Summer Rodeo Roundup

Looking for ways to celebrate your inner cowpoke and experience the rich, Western heritage of our city? The Springs is no one-horse or one rodeo town.

Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo

This granddaddy of the local rodeo scene boasts classic pro rodeo tradition. Rodeo Days kick off July 11 at 6:30 p.m. with the 77th Annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Parade through the heart of downtown. “This event is the gem of our community and marries Western lifestyle with a fabulous cause in supporting our local military,” says Rich Bender, executive director. “The rodeo engages volunteers from every walk of life, creating a centerpiece event.”

Mosey around the grounds for traditional favorites like mutton busting tryouts, mechanical bull riding and pony rides. New this year is American Freestyle Bullfighting, pitting man versus bull in a 60-second countdown with 100 points up for grabs. Bullfighters earn marks for agility, style and control, while bulls are judged on aggression and speed.

When: July 12-15, 2017

Where: Norris-Penrose Event Center


Colorado Springs Summer Rodeo Series

How does it feel to be on the rodeo arena floor like a true cowboy? Just ask Greg Wellens, COS Rodeo founder. “There’s something for everyone here,” he says. “Even the city cowboy who just wants to ride a horse can ride.”

After feasting on traditional chuck wagon fare, visitors get the chance to smell the horses and hear the bulls snort from center arena. Boots may come home dirty after participating in events like mutton busting, steer riding or taking on the mechanical bull. The mild-mannered may choose activities like lasso throwing or sauntering in the Grand Parade. Then it’s time for the big show when real cowboys come out to play. Professional and amateur competitors take on events like barrel racing, bronc bareback and bull riding.

rodeo bull rider
Photo by Mark Reis, courtesy of COS Summer Rodeo Series

“I started this event to preserve Western heritage and bring the community together,” Wellens says. “We encourage locals to bring their summer guests to see what the real West is all about.”

When: Western Wednesdays, June 21–Aug. 9 (except July 12)

Where: Norris Penrose Equestrian Center


Colorado Springs Western Street Breakfast

Wet your whistle and devour an outdoor, dawn-cracking, hot-off-the-griddle pancake breakfast downtown. Nothing beats family eats with 10,000 of your closest friends, sitting on 750 bales of hay. Then send off the Pikes Peak Range Riders. The keepers of the Pikes Peak or Bust rodeo heritage start their annual journey at the Street Breakfast before riding the range around America’s Mountain.

“This destination family event celebrates a diverse group of people coming together to honor the values of Western heritage,” says Kevin Kaveney, Range Rider and event co-chair.

Fort Carson volunteers serve up the hot vittles, and all proceeds benefit local military and their families. It’s a huge collaboration, rich in tradition dating back to 1936.

When: June 21, Breakfast served 5:30 to 9 a.m.

Where: Pikes Peak Avenue and Tejon Street


Range Riders head for the hills. Photo by Scott Majors

Ride for the Brand Championship Ranch Rodeo

Every summer, on a Friday at high noon, a herd of longhorns moseys down Tejon Street through the heart of downtown. The cattle drive is the prelude to the Saturday Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo. What makes this one different? Contestants are everyday working cowboys, competing under the brands of their employing ranches. Events include bronc busting, sorting, branding, trailer loading and wild cow milking. Proceeds go to the Working Ranch Cowboys Association Scholarship and Crisis funds, as well as local military charities. After all the roping and riding comes a country concert by Ned LeDoux.

When: Aug. 19-20

Where: Norris-Penrose Event Center


ProRodeo Hall of Fame

Head to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame to experience the stories of how it all began. Tour the Hall to find out what it takes to become a true rodeo champion.

This summer only, witness the sparkle and flare of the quintessential cowgirl. On display through September is The History of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association exhibit, showcasing strong, athletic women who have dedicated their talents to barrel racing. For the first time ever, barrel racers will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in August. And don’t miss the Horsepower display honoring highly awarded equines, including winners of the Horse With the Most Heart award.


Read More