The Cinch Jeans Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo has been a fixture in Colorado Springs since 1937, growing and increasing in reputation over the years. In 2022, it took another leap forward to become a million dollar rodeo by being designated the new site of the PRCA’s national circuit championship, renamed this year as the NFR Open powered by RAM. While the four-day rodeo was another sell out affair, organizers of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo pride themselves on offering more than just a rodeo. Over time, they have grown the event’s “Fan Zone” entertainment to become a popular family-friendly destination and the rodeo’s long association with helping active duty military families blends a military flavor into all the proceedings at the historic Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.
Wyoming cowgirl Coralee Spratt and her horse sprinted out of the timed event chute on Saturday afternoon as Women's breakaway roping competition took place at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo for the first time in 2022's NFR Open. The event was well received by the big crowds and its eventual national champion (Martha Angelone) took home the RAM Top Gun award as the rodeo's top money winner.
Including this buckoff of Grayson Cole from a bull named Salty Dog, the bulls ruled the Saturday night championship round of action at the 2022 NFR Open in the 81st Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs. Displaying their size and athleticism for the big crowd, the bulls did not allow a single qualified ride in the eight-man semi-final round and just a single successful ride in the sudden death Gold Buckle Round. In total for the evening, it was bulls 11 and cowboys 1.
Carriage rides around the Norris Penrose Events Center grounds were available for anyone requesting them, and plenty of families took advantage of the opportunity to go old school with their mode of transportation.
The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo has always been closely paired with the military bases and Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., with its foundation helping local military families make ends meet with more than $100,000 in charitable donations given out every year. As a result, the military presence throughout the four-day rodeo is front and center, including the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard presenting the colors in front of a sold out crowd before the start of Saturday night's championship round.
Making future farmers from a new generation, the John Deere tractor exhibition at the 2022 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs was an irresistible hands-on display for every family that walked nearby.
The Fan Zone at the 2022 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs was filled with family-friendly activities and things to do, including hamming it up with a Llama that didn't know what to think of the camera.
The joy and exuberance of a winning mutton buster is an infectious energy at a rodeo, and the 2022 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo's NFR Open was no different. One of the top finishers in the popular event was helped out of the arena by a Pikes Peak Rangerette, who took care to make sure the big trophy stayed in one piece while this happy young girl celebrated the moment.
A Stryker M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle was on display in the popular Fan Zone of the 2022 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs. Soldiers from local bases were on hand to educate the public on the vehicle and allow them a hands-on experience. The rodeo has a long history of supporting military families that need extra help and the military returns the favor with a strong presence at the rodeo each year.
Among the many popular family-friendly activities in the Fan Zone of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo was the opportunity for pony rides.
While the mechanical bulls were mostly the domain of adults in the evening hours, many families used the opportunity of family-oriented daytime crowds to watch their children have a great time riding the the bulls.
When two-time PRCA world champion saddle bronc cowboy Ryder Wright gets unceremoniously dumped from the saddle, you know the best buckers in the industry are in town. Seventeen stock contractors brought their A-list stock to Colorado Springs for 2022's inaugural NFR Open at the 81st Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo (July 13-16).
The Fan Zone at the 2022 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo was filled with family-friendly activities of an agricultural nature, inclduing this popular petting zoo tent that housed a pony, a donkey, some goats, sheep and even a llama.
Agricultural activities were plentiful at the 2022 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs, including a corral where kids could rope goats to their hearts' content.