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Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo and Frazier Carnival to bring back summer fun

Clint Robinson leaps from his horse in the tie-down roping event at a past Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo. (File photo by The Journal)
Last year’s cancellations trigger surge in contestants, excitement

Western entertainment is on the horizon as the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo and the Frazier Carnival return to the Montezuma County Fairgrounds this month.

The 91st annual Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo will take place June 10-12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Frazier Carnival will be from June 9-13, with gates opening at 5 p.m.

Spectators can enjoy a wide variety of rodeo events that are sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.

The rodeo features some of America’s best cowboys and cowgirls. Events include bareback bronc riding, team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and the always popular bull riding.

Sophia Wiltfang looses her hat as she competes in the barrel racing event at a past Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo. (File photo by The Journal)

Women Professional Barrel racing will also take place, along with the newly added event of Women’s Breakaway Roping. Each nights’ performances includes the kid mutton bustin’ and stick horse races.

There is a lot of excitement for rodeo and carnival this year, organizers said.

The rodeo has seen a surge of contestants, with nearly 380 signed up to compete, said Bentley Colbert, chairman of the Ute Mountain Rodeo board.

“Everyone’s excited, there are some world champions in the mix, and the competitors are ready to go after missing out last year,” he said. “It will be a fun-filled event, and we appreciate all the support from the community.”

Local cowboy Tanner Lockhart tumbles to the ground for no time in the saddle bronc competition at a previous Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo. (File photo by The Journal)

New this year is a country concert. Tanner Usrey will perform on June 12 at 9 p.m. at the indoor arena. The Texas singer-songwriter is gaining in popularity for his southern rock vibe, powerful voice and lyrics that tell stories people can relate to, according to his website. His 2019 album “Medicine Man” caught traction in major country music publications.

Announcer Jody Carper will provide the play-by-play at the rodeo, and professional rodeo clown Matt Merritt will entertain the crowd throughout the events.

There will be a beer vendor at the rodeo, and local restaurants will have food stands, including The Wigglin’ Pig barbecue and Cold Stone Creamery.

A special act this year is Bobby Kerr mustang demonstrations. He is known for his techniques training mustangs and for showing off their skills. In 2021, Kerr was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

This is the 25th year the Frazier Carnival has set up with the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo.

The Frazier Carnival at the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in Cortez. (Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“To hear the kids screaming on the rides, and see everyone having a good time outdoors, that’s why we do it,” said Frazier owner and president Steve Broetsky in 2019.

The community is encouraged to come out and enjoy the local rodeo tradition, said Marty Spitzer, a Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo board member. She said ticket sales are doing well, and sponsors returned to support the event.

“It is good wholesome fun. People like to see the cowboys and enjoy the atmosphere of an American tradition,” she said.

A giant video screen purchased in 2019 improves the spectator experience, Spitzer added. It shows competitors, scoring, replays and showcases the sponsors. Typically about 5,000 people attend the rodeo.

Cowboy Golf and Rodeo Parade

On June 11, the eighth Annual Rob Yates Memorial Cowboy Golf Tour will take place at Conquistador Golf Course in Cortez. The event is held in honor of Rob Yates, a local rodeo and agricultural leader, who died in an avalanche while snowmobiling in 2014. Breakfast and signup is at 7 a.m. For information, call 970-565-9208.

On June 12, the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo Parade will take place on Montezuma Avenue beginning at 1 p.m. The parade theme is “One Nation, Under God.”

Lineup begins at noon at Chestnut Street and Montezuma Avenue. The parade will end at the American Legion, 320 N. Harrison St.

Lunch can be purchased after the parade from the American Legion, with adult beverages for sale at the bar.

According to the entry form, entries should be in the spirit of the community and be tasteful. No political decorations allowed. The entry deadline is June 9. Register at https://bit.ly/ute-rodeo-parade

For more information on the Ute Mountain Rodeo and to purchase tickets, visit the website at utemountainroundup.org


Trey Yoder bites the dust in the mutton bustin’ competition at the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo in 2016. (File photo by The Journal)