Rodeo board of directors involves a big commitment

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Michael Sisk has been competing in rodeos since he was in high school and has been competing in the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series for 15 years.

"It is like a disease because you get hooked on it and it is hard to stop," Sisk said.
He joined the rodeo's board of directors two years ago to offer his perspective from the competitor point of view and as a local physician, he continues to help keep it safe.

"The rodeo is an important community event that makes Steamboat what it is," Sisk said. "It maintains the Western flavor that is the weekly rodeo series."

The rodeo board of directors is responsible for organizing the entire series from A to Z, Sisk said. "People have no idea how much brain damage goes into producing the high quality of rodeo in Steamboat Springs."

Board members must have a love of the sport and be committed to making the Steamboat rodeo series the best in the nation. It was voted the most improved rodeo in the circuit by contestants last year.

"We've set the bar really high, and to keep improving and getting better is tough to do," Sisk said. "We were voted the Best Small Outdoor Rodeo in the nation three years ago and to maintain that level takes a lot of work."

The members of the board are longtime rodeo board chairman Brent Romick, managing partner of Steamboat Motors John Centner , attorney Ward Van Scoyk, arena director Rod Lewin, First National Bank of Steamboat Springs President John Kerst, Health Care Foundation for the Yampa Valley Executive Director Steve Dawes, city rodeo grounds manager Jeff Nelson, rodeo administrator Char Mighton, city council member Paul Strong, orthopedic surgeon Michael Sisk and board President John Shipley.

"All of the board members are very busy people and devote a lot of volunteer time. It is a huge commitment," Sisk said. "I'm honored to be on this list of people."

The board members do a little bit of everything for the rodeo, from working the chutes to selling tickets to recruiting entertainment. Board members' focus is always on making the rodeo better for the fans and the cowboys.

The board made many changes this year. "The rough stock side of the fence is world class," Sisk said. "I got bucked off almost every weekend."

This year they selected three elite stock contractors from across the country and each one will bring stock to three of the rodeos.

"The young guys want to get on challenging stock," Sisk said. "We have the same caliber of stock as the NFR in Las Vegas, which is the super bowl of rodeos."

The allure of the rodeo is of the quintessential American hero that is the cowboy, Sisk said. "Because you're not going to find a more honest individual than the cowboy."

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