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Denver Championship Ranch Rodeo ~ Saturday, March 15, 2008

Real Cowboys, Real Ranch Skills, Real Excitement

Bring in the handiest cowboys from America’s most legendary ranches, add the finest horses and livestock, mix ‘em up together, and what do you get? The most exciting reality show in the West, the inaugural Denver Championship Ranch Rodeo, held in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.

The event is sanctioned by the Working Ranch Cowboy Association (WRCA). Aiming to “preserve the heritage and lifestyle of the working cowboy,” WRCA rodeos include only bona-fide horsemen hailing from genuine working ranches and skilled in all aspects of ranch work. “These are the folks who feed America,” says WRCA spokesman Mark Bukowski. “The true cowboy is an ambassador for the land, and his primary responsibility is to keep his horses and cattle healthy. You might call him a ‘veterinarian on horseback.’” Bukowski sees the Ranch Rodeo as a great opportunity for folks to meet and enjoy seeing the top hands in the country ride for their brands, using practices honored since the first cattle drives swept across the plains.

But it’s not just about our Western history—it’s about old-fashioned Western fun, too.

Every WRCA-sanctioned Ranch Rodeo sets up its own combination of tests, like penning, branding, gathering strays, trailer loading, range cow milking, and team doctoring. Only, unlike on the ranch, in the rodeo arena the clock is running, the crowd is cheering, and the other teams are eyeing the scoreboard—and the pot of prize money.

And make no mistake about it: starting young horses makes the occasional buck a fact of cowboy life, so every rodeo features bronc riding, too. Some call it the ultimate challenge, when a talented cowboy on an exceptional animal will bring a crowd to its feet.

The legendary Harry Vold Rodeo Company will produce the event. A breeder of rodeo stock since 1951, Mr. Vold has often been honored for the quality of his animals, which have performed regularly at top events such as Cheyenne Frontier Days and the National Finals Rodeo. While ranch rodeos are a relative newcomer to the world of public rough stock competition, Mr. Vold supports the trend wholeheartedly. “Ranch Rodeo honors an important tradition,” he says. “We shouldn’t lose sight of it.” Ranch Rodeos test cowboys to their limits, and stock contractor Harry Vold admires the cowboys who compete in them. “Ranch Rodeo is completely different from PRCA Pro-Rodeo events,” says Mr. Vold. “This is the working cowboy, wearing everyday clothes and being tested on what he does on the ranch all day, a-saddle and with a rope.”

And, to say it again, Ranch Rodeo is a lot of fun for audiences, too. The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo is proud to honor history and bring modern ranch life alive for audiences at the Denver Championship Ranch Rodeo, March 15. The real excitement starts at 7 p.m..

For Ranch Rodeo and Horse Expo tickets, rodeo entry forms, stall & booth contracts, and other information, visit RockyMountainHorseExpo.com or call (303) 292-4981. Enjoy all the great features of the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, March 14-16, 2008, at the National Western Complex in Denver.


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