The first weekend in June has become electric in the small town of Elizabeth, Colo. Although official census figures state the town holds a population nearing 2,000 people, the award winning Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo currently draws more than 10,000 people over its four rodeo performances, plus a concert, town parade, and various other related events and activities.
While the rodeo’s roots go all the way back to documented “Cowboy Gatherings” in 1911 at the county fair and amateur rodeos in the 1930s, the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo celebrated its 35th year of being a professional PRCA rodeo in 2022. With gorgeous weather on tap, the community showed up in a huge way to celebrate with it. Bursting at the seams with record numbers of vendors, sponsors and ticket sales (all performances were sold out, including standing room only), one of the best small rodeos in the country showed again why it has earned that reputation.
A sold out Sunday afternoon crowd at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo were treated to the sight of our nation's National Bird, the Bald Eagle, held aloft near the end of the singing of the National Anthem before the start of action inside the arena. The third and last PRCA rodeo performance on Sunday afternoon is the Stampede's Red, White & Blue Rodeo. One of the reasons the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo remains popular with contestants is the rodeo committee's dedication to continuously improving the conditions for the competitors. Several weeks before the rodeo, specially formulated dirt was ordered and added into the arena and other areas on the rodeo grounds. Forty-one-year-old bull rider Ardie Maier of South Dakota got the Sunday crowd cheering as he notched a successful 82-point score aboard Jam Session to briefly take the lead in the standings during the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. Maier was the runner-up in the PRCA bull riding at the Elizabeth, Colo., rodeo and earned $1,716.00 for his 8-second ride. It started getting busy behind the scenes at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo before the start of the Extreme Bulls competition on Friday night, June 3, 2022. Summit Pro Rodeo Company oversaw the stock production, while the rodeo committee and an army of volunteers scurried over the grounds of the picturesque location among the pines in order to get everything ready for the four sold-out in advance rodeo performances Friday-Sunday. California cowboy Clayton Bigelow rode Whiskey Bandit to second place overall with an 87.50-point score in the Saturday night sunset at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Elizabeth, Colo. The score was just a half-point shy of the top spot as well as the arena record of 88 points. The 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo's Saturday night performance under the lights was sold out, including Standing Room Only tickets, and the energetic crowd was treated to a Top 10 run by home state barrel racer Chris Gibson. The Friday night Extreme Bulls competition at the Elizabeth Stampede sells out well in advance every year, because the fans are always treated to well-known bull riders and athletic beasts with bad attitudes. Minnestoa bull rider Coy Thorson showed a little flair aboard a bull named Living On A Prayer on his way to 85 points and a share of first place in the Friday night Extreme Bulls competition at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Elizabeth, Colo. Colorado cowboy Jeremiah Peek briefly took the overall lead in the Tie Down event with this quick 9.9-second time on Sunday afternoon at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo, but ended up claiming second place after his time was bettered by just one-tenth of a second a few contestants later. Taking a look from the vantage of the Sponsors Box behind the bucking chutes, the first bull rider of the night hits the arena in front of a sold out crowd at the beginning of the Friday night Extreme Bulls competition at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo, June 3-5, 2022. The success of the Elizabeth Stampede has turned it into the largest annual event in Elbert County, with an estimate of well over 10,000 people showing up (in a town with a census population figure of about 2,000) to take in the rodeo and/or its related events. Family having a fun time during the first concert on the evening on Thursday June 2, 2022, at the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. Wyoming barrel racer Kelby Eastman blew around the second barrel on her way to a time of 16.28-seconds and the early lead during Saturday afternoon's performance. The solid time eventually held up for fourth place overall at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Elizabeth, Colo. Members of the last remaining Marine Corp Mounted Color Guard are seconds away from entering the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo arena to present the colors on horseback to a sold out afternoon crowd in Elizabeth, Colo. The American flag (in foreground) is presented, along with the Marine Corp flag, while the opening prayer is spoken and the National Anthem sung before the start of rodeo action. Texas country singer Kylie Frey was second on the stage on Thursday night at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. The former rodeo contestant fit right in with the rural Colorado vibe. Canadian saddle bronc cowboy Kole Ashbacher took advantage of a reride opportunity to soar to 85.5 points and a second place payout of $2,415 at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo during a sun-drenched Red, White & Blue rodeo performance on Sunday afternoon, June 5, 2022. Texas cowboy Pryce Harris had a great step-off on Saturday afternoon, June 4, on his way to an 11.1-second time and fourth place overall in the Tie Down section of the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. Seven-time PRCA world champion bull rider Sage Kimzey found a rare bull he couldn't conquer as the young and athletic Keystone Killer (Summit Pro Rodeo Company) put Kimzey off center and dumped him with a lethal combination of power jumps and twisting turns in front of the sold out Friday night crowd for the Extreme Bulls competition at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede. Headlining the three performer concert — and singing under the fog, colors, and lights — was Ryan Hurd, whose resume' includes writing No. 1 singles for Blake Shelton, Lady A, and Luke Bryan. A custom Tough Enough to Wear Pink buckle and custom chinks were auctioned off for charity inside the arena during Saturday afternoon's Tough Enough to Wear Pink rodeo at the 2022 Elizabeth Stampede. Josie Thomas, right, 2022 Elizabeth Stampede Queen, displayed the chinks during the auction while her attendant and sister Hannah Thomas held the custom buckle. Both items sold for $500 each during the auction in the arena. It seems yuo can't have a big event that includes food vendors without having some giant turkey legs. The concert night on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo had the food vendors going full steam, including turkey legs.