Greeley Stampede Championship Rodeo brings the heat | TheFencePost.com

Greeley Stampede Championship Rodeo brings the heat

Tom McFarland had a wild ride on Black Cat, earning 86 points and a bareback title at the Greeley Stampede.

While thermostats blew past the 100-degree mark on the Fourth of July in Greeley, Colo., it wasn’t just the sun making things hot. A passel of big rodeo names sizzled the sand inside the spacious 9,500 seat venue, pleasing thousands of ticket buyers who braved the heat for the championship round of action in the “World’s Largest Fourth of July Rodeo and Western Celebration.” The results were just fine with the folks behind the scenes.

“There isn’t a better venue in the whole country,” praised Bennie Beutler of Beutler and Son Rodeo Company, the well-known outfit that has been supplying stock for the Greeley Stampede since 1981. “It’s a big arena. You really find out what you are made of (here) … because a lot of stock will buck in a small arena and a lot of them won’t in a big arena. I was tickled with the way they all performed, I really was.”

When the rough stock wasn’t too hot to handle, they were creating big scores for the 89th annual rodeo.

“I love to buck them off, but then if they score 85, well, so much the better,” laughed Beutler. “I like to see those guys (score high). Heith DeMoss and Cody Taton and all them, that’s what makes it,” he added. “That’s what separates Greeley … it’s the quality of your cowboys that makes it.”

The quality was on display often in the competition, starting with the bareback event. With half the field tied at 83 coming into the final round, the buckle was up for grabs, and it showed. Mid-80 scores dropped like summer rain as Tom McFarland’s wild 86 on Black Cat edged the rest for first-place. Although Will Lowe was defending last year’s Greeley title, his solid 85 came up shy.

“The stock is always tough and the horses buck,” described Lowe of Greeley. “It just boiled down to that last day and boy, Tommy dang sure did spur out of that big old Black Cat. He did good and I was happy. I could have probably done a few things a little different to help me, but as hard as (my horse) bucked, I thought things went pretty good. It was another good rodeo.”

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Each event boasted similar talent battling it out for large “Cowboy Christmas” checks and the chance to move up the standings. When the steer wrestlers fired up the fans with a quartet stopping the timers in five seconds or less, it was popular Luke Branquinho who came from behind to win the buckle with 14.2 seconds on three head.

“I think that’s the third time I’ve won Greeley and I won second last year and it’s been a pretty good rodeo for me in the past,” said the California cowboy afterward by phone. “There was a lot of talent (there); a lot of world champs, a lot of young kids. It was just a fun rodeo, like usual.”

The fun continued as saddle bronc cowboys took turns aboard the powerful Beutler bucking horses and more 80-plus scores showered the arena in the mid-day heat. After taking a big Mountain States Circuit title at the National Western Stock Show in January, Heith DeMoss made it another when he posted 83 aboard No Date Kate in Greeley. DeMoss relished both the title and the competition.

“It was an awesome victory because it’s always the best of professional rodeo riders that ride there,” he stated by phone. “It’s a pretty dad-gummed big feat to win one of the world’s best rodeos. The competition wasn’t getting no tougher, big bad bucking horses, big crowd, lots of money. Heck, you can’t beat that.”

Asked about the talent level in the short round at Greeley, DeMoss’ response was enthusiastic.

“It’s surreal,” he began on the topic. “Perfect bronc riders, you know what I mean? Best in the dad-gummed world. Just to go there and be a part of that is awesome. Once a guy pulls off a victory and everything goes good for him, there’s not a better feeling in the world than that.”

Texas Tie Down Roper Scott Kormos could relate, as his Cowboy Christmas experience wasn’t going well until he arrived in Colorado. Talking with the PRCA ProRodeo folks after winning Greeley, Kormos revealed his struggles.

“It just felt like I wasn’t drawing well enough – and maybe I wasn’t roping well enough, either,” he described of coming up short in other rodeos over the Fourth of July week. “Nothing would work. It was a struggle all week. To win a rodeo of this size is great.”

Other winners would likely concur, and they had to work hard to earn their checks. Out of a world-class field of barrel racers, Oklahoma cowgirl Carlee Pierce’s time was hotter than the sand as she blistered the course in 17.15 seconds to win the championship round and take home the average title by just .06 seconds over Oklahoman Angie Meadors. The fans were happy with the action after watching top names like Lindsay Sears and Tana Poppino make things interesting with fast times of their own.

Quick times were on display in Team Roping competition, as well. With four pair notching 7 seconds or better, it was Chad Masters and Jade Corkill earning the average buckle with 19.0 seconds total on three head. The duo had a lead coming into the final round and roped a smooth 7.0 to make it hold up.

Another pair doing well in Greeley were bull riding traveling partners Jimmy Anderson and John Jacobs, who took home first and second place, respectively, as the only two making qualified rides in the championship round. Jacobs scored 80 points on Crooked Nose, a bald faced bull that spun left before swapping directions right while bucking the whole time. His lead didn’t last long, however, as Anderson bucked next on Scent Loc, a white and black beast whose hind legs barely hit the sand. It was touch and go at the end as Scent Loc tossed and trampled Anderson right at the horn and the crowd, along with the wincing cowboy, anxiously awaited the judges’ verdict. When a score of 86 flashed on the board, the crowd cheered and Anderson pumped a fist in celebration before limping to the medical crew behind the scenes.

Despite some current financial challenges facing the Greeley Stampede and a decrease in total purse money in 2011, everyone in the rodeo community hopes the western tradition will carry on.

“This committee is really working hard to bring it back together and everything and to get more community support and it showed up,” offered Beutler right after the rodeo. “Our crowds were probably 40 percent better than they were a year ago.”

If that trend continues, big name cowboys and cowgirls should be heating up Greeley for years to come.

While thermostats blew past the 100-degree mark on the Fourth of July in Greeley, Colo., it wasn’t just the sun making things hot. A passel of big rodeo names sizzled the sand inside the spacious 9,500 seat venue, pleasing thousands of ticket buyers who braved the heat for the championship round of action in the “World’s Largest Fourth of July Rodeo and Western Celebration.” The results were just fine with the folks behind the scenes.

“There isn’t a better venue in the whole country,” praised Bennie Beutler of Beutler and Son Rodeo Company, the well-known outfit that has been supplying stock for the Greeley Stampede since 1981. “It’s a big arena. You really find out what you are made of (here) … because a lot of stock will buck in a small arena and a lot of them won’t in a big arena. I was tickled with the way they all performed, I really was.”

When the rough stock wasn’t too hot to handle, they were creating big scores for the 89th annual rodeo.

“I love to buck them off, but then if they score 85, well, so much the better,” laughed Beutler. “I like to see those guys (score high). Heith DeMoss and Cody Taton and all them, that’s what makes it,” he added. “That’s what separates Greeley … it’s the quality of your cowboys that makes it.”

The quality was on display often in the competition, starting with the bareback event. With half the field tied at 83 coming into the final round, the buckle was up for grabs, and it showed. Mid-80 scores dropped like summer rain as Tom McFarland’s wild 86 on Black Cat edged the rest for first-place. Although Will Lowe was defending last year’s Greeley title, his solid 85 came up shy.

“The stock is always tough and the horses buck,” described Lowe of Greeley. “It just boiled down to that last day and boy, Tommy dang sure did spur out of that big old Black Cat. He did good and I was happy. I could have probably done a few things a little different to help me, but as hard as (my horse) bucked, I thought things went pretty good. It was another good rodeo.”

Each event boasted similar talent battling it out for large “Cowboy Christmas” checks and the chance to move up the standings. When the steer wrestlers fired up the fans with a quartet stopping the timers in five seconds or less, it was popular Luke Branquinho who came from behind to win the buckle with 14.2 seconds on three head.

“I think that’s the third time I’ve won Greeley and I won second last year and it’s been a pretty good rodeo for me in the past,” said the California cowboy afterward by phone. “There was a lot of talent (there); a lot of world champs, a lot of young kids. It was just a fun rodeo, like usual.”

The fun continued as saddle bronc cowboys took turns aboard the powerful Beutler bucking horses and more 80-plus scores showered the arena in the mid-day heat. After taking a big Mountain States Circuit title at the National Western Stock Show in January, Heith DeMoss made it another when he posted 83 aboard No Date Kate in Greeley. DeMoss relished both the title and the competition.

“It was an awesome victory because it’s always the best of professional rodeo riders that ride there,” he stated by phone. “It’s a pretty dad-gummed big feat to win one of the world’s best rodeos. The competition wasn’t getting no tougher, big bad bucking horses, big crowd, lots of money. Heck, you can’t beat that.”

Asked about the talent level in the short round at Greeley, DeMoss’ response was enthusiastic.

“It’s surreal,” he began on the topic. “Perfect bronc riders, you know what I mean? Best in the dad-gummed world. Just to go there and be a part of that is awesome. Once a guy pulls off a victory and everything goes good for him, there’s not a better feeling in the world than that.”

Texas Tie Down Roper Scott Kormos could relate, as his Cowboy Christmas experience wasn’t going well until he arrived in Colorado. Talking with the PRCA ProRodeo folks after winning Greeley, Kormos revealed his struggles.

“It just felt like I wasn’t drawing well enough – and maybe I wasn’t roping well enough, either,” he described of coming up short in other rodeos over the Fourth of July week. “Nothing would work. It was a struggle all week. To win a rodeo of this size is great.”

Other winners would likely concur, and they had to work hard to earn their checks. Out of a world-class field of barrel racers, Oklahoma cowgirl Carlee Pierce’s time was hotter than the sand as she blistered the course in 17.15 seconds to win the championship round and take home the average title by just .06 seconds over Oklahoman Angie Meadors. The fans were happy with the action after watching top names like Lindsay Sears and Tana Poppino make things interesting with fast times of their own.

Quick times were on display in Team Roping competition, as well. With four pair notching 7 seconds or better, it was Chad Masters and Jade Corkill earning the average buckle with 19.0 seconds total on three head. The duo had a lead coming into the final round and roped a smooth 7.0 to make it hold up.

Another pair doing well in Greeley were bull riding traveling partners Jimmy Anderson and John Jacobs, who took home first and second place, respectively, as the only two making qualified rides in the championship round. Jacobs scored 80 points on Crooked Nose, a bald faced bull that spun left before swapping directions right while bucking the whole time. His lead didn’t last long, however, as Anderson bucked next on Scent Loc, a white and black beast whose hind legs barely hit the sand. It was touch and go at the end as Scent Loc tossed and trampled Anderson right at the horn and the crowd, along with the wincing cowboy, anxiously awaited the judges’ verdict. When a score of 86 flashed on the board, the crowd cheered and Anderson pumped a fist in celebration before limping to the medical crew behind the scenes.

Despite some current financial challenges facing the Greeley Stampede and a decrease in total purse money in 2011, everyone in the rodeo community hopes the western tradition will carry on.

“This committee is really working hard to bring it back together and everything and to get more community support and it showed up,” offered Beutler right after the rodeo. “Our crowds were probably 40 percent better than they were a year ago.”

If that trend continues, big name cowboys and cowgirls should be heating up Greeley for years to come.

While thermostats blew past the 100-degree mark on the Fourth of July in Greeley, Colo., it wasn’t just the sun making things hot. A passel of big rodeo names sizzled the sand inside the spacious 9,500 seat venue, pleasing thousands of ticket buyers who braved the heat for the championship round of action in the “World’s Largest Fourth of July Rodeo and Western Celebration.” The results were just fine with the folks behind the scenes.

“There isn’t a better venue in the whole country,” praised Bennie Beutler of Beutler and Son Rodeo Company, the well-known outfit that has been supplying stock for the Greeley Stampede since 1981. “It’s a big arena. You really find out what you are made of (here) … because a lot of stock will buck in a small arena and a lot of them won’t in a big arena. I was tickled with the way they all performed, I really was.”

When the rough stock wasn’t too hot to handle, they were creating big scores for the 89th annual rodeo.

“I love to buck them off, but then if they score 85, well, so much the better,” laughed Beutler. “I like to see those guys (score high). Heith DeMoss and Cody Taton and all them, that’s what makes it,” he added. “That’s what separates Greeley … it’s the quality of your cowboys that makes it.”

The quality was on display often in the competition, starting with the bareback event. With half the field tied at 83 coming into the final round, the buckle was up for grabs, and it showed. Mid-80 scores dropped like summer rain as Tom McFarland’s wild 86 on Black Cat edged the rest for first-place. Although Will Lowe was defending last year’s Greeley title, his solid 85 came up shy.

“The stock is always tough and the horses buck,” described Lowe of Greeley. “It just boiled down to that last day and boy, Tommy dang sure did spur out of that big old Black Cat. He did good and I was happy. I could have probably done a few things a little different to help me, but as hard as (my horse) bucked, I thought things went pretty good. It was another good rodeo.”

Each event boasted similar talent battling it out for large “Cowboy Christmas” checks and the chance to move up the standings. When the steer wrestlers fired up the fans with a quartet stopping the timers in five seconds or less, it was popular Luke Branquinho who came from behind to win the buckle with 14.2 seconds on three head.

“I think that’s the third time I’ve won Greeley and I won second last year and it’s been a pretty good rodeo for me in the past,” said the California cowboy afterward by phone. “There was a lot of talent (there); a lot of world champs, a lot of young kids. It was just a fun rodeo, like usual.”

The fun continued as saddle bronc cowboys took turns aboard the powerful Beutler bucking horses and more 80-plus scores showered the arena in the mid-day heat. After taking a big Mountain States Circuit title at the National Western Stock Show in January, Heith DeMoss made it another when he posted 83 aboard No Date Kate in Greeley. DeMoss relished both the title and the competition.

“It was an awesome victory because it’s always the best of professional rodeo riders that ride there,” he stated by phone. “It’s a pretty dad-gummed big feat to win one of the world’s best rodeos. The competition wasn’t getting no tougher, big bad bucking horses, big crowd, lots of money. Heck, you can’t beat that.”

Asked about the talent level in the short round at Greeley, DeMoss’ response was enthusiastic.

“It’s surreal,” he began on the topic. “Perfect bronc riders, you know what I mean? Best in the dad-gummed world. Just to go there and be a part of that is awesome. Once a guy pulls off a victory and everything goes good for him, there’s not a better feeling in the world than that.”

Texas Tie Down Roper Scott Kormos could relate, as his Cowboy Christmas experience wasn’t going well until he arrived in Colorado. Talking with the PRCA ProRodeo folks after winning Greeley, Kormos revealed his struggles.

“It just felt like I wasn’t drawing well enough – and maybe I wasn’t roping well enough, either,” he described of coming up short in other rodeos over the Fourth of July week. “Nothing would work. It was a struggle all week. To win a rodeo of this size is great.”

Other winners would likely concur, and they had to work hard to earn their checks. Out of a world-class field of barrel racers, Oklahoma cowgirl Carlee Pierce’s time was hotter than the sand as she blistered the course in 17.15 seconds to win the championship round and take home the average title by just .06 seconds over Oklahoman Angie Meadors. The fans were happy with the action after watching top names like Lindsay Sears and Tana Poppino make things interesting with fast times of their own.

Quick times were on display in Team Roping competition, as well. With four pair notching 7 seconds or better, it was Chad Masters and Jade Corkill earning the average buckle with 19.0 seconds total on three head. The duo had a lead coming into the final round and roped a smooth 7.0 to make it hold up.

Another pair doing well in Greeley were bull riding traveling partners Jimmy Anderson and John Jacobs, who took home first and second place, respectively, as the only two making qualified rides in the championship round. Jacobs scored 80 points on Crooked Nose, a bald faced bull that spun left before swapping directions right while bucking the whole time. His lead didn’t last long, however, as Anderson bucked next on Scent Loc, a white and black beast whose hind legs barely hit the sand. It was touch and go at the end as Scent Loc tossed and trampled Anderson right at the horn and the crowd, along with the wincing cowboy, anxiously awaited the judges’ verdict. When a score of 86 flashed on the board, the crowd cheered and Anderson pumped a fist in celebration before limping to the medical crew behind the scenes.

Despite some current financial challenges facing the Greeley Stampede and a decrease in total purse money in 2011, everyone in the rodeo community hopes the western tradition will carry on.

“This committee is really working hard to bring it back together and everything and to get more community support and it showed up,” offered Beutler right after the rodeo. “Our crowds were probably 40 percent better than they were a year ago.”

If that trend continues, big name cowboys and cowgirls should be heating up Greeley for years to come.

While thermostats blew past the 100-degree mark on the Fourth of July in Greeley, Colo., it wasn’t just the sun making things hot. A passel of big rodeo names sizzled the sand inside the spacious 9,500 seat venue, pleasing thousands of ticket buyers who braved the heat for the championship round of action in the “World’s Largest Fourth of July Rodeo and Western Celebration.” The results were just fine with the folks behind the scenes.

“There isn’t a better venue in the whole country,” praised Bennie Beutler of Beutler and Son Rodeo Company, the well-known outfit that has been supplying stock for the Greeley Stampede since 1981. “It’s a big arena. You really find out what you are made of (here) … because a lot of stock will buck in a small arena and a lot of them won’t in a big arena. I was tickled with the way they all performed, I really was.”

When the rough stock wasn’t too hot to handle, they were creating big scores for the 89th annual rodeo.

“I love to buck them off, but then if they score 85, well, so much the better,” laughed Beutler. “I like to see those guys (score high). Heith DeMoss and Cody Taton and all them, that’s what makes it,” he added. “That’s what separates Greeley … it’s the quality of your cowboys that makes it.”

The quality was on display often in the competition, starting with the bareback event. With half the field tied at 83 coming into the final round, the buckle was up for grabs, and it showed. Mid-80 scores dropped like summer rain as Tom McFarland’s wild 86 on Black Cat edged the rest for first-place. Although Will Lowe was defending last year’s Greeley title, his solid 85 came up shy.

“The stock is always tough and the horses buck,” described Lowe of Greeley. “It just boiled down to that last day and boy, Tommy dang sure did spur out of that big old Black Cat. He did good and I was happy. I could have probably done a few things a little different to help me, but as hard as (my horse) bucked, I thought things went pretty good. It was another good rodeo.”

Each event boasted similar talent battling it out for large “Cowboy Christmas” checks and the chance to move up the standings. When the steer wrestlers fired up the fans with a quartet stopping the timers in five seconds or less, it was popular Luke Branquinho who came from behind to win the buckle with 14.2 seconds on three head.

“I think that’s the third time I’ve won Greeley and I won second last year and it’s been a pretty good rodeo for me in the past,” said the California cowboy afterward by phone. “There was a lot of talent (there); a lot of world champs, a lot of young kids. It was just a fun rodeo, like usual.”

The fun continued as saddle bronc cowboys took turns aboard the powerful Beutler bucking horses and more 80-plus scores showered the arena in the mid-day heat. After taking a big Mountain States Circuit title at the National Western Stock Show in January, Heith DeMoss made it another when he posted 83 aboard No Date Kate in Greeley. DeMoss relished both the title and the competition.

“It was an awesome victory because it’s always the best of professional rodeo riders that ride there,” he stated by phone. “It’s a pretty dad-gummed big feat to win one of the world’s best rodeos. The competition wasn’t getting no tougher, big bad bucking horses, big crowd, lots of money. Heck, you can’t beat that.”

Asked about the talent level in the short round at Greeley, DeMoss’ response was enthusiastic.

“It’s surreal,” he began on the topic. “Perfect bronc riders, you know what I mean? Best in the dad-gummed world. Just to go there and be a part of that is awesome. Once a guy pulls off a victory and everything goes good for him, there’s not a better feeling in the world than that.”

Texas Tie Down Roper Scott Kormos could relate, as his Cowboy Christmas experience wasn’t going well until he arrived in Colorado. Talking with the PRCA ProRodeo folks after winning Greeley, Kormos revealed his struggles.

“It just felt like I wasn’t drawing well enough – and maybe I wasn’t roping well enough, either,” he described of coming up short in other rodeos over the Fourth of July week. “Nothing would work. It was a struggle all week. To win a rodeo of this size is great.”

Other winners would likely concur, and they had to work hard to earn their checks. Out of a world-class field of barrel racers, Oklahoma cowgirl Carlee Pierce’s time was hotter than the sand as she blistered the course in 17.15 seconds to win the championship round and take home the average title by just .06 seconds over Oklahoman Angie Meadors. The fans were happy with the action after watching top names like Lindsay Sears and Tana Poppino make things interesting with fast times of their own.

Quick times were on display in Team Roping competition, as well. With four pair notching 7 seconds or better, it was Chad Masters and Jade Corkill earning the average buckle with 19.0 seconds total on three head. The duo had a lead coming into the final round and roped a smooth 7.0 to make it hold up.

Another pair doing well in Greeley were bull riding traveling partners Jimmy Anderson and John Jacobs, who took home first and second place, respectively, as the only two making qualified rides in the championship round. Jacobs scored 80 points on Crooked Nose, a bald faced bull that spun left before swapping directions right while bucking the whole time. His lead didn’t last long, however, as Anderson bucked next on Scent Loc, a white and black beast whose hind legs barely hit the sand. It was touch and go at the end as Scent Loc tossed and trampled Anderson right at the horn and the crowd, along with the wincing cowboy, anxiously awaited the judges’ verdict. When a score of 86 flashed on the board, the crowd cheered and Anderson pumped a fist in celebration before limping to the medical crew behind the scenes.

Despite some current financial challenges facing the Greeley Stampede and a decrease in total purse money in 2011, everyone in the rodeo community hopes the western tradition will carry on.

“This committee is really working hard to bring it back together and everything and to get more community support and it showed up,” offered Beutler right after the rodeo. “Our crowds were probably 40 percent better than they were a year ago.”

If that trend continues, big name cowboys and cowgirls should be heating up Greeley for years to come.

While thermostats blew past the 100-degree mark on the Fourth of July in Greeley, Colo., it wasn’t just the sun making things hot. A passel of big rodeo names sizzled the sand inside the spacious 9,500 seat venue, pleasing thousands of ticket buyers who braved the heat for the championship round of action in the “World’s Largest Fourth of July Rodeo and Western Celebration.” The results were just fine with the folks behind the scenes.

“There isn’t a better venue in the whole country,” praised Bennie Beutler of Beutler and Son Rodeo Company, the well-known outfit that has been supplying stock for the Greeley Stampede since 1981. “It’s a big arena. You really find out what you are made of (here) … because a lot of stock will buck in a small arena and a lot of them won’t in a big arena. I was tickled with the way they all performed, I really was.”

When the rough stock wasn’t too hot to handle, they were creating big scores for the 89th annual rodeo.

“I love to buck them off, but then if they score 85, well, so much the better,” laughed Beutler. “I like to see those guys (score high). Heith DeMoss and Cody Taton and all them, that’s what makes it,” he added. “That’s what separates Greeley … it’s the quality of your cowboys that makes it.”

The quality was on display often in the competition, starting with the bareback event. With half the field tied at 83 coming into the final round, the buckle was up for grabs, and it showed. Mid-80 scores dropped like summer rain as Tom McFarland’s wild 86 on Black Cat edged the rest for first-place. Although Will Lowe was defending last year’s Greeley title, his solid 85 came up shy.

“The stock is always tough and the horses buck,” described Lowe of Greeley. “It just boiled down to that last day and boy, Tommy dang sure did spur out of that big old Black Cat. He did good and I was happy. I could have probably done a few things a little different to help me, but as hard as (my horse) bucked, I thought things went pretty good. It was another good rodeo.”

Each event boasted similar talent battling it out for large “Cowboy Christmas” checks and the chance to move up the standings. When the steer wrestlers fired up the fans with a quartet stopping the timers in five seconds or less, it was popular Luke Branquinho who came from behind to win the buckle with 14.2 seconds on three head.

“I think that’s the third time I’ve won Greeley and I won second last year and it’s been a pretty good rodeo for me in the past,” said the California cowboy afterward by phone. “There was a lot of talent (there); a lot of world champs, a lot of young kids. It was just a fun rodeo, like usual.”

The fun continued as saddle bronc cowboys took turns aboard the powerful Beutler bucking horses and more 80-plus scores showered the arena in the mid-day heat. After taking a big Mountain States Circuit title at the National Western Stock Show in January, Heith DeMoss made it another when he posted 83 aboard No Date Kate in Greeley. DeMoss relished both the title and the competition.

“It was an awesome victory because it’s always the best of professional rodeo riders that ride there,” he stated by phone. “It’s a pretty dad-gummed big feat to win one of the world’s best rodeos. The competition wasn’t getting no tougher, big bad bucking horses, big crowd, lots of money. Heck, you can’t beat that.”

Asked about the talent level in the short round at Greeley, DeMoss’ response was enthusiastic.

“It’s surreal,” he began on the topic. “Perfect bronc riders, you know what I mean? Best in the dad-gummed world. Just to go there and be a part of that is awesome. Once a guy pulls off a victory and everything goes good for him, there’s not a better feeling in the world than that.”

Texas Tie Down Roper Scott Kormos could relate, as his Cowboy Christmas experience wasn’t going well until he arrived in Colorado. Talking with the PRCA ProRodeo folks after winning Greeley, Kormos revealed his struggles.

“It just felt like I wasn’t drawing well enough – and maybe I wasn’t roping well enough, either,” he described of coming up short in other rodeos over the Fourth of July week. “Nothing would work. It was a struggle all week. To win a rodeo of this size is great.”

Other winners would likely concur, and they had to work hard to earn their checks. Out of a world-class field of barrel racers, Oklahoma cowgirl Carlee Pierce’s time was hotter than the sand as she blistered the course in 17.15 seconds to win the championship round and take home the average title by just .06 seconds over Oklahoman Angie Meadors. The fans were happy with the action after watching top names like Lindsay Sears and Tana Poppino make things interesting with fast times of their own.

Quick times were on display in Team Roping competition, as well. With four pair notching 7 seconds or better, it was Chad Masters and Jade Corkill earning the average buckle with 19.0 seconds total on three head. The duo had a lead coming into the final round and roped a smooth 7.0 to make it hold up.

Another pair doing well in Greeley were bull riding traveling partners Jimmy Anderson and John Jacobs, who took home first and second place, respectively, as the only two making qualified rides in the championship round. Jacobs scored 80 points on Crooked Nose, a bald faced bull that spun left before swapping directions right while bucking the whole time. His lead didn’t last long, however, as Anderson bucked next on Scent Loc, a white and black beast whose hind legs barely hit the sand. It was touch and go at the end as Scent Loc tossed and trampled Anderson right at the horn and the crowd, along with the wincing cowboy, anxiously awaited the judges’ verdict. When a score of 86 flashed on the board, the crowd cheered and Anderson pumped a fist in celebration before limping to the medical crew behind the scenes.

Despite some current financial challenges facing the Greeley Stampede and a decrease in total purse money in 2011, everyone in the rodeo community hopes the western tradition will carry on.

“This committee is really working hard to bring it back together and everything and to get more community support and it showed up,” offered Beutler right after the rodeo. “Our crowds were probably 40 percent better than they were a year ago.”

If that trend continues, big name cowboys and cowgirls should be heating up Greeley for years to come.