Elizabeth Stampede

Rodeo rides for 50th year

Deborah Grigsby
A tough break for Tara McChesney of Parker as her horse loses its footing as she rounds her first barrel in the Stampede barrel racing event, Saturday, June 7. Both rider and horse were able to finish the event.
Deborah Grigsby
Rodeo clown and barrelman J.W. Winklepleck races after a youngster on a sheep during the Stapede mutton bustin’ contest, Saturday, June 7 at Casey Jones Park. Winklepleck was eventually able to grab the sheep and slow it down enough for the child to safely dismount.
Deborah Grigsby
Based in Barstow, Calif., the Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard is a new addition to the Elizabeth Stampede parade. Horses in the unit are wild mustangs of Palomino color adopted from the Bureau of Land Management's Adopt a Horse and Burro Program, and gently trained by the Marines.
Deborah Grigsby
Pretty in pink, Gracie Mae Bauer, 4, of Elbert, Colo., accessorizes her outfit with a strawberry cake-pop Saturday, June 7 while taking in the sights and sounds of this year’s ElizaBash street festival.
Deborah Grigsby
Great weather helped this year’s ElizaBash bring out record numbers of people and vendors. Partnered with the Elizabeth Stampede parade, some estimate total traffic for the downtown community street fair to be near 4,000.
Deborah Grigsby
Slow-cooked barbecue on a stick is kept warm over an open flame, just one of the many food choices at this year’s Elizabeth Stampede.
Deborah Grigsby
Taygen Schuelke, a South Dakota bull rider, makes a hasty exit from an angry bull during the Saturday, June 7 rode at the Elizabeth Stampede. The annual event, now entering its 50th year, features much of rodeo’s top bull riding, sanddle bronc, steer wresting, roping and barrel racing talent.
Deborah Grigsby
Kids enjoy a high-level view of the rodeo from a bungee jump contraption along Vendor’s Alley, Saturday, June 7.
Deborah Grigsby
Clark, a 12-year-old Haflinger mule keeps a steady pace on his special treadmill that’s connected to an ice creak maker. According to Moose Pier, who owns both the mule and the machine, it takes Clark about 10 minutes to whip up about five gallons of ice cream.
Photo
Deborah Grigsby
Posted

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.