Elizabeth Stampede Community Rodeo returns after delay

Event normally held in spring was postponed by freak May snow

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The Elizabeth Stampede Community Rodeo returned on Saturday, Sept. 24 after being postponed four months due to a late May snowstorm.
 
“We felt it was in the best interest of all the athletes, both livestock and human, as well as our volunteers, to postpone the Elizabeth Stampede Community Rodeo to a later date,” Elizabeth Stampede President Traci McClain wrote in an online correspondence on May 23. “With that much snow on the ground, the footing might not have remained as consistent as we had liked, and we didn’t want to risk any humans or animals getting injured.”
 
With the return of the event, the Elizabeth Stampede Board of Directors wanted to make sure that the 2022 Community Rodeo was one of the best yet, filled with a day’s worth of exciting Western events, many of which were new this year.
 
The Community Rodeo included three major events, “Penning in the Pines,” Horseshoe Rodeo, and the main rodeo events. “Penning in the Pines” took place in the morning and included team arena sorting, team penning, and Calcutta auction. The Horseshoe Rodeo included a double elimination tournament with 64 teams competing for $600 in prize money. Lastly, the main rodeo events began at 4 p.m. with mutton bustin’ followed by bull riding, mini broncs and women’s bronc riding at 6 p.m.
 
“I think we had a successful community rodeo this year. We did our first penning and sort with 25 teams that came out and our very first horseshoe tournament to raise money for the Elizabeth Stampede Foundation,” said EJ Widner-Massey, Community Rodeo chair, in a phone interview from Sept. 28. “We had a lot of spectators. It was great to see a lot of people in the stands showing up for the final hurrah of the year. We were also able to utilize our incoming royalty, which we’ve never been able to do before.”
 
The snowstorm was not the only weather event to greatly impact the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo Arena. Two utility poles were downed due to high winds on May 12, one of which fell into the rodeo arena, making it impossible to hold events. One of the downed poles also provided necessary lighting for the bucking chutes.
 
Due to economic supply chain issues, the Elizabeth Stampede Board of Directors were worried the poles might not be replaced in time for the Community Rodeo and the Elizabeth Stampede. The board was prepared for a less than desirable and noisy solution of placing a generator light near the northwest stands to illuminate the bucking chutes.
 
“We called CORE Electric immediately to see what options we had with such short notice. CORE was extremely responsive despite being stretched thin and on high alert due to the high winds across the area. With luck the new light fixtures arrived 8 a.m. on Wednesday May 31st and CORE was on site at 10 a.m. that same day with their boom truck to install the new light fixtures,” said Kevin Whitacre, Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo Treasurer. “It was a huge relief for the rodeo team to know this last-minute curveball would be resolved in time.”
 
Due to the failure of the two utility poles, the Elizabeth Park and Recreation District and the Elizabeth Stampede were concerned about the integrity of the remaining poles throughout the arena. The remaining poles were tested on Aug. 1 and there is a plan to replace several other poles. The replacement has not yet been scheduled by Elizabeth Park & Recreation District.
 
“The success of this year’s Elizabeth Stampede would not have been possible without CORE Electric’s community focused service and quick response,” commented Whitacre. “This is one of many examples of how CORE Electric has partnered and helped the Elizabeth Stampede over the years.”
 
Elizabeth Stampede, Community Rodeo, Elbert County, Colorado

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