Grand Olde West rodeo brings big competition to Craig |

Grand Olde West rodeo brings big competition to Craig

Iron Man, Iron Woman Ranch Bronc Riding, Yampa River Ranch Rodeo events scheduled for weekend

Patrick Kelly
Shad Wilsey nearly gets bucked off but holds on tight to stay on his horse during the Iron Man Ranch Bronc Riding at Moffat County Fairgrounds as part of 2016's Grand Olde West Days.
Andy Bockelman

A world-class rodeo competition is taking place in Craig this weekend.

As one of the major features of Grand Olde West Days, 25 riders will compete in the Iron Man Bronc Riding competition.

The field is extensive with contestants coming from both sides of the Mississippi, Canada and a lone woman entering the fray with hopes of being champion.

Rand Selle, event organizer, said the bronc riding is the rodeo’s premier event.

After Friday night’s opening rounds, 10 of the 25 competitors will be eliminated. The competition will resume at 4 p.m. on Saturday with three more rounds to determine the winner.

Out of the 25 competitors, Brittany Miller, who Selle said has been paving her way in the pro scene, is the only woman.

“This girl is dirty-dog tough and she wants to be a bronc rider,” said Selle. “She’s old school… she sleeps in her pickup, travels around and all she wants to do is ride bucking horses.”

Another unique competitor is a Canadian champion who is traveling all the way from Alberta to compete in Craig.

The event is sanctioned by the Western States Rodeo Association and sponsored by the city of Craig with $7,500 purse up for grabs.

The Iron Woman Bronc Riding Invitational is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, bringing a new element to Craig’s rodeo scene. Six to seven woman from as far as Oklahoma and Nebraska are anticipated to show their skills.

“This might be the first one ever,” said Selle. “I don’t know if it’s ever happened in Craig.”

Also on Sunday is the Yampa River Ranch Rodeo, which will feature 10 teams of four competing in various ranching activities, with a preview demonstration of the rustler’s relay Saturday.

Doyle O’Neil, event organizer, said he hopes this year’s rodeo, along with the musical acts and other attractions, will turn heads and help grow the Grand Olde West Days in years to come.

“We’re just trying to make it an even for Moffat County and bring people from outside, too,” he said.

O’Neil and Selle both promised that this weekend’s rodeo competition is not one to miss and encouraged locals to come check it out.

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