This weekend, the Collegiate Peaks Stampede Rodeo returns to the grandstands west of Buena Vista for its 98th annual event.
The rodeo, which has attracted cowboys from around the country and world in its near-century of activity, will be held on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9.
The lineup of events, including tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing, among others, will be the same on both days, said rodeo board president Jan Johnson.
The weekend’s kickoff, the rodeo dance, will be held this year at the VFW on CR 314 at 8 p.m., Johnson said.
The dance is still a family event, she said. Admission is $10 and children 6 and under get in free.
The next day, the rodeo action begins at 10:30 a.m. with the slack competitors.The full competition begins at 6 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Children can get in on the action with the Mutton Bustin’ and Junior Bull Riding events.
The Collegiate Peaks Stampede has been around long enough that plenty of local cowboys got their start on a sheep, then moved up to a bull before graduating to the adult events.
To bust a mutton is simple: A sheep is let loose into the ring with a young child (under 50 pounds) hanging tenaciously onto its woolly back.
The kid who stays on the longest wins the event and takes home a sizable trophy.
The junior bull riding “is a little more hard-core,” Johnson said, and is open to children over 50 pounds. Entrants must be registered for the events by 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.
Johnson said that, while the rodeo began as primarily a locals’ event, the Stampede has grown to draw cowboys on the professional circuit, looking to earn points that will get them a place in national competitions. She said the rodeo has seen entrants from North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and, occasionally, beyond the United States.