A Warm Western Welcome... To All the fans of Stanford's 49th Annual C.M. Russell Stampede
The Stampede Club is sponsoring the 49th Annual Stampede in 2013. It was in 1964 when the Jaycees decided to put on the first Stampede. The work involved was more then their small organization could handle, but residents from all over Judith Basin County pitched in to help the Jaycees, and the rodeo grounds were built from scratch on the local fairgrounds. No one can pinpoint the birthday of the formal rodeo - it's as uncertain as the next turn of a bucking bull. But the sport was born on the Western plains of a young America, probably during the great cattle drives of the late 1800's. For many, the rodeo cowboy seems like the embodiment of a fading American dream of stamina and independence. While that may be partially true, to the cowboys and cowgirls who compete, rodeo is a lifestyle too. It offers them the same measure of heartbreak and reward. Enjoy the rodeo and the spirit of freedom and challenge it represents.
Bareback Riding - Sponsored by Geyser Mercantile
Bareback riding, developed in the rodeo arena many years ago, consistently produces some of the wildest action in the sport. A bareback rider begins his ride with feet placed above the break of the horse's shoulder. If the cowboy's feet are not in the correct position when the horse hits the ground on its first jump out of the chute, the cowboy has failed to "mark out" the horse properly and is disqualified. Throughout the eight-second ride, the cowboy must grasp the rigging (a handhold made of leather & rawhide) with only one hand. Optimum spurring action begins with the rider in control, his heels at the horse's neck. He then pulls his feet, toes turned outward, to the horse's withers until the cowboy's feet are nearly touching the barback rigging. A rider is disqualified if he touches his equipment, himself or the animal with his free hand. The rider is judged on his control during the ride and on his spurring technique. The score is also based on the rider's "exposure" to the strength of the horse. In addition, the horse's performance accounts for half the potential score.
Steer Wrestling - Sponsored by Judith Basin Veterinary Service
Wrestling a steer requires more than brute strength. The successful steer wrestler, or bulldogger, is strong, to be sure, but he also understands the principles of leverage. The steer wrestler on horseback starts behind the barrier, and begins his chase after the steer has been given a head start. If the bulldogger leaves too soon and breaks the barrier, he receives a ten-second penalty. The steer wrestler is assited by a hazer, another cowboy on horseback tasked with keeping the steer running in a straight line. When the bulldogger's horse pulls even with the steer, he eases down the right side of the horse and reaches for the steer's horns. After grasping the horns, he digs his heels into the dirst. As the steer slows, the cowboy turns the animal, lifts up on its right horn and pushes down with his left hand in an effort to tip the steer over. After the catch, the steer wrestler must eaither bring the steer to a stop or change the direction of the animal's body before the throw or he is disqualified. The clock stops when the steer is on his side with all four legs pointing the same direction.
Saddle Bronc Riding - Sponsored by Abbie Skelton & James Cole
Rodeo's classic event, saddle bronc riding, has roots that run deep in the history of the Old West. Ranch hands would often gather and compete among themselves to see who could display the best style while riding unbroke horses. It was from this early competition that today's event was born. Each rider must begin his ride with his feet over the bronc's shoulders to give the horse the advantage. A rider who synchronizes his spurring action with the animals bucking efforts will receive a high score. Other factors considered in the scoring are the cowboy's control throughout the ride, the length of his spurring stroke and how hard the horse bucks. Model spurring action begins with the rider's feet far forward on the bronc's point of shoulder, sweeping to the back of the saddle, or "cantle," as the horse bucks. The rider then snaps his feet back to the horse's neck a split second before the animal's front feet hit the ground. Disqualification results if, prior to the buzzer which sounds after eight seconds, the rider touches the animal, himself or his equipment with his free hand, if either foot slips out of a stirup, if he drops the bronc rein, or if he fails to have his feet in the proper "mark out" position at the beginning of the ride.
Tie Down Roping - Sponsored by Woodhall Distributing
Like bronc riding, calf roping is an event born on the ranches of the Old West. Sick calves were roped and tied down for medical treatment. Today, success in calf roping depends largely on the teamwork between the cowboy and his horse. The luck of the draw is also a factor. A feisty calf that runs fast or kicks hard can foil a roper's finest effort. After the calf is given a head start, horse and rider give chase. The contestant ropes the calf, then dismounts and runs to the animal. After catching and flanking the calf, the cowboy ties any three of the animal's legs together using a "pigging string" he carries in his teeth until needed. If the calf is not standing when the contestant reaches it, the cowboy must allow the animal to stand, then flank it. When the cowboy completes his tie, he throws his hands in the air as a signal to the judge. He then remounts his horse and allows the rope to become slack. The run is declared invalid if the calf kicks free within six seconds. As with any times event, a 10-second penalty is added if the calf roper breaks the barrier at the beginning of the run.
Team Roping - Sponsored by Joyce Fuel & Feed of Geraldine
In rodeo's only true team event, two ropers, a "header" and a "heeler," work together to catch a steer. The header is the first cowboy out of the box. He may rope the steer around the head and one horn, around the neck or around both horns, which are specially wrapped for the event. As with all timed events, if the header fails to give the animal its allotted head start, a 10-second penalty is added to the total time. After making his catch, the header rides to the left, taking the steer in tow. The heeler moves in and ropes both hind legs. Catching only one hind leg results in a five-second penalty. If the heeler tosses his loop before the header has changed the direction of the steer and has the animal moving forward, it's called a "crossfire" and it results in disqualification. The clock is stopped when the slack has been taken out of both ropes and the contestants are facing each other.
Ladies Barrel Racing - Sponsored by Waterhole Saloon
Although barrel racing may look less harrowing than some other rodeo events, it certainly is not for the faint-hearted. The horsemanship skills and competitive drive in this fast and furious event make it a crowd favorite. In barrel racing, the contestant enters the arena at full speed on a sprinting American Quarter Horse. As they start the pattern, the horse and rider trigger an electronic eye that starts the clock. Then the racer rides a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels positioned in the arena, and sprints back out of the arena, tripping the eye and stopping the clock as she leaves. The contestant can touch or even move the barrels, but receives a five-second penalty for each barrel that is overturned. With the margin of victory measured in hundredth of seconds, knocking over one barrel spells disaster for a barrel racing competitor.
Bull Riding - Sponsored by Steel Etc.
Unlike the other rough stock contestants, bull riders are not required to spur. No wonder. It's usually impressive enough just to remain seated for eight seconds on an animal that may weigh more then a ton and is as quick as he is big. Upper body control and strong legs are essential to riding bulls. The rider tries to remain forward, or "over his hand," at all times. Leaning back could cause him to be whipped forward when the bull bucks. Judges watch for good body position and other factors, including use of the free arm and spurring action. Although not required, spurring will add points to a rider's score. As in all the riding events, half of the score in the bull riding is determined by the contestant's performance and the other half is based on the animal's efforts. A bull rider will be disqualified for touching the animal, himself or his equipment with his free hand.
Stock for the 2013 CMR Stampede will be provided by J Bar J Rodeo.
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Special thanks goes out to Vicki McCray, Geyser; Jennifer Clements Hall, Maryland; Kim Holzer, Stanford; the Great Falls Tribune and the Judith Basin Press for their contribution of photos that help make this website successful. Photos on this website cannot be used without permission. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.