Craig bucked as host of state rodeo finals

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Moffat County lost its bid to host the 2006 and 2007 Colorado State High School Rodeo Association finals.

Jefferson County, a previous host of the rodeo, earned the honors -- and the economic benefit brought by an estimated 580 visitors.

Barbra Roskopf, national director for the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association, said there were several reasons the committee chose Jefferson County.

"They just have the facilities," she said. "Another big reason is there's so much else for the kids to do, and parents, as well."

Jefferson County's fairgrounds have covered horse stalls and campsites with electric and water hookups.

Jefferson County also offered to pay $10,000 to get the finals, plus additional sponsorship money.

To be a host of the rodeo finals, communities were required to donate at least $5,000 to the CSHSRA scholarship foundation.

Moffat County Fairgrounds Supervisor Bill Sixkiller thought Moffat County had a good chance of winning the bid.

"Everybody worked really well together to get this event here," he said.

Groups that booked the arena in advance said they were willing to change their dates to accommodate the state rodeo finals, Sixkiller said.

Moffat County has what it would take -- a main arena, a practice arena, indoor area and concession areas. What the facility lacks were items listed as "optional" -- 80 RV hookups and a larger indoor arena.

That hurt Craig's chances, which Sixkiller expected.

Many contestants sleep in their horse trailers, but the association requested that at least 150 hotel rooms be available.

Moffat County might have been short on services, but it wasn't short on money. More than $10,000 was raised to contribute to the scholarship foundation.

Craig resident Jackie Roberts knew Jefferson County was planning to give $10,000, and she made it her goal to beat that. The city and county each pledged $2,500, and private businesses dedicated $5,000.

The rodeo association estimates that each person who attends the event spends $125 a day, for an estimated total benefit of $337,500.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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