Rodeo season set for opening

Roughstock cowboys to compete in Brawl this weekend

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— Promoters of Steamboat Springs' first Bares, Broncs and Bulls Brawl are hoping to draw 5,000 spectators to the Romick Rodeo Arena this weekend for a unique brand of bucking action.

The Bares, Broncs and Bulls Brawl will mark the start of the 2001 rodeo season in Steamboat Springs with performances scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will mark the first time in recent memory an event other than the Steamboat Springs Professional Rodeo Series has kicked off the season here in Steamboat.

The event will feature bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding only. Those who prefer rodeo's timed events will have to wait a couple more weeks.

The new event is not connected to the local Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association series or the Bud Light Steamboat Springs Pro Bull Riding Classic, which is held over Labor Day weekend.

The Bares, Broncs and Bulls Brawl is open to both amateur and professional roughstock riders from around the region. It is not sanctioned by the PRCA or the Professional Bull Riders Association. However, promoter Trini Riley said cowboys from both organizations can compete in the event.

"I didn't have anything to do with this one," local rodeo promoter Brent Romick said. "I wish them the best of luck and I really hope it is a success."

Romick doesn't think the early June event will have any impact on the opening week of the PRCA rodeo series, which is scheduled to begin June 22 at Romick Arena. He said his only concern is how the event will reflect on his own bull-riding event later this summer.

He hopes the new event is run well enough so it doesn't taint the Professional Bull Riders event he puts on over Labor Day weekend.

"The local rodeo series has a legacy that allows it to stand on its own," Romick said.

With Steamboat's long-standing rodeo tradition, the local professional rodeo has proven to be a good fit in the community.

Riley is hoping her event will be a good fit for Steamboat Springs as well. She has helped to organize open events in Rock Springs, Meeker, Vernal and Craig in the past several years. The last Bull Bash was held in Craig during Grand Olde West Days on May 28.

"We usually do two or three of these events a year," Riley said.

The Steamboat Bash will be the first one to include other events besides bull riding.

"We expect to draw even better crowds in Steamboat," Riley said. "We are hoping to draw about 5,000 spectators for the weekend."

Riley expects to have 40 bull riders and 25 bareback and saddle bronc riders for the event.

The format for the events will feature the first go-around of the bareback and saddle bronc events first. That will be followed by the first session of bull riding.

The top three riders the bareback and saddle bronc and the top 5 in bull riding will compete in a short go each night.

There will be two performances with the top scores from both winning the top prizes for the weekend.

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