Lakewood’s Mikayla Wilson practically grew up at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, roping and riding in the county’s rodeo team with friend Joey Quintana. So, because Jeffco hadn’t hosted a rodeo at the fairgrounds in more than five years, Wilson and Quintana decided to host one of their own.
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
Lakewood’s Mikayla Wilson practically grew up at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, roping and riding in the county’s rodeo team with friend Joey Quintana.
So, because Jeffco hadn’t hosted a rodeo at the fairgrounds in more than five years, Wilson and Quintana decided to host one of their own.
After more than six months of planning, more than 200 contestants and hundreds of spectators turned out for the March 11 Winter Rodeo at the fairgrounds. The Mountain Valley Rodeo Company hosted contestants from all over Colorado and surrounding states.
While Colorado’s rodeo season typically starts in April, Wilson said, “We did this one as the winter rodeo to get people ready for the season and bring something back to Jeffco.”
Not only was the time of year unique, but the schedule was too, Wilson and participants explained.
The March 11 event was a full rodeo but only lasted a day. Contestants competed in a slack in the morning, which featured all contestants, Wilson explained. Then, 10-12 contestants were randomly selected to rope and ride again at 4 p.m., when the bulk of the spectators were expected.
For instance, 50 barrel racers signed up to compete in the morning’s slack, and then 12 ran later in the performance. This way, Wilson explained, the spectators get a taste of each event in a timely fashion.
Among those competing in the morning’s slack was Taylor Thompson from Merino, Colorado. Thompson heard about the rodeo from his team-roping partner, and he appreciated a wintertime rodeo. He said it gives rodeo competitors something to do, and he’d be willing to compete again if the organizers made it an annual thing.
Cadence Hale, a high school junior from Kersey, Colorado, has been riding in rodeos for eight years, and does about 50 a year. About half are through a high school circuit through an after-school club, and the other half are with her family.
She’s done several events over the years, but she was competing in barrel racing and breakaway roping at Jeffco, with the latter event being her favorite.
Considering her summers are packed with rodeos, she also appreciated the winter event as a nice change of pace. She said it’s a great way to gain experience before the season kicks off next month.
Aurora’s Kevin Martin, whose son competed at Jeffco, also described it as a great learning experience. He noted how the competitors ranged from high school students to seasoned riders, saying the event was open to everyone, which not all rodeos are.
Martin has competed in rodeos too, and is now a trainer or coach. He had some students competing in March 11’s breakaway roping and barrel racing, and mentioned that the organizers are former students of his.
“It’s good for the community and the contestants to have somewhere to compete,” he said, adding that he shares Wilson and Quintana’s desire to see more rodeo events at Jeffco.
Wilson and Quintana hope to make this winter rodeo an annual event, and are considering hosting a smaller event in the summer as well.
In the days before the March 11 event, Wilson said there’s already been a learning curve and imagined there’d be some hiccups the day of. But, she believed her organization has enough interest from contestants and spectators to keep its momentum going.
“We really want to bring rodeos back to Jeffco and the Golden area,” she continued.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.