Watching the nation’s finest cowboys and cowgirls compete in the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo is a thrill for all ages, but the excitement isn’t confined to the arena! Grounds open at 4:00 p.m.—come early, skip the traffic, and enjoy the family-friendly pre-show fun, including mutton bustin' tryouts, gold panning, trick rope demos, pony rides, performing pigs, mechanical bull rides, and much, much more!
See future generations of cowpokes get their start on the back of a sheep at the mutton bustin’ competition! Children compete to see who can stay on the longest, with the finalists getting to show their stuff inside the arena on the same dirt as the real cowboys. (Participation in the finals requires purchase of events tickets by qualified competitors.) Competition is open to children ages 4-9, weighing 55 lbs. or less. Don’t miss this annual favorite!
The bucking bulls and horses at PRCA events are some of the best athletes in professional rodeo. These remarkable animals are owned by stock contractors who make sure that the livestock is healthy, well fed, and fit to perform. The care and treatment of these valuable animals is the top priority for these contractors. The PRCA shares in the responsibility of the care of the livestock with professional judges on hand at each PRCA-sanctioned event to inspect each animal. A veterinarian is also on-site, allowing quick treatment of any injured livestock. Even so, injuries are extremely rare, with a rate of less than five-hundredths of one-percent.
1974 marked the inception of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association when the Rodeo Cowboys Association added “professional” to the name. Today, the PRCA is the largest sanctioning organization with nearly 700 rodeos sanctioned yearly, and over 6,000 members. Most PRCA rodeos are produced by local volunteer committees who donate proceeds to charity. Over $25 million a year is donated from PRCA rodeos to charity.
The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo has been a Colorado Springs tradition since 1937, showcasing the top rodeo talent and action, while providing wholesome entertainment for the Pikes Peak community to enjoy. Spencer Penrose, an avid sportsman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, founded the Rodeo and in 1938, presented the “House that Spec built” – the 10,000-seat Will Rogers Stadium across from the Broadmoor Hotel. The name was changed to the Spencer Penrose Stadium after his death in 1939, and the Rodeo continued in that location, under the guidance of community leaders committed to Penrose’s legacy.
From 1973-2001, the Rodeo was held at the 171-acre Pikes Peak Equestrian Center. From 2002-2004, the Rodeo moved indoors to the Colorado Springs World Arena. As tradition would have it, in 2005, the Rodeo returned outdoors after purchasing and renovating the Norris-Penrose Equestrian Center. Additional building improvements, including an enclosed Pavilion, continue to make the Center state of the art and a place for the Colorado Springs community to gather. The legacy of the Rodeo in the Pikes Peak region was further recognized three decades ago when the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association located their National Headquarters and Hall of Fame to Colorado Springs. As Colorado Springs second oldest event, there are many opportunities to continue making history in a town that knows and values Rodeo!
Since 1946, the proceeds of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo have been donated to military charities in the Pikes Peak Region. Colorado Springs is home to the United States Air Force Academy, U.S. NORAD/NORTHCOM (home to the American and Canadian joint forces), Air Force Space Command, Shriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, and Fort Carson.
Boyd Polhamus’ resume includes fifteen selections as an announcer for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, and five more as the Alternate Announcer. He’s been selected twice to work the Dodge National Circuit Finals in Pocatello, Idaho. In addition, he’s announced the Montana, Turquoise, Badlands, and Southeastern Circuit Finals, as well as the Texas Circuit Finals ten different times. He’s won PRCA’s Announcer of the Year numerous times and was honored as the WPRA Announcer of the Year, and he’s been a Top-Five Finalist for the same honor in the PRCA on eleven different occasions.
His career demands nearly 300 travel days a year, and his wife, Sandee, is both his best friend and best advisor. On those rare occasions when he can be found at home, Polhamus enjoys team roping, the Green Bay Packers, and working with his bucking-bred cattle on the Band-Aid Ranch in Brenham, Texas.
The Harry Vold Rodeo Company, now based in southern Colorado, produces rodeos in seven states annually. While also providing bucking stock for over 100 rodeo performances, including both the largest outdoor rodeo, Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the largest indoor rodeo, Houston, Texas.
Vold is one of only two stock contractors to provide stock to all 51 National Finals Rodeos. Known as “Duke of the Chutes”, Vold has raised some of the most acclaimed animals in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. His extensive breeding experience allows him to concentrate on quality not quantity, resulting in a higher percentage of success in his “born to buck" breeding program.
Vold has delegated the day-to-day managing details of the Harry Vold Rodeo Company over to his youngest daughter Kirsten, but is still actively involved in the organization that he created over 40 years ago.
The youngest of six children, Kirsten took over the Harry Vold Rodeo Company when she was just 25 years old and, since that time, has managed to build on the legacy that her Canadian-born father began nearly six decades ago.
Kirsten now spends more than 200 days each year on the rodeo trail and oversees what is undeniably the leading rodeo stock company in the industry today. A genuine love of animals is the driving force behind the young woman that now manages 30,000 acres of short-grass prairie, raising some 650 bucking horses. According to Kirsten, her greatest personal achievement is Painted Valley, an 8-year-old stud who has been selected to three Wrangler National Finals Rodeos.
"If you ask me, the number one reason why I do what I do, it's because of the animals," she beams. “I love working with animals.”
The 73rd Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo will be the place for all kinds of excitement July 10-13 at Norris-Penrose Event Center. Some of the best talent in the nation will be on site to compete in this PRCA Million Dollar Tour Rodeo. In addition to the thrills of bronc and bull riding, barrel racing and team roping, Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo welcomes Pro-Tour FMX members DJ Umphres and Brent Denton for high flying motocross showmanship at its finest. This X-Games style riding features some precarious stunts that will have rodeo fans on the edge of their seats.
Keith Isley started his rodeo career in 1972 at the age of fifteen competing in the junior rodeo division in the bareback riding and bull riding. He also tried his hand at bullfighting. It got to the point where he enjoyed the bullfighting (protecting the cowboys) more than the competition. That's more or less how his career as a contract performer began.
Some of his comedy routines consist of Trick Roping, High Impact-Low Impact aerobic workout, various animal routines and Trick Riding. Acts such as these have made it possible for Keith to make rodeo entertainment a full-time career.
Some of his accomplishments are:
Andy Burelle, 35, originally from Michigan, has been a Professional Bullfighter for 12 years. Working several of today’s elite events including Calgary Stampede, Rodeo Salinas, and the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Andy is making his mark on the bullfighting world. Andy’s many accolades include being a three-time qualifier for the PBR World Champion Bullfights, PBF semi-final champion and MVP winner, the Odessa PBF champion, and the 2007 World Freestyle Champion. Andy was also selected to work the PRCA Badlands Circuit Finals in 2007. Outside the arena, Andy enjoys playing golf, camping, and trying his hand in the real estate market. Andy and his wife, Robyn, live in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Cory Wall, 42, from Burlington, Colorado, has been a Professional Bullfighter for 19 years. Cory is an accomplished bullfighter and counted as one of the best in the business of professional rodeo. His list of accolades is endless and includes winning the most coveted award of "2009 PRCA Bullfighter of the Year", 2007 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo alternate Bullfighter, PRCA Tour Finale Bullfighter in both Omaha and Dallas, four-time Texas Circuit Finals Bullfighter, and he was selected to work the prestigious Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Pocatello, Idaho. Not only is Cory a talented athlete in the arena, he is also a great ambassador for his sponsors, rodeo committees, and young people. Cory spends countless hours promoting the sport of professional rodeo in the communities he visits throughout the year. Cory also enjoys teaching bullfighting schools, working with young people, and sharing his faith! Cory travels with his wife Nikki, daughter Sayler, and son Easton.
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