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Pro rodeo series returns to Steamboat Friday

Summer-long event begins at Brent Romick arena

Coy Cummer swings for his calf during the tie-down roping event at a Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo performance in downtown Steamboat. The rodeo returns to Steamboat tonight, the start of a 10-week stay in town.
Joel Reichenberger

If you go

What: Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series

Where: Brent Romick Rodeo arena

When: Tonight. Entertainment begins at 6:15 p.m., rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m.

Adults: $15

Children ages 7 to 15: $8

Children 6 and younger: Free

Adult series pass: $45, available only through the weekend

Pre-sale tickets are available at Sheraton Steamboat Resort, The Steamboat Grand, Gondola General, the information kiosk in Gondola Square, F.M. Light & Sons, All That Jazz, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Steamboat Central Reservations. All tickets are general admission, except for VIP tickets.

Online: Visit http://www.steamboatprorodeo.com for more information.

Rodeo schedule today and Saturday

6 p.m. Pre-rodeo barbecue starts

6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Pre-rodeo live entertainment

7:30 p.m. Rodeo starts

Order of Events

(Subject to change nightly)

Opening ceremonies

Bareback riding

Sponsor flags

Team roping

Calf scramble

Tie-down roping

Ram scramble

Steer wrestling

Clown act

Saddle bronc riding

No. 11 Team roping

Cowgirls barrel racing

Pee wee barrel racing

Bull riding

— John Shipley, president of the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo series and, as its weekly announcer, one of the most recognizable figures involved in it, spends the weeks leading up to the season’s first rodeo worrying about more things than he can quickly summarize.

Everything from computers to weather to the price of gas can wreak havoc on the 10-week, 21-performance show that kicks off at 7:30 p.m. today in Steamboat Springs.

But there’s a fresh coat of paint on everything at Steamboat’s Brent Romick Rodeo Arena. The equipment has all been checked out, and the horses and livestock are in town, ready to go.

Shipley said things are starting to calm down, just before they heat up again for what will be a long summer.

“It’s a guarded excitement,” he said Thursday, summing up his emotions. “We’ve done this all enough, we think we have the bases covered. Everyone’s excited to get started, but we sure as heck hope we remembered to do everything.”

Tonight’s performance is the start of a summer of bucking and riding in Steamboat, one that, thanks to a change-up in planning, organizers hope will provide more bucking than ever before.

The series this year opted to schedule five stock contractors for its more than two-month run, each supplier of horses and bulls supplying to the rodeo for two weeks. That’s a step up from previous seasons, when two or three contractors kept Steamboat in four-legged athletes.

First up is J Bar J, an outfit run out of Montana by Sparky and Marlene Dreesen, which is supplying stock to rodeos from Texas to North Dakota to Nevada, including stops at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyo., and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

“This is the most aggressive we’ve ever been with stock contractors. We’ll have more variety this year than ever,” Shipley said. “It’s critical. In riding events, the animal is worth half the score.”

No matter how good the bucking horses, they make up only part of the rodeo experience. Barbecue will be sold to start the event at 6 p.m., and live music will play from 6:15 to 7:15.

“It’s great family entertainment, and people that aren’t coming are missing out,” rodeo secretary Barb Duggan said.

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com


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