The exciting Cowboy Downhill takes place every year in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The unusual event gives rodeo fans the chance to see the country’s top Western athletes confront challenges that force them out of their element, as they compete in unique slalom events. On January 16, 2017, PRCA Pro Rodeo cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo royalty ski and snowboard down the course to the finish line. The popular winter event conveniently coincides with the 2017 Denver Stock Show Rodeo.
The Cowboy Downhill
Forty-three years ago, PRCA PRO Rodeo legends Billy Kidd and Larry Mahan had the idea of bringing Western athletes together for a fun-filled event that would entail competing in traditional winter sports combined with western events. Since that time, more than 100 cowboys, cowgirls and rodeo queens attend the games in Steamboat Springs. All professional cowboys, cowgirls and bull riding members planning on competing in the 2017 Denver Rodeo qualify for the downhill challenge.
However, this is no normal downhill slalom race. The event begins at 1:00 P.M. on Monday, as pairs of rodeo competitors ski or snowboard while navigating through the flagged course, stop and lasso a lady, saddle a horse and then race to the finish line. Additionally, each participant must wear chaps and a Western hat. Following the first timed event, all of the athletes race the downhill slalom simultaneously during the Stampede Event. The first cowboy or cowgirl to cross the finish line wins. Considering many of the PRCA Pro Rodeo competitors come from states that never see snow, let along enjoy winter sports, the Cowboy Downhill makes for a humorous and entertaining spectator sport.
On Sunday, January 15, all are invited to witness the hot air balloons glow as they rise into the sky at the ski area base. The launch begins at 5:00 P.M. From 5:30 to 10:00 P.M. on Sunday night, the Bear River Bar & Grill will be hosting the Cowboy Up Party.
On Monday, following the Stampede, guests are welcome to attend the Free Bud Light Concert, which will include performances by Walker McGuire. An awards ceremony and banquet will take place at 7:00 P.M. at the top of the gondola.
The Cowboy Lifestyle Network along with the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Earnhardt Auto Centers and Papa John’s Pizza Road Team plan on covering the action of the 2017 Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat Springs in addition to the unfolding events at the annual Denver Stock Show and Rodeo.