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Cattle drive goes Hollywood

— Downtown Steamboat Springs was transformed into a scene from the Old West as people crowded Lincoln Avenue to watch the annual Cowboys Roundup Days cattle drive Sunday. But there was a twist this year: it was the scene for the season finale of a TV show being filmed in Routt County.

People began lining the streets around 9 a.m. to catch glimpses of cattle, cowboys and the cast starring in the E! Entertainment Network TV series “Cattle Drive.”

“This was definitely the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen for the cattle drive,” said Riley Polumbus, the communications director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. “It helped that the cattle drive fell in the middle of the Fourth of July weekend and that there was filming for the show going on.”

Lincoln Avenue was closed from 10:20 to 11:30 a.m. while the cattle were moved from Twentymile Road and 13th Street onto Lincoln Avenue and then down Fifth Street to the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena.

The cattle were driven, with the help and expertise of real cowboys, by the 10 cast members in the show. Most of the cast members are the children of celebrities.

After the cattle successfully were driven to the rodeo arena, the cast members returned to the front lawn of the Routt County Courthouse for a special surprise that marked the end of the show.

The show’s cast members spent about three weeks on the Iacovetto family’s Saddleback Ranch, camping out and spending their time learning how to ride and work cattle.

For the show, the cast was split into two teams and each group raised money for an area charity, said Doug Forbes, one of the co-executive producers for the show.

The red team and the black team each had a designated charity that they were working to raise money for. The red team was raising money for H Bar H Ranch of Colorado Springs and the black team was raising money for Steamboat Springs’ own Humble Ranch Therapy and Education Center. Both of the ranches do equine therapy for children with disabilities.

The season finale culminated with the red team awarding $20,000 to the H Bar H Ranch and the black team awarding $30,000 to the Humble Ranch.

The crew of the show was hoping for a large crowd after the cattle drive to be a part of the filming for the season finale.

“This was a very good turnout and is exactly what we had hoped for,” Forbes said.

Cheri Trousil, owner of the Humble Ranch, was shocked that the ranch was awarded that much money. She was under the impression that her program would receive about $500 at the end of the show.

“It kind of knocked my socks off that the check was for that much money,” she said.

Trousil was honored to be a part to the show and was glad when producers contacted he in June to be one of the charities involved.

“It was all very spontaneous but the whole idea was to have fun,” she said.

Brenda Myers, the executive director for the H Bar H Ranch was overwhelmed when she was presented the $20,000 check.

“Everyone from the show has been wonderful. They were a great group to work with,” she said.

Myers has a long list of children’s wishes that she hopes to grant with the money. She also plans to use some of the gift to purchase new equipment and treats for the horses.

“I tried not to cry,” she said.

Fabian Basabe, one of the cast members, had the honor of handing Myers the check during the season finale filming.

“It was a great moment and very touching. There were a lot of misty eyes,” he said.

Producer Joe Simpson was glad that the cattle drive was a part of the season finale and said it was the perfect ending to the show.

“The cast is very proud of what they accomplished,” he said.

Polumbus said that Routt County is a particularly desirable place for TV shows, commercials and movie filming because of the natural beauty and diversity of the area.

The cattle drive was just one example of the events that make this area so special and why people come from all over to take part in the Cowboys Roundup Days.

The cattle drive is just one event of the Roundup Days.

“The cattle drive shows our heritage, and that’s why the street is so wide,” she said.

Polumbus was glad that the cattle drive itself went so smoothly and so many people got to see the action.

“The cattle were perfect, even thought they weren’t always on cue,” she said.

Susanna Herb of Orlando, Fla., was glad to have seen the cattle drive because she had never seen one in her life.

“It was really cool,” she said.

Herb was in town visiting friends and decided to make the trip down to see the cattle drive in part because of the filming that was also taking place.

“We were a little curious,” Carol Bloodworth of Steamboat said.