Colorado Pro Rodeo Finals begin Friday at fairgrounds
The Colorado Professional Rodeo Association 2012 Rodeo Finals will take place Friday through Sunday at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.
The first two days begin at 6 p.m. and feature preliminaries for bareback riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping.
Other challenges include mixed team roping, a variation of team roping that includes one male and female riding team member to serve as the header and heeler.
Finals will take place Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and an all-around champion will be crowned at the end of the weekend. The all-around champion is the highest earner competing in two or more events.
Mutton busting, where kids ride sheep, will be available for kids 4 to 7 years old who weigh less than 50 pounds. Registration is $5, and check-ins are available until 5 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis, with the top five mutton busters each night advancing to the finals Sunday.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at the Boot Barn, any City Market, Murdoch’s, Crawford Western Wear, All Around Feed or any Co-op Country store. Reserved seating is $15, and general seating is $12. Kids ages 7 to 17 are $9, and kids 6 and under get in free.
Local cowboys include Travis Bounds, of Palisade, a football player and wrestler turned roper, and he is one of the favorites in each of the roping events. He also will compete in team roping with his fiancee, Laura Soucie.
Cole Cooper, Bounds’ best friend, is a Montrose cowboy who also is a top contender in roping.
A parade honoring Grand Junction’s rodeo tradition will take place Saturday morning. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and travels through downtown Grand Junction.