Rodeo series nominated for award

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— The committee that organizes the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series received a huge honor from the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association this week when it was nominated for organizing one of the best small outdoor rodeos in the country.

"We've never been nominated for this before," John Shipley said. Shipley is part president of the board, which organizes the 10-week rodeo series in Steamboat. Last year, the local series drew between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors to the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

Chairman Brent Romick, treasurer Ward Van Scoyk and secretary Char Mighton make up the core of the 11-person board. Other active members include Steve Dawes, John Centner, John Kerst, Rod Lewin, Brett Brooks, Jeff Nelson and Charlie Mayfield.

The PRCA honors the country's best rodeo committees with three awards each year during a contractors meeting that precedes the start of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. This year that meeting will be held on Dec. 5 and the winners of the best indoor rodeo, best outdoor rodeo (more than $5,000 in added money) and best outdoor rodeo (less than $5,000 per event) will be announced.

"It's a huge honor just to be nominated," said Jim Nichols, co-director of rodeo administration for the PRCA.

Nichols said the members of the PRCA executive committee are the ones who nominate the rodeos. The 25 people who make up those committees selected the cream of the rodeo crop for the special end-of-season honors. Nichols said the small outdoor rodeo division had to be trimmed down to the five best from hundreds of rodeos across the country.

Now that the nominees have been selected, ballots are being sent to the top 100 contestants in each event, the top stock contractors and other PRCA officials who will vote on the final decision.

Last year, the committee in Deadwood, S.D. earned the award for the best small rodeo. This year it will come down to Steamboat, Abbyville, Kan., Duncan,Okla., Davie, Fla. and Woodstown, N.J.

Nichols said the competition for the best small rodeo committee is stiff, since most of the rodeos across the country fall into that classification.

"We are just honored to have been chosen," Shipley said. "We've been working hard to raise the entertainment value of this rodeo the past several years and it's nice to be recognized."

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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