by Monica Mendoza
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Colorado Springs is gearing up to host one of America’s top rodeos, as cowboys and cowgirls from across the country compete for a shot at the Super Bowl of rodeos in Las Vegas.
The 71st Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days runs July 13-16 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Rd., and has a long tradition of donating thousands of dollars from rodeo proceeds each year to private military organizations.
“Following World War II, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo made a commitment to serve area military and community charities,” said Nikki Wall, rodeo spokeswoman. “Since that time, the rodeo has donated more than $1.5 million to such programs as the Fort Carson Outreach Program, the Peterson Air Force Base Outreach Center and the Schriever Air Force Base Financial Management Fund.”
The rodeo opens with a concert July 9 featuring Craig Morgan, Joe Nichols and Heidi Newfield, who is formerly with the band Trick Pony.
“This kickoff concert is a great opportunity to rally the community and get in the western spirit of things before rodeo week begins,” said Mike Jorgensen, Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo board president.
Spectators will see some of America’s top cowboys and cowgirls compete for nearly $1 million in payouts and a chance to compete in the National Finals Rodeo in December. Events include steer wrestling, bareback bronc riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping and barrel racing.
And for fun, there is mutton bustin for children and the crowd-favorite, the Wild Cow Milking contest. What makes the cow milking contest fun, Ms. Wall said, is that teams made up of military personnel and local first responders compete for bragging rights. Past winners include The Young Marines, Schriever AFB, Fort Carson WCA Program and Headquarters Air Force Space Command.
“It’s a great way to involve our military partners,” Ms. Wall said. “It’s a great event.”
Interested in forming a four-person Peterson Wild Cow Milking team?
l Four-person teams compete in round one at 8:30 p.m. July 15 with the final round July 16. Teams consist of four individuals; cows have a halter and lead rope to hold on to; three people calm down the cow and the fourth milks the cow.
l Anyone interested in forming a team or competing, call Kevin Estrem at 380-8488 or 238-4366. The deadline to enter is June 10.
71st Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days
l Tickets on sale June 1 and military discounts are available. Call TicketsWest at 866-464-2626 or www.ticketswest.com. Tickets are also on sale at Citadel Mall Info Booth and all King Soopers stores.
l Tickets for the kickoff concert are on sale now at TicketsWest or www.coloradospringsrodeo.com.