Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo makes changes for two-day event | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo makes changes for two-day event

Joshua Gordon

Taylor Vernon tries to snag a calf during last year’s Little Britches Rodeo. This year’s rodeo, a two-day event, is this weekend at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way.





Taylor Vernon tries to snag a calf during last year's Little Britches Rodeo. This year's rodeo, a two-day event, is this weekend at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way.

If you go…

What: Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo

When: 11 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday

Where: Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way

— The event is free and open to the public.

The Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo organizers are breaking form this year, changing the annual four-day rodeo to a two-day event.

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The rodeo, which will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way, brought in almost 700 people last year, including athletes and their families.

"It has been a struggle to get city and county funding to sponsor us," committee member Sheila Brennise said. "This is one of the best events we do annually, but when the sponsorship is down, we can't afford to do four days."

The cutback in days has also affected the number of athletes who will travel to Craig.

Brennise said in order to have a number fewer volunteers can handle, 80 athletes will compete this year.

"We had 242 athletes from 15 states last year and gave out $55,000 in prizes," she said. "Most people stayed an average of six days in Craig and that really helped bring money into our economy."

Brennise said about 20 of the 80 athletes will be from Moffat County and that five states will be represented.

"This is one of the best rodeos on the western part of Colorado this time of the year," she said. "We want the community to come out and enjoy it and appreciate what the athletes are doing."

The event will be run similarly to past years.

Athletes will be divided into five 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.

Each day's performance will consist of 29 events spread across the five groups.

While the prize money isn't as high — dropping to $10,000 total — the average all-around winners from the two days in each group will receive a prize saddle.

Cash prizes will also be awarded to the top four athletes in each event Saturday and Sunday.

Despite the want for a bigger event, Brennise said the committee understands the situations surrounding local businesses.

"We want to put on a neat event and we have sponsors who do the best they can every year," she said. "With the economy the way it is, it is hard to ask businesses who are struggling themselves to help put out our event. The times are tough for them as well."

Brennise said going reducing the number of days the event is run isn't entirely a bad thing.

"Without the funding, we decided to make the rodeo a small local rodeo like it use to be," she said. "The event serves its purpose by bringing people into Craig and it is fun for us and for the kids who compete.

"We will continue doing this for years to come."

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If you go…

What: Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo

When: 11 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday

Where: Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way

— The event is free and open to the public.

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