The sounds of excited whoops from the crowd, the sight a 5-year-old clinging for dear life to a sheep, and the presence of myriad livestock can only mean one thing: The Elizabeth Stampede is in town.
If the record crowds, including a sell-out on the night of June 8, were any indication, the 49th annual Stampede June 7-9 was a rousing success. For those who have attended, it’s little wonder that the Stampede was named “small rodeo of the year” in 2011 and 2012 by the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association.
The action at Casey Jones Park is such a draw that international travelers with no ties to the area visit each year to soak up a bit of the Western hometown experience. This year, spectators came from France, Germany, England, Australia and Italy, and Stampede organizers are always ready with a packet of information to guide them to restaurants and other activities, said Traci Swisher, community relations chair for the Elizabeth Stampede.
“It’s different than the Greeley Stampede or Cheyenne Frontier Days,” she said, referring to the rural charm of the Elizabeth Stampede.
The reason for all of the attention is clear: from the entertaining spectacle of mutton bustin’ and the excitement of Xtreme bull riding to the fast-paced thrill of barrel racing and beloved tradition of the Saturday-morning parade, there is plenty for the family to see and do.
The parade had 72 entries, including equestrian organizations, antique cars, marching bands, fire trucks, floats and members of the military.
At the rodeo, three former world champions, including this year’s first-place barrel racer Brittany Pozzi, were on hand to delight the crowd, not to mention “all-around cowboy” Jesse Jolly, who had an impressive showing in the saddle bronc riding and team roping events.
As always, some Stampede attendees got an inside look with the “Behind the Chutes” tours. More than 1,000 people signed up for the guided tour this year.
“You get to see the bulls and horses and meet the cowboys,” Swisher said. “You get up close and personal. Our fans, they love that.”
The Elizabeth Stampede reported the following results for 2013:
Total number of contestants: 50
Total payout: $14,100
Injuries: One bull rider had a separated shoulder; it was put back into place and he expected to be off for a week or two.
(Single go-round, three performances):
Total number of contestants: 330
Total payout: $45,013
Injuries: One bareback rider injured an ankle and is expected to be out for eight weeks of recovery.
• All-around cowboy: Jesse Jolly, $1,202, saddle bronc riding and team roping
• Bareback riding: 1. Jessy Davis, 84 points on Burns Rodeo Co.’s Jake Spoon, $1,949; 2. (tie) Casey Colletti and Brian Bain, 81, $1,300 each
• Steer wrestling: 1. Beau Clark, 4.7 seconds, $1,543; 2. Wyatt Johnson, 4.8, $1,277; 3. Seth Brockman, 4.9, $1,011
• Team roping: 1. Tyson Holden/Ryan Zurcher, 5.2 seconds, $1,736 each; 2. Ty Blasingame/Lance Allen, 5.3, $1,436; 3. Brian Dunning/Jesse Jolly, 5.5, $1,137
• Saddle bronc riding: 1. Morgan Forbes, 80 points on Burns Rodeo Co.’s Bullfrog, $1,285; 2. Zachariah Phillips, 79, $974; 3. Steven Dent, 78, $701
• Tie-down roping: 1. Josh Peek, 8.5 seconds, $1,233; 2. Jeremiah Peek, 9.5, $1,020; 3. Trevor Thiel, 9.6, $808
• Barrel racing: 1. Brittany Pozzi, 16.21 seconds, $1,639; 2. Shada Brazile, 16.32, $1,405; 3. C.J. Vondette, 16.33, $1,171
• Bull riding: 1. Patrick Geipel, 85 points on Burns Rodeo Co.’s Smoke Signal, $1,384
• Kody Lostroh won Xtreme Bulls with a 90-point ride on Ty Rinaldo’s Slim Chickens, paid $4,230 to win.
• Three events were won by NFR Champions Jessy Davis in bareback riding, Josh Peek in tie-down roping and Britney Pozzi in barrel racing.
• Jessy Davis won the bareback riding for the second time in three years.
• There were record barrel racing entries at 91.
• Randi Timmons, of Elizabeth, placed ninth in barrel racing.
• Patrick Geipel, from Elbert, won the bull riding.
• Jesse Jolly, of Agate, won the All Around title with a sixth in saddle broncs and third place in team roping.
• Brothers Josh and Jeremiah Peek came in first and second in tie-down roping riding Jeremiah’s new horse. It was the first time Josh ever competed on the horse and he won tie-down roping by a full second.
Elizabeth Stampede Pioneers: Tom and Kathy Knowles; Royalty Coronation: Outgoing 2013 Queen Caroline Ginn and Attendant Kayla Schwartz. Incoming 2014 Queen Bailey Volock and Attendant Maddie Russell; veterans honored: Dan Johnson, Jack Plylar and Gerry Graham; empty saddle: Lee Ann Morgan, Seth Stoeber
The 72 entries included VFW, American Legion, Young Marines, local businesses, horses, miniature horses, fire trucks and Stampede to Read floats
Volunteers: The total number of volunteers was about 225 active.