Kyler Scott, of Craig, hangs on during the ranch broncs competition of bronc riding at the Moffat County Fairgrounds during the Grand Olde West Days in May. If the State Rodeo Championship comes to Craig next year, it would share the fairground venue with Grand Olde West Days.

File photo

Kyler Scott, of Craig, hangs on during the ranch broncs competition of bronc riding at the Moffat County Fairgrounds during the Grand Olde West Days in May. If the State Rodeo Championship comes to Craig next year, it would share the fairground venue with Grand Olde West Days.

State Rodeo Championships could come to Craig, join Grand Olde West Days

Community members are trying to rope the State Rodeo Championships into Craig, combining the event with the popular Grand Olde West Days at Moffat County Fairgrounds in May.

Dave Fleming is coordinating the effort with the board of the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association to see if Craig will be the right location for the 2014 and 2015 High School and Jr. High Rodeo Championships. That means that Craig potentially could host the rodeo for the next two years.

“It’s a very exciting venture for the community due to the fact that we have a lot of rodeo kids here,” said Rusty Taylor, board member of the Colorado High School Rodeo Association.

The combined events will benefit everyone, Fleming said, highlighting that the rodeo will bring more participation to Grand Olde West Days.

“With their advertising and their efforts, we can bring more people to the events,” he said.

Taylor agreed and said that it’s a natural fit.

“I think it’s going to give Grade Olde West Days the shot in the arm they’ve been looking for for years,” he said.

Rodeo often is overlooked even though it awards high school students scholarships and inspires teamwork like other sports. He ventured that it should be a highlight at large community events because it’s a central part of the community,

“When you start talking about rodeo people you are talking about hunting people and fishing people,” who tend to be Craig people, he said.

Janice Edwards, rodeo coach for Moffat County, agreed and said it was a challenging sport but one that taught essential skills in the agricultural community,

“It’s probably a harder sport than some because you have animals you care for,” she said.

This combination could be an exciting experience, Taylor said.

“Everyone that comes will basically have their socks blown off,” he said. “It could be the busiest weekend that Moffat County has all year.”

Fleming will write up a bid for the rodeo board by Nov. 2, and he should know by Nov. 27 if Craig was chosen to host the championships. Craig has a pretty good chance, he said.

“A high percentage (of rodeo competitors) said they would rather come to Craig,” he said.

Fleming asked for $2,500 each from the city of Craig and Moffat County at their Tuesday meetings. The city agreed that it would be a beneficial investment for the community so opted to contribute the money. County commissioners said they would need to look at their budget but agreed it was a good idea.

Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or efenner@craigdailypress.com.

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