Behind the scenes at historic Chute 9 at Cheyenne Frontier Days
August 11, 2016
When Cheyenne Frontier Days expanded the new chutes in the east stands, it was faced with the dilemma of how to accommodate historic Chute 9 into the numbering system. They now had five north chutes and five south chutes to bring the total to ten bucking chutes. Historic chute 9 for the timed events was going to be lost if they continued with the numerical progression.
To resolve this, bucking chutes start with zero (0) and end with chute double zero (00) and the timed event chute stayed Chute 9.
A lot of rodeo fans are unaware of all of the activity that goes on behind the scenes at Chute 9. An army of children and young adults ages 7-17 sort and move calves and steers from pens and alley ways and then to the chute for countless calf ropers, steer ropers, team ropers and steer wrestlers.
Cheyenne Frontier Days is run by volunteers and kids that work in areas all over Frontier Park. These kids are the future of CFD. They are called Toes or Senior Toes, if they have been a Toe for five years. The Toe designator is a reference to the progression from beginner to Heels, which are volunteers who have been recognized for their long and exceptional service to Frontier Days.
At 18, a Senior Toe can become a committee member. Many like the Hoover sisters, Jubilee and Liberty from Cheyenne, stay on at Chute 9 after becoming members of the Rodeo Committee. They keep the kids running smoothly and become their mentors and trainers.
If you think that everyone who works at Chute 9 must be a ranch kid to be effective, that is definitely not the case. Jubilee and Liberty grew up outside of Cheyenne, but not on a ranch. There were a lot of animals around, but the biggest herd animal they had was a milk goat.
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On the other hand, there are families that move from large cities in the east whose kids have never seen an animal larger than a dog or cat. The parents want the children to integrate into the culture of their new home and what better way than a summer camp atmosphere at a rodeo that is a cultural treasure of the city of Cheyenne?
The Hoover sisters were taught and mentored by older Toes and adults at Cheyenne Frontier Days. The rodeo and the work became a part of the fabric of who Jubilee and Liberty are, and they willingly volunteer to insure that the century old traditions of the "Daddy of 'Em All" are passed along to the next generation of Toes at historic Chute 9. ❖