Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series continues to draw nationally ranked bull riders

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series

When: Today and Saturday, barbecue is sold starting at 6 p.m., pre-rodeo entertainment is from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. and events start at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Brent Romick Rodeo Arena

Cost: Tickets are $15 at the gate for adults and $8 for children ages 7 to 15. Children 6 and younger are free

Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series board member Brent Romick used to enjoy seeing cowboys quickly thrown from the bulls into the dirt at the rodeo arena. Today, he prefers to see the world champions and riders who come to Steamboat Springs hang on for a little while.

“We’ve proven we can throw the best guys off,” he said. “But that’s not as much fun as seeing a great ride.”

In the past four weeks, the Pro Rodeo Series in Steamboat has offered spectators plenty of great rides from nationally ranked bull riders, and even more sightings of riders being thrown into the dirt right out of the gate. This weekend’s rodeo will feature 23 bull riders. Romick said at this time last year, the rodeo had only six.

A new incentive program that started July 9 rewards the top bull rider with a $1,200 bonus and is being cited as one of the reasons the rodeo has seen an increase in bull riding participants this year. Romick also said the toughness of the bulls they use in the arena helps attract top-tier riders from across the country.

“We’ve had riders from 14 states come out this year so far,” he said. “In every event, we’re seeing top competitors from around the country, and the stands are filling up on their own.”

Last week, two-time Steam­boat Springs Pro Rodeo Champ­ion Clayton Savage, who finished eighth in the world in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bull-riding category last year, defied gravity and his bull’s raging temper to score an 88-point ride and a standing ovation from a raucous crowd at Romick Arena. Romick said spectator numbers are increasing as the number of entries in the contests continues to grow.

The rodeo today and Saturday night will feature 159 contestants from 12 states. Local brothers Austin, Jay and Randon Adams, who spend their summer on a ranch in Pyramid, will compete in the team roping competition.

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