The first week of August is time for our annual fair and rodeo. Colorado has deep roots in agriculture and ranching -- the heart of the fair and rodeo. Straw hats in town sell out, the fairgrounds fill up and folks find a variety of ways to enjoy themselves.
The two main activities for youth in town include 4-H and sports. Many do both. 4-H stands for the following:
I pledge My head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty, My hands to larger service, and My health to better living, For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
Kids get involved in projects over the year, whether it is cooking, sewing, art, raising animals, or performing on horses. Fair time is when they show the community what they have accomplished over the past year.
We have several parts to our rodeo including the Gymkhana, Gambler’s Choice, Cutting Horse Competition, NRP Rodeo, and an ongoing Kid's Rodeo.
We have a youth horse competition that includes activities that take skill in working with their horse. Most involve a combination of skill and speed. Kids up to 17 work on their horse skills at the fairgrounds Wednesday nights, weather permitting. I enjoy just going out to watch them practice.. amazing talent in that group of kids. Below is a photo of what types of events you can see in gymkhana.
This event is for folks who enjoy moving their horses through events of precision such as gate opening, creek crossing, moving heavy objects from horseback, loping over logs and more. It simulates what you would be having your horse do in day to day life on the ranch. All the events are set up in the arena. The riders cannot do a trial run through the course. They have 2 minutes to get through as many of the obstacles and activities on the course as they can. They can do any one of them twice.This is a very fun event to get a feel for the complexity of horse and rider working together.
Cutting horse competition.
In our area, cutting cattle on horseback is not only practical but a popular competitive event. It is a complicated sport and the rider needs to be at least intermediate. The horse can be one of Sandy’s or your own if it has the basic moves… the right pivot, the right stop, loping from standstill, trotting from standstill, neck reining, and response from leg cues…to name a few.
At Victory Hill Equine Center, Sandy Rose offers training for the event year round. At the end of this post is a video of that event and highlights of a day at the rodeo watching cutting horses work with their owners/riders.
Ranch Rodeo and the Professional Rodeo.
Friday nights are reserved for the ranch rodeos. Teams of 3-5 local ranchers team up to be ready for anything the commentator tells them to do. Pen cattle, rope steers, load cattle in horse trailers, saddle and RIDE cattle across a finish line and more. It combines frivolity and darn good skill for ranch work.
And, we cannot forget the little ones. Throughout the rodeo young children get to “strut their stuff” by pulling post it notes off calves, riding sheep, riding calves and more.