Ride for the Brand part of ‘Heritage Days’

       In a continuation of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation's “Western Heritage Days,” the Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 W. Rio Grande St., will host the eighth annual Ride for the Brand Championship Ranch Rodeo Saturday, July 3.
       Starting at 5:30 p.m., the event is a sanctioned rodeo in the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) tour. Close to 100 cowboys representing 20 ranches from around the country will compete in six events typical of jobs they're likely to perform - sorting, branding, bronc riding, wild-cow milking, trailer loading and double mugging (simulated doctoring). Events are timed and judged, with final scores tallied at the end of the rodeo.
       Ride for the Brand will be preceded at noon Friday, July 2 by the traditional Texas longhorn “cattle drive” through downtown Colorado Springs. At Norris-Penrose July 3, a chuckwagon cook-off will start at 4 p.m. Ten wagons are expected, cooking meat, bread, beans and cobbler, according to Bill Miller, Event Center manager.
       This is the second year the foundation has put on Ride for the Brand. No longer involved are its originators, local entrepreneur Scott O'Malley and WRCA co- founder Waddie Mitchell.
       Ticket prices range from $10 to $15 and will be available at the gate. The cost includes a post-rodeo music performance by the Atomic Fireballs, a “very danceable” 11-member country band that keeps changing out so there's never more than 5 on stage at a time, Miller, explained.
       Proceeds will go to local military charities, WRCA Scholarship Fund & the WRCA Crisis Fund.
       Concluding Western Heritage Days July 14-17 will be the annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo at Norris-Penrose (following the downtown parade July 13). Other Heritage Days events to date have been the Street Breakfast and Pikes Peak Range Ride June 23.

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