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Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo

June 14, 2024

The Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo celebrated its 94th year with flair and excitement. From honoring First Responders and Military personnel to showcasing the thrill of rodeo competition, this event brought together the community for a weekend of entertainment and camaraderie. With over $80,000 in payouts and strong community support, this year's rodeo proved to be one of the most memorable yet. By Sadie Smith. This story is sponsored by Big O Tires and Hospice of Montezuma.

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The annual Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo took place at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in Cortez, Colorado this past weekend from June 6th through June 8th. Celebrating its 94th year, this event honored first responders, military personnel, and our Western heritage. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Big O Tires and Hospice of Montezuma County. I'm Sadie Smith. Being a part of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association Circuit, the UMR Rodeo has a large impact on the small town of Cortez. The rodeo brought a carnival to town, as well as multiple vendors and nightly after parties.

We run, between the carnival and the rodeo we'll run, you know, probably 10,000 people through here in three or four days, you know? And by the time you start spending so much per head and it runs through the town of Cortez in this area, you know, that adds up to a lot of dollars.

Over the three day event, 365 cowboys and cowgirls from across the country competed in the rodeo. For rookies, the goal is to win $1,000 throughout the year to complete their PRCA rookie card in the highly competitive circuit. Meanwhile, seasoned competitors strive to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. This prestigious event invites the top 15 contestants nationwide to compete for the national title in each event

It's the supreme goal. I've kind of, myself, I've encountered some injuries with my riding elbow, had some surgeries, and so right now my goal is really to focus on the circuit, stay relatively local, hit these kind of smaller rodeos and just take advantage where I can there and almost get back to the roots of it and rebuild myself as a bareback rider.

With rodeo being one of the most dangerous sports in the world, injuries are not uncommon and are a challenging setback.

This elbow has been a two year process, and I'm getting back from it and it's still, it gets tight every now and, or, you know, after every ride. And so I got, it's a lot more maintenance than it used to be, and I mean, I'm not quite 30 yet, but I'm getting up there so that's challenge in and of itself, I guess, is staying in this game for a while and staying healthy.

The UMR Rodeo remains a long lasting favorite, drawing contestants back to the arena year after year.

It's a good, really good atmosphere from what I remember. I'm excited to ride the night in front of this crowd, and--

Each year the UMR Rodeo enhances the event to captivate the audience with its extraordinary spectacle.

You know, as far as I'm concerned, you know, we will continue to grow. We want to continue to make the show better. And I believe we'll do that. I really do. With the support we have from this community and the group of people that are helping, you know, put this show together, I think we'll be fine. I'll think we'll continue to do that.

This year's UMR Rodeo was a tremendous success, with payouts to the winning competitors totaling over $80,000. Rodeo fans and community partners came together to make this one of the biggest years to date. For more information about this and other stories, visit Thank you for watching this edition of The Local News Network, I'm Sadie Smith.


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