The main attractions at the NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo are the amazing athletes who come to compete in Colorado Springs. The NFR Open is the most prestigious rodeo under the PRCA circuit system and will feature contestants in each event from each of the 12 U.S. circuits (plus Canada and Mexico), bringing more than 200 contestants to scenic and historic Norris Penrose Event Center for six competition rounds over the five days. The toughest and most talented cowboys and cowgirls in rodeo will compete in Bareback Riding, Breakaway Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding, culminating with a semifinals and finals on Saturday, July 15, when the national circuit champions will be crowned.
Polhamus joined the PRCA in 1986 as both a competitor and an announcer. His first foray into announcing at that level took place in Utopia, Texas in June of 1986. Two years later, Polhamus bucked his last horse and became a full-time announcer.
Since that first announcing job in Utopia, there was no turning back for Polhamus. During his career that has spanned 36 years, he has been actively involved in more than 1,000 rodeos with more than 4,500 performances across North America. His voice has become a staple at the Wrangler NFR, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver, San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, College National Finals Rodeo and many more.
Polhamus was named to succeed Shawn Davis as the production manager of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in November of 2017. He worked in that position through the 2019 NFR.
Born in Eau Claire, Wis., Polhamus discovered rodeo at a young age. He was the first three-time all-around high school cowboy in the state’s history. He continued his rodeo career at Texas State University, while also beginning his announcing career. In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012, his peers selected Polhamus as the PRCA Announcer of the Year. He also received the Lane Frost Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
Bob Tallman is a 10-time PRCA Announcer of the Year and 2004 inductee to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, having hosted the Gold Buckle Gala numerous times. In 2020 he was named the Legend of ProRodeo. Born Oct. 25, 1947, in Winnemucca, Nev., Tallman grew up on a ranch and tried his hand as a rodeo competitor, but he quickly discovered his forte was behind a microphone, as evidenced by his first PRCA Announcer of the Year Award in 1982.
During a career that has spanned more than five decades, Tallman has announced more than 15,000 rodeo performances in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Tallman worked his record 26th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas in 2020.
We are thrilled to welcome bullfighter Beau Schueth back to Norris Penrose Event Center for the 82nd Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo! Hailing from O’Neill, Nebraska, Schueth’s rodeo journey began at the local Clearwater Rodeo, where he grew from admiring the craft to later returning as a full-fledged bullfighter. In addition to working rodeos across the country, Schueth has racked up multiple wins on the Bullfighters Only (BFO) competitive freestyle bullfighting circuit. He finished second in the BFO World Championship standings in 2018.
Ethan Johnson is an experienced PRCA bullfighter from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Often seen wearing a distinctive derby hat, Johnson relishes the opportunity to protect rodeo contestants and has won their trust time and time again, being selected to work many prestigious rodeos over the years, from the First Frontier Circuit Finals to the College National Finals Rodeo.
Gizmo McCracken—Barrel Man
Gizmo McCracken, “2017 Comedy Act of the Year” has been entertaining crowds across the country since becoming a member of the PRCA in 1992. His list of accomplishments is impressive: he’s worked 19 PRCA Circuit Finals Rodeos in 10 of the 12 circuits as well as prestigious events such as Cheyenne Frontier Days and the 2005 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Gizmo has been nominated as Coors Man in the Can on three occasions, as well as being an 11-time nominee for Comedy Act of the Year. Needless to say, Gizmo’s act is a real crowd pleaser and is brimming with excitement and inventiveness. He’ll bring his signature brand of clean, family-friendly comedy to the NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo this summer and we couldn’t be more excited!
Rider Kiesner—Specialty Act
We are thrilled to welcome Rider to the NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo! Rider was given a Will Rogers trick roping kit for Christmas when he was nine years old, and the rest is history. He incorporates classic cowboy skills into his trick roping, gun spinning and whip-cracking live performances. Rider has performed in all 50 states in addition to Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Oman, Dubai, Lebanon, and France. His act has been featured 7 times at NFR, 9 times at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and many other prestigious rodeos all over the country. With his partner Bethany Isles, Rider was named the 2020 PRCA Dress Act of the Year.
Pikes Peak Range Rider Pivots and Rangerettes
You’ll enjoy the precision riding skills of the Pikes Peak Range Rider Pivots and Pikes Peak Rangerettes at the beginning of every performance at the NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. The Pikes Peak Rangerettes were organized in 1957 by the Pikes Peak Range Riders to promote horsemanship, sportsmanship, responsibility and precision riding for young women of the Pikes Peak Region, and to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Functions and activities are held to encourage unity, self-improvement and enjoyment of horse-related activities. Please follow them on Facebook for more information.
The Animals in Rodeo
The bucking bulls and horses at Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo are some of the best athletes in the sport. These remarkable animals are owned by stock contractors who make sure 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. Pikes Peak or Bust shares in the responsibility of the care of these animals on-site at Norris Penrose Event Center by having professionally trained judges for each performance, and veterinary staff available throughout the event for any animal care needs.