Steamboat Springs Rodeo organizer Brent Romick is encouraging locals to buy tickets to this year's Bud Light Steamboat Springs Professional Bull Riding Classic early.
Last year, more than 4,000 spectators attended the Labor Day bull riding competition. Romick is expecting an equally big crowd for this year's edition.
"It will be top bulls, top cowboys, lots of music," Romick said. "Bull riding competitions have always been very popular here in Steamboat and I'm sure this one will be a top show as well."
Romick brought the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) back to Steamboat last year to a packed house at the Romick Rodeo Arena. He is hoping for an encore performance this season and wants the PBR to become an annual Labor Day tradition.
"What better way to cap off the summer?" Romick said. "To have an event like this on the heels of a record year of professional rodeo is perfect."
The bull riding competition will take place at 2 p.m., Sept 3. The gates will open at noon for a pre-event barbecue and live entertainment. Following the bull riding, Romick is also planning an autograph session and post-event party at the rodeo grounds.
The 57 bulls needed for the event will be provided by seven stock contractors and will include several animals destined for the PBR finals, which will take place at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas later this fall.
"This is a pro touring event, so it should draw about 45 or 50 of the top bull riders in the country," Romick said.
Some of the top names expected to come in Steamboat include Cody Custer, a former Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) champion, and Judd Mortensen, a former world champion.
This year's competition will have two go-arounds. There will be more than 50 riders in the first portion. The top eight cowboys will then come back for the second round and a shot at winning the big money.
Last year's event was won by Chad Denton. Top cowboy J.W. Hart was bucked off in the short go-around.
Romick said there will be $10,000 in added money at this year's event. That means that the winner should walk away with nearly $6,000 for his efforts.
In addition to top cowboys and bulls, the Steamboat Classic will also feature some of the top bullfighters anywhere.
Wrangler World Champion Lance Brittan of Windsor will be on hand. He will be joined by Roach Hedeman, Jess Griffin and barrel man Scott Messina.
"It should be a pretty good show,'" Romick said. "We want the Steamboat Classic to become a Labor Day tradition here in Steamboat."
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org