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Norris-Penrose hosts rodeos July 5 and 9-12; Pikes Peak or Bust to be televised, invitation-only

       With new partnerships this year, there will be two key changes for the 74th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo during its run Wednesday to Saturday, July 9-12 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road.
       Competition times are nightly at 7 p.m., plus a Saturday matinee performance at 1 p.m.
       The changes will be TV coverage and an invitation-only format (meaning the elimination of the morning “slack” competition, which had been needed when there too many contestants to fit in the regular performances).

At the 2008 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, bull rider Seth Glause was clearly in for a tough time right out of the gate.
Westside Pioneer file photo

       The main new sponsor is the Cinch Jeans & Shirts company, whose name now appears on the Pikes Peak or Bust website and other rodeo promotional materials. Having Cinch, in turn, has made it possible for RFD-TV to televise Saturday night's “final shootout round,” according to a press release. The other four performances (Wednesday to Friday, and Saturday afternoon) will be viewable on cinchtv.com.
       RFD-TV channels are listed as Dish channel 231, 231HD and 9398; DirecTV-345; and Comcast-192. "You can also listen to Rural Radio on SiriusXM channel 80,” said Nikki Wall, spokesperson for the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation, which organizes the event.
       A rodeo press release quotes Gary Markle, Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo president: “With Cinch bringing RFD-TV to the table, we are reaching a viewership our nonprofit budget couldn't support otherwise. And this furthers our reach in giving back to our local military and their families, a long-standing tradition of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.”
       In all, 320 contestants will compete for prize money in seven events from an overall purse of $240,000, according to Wall. This compares with 640 contestants and $250,000 last year.
       “We were previously sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which meant that all contestants had to be members of that association to compete in our event, and they did have to meet the qualifications to be accepted,” she elaborated in a follow-up e-mail. “Our new format does mean fewer overall contestants (mostly because we won't be running the early-morning slack in the timed events that our fans never got to see anyway).”
       The result will be 10 competitors in each event at every performance, she said. The listed events are steer wrestling, bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, bull riding and women's barrel racing.
      The competition will be inside the Norris-Penrose complex's Penrose Stadium. Activities outside will start about three hours beforehand, including mutton bustin' (a sheep ride for kids), a chili cook-off, mechanical bull riding, trick-roper demonstrations and gold panning.
       Ticket prices for the rodeo range from $18 to $40, with some discounts.
       Off-street parking is available in paid lots at or near Norris-Penrose.
       Pikes Peak or Bust will be preceded by the annual Ride for the Brand Championship Rodeo Friday, July 5. Also organized by the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation (with Cinch), it will feature working cowboys and cowgirls from 16 western ranches in the states of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Nebraska and Wyoming.
       For Ride for the Brand, the gates will open at 4 p.m. Events will start at 6:30 p.m. Non-VIP tickets are $20 for adults, with some discounts. A party/dance will follow at 9 p.m.
       For more information on either rodeo, call Norris-Penrose at 635-1101 or go to the respective websites: pikespeakorbust.org or championshipranchrodeo.com.
       As is traditional with the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation, proceeds from both rodeos will go to charitable programs and services for local military personnel and their families.

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 7/1/14; Outdoors: Norris-Penrose Event Center)

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