The first sounds of summer filled Casey Jones Park in Elizabeth the evening of May 21 when the Elizabeth Stampede Community Rodeo kicked off with the “Grand Entry” featuring the Blazing Saddles Drill Team.
The Community Rodeo is open to …
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The Community Rodeo is open to anyone interested in competing and marks the opening of the Elizabeth Stampede ahead of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event beginning June 3.
Saturday’s rough-stock competition was open to anyone with $20 and the courage to strap themselves to 1,600 pounds of gyrating muscle, bone and horn. At stake, a little bit of pride and a purse worth $2,200.
Local cowboy Walker Schubauer of Kiowa rode to victory in the combined bulls, saddle bronc and bareback competition on the horse Big Mamma. His 81-point score was enough to secure his take of $1,280 of prize money. John Bagby’s 66-point bareback ride was enough to earn him second place and $920.
Organizer Don Martin said the Stampede offers the Community Rodeo each year to give local cowboys and cowgirls who are not PRCA members a chance to compete.
“They can’t compete at the Stampede unless they’re a [PRCA] card holder,” Martin said. “The volunteers also compete and some of our board members too. It just gives everybody a fun time. It’s free admission. It’s the Stampede’s way of giving back to the community.”
The competition, however, is not strictly limited to locals. Texas cowboy Cody Graves made the nearly 400-mile drive from Amarillo for his shot at an eight-second ride in Elizabeth.
“I love the adrenaline rush of bull riding,” he said.
Graves said he was willing to make the trip because the rodeo has a reputation for good stock.
The majority of the rough stock, 43 bulls, five bareback horses, and two saddle broncs, were available from Tuff and Kelsey Garcia of Tuff E Nuff Rodeo Company near Simla.
The rough stock was not the only competition.This year, Martin and his team opened the rodeo to kids.
“I added mutton busting, because it’s the greatest event in rodeo,” he said. “Those kids love it. It’s so darn much fun.”
About 40 young cowboys and cowgirls participated over the weekend, and buckles were awarded to the winners of each age group.
In addition to mutton busting, Martin also added chute dogging. Just like the bulls and broncs, chute dogging was open to everyone.
“It’s like steer wrestling except you don’t jump off a horse,” Martin said. “We put the steer in the shoot and you grab ahold of it. We open the shoot, and the steer takes off. You’ve got to bring it to a stop and flip it over, all four legs facing up.”
In the end, 25 competitors raised their hands to mix it up with the beef.
Following the completion of May 21’s activities, competitors and spectators were invited to the Stagecoach Saloon in Franktown for music and dancing.
For those who did not stay up too late at the Stagecoach, day two of the Community Rodeo began early with a barrels exhibition followed by a barrel-racing competition. At $5 per run, the competition drew 98 cowgirls to take their turn around Casey Jones Park Arena.
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