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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Change and Growth

The Rooftop Rodeo is beginning its 86th year as a major attraction in Estes Park.  It began as part of the Town’s Fourth of July celebration and the newspapers of the day indicate it was indeed a major community celebration. In the 1940’s a group of gentlemen formed the first Rooftop Rodeo Committee in order to provide structure and do the planning necessary to produce a successful rodeo.  It appears the rodeo was always sponsored or supported by the Town but the exact date and circumstances of when and how the Committee became a “Town Appointed” committee are not known.  This, of course, is a matter of historical interest but has little to do with the Rooftop Rodeo today.  The rodeo h began as an event where wagons and Stanley Steamers were driven in a circle to form an arena to today where the award winning Rooftop Rodeo which is known internationally as a premier rodeo significant enough to bring visitors from all over the United States and indeed the world.
In February, the Rooftop Rodeo Committee transitioned from a Town appointed committee to Estes Park Western Heritage, Inc. (EPWH) as a friends organization to support the rodeo. The purpose of EPWH is to promote the western culture and preserve the western heritage of the Estes Valley by producing and supporting activities for the education and enjoyment of its residents and visitors. 

EPWH has been built from the ground up based on extensive research and conversations with experts and professionals, resulting in an organization based on best practices for both a non-profit corporation and a world class rodeo committee. Its structure creates a series of checks and balances that is bolstered by its transparency. It is recognized by the State of Colorado as a non-profit corporation and will soon be a registered 501(c) (3) status with the IRS. Its Board of Directors has retained legal and accounting professionals to guide the organization’s development and is also working with the University of Northern Colorado’s Monfort College of Business and the Colorado Small Business Development Center in the creation of business and marketing plans.

This is an exciting time for the dedicated folks who have worked for many years to make the Rooftop the very best.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keeping up is hard to do…

Last month, the Rooftop Rodeo was selected as the Best Mid-size Rodeo in the Mountain States Circuit.  We are truly honored to be selected.  Keeping up is hard to do, but something that the RTR is committed to doing.  This week, some of the Rooftop Rodeo Committee members and officers are off to Las Vegas to attend PRCA meetings (and probably a little bit of rodeo).  We are fortunate that so many of our committee members are willing to spend their time and money learning how to make our rodeo better.   It really pays to learn how other committees work and to spend time networking with them. 

Next week, more committee members will be making their way to the NFR and the Miss Rodeo America competition.  We will be cheering on Kellsie Purdy, Miss Rodeo Colorado (and a former Miss Rooftop Rodeo) as she competes for Miss Rodeo America.  She is a member of our committee and we are pretty proud of her.  So, all in all it will be a pretty exciting couple of months.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Barrel racing in Estes Park--cool, fast, fun!

Barrel racing is coming to Estes Park Labor Day Weekend. This will be the first Estes Park Barrel Race (EPBR) and it promises to be a truly great event.

In 2010, the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) voted the Rooftop Rodeo the Best Small Rodeo in America. Labor Days EPBR will feature many of the same ladies that competed at the Rooftop.  Here is the good news; you can compete right alongside of these terrific athletes! The EPBR will be divided into three classes-Open (the pros), Novice, and youth.  Basically all racers are welcome—men and women, boys and girls.  The event producers, True West Productions, have a computer system that groups contestant scores in what is known as a 4–D scale.  What this means is that folks can compete against individuals at their level.  Helps make for a level playing field. You can find a registration form at  Competitors can rent a stall and RV spot at the fairgrounds.  Just give them a call (970-586-6104) for reservations. 


The event is set up to support the Rooftop Rodeo and its royalty program.  Sponsors are still needed to help defray the cost of producing the event.  If you would like to support the Rooftop and the youth in the royalty program, please contact Ann Griffith, Rooftop Rodeo Barrel Race Committee Chairperson, 970-586-1170/ 805-458-7376 and explore the possibilities.  All finances will be run through Top Hand Organization, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) corporation and appropriate tax documentation will be provided to all advertisers/sponsors/donors.

Labor Day is a perfect time to visit Estes Park.  It is cool and there are lots of things to do between races including a John Denver Tribute Concert at the fairgrounds on Saturday evening, September 3rd, an Alpaca Market at the fairgrounds, and the Labor Day Arts and Crafts Show. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Promotion Day--Rodeo Style

 OK, so the Rooftop is not really going to college but we did get promoted. Since the Rooftop first attained professional status by joining the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) it has been in the small rodeo category.  This category is for professional rodeos whose committees add $3,000.00 or less per event to be combined with competitor entry fees to make the total purse for which the cowboys are competing.  This year of the 474 professional rodeos in America, 298 are in the small category.  It is worthy of note that, in 5 of the last 8 years, the Rooftop has been voted as the Best Small Rodeo in America.

So, it was time to be promoted-from small rodeo to medium size rodeo.  The medium size category is defined as all professional rodeos who have added committee money of $3,001 – $9,999 (131 total rodeos).  The Rooftop, this year added $3,370 per event.  This is a good!  Good for the cowboys and good for the Town.  Lucky for us, the Rooftop already has the reputation of being a really big rodeo that just happens to be in one of the best small towns in America. 

So, what does this really mean for the Rooftop?  We already have a reputation among cowboy and cowgirl athletes for being the “go to rodeo” for great hospitality, genuine hometown friendliness, a phenomenal rodeo setting, great facilities, and topnotch rodeo stock.  The down-side is that, at just over $3,000 added money, we are now at the very bottom of the medium rodeo pay scale.  Gradually, over the next few years, as we continue to grow, we will be able to add more money; but this year, we may have a rough time in the voting because we are the new guys on the block.  However, there are many of us who are thinking that “who we are” will win out over “how much we pay”.  All votes will be counted and winners announced at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this November 30, 2011.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I am betting on winning the Best Medium Rodeo in America, first time out of the chute J

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hail and Farewell

Folks on the Rooftop Rodeo Committee work hard pretty much all year around planning for one week of rodeo.  There are subcommittees planning the parade, finding sponsors, working on the Tough Enough to Wear Pink golf tournament, planning special event nights, etc.  Everyone works hard and is pretty invested in putting on the Best Small Rodeo in America. 

Of course, all of this energy and work has to be corralled by the folks at the fairgrounds.  Sometimes our work just makes more work for them; it is just a natural outcome of lots of ideas and enthusiasm.  We tip our cowboy hats to Bo and his crew—they make our rodeo possible.  One individual, however, will be sorely missed by the committee this year—Laurie.  Laurie accepted a new job, which has taken all the way to Town Hall.  However, a loss from the front office at the fairgrounds has turned into a gain by the committee. We are blessed that Laurie has decided to join the committee.  Thanks Laurie, for all of the 16 hours days that you dedicated to our rodeo (and other events) and welcome to the committee (no pay, but much better hours).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Can it get any windier?

Many thanks to out to our hardy Rooftop Rodeo Royalty horsemanship instructors, committee folks, parents, kids, and horses.  It was a one windy day.  Despite their noble efforts and a box of chocolate doughnuts, the session ended around noon—they just could take it anymore.  Guess we missed the better weather in the valley—evidently; the Miss Rodeo Colorado prelims had pretty nice weather. 

Looks like some of the group will take another shot at practice this weekend. Ride safely.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eagle’s Eye View

Lexie and Joe getting ready.
Any day that puts kids, horses, doughnuts, and warm sunny weather together is a good one and Saturday was a good one for the Rooftop Rodeo Royalty practice horsemanship clinic.  This spring, we’ve been experiencing the typical roller coaster ride of snowy days followed by sun and warmth.  The only constant being the wind.    

Alyssa, Mom and Dad--any good advice?

Well, Saturday morning turned out to be a gift for us all—sun, no wind and temperatures warm enough to have everyone shucking off their jackets by 10:00.  The icing on the cake was a morning flyover by an American bald eagle.  What a treat to see that!  
Michelle and friend soaking up the sun.
After literally running through (on foot) the riding pattern, the kids mounted up for a day of riding and coaching.  We are blessed to have supportive parents and members of the committee that knows their stuff. Kim, Liz and Emily were full of good information, fun and enthusiasm, Kassi was a great hostess, and Sean, Rick and Sandy was a terrific supporters.  I believe we're catching rodeo fever!