41st Cowboy Downhill attracts a big crowd to base of Steamboat Ski Area
January 19, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Rodeo coach Jed Moore of Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely is a skier's cowboy.
Moore notched his third Cowboy Downhill Stampede title at Steamboat Ski Area Monday. But he hasn't been too busy to pay attention to what has taken place on the super G course in Cortina, Italy, during the weekend. That's where America's Lindsey Vonn claimed a world record 63rd World Cup victory.
"She won back to back," Moore said. "I'm a college coach, and I'm a big fan of athletes in all sports."
Vonn might have approved of the tight tuck that Moore used to pull away from the field in a mad dash down the Steamboat course, which includes a sheer drop in the upper third.
Miss Rodeo Virginia Kaitlyn Gill and her counterparts from several other states were in the field as 97 cowboys and cowgirls took on the dual slalom at Steamboat, which requires them to rope a tall cowgirl in a duster and sling a saddle on a nervous horse before they sprint across the finish line to glory.
Marc Gill, a bull fighter from Laramie, Wyoming, took first place in the event by two-10ths of a second after smoothly navigating the course and completing the finish line tasks in a time of 28.67 seconds. Boomer Reeves, a bull fighter from Pensacola Beach, Florida, took second place with a time of 28.80. Chanse Darling, a saddle bronc rider from Hyattville, Wyoming, finished third behind Reeves with a time of 28.92 seconds.
Chad Braden of Welch, Oklahoma, who chose to ride a snowboard in the race, also turned in a strong run. He's been perfecting his technique in the Southern Rockies at Santa Fe and Taos.
Braden said he watched the snowboard slopestyle event during the 2014 Winter Olympics and would much prefer sitting on a big saddle bronc any day rather than going off one of the big jumps like the Olympians tackle. But he also ventured that the best snowboarders in the world likely wouldn't want to have much to do with the broncs he routinely rides.
Bareback rider and seldom snowboarder Marvin Alderman, of Idabel, Oklahoma, agreed with Braden. Both bareback bronc riding and snowboarding supply an adrenaline rush, he said, but riding a bronc might be a little more intense.
"It's like a fight," Alderman said. "You have to keep on going until it's all over."
Miss Rodeo Kansas Abbey Pomeroy, of Hesston, Kansas, said she had not skied for 12 years before this winter. She joined relatives for visits to a couple of Colorado ski areas before stepping into the starting gate at Steamboat.
"I wanted to make it down in one piece," Pomeroy said.
She accomplished her mission despite losing a ski mid-race.
It was Keith Brauer, of Freeburg, Illinois, who was honored for the best wreck of the day on the slalom course after he crashed three times. Brauer executed a double wipeout at the jump, then rolled several times and lost it all again at the bottom of the course.
Other dual slalom finishers included Kris Newman, of Casper, Wyoming, in fourth followed in order by Yvan Jayne, of Marseille, France; Joel Schlegel, Burns; Rayton Meiers, Casper, Wyoming; Moore; Nathan Jestges, Douglas, Wyoming; and George Gillespie, Hamilton, Montana.