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Evergreen Rodeo Weekend! Featuring the Evergreen Rodeo Drill Team, Rocky Mountain Renegades!

Let the fun begin! – Father’s Day Weekend and Evergreen Rodeo Weekend are synonymous in Evergreen Colorado.  Having a rodeo in a small town is a historical and special privilege, not to mention a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) Rodeo.  Being a PRCA Rodeo holds the standards of animal treatment and care to the highest level. 

The PRCA has more than 60 rules to ensure the proper care and treatment of rodeo performance animals.  The rules and regulations are detailed and include important measures such as on-site veterinarians, animal inspections, type of equipment used, treatment of animals, shipping, frequency of activity, and the list goes on. 

Impromptu Evergreen rodeos started in the early 1900’s to entertain locals, celebrity visitors and affluent easterners summering in the Evergreen area.  The first regularly scheduled rodeos started in 1935 becoming a yearly professional rodeo in 1947, attracting big-name national rodeo competitors traveling the PRCA circuit. 

One of the highlights to be seen on Evergreen Rodeo Weekend is the Evergreen Rodeo Drill Team, known as the Rocky Mountain Renegades.  In the last 7 years, Denise Schupp, a mountain area native and resident, has refined the drill team into sought after performers, representing Evergreen and the Evergreen Rodeo all over the state.  Denise states, “It (the Evergreen Rodeo) is an important part of the heritage of Evergreen and we are thrilled to be a piece of that history.  It combines my greatest passions – Evergreen, horses and drill team.” 

Denise has passionately spent a lot of time bringing the team to the next level of professionalism to ride in several performances throughout the year and all over Colorado.  With the help of the team, she has upgraded the costumes to give variety and a professional appearance as well as changed the choreography and music every year while constantly making improvements along the way.  The team practices for 2-3 hours weekly, starting in January and running through September in various locations depending on the weather.

Drill teams are a lifelong pursuit for Denise.  She joined Westernaires in 1972 when she was 9 years old and rode with them for 10 years.  She performed with Westernaires for 5 years at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo and eventually graduated as Captain of the Varsity team at Stock Show 1982.   From there Denise has served as a coach for Westernaires riders for a total of 24 years. She was also a paid consultant to other drill teams in Colorado and Wyoming to help them create teams, drills, and all of the other logistics.   She joined the Evergreen Rodeo Association in 2011 and rode with their drill team that was performing at the time.  The President of the Rodeo Association had heard of her experience riding and coaching and wisely asked her to take over the leadership and be the manager/coach of the struggling team. The is her 8th year riding in the Evergreen Rodeo with the drill team and 7th year as the manager and coach.

Most, but not all of the drill team riders, are alumni of Westernaires, have a drill riding background and vary in ages from 19-56.  The team has varied yearly from 13-22 riders, 20 being ideal. This year there are 18 riders who live in Brighton, Parker, Westminster, Littleton, Sedalia, Castle Rock, Bailey, Conifer, Indian Hills and Evergreen.  All riders own and care for their own horses or borrow from others on the team.  There are even two sets of sisters and one set of brothers on the team. 

No to be forgotten is the indispensable ‘ground crew’ that help with everything behind the scenes.  Made up of spouses, significant others, parents, and others that help with costume sewing and repair, flag sewing, photography, first aid, mixing our music, and working in the paddock area running the gates and handling our flags. 

In addition to performing at the Evergreen Rodeo every year, they perform at the Roof Top Rodeo in Estes Park, the Boulder County Rodeo Ballet on Horseback, the Park County in Fairplay, the Little Britches Rodeo in Evergreen, the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, and Zuma’s Rescue Ranch black-tie fundraiser.  This year they will also be performing at the Denver Polo Club for their “Polo, Puppies and the Prince” fundraiser in August on their polo grounds! Additionally, the drill team has ridden in the National Western Stock Show parade for the past 7 years.

When can you see the devoted Rocky Mountain Renegades Evergreen Rodeo Weekend?!  They will be near the head of the parade through Downtown Evergreen carrying sponsor flags from local businesses.  At the rodeo performances, they will ride 2 drills in the pre-show, the Grand Entry in the opening performances, and an intermission performance drill in the middle of the rodeo on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Tickets on sale now at evergreenrodeo.com!

Rodeo Weekend Schedule –:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

10 AM – Parade

3 PM – Gates Open

3:30 PM – Preshow

5 PM – Rodeo

Sunday, June 16, 2019

12 PM – Gates Open

12:30 PM – Preshow

2 PM – Rodeo

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!  Be a part of the fun and dust off your cowboy hat and boots!  There are many volunteer positions available to help put on this incredible weekend of fun!  Contact Marty Unger at [email protected] or 303-204-6642.  Heather McWilliams © 2019.

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