Under the lights at the Brent Romick Arena, clouds of dirt and cries of victory tell the gripping story of the West with a time-honored and award-winning Steamboat tradition.
The award-winning Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series takes place every Friday and Saturday night from June 16 through August 12 in Downtown Steamboat Springs. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Fourth of July Weekend shows which begin at 6:30 p.m.
|Children 7 – 15||$10*|
|Children 6 and under||FREE|
*Fourth of July event pricing is $25/adults and $15/children 7-15. Other information can be found at Steamboat Pro Rodeo.
While the roots of rodeo in this modest little Northwest Colorado ranch town and world class ski resort trace back over 100 years, the humble beginnings of the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo are known to go back more than a century.
No one knows for sure when Steamboat Springs hosted its first organized rodeo competition, but mentions of competitive rodeo events in the Steamboat Pilot, date back to at least 1898. Looking through historical files, it seems that no local event was complete without some type of rodeo competition.
Steamboat was full of skilled cowboys and cowgirls, and horses that were bred for work, not temperament, and tended to be large and a bit ornery. The local cowboys thought nothing of riding these hard-to-handle animals, and casual bets often resulted in impromptu rodeo-type competitions in fields or right on Lincoln Avenue.
Back at the turn of the 20th century there was no rodeo arena in Steamboat, but the area where the current rodeo arena stands near the Yampa River was the location for many rodeo events. During the summer of 1907 for Game & Fish Day, spectators formed a rodeo ring by positioning their horses in a circle, heads turned inward. In later days, cars were used to form the circle.
In the mid-1970s, the weekly organized event was known as the “Friday Night Jackpot.By 1982, the Jackpot Rodeo was in danger of disappearing due to funding. Local property manager Steve Dawes felt like the rodeo was too important to lose, so he stepped forward with his checkbook and his staff to add a little business expertise to the operation. Within a few years, the Jackpot Rodeo grew to include Saturday night, and the Steamboat Springs Rodeo Series name was coined.
In 1988, the first and last weekends of the 10-week series were sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and were known as Ski Town Stampede I & II. With the success of its first two forays into pro rodeo, the committee decided it was time to go “all pro.” The rodeo has been fully sanctioned by the PRCA since 1989.
Years and years of effort were recognized by the rodeo industry in 2002. By a vote of contestants, stock contractors, contract personnel and other rodeo committees, the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series was selected from approximately 500 PRCA rodeos as 2002 Small Outdoor Rodeo of the Year. Today, the series lights up Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer, keeping alive the true Western tradition of Steamboat Springs.