Steamboat Springs With season-long championship races wrapping up and the always thrilling Pat Mantle saddle bronc riding competition, the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series can’t help but close with a bang.
When Brent Romick stumbled across roper and showman extraordinaire Rider Kiesner, the longtime series organizer decided to add a little extra pop to the 10th and final weekend of the summer rodeo series.
The weeks of riding and roping officially will come to an end Saturday evening when six cowboys mount bucking horses to ride for the Pat Mantle award and the commemorative rifle and $2,000 that come with winning the competition. The top half-dozen riders from the season get the honor to compete.
Everyone, however, will get the chance to enjoy the unique rodeo entertainment supplied by Rider Kiesner, a 20-year-old cowboy who so impressed at a nearby rodeo with his whip and rope acts that Romick jumped at the chance to bring him to Steamboat for closing weekend.
The rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in downtown Steamboat Springs. Tickets are $15 for adults at the gate and $14 from several presale locations throughout town, including Sheraton Steamboat Resort, Gondola General, F.M. Light & Sons, All That Jazz, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Steamboat Central Reservations.
“We didn’t have him planned, but when I see a young talent like that, I want a shot at him,” Romick said.
Kiesner said he’s been performing since he was 9 years old “just to impress the girls.”
Actually part of a long line of rodeo aficionados, he said it always has come naturally.
“It’s all just something I do every day,” he said. “I really like performing. I like seeing people smile.”
Kiesner only set out on his own last year but logged plenty of mileage putting on shows with his father and brother before that. Now, he’s renowned for his tricks with ropes, pistols and bull whips, having piled up awards and honors including world championships.
“I’ve been blessed to have a few good years,” he said.
No kidding. He also plans to compete in the rodeo, riding with brother Roper Kiesner in the team roping competition. The pair has piled up money competing across the country in that discipline. Rider Kiesner said it’s in the performing that his heart truly lies, however.
That’s helped take him to all of the lower 48 states and even to countries around the world. It was more than enough to set Romick’s eyes bulging and to bring Kiesner to Steamboat.
“I’m going to be a performer the rest of my life,” Kiesner said.