Ag events western up Steamboat’s weekend |

Ag events western up Steamboat’s weekend

Cayuse Classic and Family Ranch Rodeo offer equine family fun

Brent Boyer
Angela Giovagnoli, 13, of Eagle, competes in the Gambler’s Choice competition during the 2008 Cayuse Classic. This year’s Cayuse Classic starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Sidney Peak Ranch.
Courtesy Photo

Angela Giovagnoli, 13, of Eagle, competes in the Gambler’s Choice competition during the 2008 Cayuse Classic. This year’s Cayuse Classic starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Sidney Peak Ranch.

— The Community Agriculture Alliance hopes a new format will lead to more fun for Cayuse Classic attendees.

The sixth annual Cayuse Classic fundraiser is all day Saturday at Sidney Peak Ranch. The highlight is perhaps the evening programming, which begins at 5 p.m. at the Sidney Peak Ranch barn off Routt County Road 14 and continues into the evening.

Attendees will eat barbecue from Steamboat Smokehouse, dance to the music of 3 Wire and play a variety of games while competing for prize drawings. A live auction includes a private box for the July 2 Colorado Rockies game, a chair from the old Christie II lift at the Steamboat Ski Area and a Grimaldi quilt, among other items.

Tickets to the dinner and party are $50 for the public and $45 for Community Ag Alliance members. Children 12 and younger eat for free.

Marsha Daughenbaugh, executive director of the Community Ag Alliance, said event organizers opted to forego the silent auction this year in favor of games like horseshoes, darts, spin the wheel, poker and Brando (a form of bingo capitalizing on local ranch brands). Tickets for each game cost $5. Games for children are free. After playing 10 paid games, attendees are eligible for the grand prize drawing of a trip to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, lodging included.

“We’re going to laugh more at this one than we have in the past,” Daughenbaugh said. “Come out and have a good time, and be part of a good old-fashioned community celebration.”

As in previous years, the Cayuse Classic begins early in the morning with a variety of equestrian events including a hunter jumper show, jackpot roping, a poker run trail ride and discipline demonstrations. For the complete schedule of events, visit

Families cowboy up

On a Routt County ranch, keeping the farm going is a family affair.

So for the second annual Northwest Family Ranch Rodeo and Gymkhana, Routt County 4-H Exchange Program leader Shari Yeager said a family-themed event represents the local agriculture heritage well.

The event, which serves as a fundraiser for the 4-H Exchange Program, is Sunday at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in downtown Steamboat Springs.

It starts at 1 p.m. with skill tests that are used in regular ranching procedures.

There will be a branding challenge, but no cattle will feel the brand because it will be simulated with flour.

Teams also will have to load a yearling into a trailer, team rope a cow and save a “stranded” cowboy from on top of a barrel.

Teams of four must include one woman and one child between ages 8 and 16. Registration costs $50 per team.

The morning will feature a gymkhana for local children. Events include barrel, pole and stake races, and will feature children as young as 2 being led around the ring.

The funds raised at the event go to the group that organized it: the 4-H Exchange Program that comprises 14 local teenagers.

These students are raising money to travel to Pennsylvania, where they will stay with other 4-H youths and get to know the culture and 4-H group of another community. The group will also travel to Washington, D.C. to visit various landmarks.

“We get to learn their way of life and how 4-H affects that other person,” Yeager said about the exchange program, which brings the Pennsylvania students out to Routt County next summer. “It’s great opportunity for kids to travel, for one. It’s a learning experience.”

The events are free to spectators, who can watch the events and perhaps gain insight into the world of ranching.

“Maybe they could understand ranch life a little bit better,” Yeager said. “I know a ranch rodeo is not the real thing, but they get to see what kind of daily activities a rancher does have.”

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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