Rodeo rides for 50th year
Awarding more than $47,000 in prize money, the 2014 Elizabeth Stampede closed the arena Sunday night, June 8, again proving its status as a Colorado rodeo legend.
This year brought in record numbers of fans for the three-day event, held June 6-8, and although official numbers were not available, estimates put total attendance somewhere close to 7,000.
However, as it enters its 50th year, 27th as a professional event, the three-time Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association Small Rodeo of the Year keeps itself grounded in its roots as a community event.
Organized and produce entirely by volunteers, Elizabeth Stampede Association President, Bill Snead calls the annual rodeo one of the few family sporting events left.
“Rodeo is just good, clean entertainment,” said Snead in a written statement. “It is a family experience based on purpose and by heritage.”
“We really like the small town feel of the Stampede,” said Fran Delano of Larkspur, accompanied by his 6-year-old grandson, Hunter. “For me, it's really an opportunity to connect with the next generation of my family, and events like the mutton bustin' help me open that door on their level.”
Top-ranked cowboys and cowgirls went head-to head, in some cases literally, with some of the best stock in the region.
Barrel racing, saddle bronc, team roping, steer wrestling and bull riding did not disappoint fans.
“I love the ladies' barrel racing,” said Marsha Ames of Aurora. “My daughter used to race before she went off to college — the girls and their horses really put their all into it.”
The “Behind the Chute” tours, conducted an hour prior to each performance also gave fans the chance to meet the contestants, the rodeo clown, rodeo royalty, and see the stock up close.