Grand Olde West Days: Bronc riding, Chancey Williams provide cowboy kick
Grand Olde West Days kicked up dirt, entertainment and laughter throughout the four-day extravaganza on Memorial Day Weekend in Craig.
This year’s event had a bigger splash than usual with famed country group Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band playing on Saturday night and social media star Chad Prather announcing various shows throughout the weekend. Prather also acted as grand marshal at the parade on Saturday.
“It’s been amazing, it’s been incredible,” Prather said of his time in Moffat County. “I had never been to Craig, Colorado, but everybody has been so welcoming and friendly and nice. We’ve had a lot of fun, and I’ve seen a lot of great events here.”
Not only did celebrities visit Craig, but a world-class rodeo, featuring tough cowboys and cowgirls, had the grand stands packed.
The Iron Man and Iron Woman Bronc Riding stirred up dust at Moffat County Fairgrounds arena on Saturday.
Within a matter of seconds, Jessica Saenz was head over heels.
It wasn’t a romantic encounter — rather getting flung from a horse almost right out of the gate.
Even so, it was part of a larger weekend experience she’ll never forget.
The final rounds of the Iron Man Ranch Bronc Riding determined who the toughest riders were to drop by for the holiday weekend.
The honors went to Wesley Rosengreen, of Wheatland, Wyoming, who cleaned up the competition with five solid rounds, ending the championship segment with a score of 91.
The $1,200 prize was nice, but it was the particular animal that he felt was the most rewarding part of the day, an equine named Storm Watch raised by Bad Medicine Rodeo Company.
“That’s a good horse,” he grinned. “I’ve been wanting to get on that horse for two years. I was here last year, and I think this year is even better.”
Rosengreen wasn’t the only one to take the sizable point tally — Carly Ramsey, of Norco, California, also notched a 91 in the Iron Woman.
The smaller, single-round event featured only five females, while the Iron Man had as many as 25 starting Friday, one of whom, Brittany Miller, rode both, but the ladies had to deal with no less fierce bucking broncos in the arena.
“It’s a really good atmosphere, a big group of really fun people,” Ramsey said.
Saenz, also from Norco, had one of the tougher rides of the event, quickly flipped from her steed before she could meet the requisite eight seconds needed for points, the occasion her first time attempting the specific competition.
“The hardest part is not really knowing what to expect, but something about being out here with all these people that have done it so many times, all the guys in the Iron Man let me borrow their gear, and the camaraderie is awesome,” Saenz said. “I guess it was a young horse I drew, so they were asking, ‘why are you being so mean to her?’”
Announcing the rodeo event put on by Selle Rodeo Productions were Cody Nusbaum alongside special commentator Prather.
The day’s events came to a head in the livestock barn, refitted as a concert hall, as the Tris Munsick & The Innocents warmed up the crowd for Chancey Williams & The Younger Brothers Band, full of rich country sounds to which audience members wasted no time getting on their feet and dancing.
Sunday continued with more happenings at Moffat County Fairgrounds, including the Yampa River Ranch Rodeo, Moffat County Horse Power Draft Horse and Mule Show and music such as The Two Tracks, JShogren Shanghai’d and another performance by Tris Munsick.
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Moffat County continues to see a downward trend in COVID-19 cases as the community has seen 31 new cases dating back to Friday, Jan. 8, according to Public Health.