Boulder County Fair’s Pro Rodeo Thrills Crowd
Tina Lynch, who once showed cattle and competed in rodeo events at the Boulder County Fair, watched her 15-year-old son in the calf roping competition at Sunday’s rodeo at the fair.
Though her son, Cooper Kline, has only roped for about four months, he’s a fair veteran who started showing chickens at 8 and has since won a stack of awards, showing everything from goats to cattle.
“We’ve got really deep roots,” Lynch said. “I was a rodeo cowgirl. It’s what we do. It’s awesome.”
Sunday’s Colorado Pro Rodeo Association event is one of the highlights of the 148th annual Boulder County Fair , which continues through Aug. 12 at 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont.
Rodeo fans cheered for competitors in bareback riding, team roping, steer wrestling, ladies barrel racing, tie down roping and bull riding.
Chance Ogden, of Laramie, Wyoming, competed in bareback riding. He acknowledged that it takes “a special breed of person” to attempt to stay on the back of a wildly bucking horse without the help of a saddle.
“I like the challenge,” he said. “I like to see how far I can push myself. I like the intensity. I want to go as far as I can.”
On the spectator side, several people said their love for rodeos originated from personal experience.
Loveland’s Zach Zent said it’s sometimes tough to watch others compete after a sixth back surgery sidelined him from bull riding.
“I want to get out there,” he said. “It’s an amazing feeling being on the back of a bull. I’ve been gored, stepped on. You just get back up and keep going.”
Though he can’t compete, he said, he still brings his family, including his three children, to as many rodeos as he can during the season.
“It’s a fun way of life,” he said. “There’s nothing better than a weekend at a rodeo.”
Lafayette’s Kate Shepard said competing as a child in barrel racing sparked an enduring love for rodeos. Now, she said, she likes seeing the strong relationships the develop between horses and riders.
“You can tell the really good ones by their relationships,” she said.
Others said they appreciate the drama of rodeos, even if they’ve never tried to rope a calf, leap off a horse and bring down a steer or ride a bull.
Erin Hopkins-Borbak, who lives in Longmont, said she never misses the Boulder County Fair and brings her three daughters for multiple visits so they can see a variety of events
Her oldest, at 15, is competing in the 4H canine division, while her younger two, at 7 and 5, plan to show chicks next year.
“There are always so many things to do,” she said as she watched the rodeo.
Her 7-year-old, Brianna, struggled to pick a favorite event, though she might have a slight preference for carnival rides.
“All of it is my favorite,” she said.
Amy Bounds: 303-473-1341, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/boundsa