Rifles going to Gunnison titlists

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GUNNISON, Colo. – The volunteers from the Cattlemen’s Days committee have been going all out for its rodeo contestants for several years.

In the last decade, the overall purse has increased immensely. It has grown even more this year, and part of that is the inclusion of breakaway roping to the ProRodeo schedule. The rest comes down to being an attractive event for the cowboys and cowgirls who compete for a living.

There’s even a little more of a caveat for the contestants coming for this year’s Cattlemen’s Days, set for Thursday, July 11-Saturday, July 13, at Fred Field Western Center in Gunnison.

“We’re giving away rifles to the winners of all our events,” said Kevin Coblentz, a longtime committee member. “For several years, we’ve been giving them away to the bareback riding winners, and this year we decided to give rifles to all of them. We’re just trying to do something that reflects what we think of all our contestants that come to Gunnison.”

It’s also a bit of an incentive for contestants to put their names in the hat. Entries have concluded, but the PRCA and WPRA will have re-entries from 9-11:30 a.m. Mountain time Friday, July 5, so there’s still time for cowboys and cowgirls to sign up to be at Cattlemen’s Days next week.

“The rifles are Henry Repeating Arms’ Large Loop Lever Action .22s, and they’re going to be really nice for whoever wins them,” said Brad Tutor, the Cattlemen’s Days president.

Gunnison’s rodeo has been recognized as one of the best in the Mountain States Circuit, and it was recently recognized as one of the top five medium rodeos across North America. That’s an honor that comes from the contestants themselves. Only the voting members of the PRCA decide on those honors.

“We do our very best to put on a great rodeo and provide the contestants with great hospitality when they get to town,” said Karla Rundell, the organization’s second vice president. “Our fans want to see the best rodeo has to offer, so we’re doing everything we can to attract the top contestants to town. I think the rifles are a good way to help make that happen.”


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