By Susan Kanode
Three time Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo champion Cody DeMoss competes in saddle bronc riding. He is one of 1,216 contestants entered at this year’s rodeo. photo by Dan Hubbell
Cheyenne, Wyo. — Not many rodeos can boast a history as rich as Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Not only has the event been held consistently since 1897, records have been kept throughout the years and for any rodeo contestant, having their name added to the record books is a huge accomplishment. No one knows that more than last year’s champions.
Of the eight individual champions that were crowned at Frontier Park, seven of them went on to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas in December. Two finished as reserve world champions there and five of them are entered in this year’s rodeo hoping to defend their titles.
Lisa Lockhart, from Oelrichs, S.D., won the barrel racing here last year on her great buckskin horse Louie. The duo went on to qualify for their ninth NFR and left Las Vegas just short of the world title. Luke Brown, from Stephenville, Texas won the team roping here a year ago roping with Kollin Von Ahn from Blanchard, Okla. Brown also finished as the reserve world champion.
He will be roping here this year with Jake Long from Coffeyville, Kan. They are currently at the top of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) world standings. Also back to defend their titles will be bareback rider Tanner Aus from Granite Falls, Minn.; steer wrestler Nick Guy from Sparta. Wisc.; and tie-down roper Marty Yates, from Stephenville, Texas.
The all-around cowboy title is one of the most prestigious awards earned at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. Last year’s champion was Jo Jo Lemond from Andrews, Texas who competed here in steer roping and team roping.
“There’s nothing like the Daddy,” said Cody DeMoss who is a three-time saddle bronc riding champion here. “When you get to add your name to all of those that rode here before you, it’s hard not to get nostalgic. To do that three times is pretty amazing.”
DeMoss was the champion here in 2004, 2010 and 2012. He is among this year’s field of saddle bronc riders. If he would emerge as the 2016 champion, he would be the first in the history of the event to win the title four times. Saddle bronc riding was among the first events here in 1897 with Bill Jones earning the first title.
Rodeo action will kick off with the third annual Cinch Rodeo Shootout on Friday, July 22 at 12:15. This competition features top competitors in bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding as well as steer wrestling and barrel racing. Contestants will be narrowed down to a four-man field where the top score or fast time will receive a bag full of cash.
The PRCA and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel race has seen contestants competing in slack since July 19th. Slack is held in order to accommodate the large numbers of contestants that want to compete here. A total of 1216 contestants are entered in this rodeo and they are competing for nearly one million dollars in cash and prizes. Additionally, there will be rookie bronc riding and wild horse racers testing their skills against unproven bucking horses each day. Rodeo performances start Saturday, July 23 and run through July 31 where the new champions will be crowned. All performances start at 12:15 p.m.
The Championship Bull Riding organization will be crowing their world champion during Frontier Nights with two nights of action-packed bull riding. Sage Kimzey, the reigning PRCA world champion is in the lead in their standings and hoping to add that title to his resume this week. Their competition will be Monday and Tuesday nights, July 25-26 beginning at 8 p.m.
For a full schedule, rodeo results and more information go to www.cfdrodeo.com.