Weekly Rim Rock Rodeo returns to Fruita

Shane Ruppelius of Grand Junction looks good during an eight-second ride on the bull Hi Octane last year at the Jim Dible Oil Company Fruita Rim Rock Rodeo. The weekly rodeo is back starting tonight in Fruita.



The rodeo will take place every Tuesday night and will run through the last Tuesday in August. Tickets are $8 and kids 10-and-under get in free

Let the ridin’ and ropin’ begin.

The cowboys and cowgirls are ready to compete for another summer in Fruita as the Jim Dible Oil Fruita Rim Rock Rodeo begins its 2012 season tonight.

The rodeo will take place every Tuesday night and will run through the last Tuesday in August, according to Jerry Berentis, who produces the rodeo at 927 Colorado Highway 340 along with fellow Grand Valley resident and professional cowboy Brett Tonozzi.

A season-capping event will take place Sept. 29, during Fruita Fall Fest, Berentis said.

Each rodeo will start at 7 p.m. with mutton busting, which Berentis called “everybody’s favorite.”

The grand entry for the grown-ups will follow at 7:30 each week, and the events will include team roping, bull riding, junior bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, breakaway roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing.

Rim Rock Rodeo is a buckle series, meaning every event will have a buckle winner, based on accumulated points at the end of the season, plus an all-around buckle winner in the men’s and women’s divisions.

Berentis said the level of competition is difficult to pin down except to say, “It’s kind of an every level deal,” featuring National Finals Rodeo cowboys to novices and beginners.

“We have some really good team roping, and we have some really good bull riding,” Berentis said.

Mostly, the rodeo provides good family entertainment at an affordable price, he said. Tickets are $8, and kids 10-and-under get in free. A family pass for four people is $25.

“We’ve kept the prices down because we stress it’s a family event,” said Berentis, adding the two-and-a-half hours at the rodeo is cheaper than a movie ticket.

Berentis said the rodeo continues to grow in participants and quality, recalling it beginning in “1993, I think,” when there were no arena lights. With the earlier sunsets in August, “We were riding bulls in the dark,” he said.

Crowds now range from 500 to 1,500, Berentis said, and some tourists call him before planning their vacations to make sure Rim Rock Rodeo will take place during their stay.

Another way to check out what’s happening and when is to follow Jim Dible Oil Fruita Rim Rock Rodeo on Facebook.


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