Colorado-based livestock producer is a major piece of Estes Park’s rodeo
ESTES PARK, Colo. – The foundation for Estes Park’s rodeo was founded six decades ago on the Plains of northeastern Colorado by entrepreneur Mike Cervi.
Over much of the past decade, Cervi Championship Rodeo is an incredible partner for Rooftop Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6-Monday, July 11, at Granny May Arena in Estes Park inside the Estes Park Fairgrounds. Now operated by his sons, Binion and Chase, the Cervi firm is a key part of the Rooftop experience.
“The town of Estes Park named Cervi Championship Rodeo as our stock contractor several years ago, and it was a bit of a changing of the guard for us,” said Mark Purdy, chairman of Estes Park Western Heritage Inc., a group of volunteers that works with the town of Estes Park to produce the annual rodeo. “We’d had our stock contractor a long time, but we were excited to see the change.
“Since then, though, it’s more than the Cervis being our stock contractor. We’ve developed a great relationship with them, and we trust them to not only provide the stock for us but also produce a rodeo we can be proud of and we can share with our visitors year after year.”
As the company’s patriarch, Mike Cervi was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2003 and into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2015. By the 1950s, he had developed a trained mule act and was performing at Little Britches and junior rodeos. Twice he was named the PRCA’s Stock Contractor of the Year.
Binion Cervi now serves as the firm’s executive director, and he’s the direct contact for committees like the one in Estes Park. He heads the production of the rodeos and oversees the company’s breeding program, which is set up to continue the sustainability of the Cervi’s Circle I brand.
In fact, many of the Cervi colts are bucked at the firm’s Ace High Roughstock Academy events, which not only help train the young equine athletes but also offers tutelage to up-and-coming cowboys eager to learn how to better their skills in order to one day compete against the very best ProRodeo cowboys have to offer.
“Because the Cervi Ranch is not far down the mountain from us, we are able to go as a group to those schools and help out any way we can,” Purdy said. “It’s our way to get together and help give back to our friends and also open the door for future Rooftop Rodeo contestants.”
The Cervi name is a longstanding tradition in professional rodeo. The company produces the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver as well as RodeoHouston, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and many others across the country.
At each rodeo, Binion serves as the arena master, the orchestra leader who makes sure everything is run smooth. Chase helps by serving as a pickup man – he’s been named the best in the business twice since the Pickup Man of the Year award was established – and helps ensure the animals are treated with the best care possible.
“What we’ve gained over the last few years is a true partnership with Cervi Championship Rodeo,” Purdy said. “Chase and Binion are more than our stock contractors. Along with their families, they are our friends, and we are proud that they are a big part of the Rooftop family.”