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Ute Mountain Rodeo kicks off at Montezuma County Fairgrounds this week

Rhen Richard dismounts and races toward the calf in the tie-down roping event during a previous Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo. (Journal file photo)
Three-night event features professional competitors, country music and Rob Yates Memorial Cowboy Golf Tournament

The 92nd annual Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo will take place June 9-11 at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in Cortez.

Powder River Rodeo is the new stock contractor for the rodeo, according to a news release.

“The new change will bring the best four-legged rodeo athletes for our cowboys to match up against,” stated Madelaine Gaskey, rodeo public information officer.

The event features top rough-stock competitors from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo with total prize money of $32,000.

World all-around leader and saddle bronc and bull riding world champion Stetson Wright will compete Thursday. Leon Fountain, returning UMR saddle bronc champion and ranked eighth in the world, will compete Saturday.

Local cowboy Tanner Lockhart tumbles to the ground during the saddle bronc competition at the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo in 2016.

Several notable competitors will try their hand at a UMR championship including Navajo legend Derrick Begay and Trey Yates in the team roping on Friday, and barrel racer and Colorado Cowgirl Shali Lord on Saturday.

Professional Rodeo Contestant Autograph Signings following each performance.

The UMR also features the newly sanctioned women’s breakaway roping. Bobby Kerr and his award-winning Mustang specialty act will also perform.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the rodeo starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22-$27 depending on seats. A ticket for all three nights is $57-$69.75 depending on seats.

There will be live music and dancing after each rodeo performance. Local bands will perform, including Donny Johnson on Thursday, Vanishing Breed on Friday, and Sitton Shotgun on Saturday. The Nightly After Party is family friendly and will be located near the Blondie’s Bar tent.

Attendees can also enjoy the Frazier Carnival and sign children up for the nightly stick horse races before to each rodeo performance.

Accompanying the rodeo is the ninth annual Rob Yates Memorial Cowboy Golf Tournament on June 10 beginning at 7 a.m. at the Conquistador Golf Course, 2018 N. Dolores Road in Cortez.

Entry fee is $35 with breakfast with sign-ups starting at 7 a.m. and a shotgun start at 8 a.m.