Little Britches saddles up for record rodeo in Craig

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If you go

What: Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo

When: Noon today, and 9 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Where: Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way

— The event is free and open to the public.

With a record 247 contestants signed up for the Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo, more than 700 out-of-town visitors could be in Craig this weekend, organizers said.

The rodeo starts at noon today at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way, and continues at 9 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The 247 contestants are registered in five different age groups – Little Wranglers for ages 5 to 7; junior boys and girls for ages 8 to 13; and senior boys and girls for ages 14 to 18.

There will be four performances, one each day, that will consist of 27 events.

Dave Fleming, president of the Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo committee, said planning and scheduling the event has been difficult compared to past years.

“With the amount of kids we have, we are looking at about eight hours of rodeo each day,” he said. “It was a challenge to get all the events in so it would run smoothly.”

A pool party has been planned for the event contestants, as well as a team roping jackpot Friday night, Fleming said, both of which add to the overall experience.

Admission is free to the public and, while starting times are set for each day, there is no scheduled time for each event.

Winners of each event after four days, and the five all-around winners in each age group, will receive a Cactus Saddlery prize saddle.

Daily all-around and event winners will receive rodeo bucks, which are redeemable with any sponsor in town and with vendors during the rodeo.

Fleming said $12,000 in rodeo bucks would be handed out during the weekend.

Because the rodeo bucks can only be spent locally, combined with the out-of-town spectators, Fleming said he expects Moffat County’s economy to receive a boost.

“The people coming in will spend money here,” he said. “They will need food, gas, stuff for horses and other essential items.

“It will really help the businesses in Craig.”

The rodeo cost almost $96,000 this year, Fleming said. With sponsors and entry fees, the committee should break even.

But, money aside, Fleming said the rodeo is for contestants and the community.

“We put on a good rodeo and people usually enjoy coming here,” he said. “It’s a great way to showcase our community.”

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