Weekend rodeo rebounds

Crowds increase after post-holiday slump

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— Bareback rider Cimmeron Gerke rode "I'm a Surprise" to the bank at last weekend's Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series.

Gerke scored an 80 and pocketed $403 in the bareback riding event as the local PRCA series held its fourth performance of the summer in Steamboat Springs.

Gerke was followed in the event by Shane Anderson, who scored 77 points on Yellow Fever to place second and Cody Fox who netted 73 points on Apache to place third. There were 30 entries in the bareback riding event last weekend.

Other winners included Darrell Triplett, who won the saddle bronc riding event with a score of 73, and Jerry Shepard in the bull riding with a score of 75.

Casey McMillen topped the steer wrestling event with a 5.4- second run, Willie Roberts came in first in the calf roping with a time of 9.7 seconds and Wendy McKee won the girls barrels with a time of 17.57 seconds.

The team of Troy and Tim Kreutzer topped a field of 52 entries to win the team roping with a time of 5.6 seconds and Jacquar and Pat Terrill pocketed the cash for winning the No. 7 roping event.

The rodeo was coming off the busy Fourth of July run where attendance was down slightly from last year.

"The Fourth of July was an important week for us," rodeo producer Brent Romick said. "The audience was great on Wednesday night, but we were a little sluggish on Thursday and Friday. But that is to be expected any time the Fourth falls on a Wednesday."

The rodeo packed 2,890 spectators into Romick Arena on July 4. But the numbers were down on July 5 as only 739 visitors passed through the gates.

The rodeo rebounded slightly on the weekend, picking up 1,050 on July 6 and another 1,260 on July 7 to finish the holiday run with 5,939.

That was about 978 fewer visitors than the rodeo saw last year during the same run, rodeo administrative assistant Char Mighton said.

Romick said having Rainbow Weekend fall when it did, however, was a big boost to the series. Last Friday's rodeo pulled in 1,464 spectators, and Saturday's was also strong with 1,333 visitors passing through the gates at the arena.

"It helped us avoid our normal Fourth of July hangover," Romick said. "Both Friday and Saturday night were strong last week and I think we will finish strong now that the tourism season has kicked in for the summer."

In fact, Romick is expecting another run of big crowds this weekend as Steamboat fills up with youth soccer teams from around the region. Romick said that while the players will not be in town specifically to watch rodeo, many families stop by to get the a taste of the full Steamboat experience.

The gates of the rodeo arena will open at 6 p.m. for music by Led Stetson and a pre-rodeo barbecue. The chutes will fly open on the rodeo action at 7:30 p.m. as the rodeo hits the midseason point with it's fifth performance.

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