Rooftop earns regional honor

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ESTES PARK, Colo. – For years, Rooftop Rodeo has been recognized as one of the very best ProRodeos across the country.

This past weekend, the voters in the Mountain States Circuit made it known that Estes Park’s rodeo is one of the best in the Colorado-Wyoming region, honoring the event as its Large Rodeo of the Year.

“This is a very big honor for us as a committee, the town of Estes Park and the people in this community,” 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 have dedicated volunteers that work very hard every year to make our rodeo the best it can be.”

Over the years, Rooftop Rodeo has been recognized six times as Rodeo of the Year on the national stage: Five times in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as Small Rodeo of the Year and once as the Medium Committee of the Year in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

Each year, hundreds of contestants make their way to this picturesque community to test their skills. That list includes more than 120 National Finals Rodeo qualifiers, dozens of whom have earned coveted world championships.

One of those, three-time world champion bareback rider Tim O’Connell, earned a share of the bareback riding title in Estes Park this past July. With that, he pocketed $5,400 and moved up the world standings. Even after sitting out until late June because of an injury, O’Connell will go to his sixth NFR sitting No. 6 on the money list with more than $113,000.

“I knew this rodeo paid good, but how much more beautiful can you get than this scenery,” he said. “This is Thursday night, and they’ve got a packed house.”

That’s just another reason why Rooftop Rodeo is the best in the Mountain States Circuit.


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