story by Siri Stevens Jerry Berentis grew up in Maybell, Colorado, riding bucking horses. “Whenever you start riding bucking horses it’s every rough stock riders […]
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Meet the Committee Cowboy Up in Kiowa
story by Siri Stevens
Cowboy Up in Kiowa began in 1995 after starting as the Elbert County Rodeo for the first two years. This award-winning rodeo has grown over the years, winning the CPRA’s Super Purse rodeo four times in a row now along with 20 other awards over its history. According to board president, Angelique Dieker, the formula for success is pretty simple: “We believe in taking care of the contestants, our volunteers and our sponsors while continuing to promote our Western Heritage to our community. We have gotten the kids more involved and that’s been great to watch their growth.” The committee focuses on promoting locally with sponsors and marketing. “Plus, our volunteers, with the exception of one or two, all come from the county and last year was the first time we had standing room only at the rodeo.”
The committee meets monthly to plan and implement new ideas and events. Kiowa is located 27 miles east of Parker, Colorado, and boasts a post office, two restaurants and a bar. “At the Elbert County Fairgrounds, we have plenty of parking, camping and great hospitality. Our committee provides the contestants and their families their meals and this year we’re adding a new day money we call – Gator for the Greenbacks – Each night the local sponsor gets to hand a $100 bill to the contestant that won his or her event that night – this brings another level of interaction that most rodeos don’t have and gets the community more involved at a different level”
This year there is another new bonus. “We are partnering with the town of Kiowa to combine the street fair with our Community Western day on Saturday (June 23) during slack. The Gold Canyon Gunfighters are doing a western reenactment that will provide entertainment to the community while the visit the local vendor market. We brought back our royalty organization last year, the Silver Spurs and this year we have added a program for kids 10-14, call the Spur Rowels. The goal of this program is to get the kids more involved in the sport of rodeo. Kids will have to try out for the Rowel program at our royalty competition the end of May. If they make the program, they will get to represent the Rodeo at local events, help greet the public at the rodeo and get a taste of events in the arena like mutton bustin and boot scramble. , “It’s a program we established to grow the younger kids and peak their interest for the sport of Rodeo and the western way of life. said Angelique.
At the end of the rodeo, the proceeds from the event are given back to the community in many forms. “We have helped the first responders, as well as other county needs with the proceeds – it all goes back into the community. We just want to cover our costs, that’s all we need.”
For Angelique and the other volunteers on the committee, the work they do is fun. “We support our community – we include their inputs, get them involved and are there for them if needed. We have fun and keep it simple, it’s proven to be the recipe for success for Cowboy Up.
The volunteers have become our family and that’s the way we want to keep it.”