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Pagosa Springs
Friday, July 23, 2021

71st annual Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo just around the corner

Photo courtesy Diana Talbot
Saddle bronc riding is just one of the many events that will be held at this year’s Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo July 2-4.

By Lisa Scott
Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo

Seventy-one years: The Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo began in Pagosa Springs in 1949 and has been a town and rodeo tradition ever since. The rodeo was named for the famous comic strip character, Red Ryder, who was drawn by Pagosa Springs resident Fred Harman Jr. The comic strip was wildly popular and ran from 1938-1964 in 750 newspapers.

Red was a cowboy hero and a crime fighter of the west, accompanied by his sidekick Little Beaver, a young Native American boy. Both had trusty steeds named Thunder and Papoose, respectively. Cowboys and cowgirls from various states, on their trusty steeds, will travel to compete for prizes and prize money in this sanctioned rodeo series. The event is also filled with a variety of exhibition events to make an entertaining traditional American rodeo event. 

The Red Ryder Rodeos are Friday and Saturday, July 2 and 3, at 6 p.m., and Sunday, July 4, at 2 p.m. presented at the Western Heritage Event Center arena and grounds off U.S. 84 and Mill Creek Road. Tickets are available online and at the gate prior to the event. Tickets are $15 per adult and $8 for children 12 and under. A limited number of box seats are available and can be purchased by calling (970) 749-3492. 

Concessions include delicious smoked meats, beer and beverages. Each daily performance begins with an impressive grand entry with flags waving from westerners on horseback. 

Rodeo events are interspersed with a variety of other acts like the Mutton Bustin’ contest, Daisy BB gun raffle and rodeo clown. The website www.PagosaRodeo.com has detailed information about the entire event. Additional questions can be directed to (970) 264-2730 or sranch@centurytel.net.

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