Annual Ride 'n' Tie Rodeo is this weekend


A story in the Aug. 7, 1946 Craig Empire-Courier solicited readers to suggest a name for the annual American Legion rodeo. A month later an article ran describing the inaugural Ride 'n' Tie Rodeo.

Fifty-eight years and 56 rodeos later the Ride 'n' Tie weekend is still around. This year it's Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

"Things are ready," rodeo organizer Heather Martin said. "The Ride 'n' Tie used to bring everybody together in Craig for the summer. So the name and event are a part of the town's history." The Empire-Courier described the third annual rodeo on 1948 as the "best show ever held in Moffat County."

The 2004 version has 243 entrants registered to compete in the rodeo. There will also be a junior barrel race, a calf scramble and the Western Slope debut of the Mountain States Junior Bull Riding series. Martin, who is in her second year of organizing the rodeo, said this year's event will have more opportunities for paying customers.

"There are several more organizations with food booths this year," she said. "Also Cattoor Photography will be providing the chance for families to dress up in old-time clothes and get a portrait."

The rodeo is in association with the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association and will have a full nine-event performance both nights. The top average from the two rounds will win the first-place prize money.

The Ride 'n' Tie is traditionally at night. The tradition goes back to before there were lights at the arena and cars circled it to illuminate the action with their lights. The rodeo starts at 7:30 each night so the lights will play a part once again. Two years ago the Ride 'n' Tie rodeo became a semi-annual event when it didn't happen the summer of 2002. Martin said she hoped that a new rodeo board would come forward or it won't happen next year. "I'm about all there is (for a board)," she said. "If someone wants to be on the committee please give me a call."

The cost for the rodeo is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and kids 12 and younger are free.

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