Salida Colorado Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo

Real Estate Agent with Bradfield Ramsey Group

Salida Colorado Rodeo

Salida Colorado Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo

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.

 Salida Colorado Fair and Rodeo: 4-H


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.

Salida Colorado Rodeo: Gymkhana

Gamblers Choice. 

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.Salida Colorado Rodeo: Gamblers Choice

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. Salida Colorado Rodeo: Professional Rodeo Night

Kid's Rodeo.

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. Salida Colorado Rodeo: For Kids Only



Salida Colorado Chaffee County Fair and Rodeo

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Paula Bradfield, PhD, GRI, EPro, CIAS, CDPE, Realtor
Phone: 719.221.6108 | Email:  

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Your Salida Colorado Realtor Team





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Specializing in homes and land in the Colorado river towns of Salida, Howard, Coaldale, Cotopaxi, Nathrop, Poncha Springs  and Buena Vista, I am here to work for you as you buy or sell your home or land. 


It is not just about buying in this area. it is a statement about lifestyle. Our residents generally are active people, whether it involves horses (my passion), white water rafting, cross county or downhill skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or Contra dancing. Some prefer quiet sunrises, strolls through town and time in one of our fabulous coffee shops or restaurants. Whatever the style, folks appreciate this area for its charm and beauty.


Want to get more information on available homes or condos in the Central Colorado River Valleys? Go to SouthernColoradoHomesonline to search the area listings by town, zip code or county.


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Our Colorado Mountain river communities: A Snapshot


Salida ColoradoSalida:  As quoted in the 2004 edition of Outside Magazine, Salida is “Sweetly unpretentious” as they ranked it as one of their “Dream Towns and Adventure Hideouts.” You might agree. Our community of 6,500 (9700 counting the surrounding homes) is surrounded by Forest Service and BLM lands, a haven for bicyclists, campers, folks who love to fish, hikers, skiers, nature photographers and hunters. It is a lovely natural setting with several converging mountain ranges  (We have15 peaks surrounding us that reach over 14,000 feet in elevation).

 We are known for being the Banana Belt of Colorado and this area is known as one of the Colorado River Towns. The Arkansas River winds its way through the Arkansas Valley, through downtown Salida and more; creating an invitation to rafters, kayakers, fishers, and “beach lovers” alike.

 Salida’s charming downtown area had the largest historical downtown district in Colorado. We have blocks and blocks of Victorian and other historic buildings. Because so many folks also come here to play, we have many of the advantages of a smaller resort town: great restaurants, 22 art galleries, fabulous boutiques, outdoor sportswear stores, and an array of shops for music, kitchen, sports, natural foods, children, books, knitters, and quilters.



 Real Estate in Salida CO


Poncha Springs COPoncha Springs: Poncha Springs is a small Salida “bedroom community” (population of 474 but a few thousand when you consider the outlying neighborhoods and ranches). Because it was surrounded  by hot springs (99 nearby) and had a strong early  influence of Spanish culture, the community became known as  Poncho (meaning cape and warmth) Springs. In 1924, the town officially became Poncha Springs.


Real Estate in Poncha Springs


 Howard ColoradoHoward: Howard, part of what is known as Pleasant Valley, is nestled along the Arkansas River as it snakes its way from Salida to Canon City. Some of the early settlers in the area were prospectors (some still pan for gold in the tributaries of the Arkansas).  Besides gold and silver, rhyolite, travertine, and limestone were sought after. Just a bit north of Howard is a tiny community of Wellsville where the locals used to soak on their time off in the natural hot pools. The area became more populated when the Rio Grande Railroad came through. Today, Howard is a charming, quiet ranch community and “bedroom Community” for folks who work in Salida. Many avid fly fishing folks have 2nd homes here. I love this valley.


Real Estate in Howard CO  


Coaldale Colorado


Coaldale: Coaldale, a tiny community just SE of Howard opens up into a lovely, meadow-like area with many horse properties, ranches, and folks who like the open meadows and surrounding mountains. It got its name from being called Charcoal Valley. In the early days, the Pinon Pines were burnt in beehive kilns to turn them into coals used for the silver smelters in Leadville Co and Pueblo CO. Some of the early kilns can still be seen. Every valley in Coaldale has a creek in it and with just a few minutes drive to the west, you can be on national forest trails. Absolutely lovely community.


 Real Estate in Coaldale CO


This image can be found at Cotopaxi, named after an Ecuadorian Volcano, grew from being a “whistle stop” for the Rio Grande railroad. Now it is known for world class white water rafting and fly fishing. Folks who live around here can commute for work to either Canon City, further east or back to is almost midway between the two. Cotopaxi is a great location for vacation/second home or your primary residence if you don’t mind the commute or can work from home.




Real Estate in Cotopaxi CO


This image can be found at  Nathrop, a quiet community north of Salida has always been known as the access point to Mount Princeton Hot Springs. To this day, folks come to soak in the restorative waters. It is my personal favorite in hot springs because the 104-degree water not only comes into the soaking and lap pools but comes out in Chalk Creek, running alongside the pools. I can spend all day there with a book, adjusting the rocks so that the water is neither hot nor cold. Lovely. Many folks choose to live in the area because of access to the hot springs and national forest.





Real Estate in Nathrop CO


This image can be found at Vista: Buena Vista was named after it’s stunning 360-degree views. Folks originally settled here because of the gold mining. Later, families began farming and ranching as they discovered the good soil in the area. The stagecoach and subsequent railroad brought more families to the area. With a population of about 2500 people, the town remains quiet and gracious. It is known as the best kept secret place to stay for folks skiing at the premier resorts near Denver and Aspen…because the town is so friendly and hotel rates are inexpensive. It is a few miles from Cottonwood Creek Hot Springs and Mt. Princeton.


Real Estate in Buena Vista Colorado


Crestone...beginning of the sunsetCrestone: Unique, magical and beautiful are words that tumble out of my mouth when I think of Crestone. The tiny town proper is 150 and the surrounding area is no more than 1500 when everyone is home. The magic of Crestone however, is its history. Early on, a rancher was instructed to bequeath parcels of his ranch to spiritual groups around the world which he did. It is now known for having the most diverse spiritual community in the world. Spiritual seekers in North America eventually hear about Crestone. And, it generally takes knowing a local or more than one visit for the fullness of the area to emerge…the 5 creeks heading up into the Sangre de Cristos, the temples hidden in the trees, the lovely residents and the “happening”. The local newspaper, the Crestone Eagle, has calendars of event for local happenings that rival a town 10 times its size. If you want a sanctuary, Crestone offers just that.


Real Estate around Crestone CO



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Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Hi, Paula...our fair started yesterday. I love these events. Like Chaffee County, Delta County has deep agricultural roots. I hope I can get away to enjoy the fair this year.

Aug 06, 2012 11:47 AM #1
Paula Bradfield
Bradfield Ramsey Group - Salida, CO
Your Salida Colorado area Realtor Team

Debbie, i hope you can get away as is always fun to see the community with a different perspective than skiing, whitewater, music etc eh?

Aug 07, 2012 05:06 AM #2
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