The 57th annual Skyline Stampede, the oldest collegiate rodeo in the nation, is coming back to Fort Collins this weekend. The CSU club rodeo team is expecting at least 300 student-athletes from three states to compete at the event, which starts at 1 p.m. Friday at the CSU Equine Center.
The rodeo consists of 10 different events, including barrel racing, bull riding and team roping. Becky Limbitz, a barrel racer, said the rodeo has a long history that many students are unaware of.
“The Skyline Stampede is one of the biggest traditions at CSU, but not a lot of students know about it anymore,” she said. “It has a deep history.”
The Stampede is the biggest fundraiser for the Rodeo team. Coach Curt Johnston said that the few thousand dollars the team typically makes from the rodeo is usually just enough to break even.
“With the cost of livestock, the announcer, and equipment, we don’t make a lot of money,” he said. “This year we might do better than before. We have managed our money better this time.”
The rodeo team is coming off of its opening contest of the season against Eastern Wyoming, a performance in which the team struggled. Limbitz is looking to improve this weekend.
“The first rodeo of the year is always tough,” the sophomore animal science major said. “We struggled a little bit, but some competitors did well. We worked out the kinks and are ready for this weekend.”
Months of tireless work goes into putting on the Stampede, but that is what makes it a great event, said Hansen Vaughan, a senior animal science major.
“We start in November and it is ongoing, almost daily, work until it is finished,” he said. “We put a lot of effort into the Stampede, but that’s why its one of the best.”
Limbitz hopes the pure entertainment of the sport will draw fans to the Stampede.
“It’s live action,” she said. “It’s cheaper and more exciting than going to a movie. There are good wrecks and the announcers do a good job explaining everything.”
Sports reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org