Summer pro rodeo series is off and running
Steamboat Springs — Rodeo is a hobby for Cody Gerard — mostly, anyway. Other times, it’s a job, one he is passionate about, even though some days don’t end as well as he would like.
“I did terrible,” Gerard said with a somber chuckle Friday evening. “It’s more than a hobby. You got to take it serious. You put money up for it, so you want to win.”
Gerard is a regular at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo, which kicked off its summer series Friday at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in downtown Steamboat.
A native of Eagle, Gerard spends much of the summer traveling the state, where he competes in tie-down roping. A mechanic in the Eagle school district, he said he doesn’t get around as much as he used to, but he still has enough passion for rodeo, even when the numbers don’t always add up.
“Not really. For that reason, it is a hobby,” Gerard said of the often minimal money earned from rodeo. “You do it for fun and just make a little bit here and there, depending on the price of fuel and everything else.”
Friday’s series opener was full of people much like Gerard, split between being a passionate hobbyist and a dedicated professional. It was also full of many familiar names, including Riverton, Wyoming, native Colin Stalley, a three-time winner of the Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding Championship and the 2013 saddle-bronc title winner.
“It’s been pretty nice to me,” Stalley said of Steamboat’s rodeo. “It’s good every year to come here, even though it’s not as intense as some of the bigger rodeos.”
Stalley was once again a major player in the saddle-bronc competition and was pleased with how his night went. However, he won’t stick around for Saturday’s rodeo, as he is off to Grover for yet another show — the life of a professional cowboy.
“I don’t go quite as hard as I used to, now,” said Stalley, who trains horses outside of rodeo. “I don’t even know what I scored, but I felt really good about my ride. I’ve been kind of playing with my saddle, and it felt really good tonight. So I was happy with what I did. So go from there.”
The opening weekend continues Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Steamboat Springs. Tickets can be purchased online at steamboatprorodeo.com or at the gate.
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