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First rodeo quickly approaching

Rodeo announcer John Shipley has been so busy delivering rack cards, programming scoreboards and taking care of last-minute details that he hasn’t given much thought to what he will say when he steps behind the microphone for the first performance of the season.

But he had better start thinking about it soon.

The Steamboat Springs Professional Rodeo Series is scheduled to open for the season at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and the announcer, who also is the president of the Board of the Steamboat Pro Rodeo, promises to be ready.



“There are an awful lot of things that go into this series,” Shipley said. ” We have to reinvent the wheel every year.”

But one thing that never seems to change, Shipley said, is the excitement that accompanies the return of the rodeo.



“It’s a social event,” Shipley said. “There hasn’t been a rodeo for nine months, so most people are ready to get dressed up and head to the rodeo.”

This Friday, the announcer said rodeo fans can expect to be greeted by a full field of contestants competing in bull riding, team roping, tie-down roping, bareback, steer wrestling, barrel racing and saddle bronc riding.

“We normally have strong fields at the start of the season,” Shipley said. “There is no problem finding enough contestants.”

Rodeo fans can expect to be entertained by children running around the arena during the calf and ram scramble and by rodeo clown Slim Garner of Kansas between events.

The rodeo series will run for 10 weeks with performances scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings. Gates open at 6 p.m. for a pre-rodeo barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and chicken. Alpine Posse will provide live country music.

Shipley advises spectators to bring jackets because it can get a little chilly when the sun goes down.

Tickets are $11 for adults and $5.50 for children between the ages of 7 and 15 (children 6 years and younger are admitted free) if purchased in advance at Soda Creek Mercantile, F.M. Light & Sons, The Market on the Mountain, Gondola General, The Chamber Visitors Center, KOA Campground, Mount Werner Sinclair and the Sheraton. Tickets also can be purchased at the gate for $12 for adults and $6 for children.

— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com


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