Billed as the “Richest one-day rodeo in Colorado history” with a purse of $90,000, the Colorado vs the World Rodeo has become a popular mainstay of the National Western Stock Show’s opening weekend since the rodeo’s inception in 2012. One hundred contestants are invited to show up and compete in a unique team format for a chance at earning up to $10,000 in each event. Winners of Colorado rodeos in 2022 formed the RAM Rodeo Team Colorado and 2022 winners of well-known rodeos throughout the U.S. and Canada comprised the Cinch Jeans Team World.
With more than a decade in its rearview mirror, the high-octane rodeo has developed a reputation that packs the Denver Coliseum for all three performances, ending on a high note with sold out crowds for Saturday night’s final round. On top of special effect laden introductions, great contestants, and some of the best bucking stock in the business, arena interviews reveal compelling story lines every year. In that regard, 2023 was no different.
Some of those storylines included 16-year-old bareback phenom Kashton Ford advancing to the winner take all round against an even more impressive young gun in 19-year-old Colorado bareback cowboy Keenan Hayes. Hayes continued his winning ways with a crowd-pleasing 90-point ride for the title. Overcoming a serious leg injury that occurred in 2022, Amanda Welsh’s horse “Firefly” made his rodeo return a good one by placing first in the morning rodeo and almost making it to the head-to-head round on Saturday night. While they could not defend their 2022 title, Welsh was pleased with Firefly’s first big rodeo back. Wyatt Casper was able to defend his 2022 saddle bronc title with a successful ride aboard Vold Rodeo Company’s “Painted Fling,” who is out of a clone of “Spring Fling.” And if those angles weren’t interesting enough, the bull riding left the crowd roaring with Tristen Hutchings’ 87-point ride for the title and a big check.
This year’s version of the annual Colorado vs The World Rodeo should generate even more buzz for the popular rodeo and its reputation as one of the best tickets at the NWSS.
2023 Colorado vs The World Rodeo Winners:
Bareback – Keenan Hayes
Steer Wrestling – Stetson Jorgensen
Saddle Bronc – Wyatt Casper
Barrel Racing – Brittney (Barnett) Sporer riding “Paint”