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EAGLE COUNTY FAIR & RODEO SADDLE UP

For 79 years the Eagle County Fair & Rodeo (ECFR) has celebrated our Western heritage with an event complete with Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) Rodeo, concerts, exhibits and the 4H livestock auction. It’s a great event for the whole family. It’s also an event that gives back to the community.

For the past ten years, the ECFR has partnered with Wrangler’s nationwide program, “Tough Enough to Wear Pink.” Each Friday during the rodeo, all the contestants wear pink. As well, attendees are encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. The money, raised through a donation of 50 cents per ticket sold as well as cash collected in a boot that is passed through the crowd, is donated to the Shaw Cancer Center. And for the past two years, 4H kids have donated one pig and one sheep to be auctioned off at the rodeo, with proceeds also going to the Shaw Cancer Center.

BRIAN MALONEY PHOTOGRAPHY
BRIAN MALONEY PHOTOGRAPHY

The rodeo consists of two types of events: roughstock and timed. The roughstock events include bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding with a contestant’s score equally dependent upon his performance as well as the animals. Timed events include tie down roping, team roping, steer wrestling and women’s barrel racing. A contestant’s goal is to post the fastest time in his or her event. On the last day of the Fair and Rodeo, a junior livestock auction takes place at the Eagle River Center at which all the 4H kids show their projects. According to Assistant Fair Manager, Katheryn Tennant, the auction runs for about four hours, showcasing animals from cattle to pigs, goats, lambs, chickens and even rabbits. As well, there is a category called “Open Class,” in which people show projects including such things as photography, sewing and canning.

Last year the ECFR spearheaded the Saddle Up Program that invites nonprofits to apply for free rodeo tickets and a special barbecue for friends and supporters. A one-of-a-kind experience that features a private walk-through of the livestock exhibits and fair midway also takes place. This year’s recipient is the Eagle River Youth Coalition. The 2018 ECFR takes place July 25 through 28 at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.