Successful Fourth of July Horse Expo in Colorado Springs |

Successful Fourth of July Horse Expo in Colorado Springs

Tony BruguiereTeams from the Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo gather for instructions prior to the start of the rodeo on July 4th.
Tony Bruguiere, Rodeo Pixels |
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The Colorado Horse Council is an appointed group of Colorado citizens that tirelessly works to address concerns of horse people in the state. The horse industry in Colorado accounts for $1.6 billion in revenue to the state economy and supports 110,000 jobs.

On its webpage, the Colorado Horse Council describes the organization as “a grass-roots, all-breed, non-discipline specific organization dedicated to linking the horse owners and the horse industry of the State of Colorado into a powerful, common voice in order to protect their common equine interests through legislation and education.” It also employs a full-time contract lobbyist, who works with the State Legislature on horse and agriculture-related issues.

“We are farmers and ranchers, breeders, trainers, showmen and women, retailers, veterinary care providers, service providers, feed producers, and individuals who seek to maintain our rights to own, maintain, and use horses in our state.”

Two of the most visible projects for the Horse Council have been the creation in 2008 of the Support the Horse license plate and the very successful educational program, The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo is made up of four Horse Expos held in different regions of Colorado through out the year.

The Horse Expo season kicks off in Denver in March, followed by Colorado Springs over the July 4 weekend. Still to come in 2009 are Eagle Valley on July 24-26, and culminating in Ignacio on September 18-20.

If you are a horse lover, the Horse Expos are the place to be. There are events for the kids, shopping, horse demonstrations, private treaty sales, seminars, and top clinicians like Chris Cox, two time winner of the prestigious Road to the Horse colt starting competition. There are also special events like the Extreme Cowboy Race.

The Colorado Springs Horse Expo was held at the beautiful Norris-Penrose Event Center. This is an outstanding venue for equine events. It sits on 72 acres with covered seating for 5,700, stock pens, five outside areas, 350 horse stalls, and plenty of parking for cars and horse trailers.

This year the Colorado Springs Horse Expo teamed up with the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) for a special ticketed performance of the famous “Ride for the Brand” Ranch Rodeo. Brian Kitchen, Executive Director of the Horse Council and Randy Whipple, President of the WRCA, feel that the partnership has been good for both organizations.

If you have never seen a Ranch Rodeo, you are in for a real treat. Twelve teams of real working ranch cowboys from legendary ranches such as the Haythorn Land and Cattle Company of Nebraska, the Thompson Ranch of Texas, and the T-Cross Ranch of Colorado, compete in ranch related events. The events include Wild Cow Milking, Ranch Branding, Stray Gathering, and Ranch Bronc Riding.

Besides buckles and prizes that would delight any working cowboy, the teams are competing for the ultimate prize – a ticket to the WRCA World Championships. It is only by winning one of the ranch rodeos that are sanctioned by the WRCA that a ranch team can compete in the World Championships in Amarillo. WRCA sanctioned events in Colorado include Ranch Rodeos in Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Eagle Valley.

If you are even remotely interested in horses, you owe it to yourself to attend one of the two remaining 2009 Horse Expos. Next up on the schedule is Eagle Valley on July 24-26, and the last one for this year is in Ignacio on September 18-20. If you miss those, you are going to have to wait until next year.

For more information, please go to the Horse Expo web site at

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