Ute Mountain Rodeo thrills fans again

Record crowds see impressive show

Keywords: Rodeo,
Not the kind of cheek to cheek he was looking for, Christopher Thomas flips heels over head from Fog Light at the Ute Mountain Roundup. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Not the kind of cheek to cheek he was looking for, Christopher Thomas flips heels over head from Fog Light at the Ute Mountain Roundup.

In terms of pure entertainment value, this year’s Ute Mountain Roundup rodeo was hard to beat.

Held June 6-8 at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds, the Roundup featured numerous scintillating performances, several jaw dropping moments and lots of hometown charm.

All in all, this year’s event was truly special, thrilling audience members while creating memories that will live on in the years to come.

World-class performances highlight event

When it comes to showcasing the best cowboys and cowgirls in the world, few small town rodeos can compete with the Ute Mountain Roundup.

As a result, incredible performances have become a fixture of the annual event and this year, the trend continued.

Chief among this year’s finest performances was that produced by the world’s top Saddle Bronc rider Taos Muncy, who, more than living up to his billing, placed first in the Saddle Bronc event with an arena record score of 84 points.

Also turning in an impressive performance was highly ranked barrel racer Brittany Pozzi, who, competing on June 6, finished in 17.40 seconds to take top honors.

Leading the way in the steer wrestling, Josh Peek was incredible, securing his steer in an arena record 3.8 seconds to finish first overall.

Taking top honors in the Bareback event, Joel Schleger scored 84 points, while Ross Saiz won the tie-down roping event by securing his steer in 8.5 seconds.

Demonstrating that age and experience are not required produce impressive results, 18-year-old cowboys T.J. McCauley and Cole Sherwood set an arena record in the team roping on June 6 with a time of 4.8 seconds.

That time was bettered on June 7 when Joel Bach and Allen Bach secured their steer in 4.7 seconds, yet Sherwood and McCauley still enjoyed the experience.

“I love this rodeo,” said Sherwood. “They have a great crowd and it seems like the committee does a good job. We had a good run.”

Rounding out the top finishers in this year’s Roundup, Trenten Montero finished first in the bull riding (84 points) and won top All-around cowboy honors.

Large crowds flock to improved arena

Attracted by top-notch competitors and the newly covered grandstands at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds, large crowds showed up to witness this year’s roundup.

In all, more than 4,000 tickets were sold over the course of three nights, making this year’s Roundup most well attended of all time.

“We had the biggest year ever as far as attendance,” said Ute Mountain Rodeo Committee Chairman Bentley Colbert. “Saturday night was a sold-out crowd. Overall, we were very pleased.”

Partly as a result of the large crowd, this year’s Roundup paid out $41,210 dollars in prize money.

For a few lucky cowboys and cowgirls however, the opportunity to possibly win large monetary prizes was only part of the Roundup’s attraction.

“I like seeing friends and family,” explained Mancos resident Marie Hoch, who competed in barrel racing. “I like getting together with everyone and having a good time.”

Small-town charm defines event

As is always the case when it comes to the Roundup, small town charm helped create a special experience.

From one side of the grandstands, neighbors sat with neighbors and families chatted with friends.

Concluding festivities on June 6, a large portion of the crowd joined in singing “God Bless America” and community camaraderie was clear.

“(The Roundup) is a great event,” said local resident Zane Johnson. “I love come here, seeing everyone and watching the bull riders. It’s a lot of fun.”

Certainly a special event, this year’s Ute Mountain Roundup will not soon be forgotten.

Tristen Jones tumbles into the dirt after the sheep sends him flying in the mutton bustin’ event at the Ute Mountain Roundup. Enlargephoto

Tristen Jones tumbles into the dirt after the sheep sends him flying in the mutton bustin’ event at the Ute Mountain Roundup.

Ute Mountain Rodeo Queen Kayla Charles helps roundup calves in the tie-down event. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal photos

Ute Mountain Rodeo Queen Kayla Charles helps roundup calves in the tie-down event.