Cattle Drive draws large crowd |

Cattle Drive draws large crowd

Allison Plean

By 1913, there were more cattle shipped out of the train station in Steamboat Springs than anywhere else in the United States.

The cattle drives that brought the livestock from ranches all over the valley to what is today The Depot, ceased in the 1970s because of traffic issues and the changes in livestock practices due to big business. Cattle drives were revived in 2000 to both preserve the local heritage and entertain tourists.

“It brings the cow town back into the ski town,” said rancher Jared Iacovetto.

“People don’t realize that Steamboat was a really good cow town.”

Dean Vogelaar of the Cowboys’ Roundup Days Committee said one of the reasons that made the Yampa Valley such a great cow town was the richness of the valley.

“The high quality of grass and hay in the area always lent itself to livestock,” Vogelaar said. “What attracted Indians and settlers is now designed to be good fun and keep the heritage.”

One hundred head of cattle were driven down Lincoln Avenue from the Bud Werner Memorial Library to the rodeo grounds on Sunday. The cattle were used in the Mountain Valley Bank Ranch Rodeo.

“The attraction is to see this event and realize its dual purpose, which is what the cattle drive is all about,” said Riley Polumbus, communications director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. “What drives these events on Sunday is what represents our heritage and our history.”

Philip Essex attended the event for the first time on Sunday. It reminded him of his childhood.

“We were cowboys in Michigan and it was instilled in us,” Essex said. “We have a love for horses and outdoors and anything that has to do with livestock — we’re here.”

Megan Sanders came to see the cattle drive for her second time because her daughter loves to see the event.

“Where else would you see this except in Steamboat?” Sanders asked. “But I’m also all about seeing the cowboys. Steamboat hands down has the cutest cowboys, and I’m from Texas.”

Brad Iversen is a second-home owner in Steamboat and came to the cattle drive to take in part of the community flavor.

“I’ve never been to one before, but it’s the absolute Steamboat thing to do to see the cowboy ranch heritage,” Iversen said. “I’m glad we came because it’s a slice of life. And it is the small moments of life that make a difference.”

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