The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo kick-started it’s 2012 run with a new event: the Colorado vs. The World showdown.
I learned about the event from bareback rider Casey Colletti of Pueblo, Colo., who, I assumed, would be on Team Colorado. But that’s not the way the format worked for the bareback riders, bull riders, saddle bronc riders, steer wrestlers and barrel racers.
You see, the event that took place in Denver featured the winners from several Colorado rodeos in 2011. Those winners were featured in a single performance on Saturday. Later in the day, the world team – which was made up of winners from rodeos like Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, Dodge City (Kan.) Round-Up, the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte, Neb., etc. – competed in its performance.
Colletti’s win 2011 Cheyenne rodeo meant he was part of The World performance. The top four contestants in each event from each performance then qualified for the showdown on Saturday night. It was a showcase of great rodeo talent, including 2004 world champion Kelly Timberman (a wild card) outlasting 2011 world champion Kaycee Feild in bareback riding.
Other winners were bronc rider Cody Wright, who won in Pueblo, Colo.; bull rider Steve Woolsey, Pueblo; steer wrestler Straws Milan, who won the Calgary (Alberta) Stampede; and barrel racer Randa Kellogg, who the National Western.
Each winner earned $10,000; while none of it will count toward the world standings, it is a great way to kick off the 2012 calendar year.