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Pro Rodeo Series champions named

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The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series rounded out the 2005 season Saturday with a crop of mostly new championship winners.

Routt County saw one of its own, Andy Kurtz of Clark, take the Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Ride. In the event, held in memory of the legendary rodeo rider, the top six bronc riders of the season faced off in a single ride.

Kurtz took home $2,000 and a commemorative rifle for his victory.

Kurtz and other event winners were presented belt buckles at the Ore House at the Pine Grove after the final rodeo this summer at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

Championship winners were contestants who earned the most money throughout the season. Cash prizes were awarded to first through fourth places in individual events at each rodeo.

Championship titles went to: Jared Schlegel of Burns for bareback riding; Britt Trumbull of Torrington, Wyo., for saddle bronc riding; Josh Johnson of Douglas, Wyo., for bull riding; Joe Colletti of Pueblo for tie-down roping; Cole Fritzlan of Rifle for steer wrestling; Lance Allen of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Paul Beckett of Laramie, Wyo., for team roping; Margie Jones of Eagle for barrel racing and Cutter Barnes of Maybell for pee wee barrel racing.

The all-around title, which is the most money earned in any two events in the season, went to K.C. Jones of Hawk Springs, Wyo.

Jones and Allen were repeat winners from last year.

Unlike past years, entries remained strong through the end of the season, said John Shipley, president of the Rodeo Board.

Typically, there is a slump in entries in August because of rider injuries and competition with county fairs.

Organizers are attributing the difference this year to a variety of stock contractors and the boost in funds added to money pots.

For variety and challenge, the Rodeo Board this year opted to use six different contractors for animal stock. The contractors provided animals for one to two weeks at a time, Shipley said.

Prize money for winners is a percentage of the money accumulated from entry fees and money added by the rodeo series. This season, the rodeo added $750 per event per week instead of the usual $500, he said.

The Rodeo Board is enjoying down time after a busy season, but it won't be long until members start thinking about next season, Shipley said.

"It will just be a week or two, and all of a sudden, we're missing it," he said.

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