Cowpokes take to the slopes for Steamboat’s Cowboy Downhill
January 17, 2011
Steamboat Springs — There's no requirement that participants in the Cowboy Downhill be good skiers or snowboarders.
That's a good thing.
Because it wouldn't be the same without cowboys and cowgirls bumbling and tumbling down the slopes at Steamboat Ski Area. The 37th annual event takes place at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Participants will compete in two events. The first tests their speed, agility and rodeo skills on a dual slalom course. Participants will race through gates on the Stampede run, hit a jump, lasso a Steamboat Ambassador and saddle a horse before crossing the finish line. In the second, the cowboys and cowgirls will go all out to see who can make it down the mountain first.
"Guests can expect to see a lot of hilarious hijinks because many of these cowboys and cowgirls have never been on snow or this is one of the few times they've been on snow," Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said. "It's always entertaining to see them tackle what we put before them. They're always really good sports and they always put on a good show for the crowds."
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Unlike in previous years, the Cowboy Downhill will conclude an afternoon of festivities at Gondola Square. Events start at noon, Kasten said. Until 4 p.m., the Community Agriculture Alliance will have a booth set up to provide information. There also will be a 4-H farm petting zoo and learn-to-rope clinics.
Preceding the races will be a free concert featuring Cowboy Mouth.
The event began nearly four decades ago when Billy Kidd and Larry Mahan, a six-time All-Around World Champion cowboy, decided to put a few pro rodeo stars on skis.
The Cowboy Downhill is scheduled to coincide with the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, which started Jan. 6. Participants must be members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy's Association or a member of the Professional Bull Riders.
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