My most recent Steamboat adventure is one that is steeped in tradition. Not only here in the valley but for much of the west. The rodeo, is an All-American experience and one that I had almost all but forgotten. I kick myself (no pun intended) for not having taken part sooner in the Friday, Saturday evening festivities at Romick Arena.
Lucky for me, Friday night did not disappoint. Using my handy VIP pass, I was able to get a behind the scenes view of all the happenings. Gary Singer a Yampa local and rodeo clown veteran debunked my rodeo misconceptions. All these years I thought the bull or horse bucked due to a very uncomfortable and ill-placed strap. Guys, you know what I’m talking about! But, the truth is that the strap is just irritating on their stomach! Who knew?! Gary also informed me that these animals also have some performance skills and know when to “kick” up their heels and buck.
There are different classifications based on whether the cowboys are riding a bull or a bronco. Steamboat Rodeo has a few of the classic Brahma bulls as well as some broncos. All equally as exciting. Thanks to Gary’s insight, I learned that many of the riders learn the patterns and tendencies of the animals and try to anticipate their moves. I figure they all buck, right? Just hold on for 8 LONG seconds.
Mixed in the with the exciting maneuvers of the daredevil cowboys, are some less stressful events. At least for the audience that is. Calf roping, steer chasing and barrel racing rounded out the night. The comedic performance of, Keith Isley voted one of the best rodeo clowns, was a definite highlight as he joked with the crowd and used his adorable furry friend, who stole the show. What a guy.
Sitting next to the entire Romick family as well as many of Steamboat’s long standing locals, I felt great pride in a lasting tradition. Steamboat does life, laughs and adventure well and I am enjoying every minute of it.