Elizabeth Stampede draws big crowds, big names to small rodeo | TheFencePost.com

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Elizabeth Stampede draws big crowds, big names to small rodeo

Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo winners

Bareback riding – (tie) Tyler Scales on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Daisy Duke, and

Kelly Timberman on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Trailer Home, 83 points, $1,634 each

Steer wrestling – John Franzen, 4.7 seconds, $1,363

Team roping – Paul Beckett/Chad Wahlert, 6.2 seconds, $1,649 each

Saddle bronc riding – Dalton Davis, ARENA RECORD 88 points on Summit Pro

Rodeo’s Big Fork, $1,272

Tie-down roping – Darnell Johnson, 8.3 seconds, $1,322

Barrel racing – Hailey Kinsel, 15.95 seconds, $1,634

Bull riding – Clayton Savage, 83 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Giv’er A

Whirl, $1,334

Xtreme Bulls – Ty Wallace, 86.5 points on Summit Pro Rodeo Co.’s All She

Wrote, $4,200

While it's classified as a small rodeo, the Elizabeth Stampede in Elizabeth, Colo., has earned a big reputation throughout its more than 50 year history. World champs and National Finals Rodeo qualifiers routinely arrive to compete by the tall pines that line the rodeo arena, and 2016 was no different.

Names like Sage Kimzey, Brittany Pozi Tonozzi, Kelly Timberman, Winn Ratliff and Josh Peek (among many others) entertained more than ten thousand ticket buyers throughout three PRCA performances, an Xtreme Bulls event and a country music concert.

"To have NFR (roughstock) here… at our rodeo, it's amazing," said Elizabeth Stampede Vice President Traci Swisher about their stock contractor Summit Pro Rodeo and subcontractors Brookman Rodeo and Salt River Rodeo. "We're very proud of them. And world champions show up, as a result, because they know they will score big and they can do well."

Wyoming bareback rider and former world champion Kelly Timberman put that notion to the test on Sunday afternoon, as the forty-year-old competed at one of his favorite circuit rodeos and took home a share of first place with an 83-point score. That matched the 83 points earned Saturday night by Colorado cowboy Tyler Scales. Scales rode a hard bucker named Daisy Duke for a wild ride and a piece of that buckle.

"Man, I got on that horse a couple of years ago, right here, and I was 83, but she bucked me harder today," Scales said following his ride. "She about bucked me off a couple of times. I was like, 'I better do something right now or I am going to get bucked off in front of all these people.'"

Contests like that between Timberman and Scales played out in front of full grandstands throughout the weekend. With a seating capacity of 2,166 people, each performance was either sold out or nearly sold out, a fact that pleased rodeo organizers and contestants alike.

"Oh, it's one of my favorite rodeos," Scales said. "This rodeo wins Small Rodeo of the Year a lot. I've been to some rodeos earlier this week all over the country and there are 100 people (in the stands) and you are trying to get fired up. On a Saturday night, you can't beat a sold out crowd like it is here. I can't make it to all the rodeos, but I love coming to this rodeo. It is always a good time."

While Scales and Timberman are fixtures at the Elizabeth Stampede, it was a good time for those contestants new to the rodeo, as well.

Texas cowgirl Hailey Kinsel drew to compete in barrel racing slack on Sunday morning, but that didn't stop her from nearly setting an arena record on her way to a 15.95-second time and first place against a talented field.

"It was very nerve-wracking, especially watching (Sunday afternoon's) performance, considering three of those ladies (Brittany Pozi Tonozzi, Ivy Conrado and Sabra O'Quinn) had been hot coming into this weekend. So I knew who to watch and knew my time wasn't safe. We are very blessed and fortunate to have it work out the way it did."

Kinsel liked the footing and arena setup in Elizabeth, so she saddled up her young, five-year-old horse (DM Sissy Hayday) in its first year of competing in WPRA rodeos and figured they would put in a good effort.

"I just wanted to make a nice run," said Kinsel. "We looked at (the arena) and decided it was a perfect set up for her. The ground was good; it was nice and easy to see around there. So we thought, 'Great, we will run the young one today and we will see how she does.' So I wasn't expecting anything exceptional, but we will take it."

Annual storylines of top-ranked contestants and breakthrough competitors help keep the grandstands full and the awards piling up for the Elizabeth Stampede. With 12 Mountain States Circuit Best Small (and Medium) Rodeo titles to go with the prestigious trio of PRCA Best Small Rodeo of the Year awards, the nearly 300 volunteers are always working to make the rodeo bigger and better.

"Oh, we already have started planning for next year," Swisher said with enthusiasm. "I was sharing with committee members some of the compliments from contractors and contestants, and without a single exception, they all responded with items they thought needed to be worked on and improved. They already had in their mind a list of what we need to change and what we need to fix. We don't really ever stop." ❖