlboro Man look-alike who grew up raising cattle and horses on his family’s ranch in Dinosaur National Monument and represents all things rodeo in Steamboat. Known for his annual horse roundups in nearby Brown’s Park, Mantle, who died in 1992, played an integral role in developing Steamboat’s rodeo. “When we were kids, if we told our daddy we were hungry, he’d just hand us a stick and point at a jack rabbit,” he once told a reporter. A fierce rodeo competitor in bronc riding

and roping, Mantle created the 7-11 Rodeo Co., became a rodeo producer and rode as a pick-up man into his 50s. He also operated the Sombrero Ranch Stables in Estes Park, Boulder, Grand Lake and Steamboat, helping visitors enjoy time in the saddle. Every fall some 600 of his horses were returned to northwest Colorado to graze for the winter and he’d round them up again come spring. He was so tough, in fact, that once, while working a rodeo in Boulder, an ornery bull named Long John known for jumping the fence threw a cowboy and made straight for the railing where two little girls were sitting. Riding his favorite horse named “Fritz,” Mantle roped Long John at the top of his jump and pulled him back into the arena.

2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


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Rodeo entertainers

The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series’ line-up of bullfighters

and barrelmen represents 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. You’ll see the following performers jumping into barrels and backfiring jalopies this season.

J.W. Winklepleck

June 17-18, July 8-9 (with Bobby Kerr), August 12-13, August 19-20 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 riding a bucking bronc or donning his clown gear and 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.” Look for Winklepleck to be joined by Bobby Kerr July 8-9.

continued on page 12


2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series



2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


Keith Isley

June 24-25, July 1-2-4 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 non-stop 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 been voted PRCA Clown of the Year three years running and is an eight-time PRCA Specialty Act of the Year award winner. He also swept the Coors Man in the Can, Comedy Act of the Year and Clown of the Year awards at the annual PRCA Awards. 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.”


Clint “Wolfey” Selvester

July 15-16, July 22-23 Hailing form Red Bluff, Calif., Clint “Wolfey” Selvester started in rodeo at age 13, working with his uncle Don Kish, a PRCA stock contractor who gave him a month to create a rodeo mascot. With the help of his high school art teacher and mom, the result was a seven-foot Brahma bull, which earned him the nickname “Wolfey” from fans after Wolfman, the only bull in rodeo history to have ever been ridden to a perfect score. After studying multimedia design, he returned to rodeo as a barrelman and clown. Now, at age 37, he travels the country with his wife, Katie, and 4-year-old daughter, Macie, entertaining crowds at rodeos and monster truck shows. He’s worked the California Circuit Finals, the Rolex World Cup, opened for the San Francisco Giants, and is the premiere entertainer “Sprocket” for Advance Auto Parts’ Monster Jam, where he developed the beloved character Hillbilly “Six years ago, we realized we could make a living at this and it started getting fun,” he says. “In rodeo, I’m basically a moving fence, protecting the riders while entertaining the crowd. We’re looking forward to visiting Steamboat Springs.” continued on page 14

2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


Troy Lerwill

July 29-30 That Troy Lerwill’s nickname is The Wild Child should say something about what’s in store for 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 17th 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.

Wes “Hippie” Engelkes

August 5-6 Cowboy turned bull rider turned clown and bull fighter, Wes “Hippie” Engelkes takes the Steamboat rodeo stage Aug. 5-6, with antics sure to please. Known for his motorcycle act, slow motion tennis, musical chairs and old airplane gimmick, Engelkes earned his nickname back when he had long hair and unconventional cowboy attire, sometimes including Grateful Dead necklaces and sandals. “I was in the chute getting down on a bull when one of my buddies hollered, ‘Hurry up, you hippie,’” says Engelkes, who grew up in a farming community near his present home at Steamboat Rock, Iowa. “The name just stuck.” Engelkes started riding bulls after high school in 1997, and began rodeo clowning in 2002, sometimes overlaping the two. “I have pictures of myself on bulls in clown makeup,” he says. With a wife and two kids back home, he’s since gone on to entertaining crowds while protecting cowboys in the ring. He’s known for his high-strung energy and interacting with the crowd. “I’m living my dream,” he says. “I always wanted to ride bulls and fight bulls. Not many people can live out their childhood fantasy, and that’s what I’m doing. I don’t tell jokes as much as most clowns, or have any routines, so everything is fresh every time.”



2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


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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 off one of the best rodeos in the country (a winner of the PRCA’s Small 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.

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

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2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


Montana 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 26-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.

Jake Booco

Growing up just a horse-trot away from Brent Romick Arena, Jake Booco has been competing in the Steamboat Rodeo for 14 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’s also an active contestant consultant, serving 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 ands 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. She is the glue that helps keep it all together. “There’s quite a few logistics to deal with inputting 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.”

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.”

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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. Some of the best rodeo athletes in the country duking it out for champion honors. Events often come down to the wire, with many 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

Photo by Austin Colbert

Sponsor: 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: The year before last, it had been seven years, the age of some of the horses you’ll see in tonight’s arena, since southern Colorado’s Micky Downare had won the season bareback riding crown, which he did by riding consistently enough to pick up the 2014 title. But upstart Colton Onyett from Rangely, Colo., bested him in the overall standings last year, thwarting his three-peat. And don’t overlook 2013 winner Anthony Thomas and 2012 winner Craig Wisehart of Kersey, Colo., who also won top bareback honors in 2009 and


2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

2010, from giving both a run for their money. Don’t discount the Streweler brothers, Larry and David, from making a run for the podium as well. Larry won the title in 2008, and David captured the crown in 2011.

Team Roping

Sponsor: 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 Team Roping, look for tough competition from reigning Steamboat series champs Travis Bounds (header) from Clifton, Colo., and heeler Justin Price from LaVeta, Colo., as both look to retain their crown. But it won’t be easy, with 2014 winners Tyler Schnaufer and J.W. Borrego from Pueblo, Colo., hot on their tails. While they spent the 2014 season roping with various partners to carry them to the podium, this year Schnaufer, 26, plans to rope with his younger brother, Trevor, 21. “It’ll be fun roping with my brother again,” says the Pueblo header. “I love coming to Steamboat. I like the atmosphere and it has a great crowd every night.” And the Laramie, Wyo., pair of Paul Beckett and Clayton Van Aken, who won


Photo by Austin Colbert

Cantering Kids

the 2013 crown, are favorites to tie up the championship as easily as they do their steers; as is the crowd favorite, father-son team of Lee and Luke Lancaster, who won in 2010.

Tie-Down Roping

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. Last year, ending up on the winning side of the wire was Brice Ingo from Boone, Colo., whose horse- and ropemanship carried him to the crown. But two-time winner Jake Hamilton, who won the crown in 2013 and 2014, didn’t take a hankering to being bested, so look for him to be a top contender this season as well. “It’s been super close each year,” says Wyoming’s Hamilton, adding that the top honors often come down to the last calf of the season. “I love competing in Steamboat — it’s a great facility and great crowd. Everyone likes to win a


While the grown-up riders put on quite a show last year, it was the youngsters who stole the crowd’s heart. Pee-wee barrel racing is for riders ages 8 and under, and junior barrel racing is for those ages 9 through 12. Last year, Avery May from McCoy, Colo., guided her trusty steed to win the Pee-Wee Barrel Racing season championship for the first time of her young, cantering career. In the Junior Barrel Racing division, it was Steamboat local Alexis Vreeman riding to top honors, after local rider Lacey Sherrod won the title for three years in a row. “We’re proud to offer events that allow future rodeo stars an opportunity to compete,” says the rodeo committee’s Brent Romick. “Not only is it good for the athletes, but these events are true crowd favorites.”

Steamboat series.”

Steer Wrestling

Sponsors: Ron and Janice Forcum Steer wrestlers, also known as bulldoggers, try to toss a steer onto its back 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: It’s a Wyoming winner’s circle in this event. In the rough and tumble steer wrestling category, look for Dax Cathcart from Carpenter, Wyo., to attempt to repeat, after winning in 2015. But Wyoming’s Cutter DeHart will be hot on his heels after winning the 2014 crown. Wrapping up a Wyoming trifecta, 2012 winner Tony Larsen of nearby Sheridan, Wyo., is also in the running to top the podium, as is three-time series champion Shawn Mills. “I’ve been competing in Steamboat every year since 1990,” says Dan Cathcart, a mainstay on the Steamboat circuit and Dax’s father. “It’s a great get-away and a great rodeo. They treat all the contestants well, it has a good climate and

The Draw

According to three-time bronc riding champion and four-time Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding winner Brandon Munn, a cowboy’s results rely largely on the animals they draw any given night. “A lot of it depends a lot on what horse you draw,” says Munn, who competes in up to 50 rodeos a year. Organizers essentially pick numbers out of a hat four days before each event, assigning rides to certain cowboys. They then post the results online, where cowboys learn who they get to ride. Munn says that if he draws up at two different rodeos on the same day, he’ll attend the one with the better horse. “Sometimes you get on a hot streak and draw good horses several times in a row,” he says. “There are a bunch of horses that everyone wants to get.” Munn likes Steamboat’s rodeo because organizers rotate the horses through the events. “Horses don’t get burned out here,” he says, adding that a rider can adjust his style to his horse. “If you draw one that’s known to be real long (i.e. a long jumper), you can shorten your rein or drop your halter to hold him up,” he says. “Little tricks like that help.” Apparently, these tricks work for Munn, who’s shooting for his fifth Pat Mantle trophy title this year, if he can unseat four-time winner Colin Stalley.


is a great town. I vote for it as Rodeo of the Year every season.” As for winning the crown again, Cathcart adds that it comes down luck and simply showing up. “A handful of guys could win it every year,” he says. “I’m fortunate to be able to make it to most of the events each year. It just comes down to where you’re sitting towards the end of the season.”

Saddle Bronc Riding

Sponsor: 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: After winning the overall title in 2013, Riverton, Wyo.‘s Colin Stalley

rode away with the 2015 Saddle Bronc title as well, after losing the crown to Missouri’s Cody Martin in 2014. He’s back in full force this season as well, looking to three-peat while adding to his four consecutive wins of the coveted Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding. But also look for pressure from Wheatland, Wyo.’s Brandon Munn, who has won both the saddle bronc and Pat Mantle crown three times. “The Steamboat rodeo’s always great,” says Stalley, who plans to make it down for as many Steamboat rodeos as he can. “There are always great animals here and a great crowd.” As he guns for his fourth overall title, Munn adds that winning requires placing well in the majority of events, with several top two finishes and a few top four results. “It takes consistency and a little luck,” he says.

Barrel Racing

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

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used in barrel racing. A knocked-over barrel incurs a five-second penalty. Keep an eye on: Lisa Mirabito, from nearby Granby, Colo., didn’t have to travel too far to get to and win the Steamboat rodeo’s barrel racing event last year. But neither did local favorite Wendy McKee, who Mirabito stole the crown from after McKee posted wins in 2013 and 2014. Both Colorado racers will be looking for the title once again in the tight-turning race. Expect 2012 title winner Sami Jo Sweeney from Fort Lupton, Colo., to pressure them to the final podium as well, and don’t rule out an unprecedented sixth podium finish by perennial favorite and five-time winner Julie Haskins from nearby Maybell, Colo., who knows Romick Arena as well as anyone.

Bull Riding

Sponsor: 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

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Steamboat because the atmosphere is great, the people are nice and it’s a beautiful arena in the mountains. Plus, the bonuses they give riders are great also.” 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.”

Permit Bull Riding

Sponsor: 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 Jacob Smith from LaSalle, Colo., taking the overall title, with Elijah Mora winning in 2014, Mana Kaia in 2013 and Jay Turner taking the inaugural crown in 2012.

Photo by Zan Blundell

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 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 Dacono, Colo.’s Brian Larson stole the coveted crown and bragging rights from Yoder, Wyo.’s Clayton Savage, who won the title in 2014 after also winning the hold-onto-the-seat-of-your-pants event for three years straight from 2007 to 2009. Local favorite, 2013 series winner and Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series board member Jake Booco of Hayden is another favorite to keep an eye on when the end-of-theseason points are tallied. And don’t count out high-flying 2012 winner Dillon Kujala of Burns, Colo., or 2011 champion Brady Menge from giving Larson a run for his money this season. “A lot of great circuit riders come to Steamboat every year, and just about any of them could win on any given day,” says Savage, adding that the Steamboat rodeo’s bulls are some of the best in the business. “I love coming to




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2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


Cowboys’ Round Up Days is a longstanding 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’ Round Up Days provides a great weekend, featuring both Pro Rodeo and Ranch Rodeo performances. This year three Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo (PRCA) performances are scheduled on July 1, 2 and 4, along with a WSRRA Ranch Rodeo and Ranch Bronc Riding on July 3 at 7:30 p.m. The weekend is coordinated by the Steamboat 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 3, featuring 12 competing Ranch Rodeo teams as well as a new event—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 National Finals in separately sanctioned, stand-alone events.


If you can make only one rodeo weekend this summer, make it the week-

end of July 1-4, when Steamboat’s rodeo action and summer activities both kick like a bucking bronc into turbo drive. For more than 100 years Steamboat Springs has celebrated Independence Day in true western fashion. This is a special holiday and Steamboat does it right with everything from four rodeo performances to a hometown parade and giant dance party in the street. The weekend is as fun and action-packed as any you’ll find all summer, consisting of two regular rodeos on July 1 and 2, a locals’ Ranch Rodeo July 3, and a special 4th of July extravaganza rodeo on Monday, July 4. After Monday’s rodeo performance, keep your seat and watch the sky fill up with the beautiful colors of one of the biggest firework shows in Colorado—which includes one of the biggest fireworks ever to be launched in the country. Adding to the festivities are events like the annual 4th of July Parade, Pioneer Day Block Party (featuring a free concert and Routt Beer Floats), and a free concert at Howelsen Hill. It’s

all proof that Steamboat’s western roots are alive and well. “It’s definitely the marquee rodeo 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 here.” It’s also one of the longest-running events in town, starting way before the current pro rodeo series even began. All that heritage comes to forefront every July 4th weekend, when town is at its true western best. “Fourth of July weekend in Steamboat is definitely one of the best of the entire summer,” says Kara Stoller, marketing director 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 jaw-dropping fireworks display, there’s a lot of excitement going on. And that doesn’t even include squeezing in morning hikes and afternoon tubing on the Yampa.” So rest up and get ready for one of the best weekends you’ll ever find in northwest Colorado.

Photo by Austin Colbert

WSRRA Ranch Rodeo July 3

Cowboys’ Roundup Days


Rodeo Hisitory 101

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

time-honored tradition in town that has seen cowboys riding bulls and broncs for more than a century. “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, ornery 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. In the early days, 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 1982, local Steve Dawes helped the


Jackpot Rodeo grow to include Saturday night events and the Steamboat Springs Rodeo Series was born. In 1989, the 10-week series became sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and saw its name changed to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series. Throughout this 113-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 (and don’t be surprised if some of the cowboys ask you to form a circle with your cars after the show).


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Grounds improvements Phase II complete, new second arena

The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series is one of the most successful rodeo series in the country and an integral part of the summertime culture of the Yampa Valley. At its heart is the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, a vital part of the Howelsen Hill Park complex and an important amenity for residents and visitors. And now it’s better than ever. With help from Great Outdoors Colorado, the City of Steamboat Springs and generous supporters of the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, this spring the second stage of a fourphase improvement project was completed. The rodeo arenas were completely replaced and other above-ground and sub-surface capital

improvements completed. 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;

with Phase Four of the project increasing 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 or SteamboatProRodeo. com for more information.




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While you might hear a few new words that aren’t in your regular vocabulary tonight at Romick Arena, it’s all part of the jargon here at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series. The following guide will help you decipher the drawl. All-Around Cowboy A title given to the athlete who accumulates the most money in two or more events. Barrier Two pieces of rope connected by a piece of kite string in front of the chute. In timed events, if the cowboy breaks through the barrier before it is released by another rope tied to the steer or calf, a 10-second penalty is assessed. Chute The area where an animal is held prior to the event. In rough stock events, this is where the cowboy gets on the animal just in front of the grandstands. The timed-event chutes are at the west end of the stadium. Initial Contact rule Term used in bareback and saddle bronc riding referring to where the cowboy’s heels, or spurs, are positioned on the animal when it leaves the chutes. The cowboy’s feet are required to be above the horse’s shoulders; if not, a judge will throw a yellow flag, nullifying the ride. The rule doesn’t apply to bull riding. Hazer The cowboy who rides alongside the steer to keep it running straight in steer wrestling. Generally, steer wrestlers give 25 percent of whatever they win to their hazers. Often, one hazer will haze for several steer wrestlers, and many wrestlers haze for other wrestlers. Hooey The knot a tie-down roper uses to secure the calf. Header/Heeler In team roping, the cowboy who catches the steer’s horns (header) and hind legs (heeler). Mountain States Rodeo Circuit One of 12 professional rodeo regions, including rodeos in Colorado and Wyoming. Cowboys earn points for each performance, with those earning the most qualifying for the National Finals. Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo Held in Kissimmee, Florida., April 6-9, 2017, and featuring contestants from each of rodeo’s 12 geographic circuit systems, this rodeo awards more than $1 million in cash and prizes, including a $20,000 credit toward a new Ram truck to eight different winners in eight rodeo events. World champions and weekend cowboys alike qualify based on how they do in their home circuits. Rank No, this is not the animal’s (or cowboy’s) smell. It’s a term used to describe a particularly vicious bull or bucking horse. Most often, it’s used as a compliment — generally, the ranker a bull or bronc, the higher the score. Riding events A term used to refer to the saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding events. Rough stock Livestock used in riding events as opposed to timed events. Slack Often, more cowboys enter a rodeo than there are slots to compete. Cowboys not scheduled to compete post their times or score during slack, held after the Friday night performance. Scores and times from slack count just like those posted during the regular performance. Timed events Any event in which a competitor is racing against the clock. Steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping and


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2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


The skinny on the stock Behind every great ride you see in

Romick Arena are the unsung heros of all rodeos: the animals providing the rides. 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 rodeoing. 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 some of 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 different stock contractors, so they always have great horses,” says four-time Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding winner Colin Stalley. “Competitors love that about the Steamboat rodeo.” This year’s contractor lineup promises highflying fun all season long. The 10-week series will see animals from three stock contractors, ensuring the best buckers in the business. “Every contractor has its own competitor following, so three contractors ensures well-rounded participation,” says rodeo administrator Char Mighton. “Everyone’s always excited about riding fresh mounts.” Providing stock for the first four weeks this season is Southwick’s Rocky Mountain Rodeo from Jay Em, Wyoming. In the middle of the

2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

season, Pickett Pro Rodeo of Fairfield, Texas, will provide the stock for the next four weekends. Wrapping up the last two events of the season, Avondale, Colorado’s Harry Vold Rodeo Co. will bring its stock to town to close out the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series. “Quality animals are the key to a great rodeo,” says stock provider Kirsten Vold, whose 32,000-acre Avondale ranch houses more than 600 horses and 150 bulls. “Riders and spectators always see quality buckers in Steamboat. It’s a great rodeo.” The Steamboat rodeo is also high on Southwick’s list, which supplies more than 35 rodeos a year. “We have good, fat, healthy livestock that will buck,” says owner Glenn Southwick. “And we know everything about them — from the up-and-comers to the potential superstars.”


Wrangler Network Steamboat Rodeo Series on TV

Like the action you see at the

views with such local rodeo celebrities as team roper Eric Logan, barrel racer Jewel Vreeman, permit bull rider Kaiden Decker, and Coca-Cola cowgirl Krista Halnes. Info:

Photo by Ben Ingersoll

Romick Rodeo Arena? Now you can watch the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series when you’re back home or in your local hotel room. This year marks the second year the series has a presence on the Wrangler Network’s rodeo-only YouTube channel, letting you follow the action all summer long. The series has also revamped its FaceBook page and web site, making getting information — and entertainment — on the Steamboat rodeo easier than ever. “We have a new half-hour TV show airing on Steamboat TV18 all summer long, and we’ve greatly enhanced our digital presence so our fans can follow the action year-round,” says the series’ board chairman Brent Romick. “ The most exciting improvement is the video

clips coming to the Wrangler Network, a PRCA rodeo-specific portal billing itself as “the only online network built exclusively for those living the Western Lifestyle.” The site offers live rodeo coverage, stats and clips, songs from up-andcoming country music artists, rodeo news, lifestyle content and more. On the video front, you’ll find clips of PRCA-sanctioned rodeos, interviews with athletes and country musicians, and clips from the rodeos in Steamboat Springs. “It’s a great way for more people to see what a world-class rodeo event we have,” adds Romick. The series has also upped its local television footprint, producing a TV show this summer airing at homes and hotels through Steamboat. Included in the show are clips of everything from local rides and entertainment, as well as inter-


2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series



Rodeo Champions

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.

Saddle Bronc

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.

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

2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

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.

Tie-Down Roping

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.

Steer Wrestling

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pat Mant le 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.




2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


8 seconds ...

If Steamboat Springs has a true rodeo world champion, it ’s J.C. Trujillo, 68 (local Chad Bedell won the steer

wrestling title in 1996, but he wasn’t living here at the time). Trujillo won the bareback riding crown in 1981, just five years after moving to Steamboat. Inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994, he began his rodeo career at age 6 in Prescott, Arizona, before joining the PRCA in 1967, eventually qualifying for 12 National Finals Rodeos. Known as one of rodeo’s most magnetic personalities and spokesmen, Trujillo also helped start Steamboat’s beloved Cowboy Downhill, which draws the world’s top cowboys to town every winter to try their hand at skiing. While Trujillo now serves as general manager of the Prescott Frontier Days, he returns to Steamboat every fall to guide hunting trips through his outfitting service in the Flat Tops. We caught up with him for his take on Routt County, rodeoing and his new role.

Photo courtesy of Les Stockenberg

with former world champion bareback rider j.c. trujillo

I moved to Steamboat in 1976. I trained and lived there, and raised my two daughters there. It’s a great place to raise kids. I lived there for nearly 30 years. The first Cowboy Downhill in 1974 was organized by Larry Mahan, and everyone came back saying what a great time they had. So the next year Frontier Airlines flew a bunch of us up there, which was the first time I’d ever visited Steamboat. I fell in love with it and decided I’d make it my home. I moved up the next year, and learned how to ski. I like everything about Steamboat, especially the climate; it’s the greatest you’ll ever find. The people are great also; they’re a big part of what makes Steamboat so special. Steamboat has a great rodeo, and it’s a giant part of the local community. Every weekend throughout the summer, people can say, ‘Hey, let’s head down to the rodeo.’ And it doesn’t just draw the cowboy culture. It’s for locals and visitors. It’s got a lot of tradition and is a true local jewel. My whole life has been based around rodeo. I had a great career, and met my wife, raised my kids and made my best friends in the rodeo business. When I retired, I ventured away from it for a bit, but missed it. Now I’m on the other side of the fence, moving from contestant to organizer. You forget how much works goes into every event. The big difference from when I was riding is the caliber of the stock. Today’s contractors have better stock than ever. There used to only be five or 10 good horses at a rodeo; now they’re all good and it’s easier to draw a good mount. If you can ride, you can win.


2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

If you try hard enough and dream long enough, and have the internal fortitude, you can make your dreams come true. But it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.



2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series



2016 Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series


Rodeo Guide  

Your complete guide to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series.

Rodeo Guide  

Your complete guide to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series.