Ride-N-Tie trying to lasso old traditions

The Ride-N-Tie Rodeo was one of two events that Darryl Steele remembers looking forward to every year when he was growing up.

"When I was a kid, the county fair and the Ride-N-Tie were the main events in Moffat County," he said. "Almost everybody in the county came to the Ride-N-Tie."

The newly formed Ride-N-Tie rodeo committee hopes to return the rodeo to what it once was. For starters, having public figures such as Moffat County Commissioner Steele participate is a step in the right direction.

"It's very important for locals to participate because the crowd will come to see people they know," said Amanda Schneider, president of the 2005 board of directors. "And the rodeo was started by locals for locals."

Steele is registered to compete in Saturday's mixed team roping competition with his daughter, Joyce Barnes, in the two-day rodeo that starts at 7p.m. Friday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

"It's been several years since I've competed," Steele said. "But I wanted to rope in the hometown rodeo."

As a boy, Steele competed in bareback and bull riding. Lately, he's been helping his grandchildren learn the sport and wanted to give roping a try.

"I'm sure (the grandchildren) will be watching," he said. "They'll want to see if I do everything right."

The Ride-N-Tie is a Colorado Pro Rodeo Association certified rodeo, which means cowpoke from across the state will be in town this weekend. There are more than 100 entries in the two-day event. Locally, there are more than a dozen riders, ropers and racers who will only compete this summer in the Ride-N-Tie.

The Ride-N-Tie rodeo is 58 years strong, and it is a rodeo with much lore. In the early days, the townsfolk parked their cars around the arena to provide light. Heather Martin kept the rodeo going the past several years and made a public outcry for more help last year. A committee came together to help keep the rodeo running.

"The community needs this rodeo," Schneider said. "It's a part of the city and county heritage, and we wanted to help Heather out."

Belinda Wyman and Mary Martinez are also officers on the board.

Schneider said local donations, including a first-time donation from the city of Craig, were key for organizers.

"About 90 percent of the entries are coming from out of town," Schneider said. "That brings in a lot of people and their family members to town for the weekend."

All of the senior rodeo events are filled, and there is a slack portion of the rodeo scheduled for Saturday. The junior rodeo, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., is still open for participants. Junior events are separated into three age groups. Children younger than 5 will have stick-horse races and a sawdust pit digging competition. For those younger than 10, there will be mutton busting and a calf scramble, and for the 14 and younger cowboys and cowgirls, there is bull riding, barrels and pole bending.

Volunteers are still needed for the rodeo. To volunteer or for more information, call Schneider at 321-7097 or Wyman at 629-1652.

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