COLORADO SPRINGS — Many of the world’s best rodeo riders have arrived in Colorado Springs and are ready for the competition to start at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.
In rodeo, success of the human athletes requires animal athletes,
"There's going to be some phenomenal animals here this week,” said Vold Rodeo Company, Owner, Kirsten Vold, “And pretty much everyone of them, I’d love was going home on my truck. You know, I'm not going to lie.”
"This year we have 17 different stock contractors bringing their very best animals that have been selected by top cowboys,” Vold has been the contractor of choice for decades at Pikes Peak or Bust. This year her best stock shares the event with top stock owned by contractors from across the country.
"They kind of hand pick them from all the different stock contractors through the U.S.,” said Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, Manager, Cory Wall.
There is a scouting system of sorts from the competitors who know from experience which broncs and bulls bring the highest scores.
"The contestants are competing against the animals, but they're also competing with them,” said Vold. In rodeo the animals double as the competition and team member.
Riders typically weighing less than 200 pounds fight to stay on a bucking bronc or bull weighing from around 1,500 pounds to more than 2,000 pounds. "You know the greatest contestant, if he draws something that isn't very good to compete on he's not going to win any money,” said Wall. The harder the animal bucks the better is for getting a higher score.
At this year’s Pike Peak or Bust there is a lot money on the line. A first ever million dollar purse.
There is a new, higher level of competition this year because of a partnership with the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association adding the NFR Open to the event.
The event is also an important step toward qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) at the end of the year.
Competitor ranking is determined by how much prize money they win.
When an animal helps with the win, the competitor wants to ride that bronc or bull again at the NFR.
A lot of the “pro athlete” animals at Pikes Peak or Bust will likely be going to the NFR.
"It's a great opportunity to get these animals scene and get them noticed and have top cowboys put top scores on them,” said Vold, “And, that's what gets them to the National Finals Rodeo."
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