Bud Light Cowboy Downhill kicks up powder at Steamboat Resort
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Colin Wolfe, of Winache, Washington, is getting a bit of a reputation at the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat Springs.
“I never came, and I always told my buddies I’m going to go win that sucker,” Wolfe said. “I came last year and won the timed event, and now, it has to be an annual event for me.”
On Monday, Wolfe posted the fastest time in the slalom races and then beat 122 other cowboys and cowgirls to win the “Stampede” as well at the 45th rendition of the Cowboy Downhill.
“I got my traveling partner to come with me this time,” Wolfe said. “He didn’t want to come with me, and I’m like, ‘It’s a great time,’ and he is in now. We just have to get the rest of the crew to come along.”
The Cowboy Downhill started when Billy Kidd, Steamboat Resort’s director of skiing, and Larry Mahan, a six-time, all-around World Champion cowboy, decided to invite a few pro rodeo cowboys to Steamboat for a day of skiing.
The event has grown into a Steamboat tradition that draws hundreds of professional cowboys to town every January in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show, and thousands come to watch them ski and, more often than not, tumble their way down the race course.
The timed event features cowboys skiing head to head through a course of slalom gates that include a pro-style jump in the middle. They must also rope a mountain hostess and then saddle a horse before making their way across the finish line. The skier with the fastest time wins the title.
But the highlight of the race for many is the stampede, which takes place after the time slalom has concluded. This is a no-rules, all-out race from the top of the course to the bottom.
“I learned last year that you shouldn’t line up next to your buddies, especially the ones that are gunning for you,” Wolfe said after winning this year’s stampede. “Everyone cheats. You just can’t be the first to cheat.”
Other honors that were handed out this year included best wreck, which went to Brooke Wallace, of New Cambria, Kansas, and Legends & Friends winner Jed Moore, of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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