From atop his beautiful horse, Limo, the Snake River Stampede’s announcer Boyd Polhamus was quite clear. In unmistakable terms, and with counting fingers held out for all to see, he listed off all the professional rodeos that had celebrated their hundredth anniversary. Calgary, Cheyenne, Pendleton, and Pecos were counted before a pause to announce the fifth and newest to the centennial fold: “YOUR Snake River Stampede!”
The crowd roar was inevitable, but it wasn’t the first of the week. By the time Saturday evening’s final rolled around, a week’s worth of intense cheering had worked its way into the ambience of the Ford Idaho Center, with a unique excitement evident from the first lights-out opening until the last champion had taken his bow. The buzz wasn’t just in the crowd, either — a hundredth anniversary celebration seemed to be quite the occasion for celebration to contestants, contract personnel, and even celebrities from the local to national levels who showed up for introductions in the crowd and/or sent along their congratulations by video. As it turns out, a hundredth anniversary is no small thing at all.
The celebration was quite a big production on the arena floor, featuring everything from a new routine by the Snake River Stampeders incorporating themed colors and the Murphy-Silver City Stagecoach (AKA the Snake River Stampede wagon), the first trips around the arena from the new “Whisky Wagon”, the returns of many individuals with important ties to Stampede history, and a special cake that popped open to treat the crowd to the sight of a beautiful baby bucking horse who was joined by its mama for a few moments in the spotlight. Past and future collided night after night, treating those in attendance to the very best of the history of the Stampede, the finest modern riders, ropers, stock, and production, and tomorrow’s rodeo stars doing their best in the youth rodeo and mutton busting.
The week even featured the return of one of the Stampede’s most legendary faces, painted, though it may be, in barrelman Leon Coffee, who worked the Coors can for the first time in years to the delight of every longtime attendee. To call it all a spectacle would be an understatement!
Apart from the festivities themselves, the action was everything we have come to expect, and maybe even more. The Stampede always attracts the best riders and ropers with a substantial payout and the best stock in the business from the Cervi Championship Rodeo Company, and this year did not let down by any means. There was a 91-point bull ride by Brennon Eldred on a determined “Little Turbo”, and all the unpredictability that comes from having the best riders pitting themselves against the best stock ride after ride after ride. There aren’t many rodeos of the Stampede’s caliber in the country, and the athletic content of the 2015 edition lived up to the highest of our expectations.
Along with the relatively-new pyrotechnics and general production feel, the centennial year brought back the tradition of an awards ceremony with silver trays and infield presentation. All the award winners took their prizes as flames shot high into the air, proving a most satisfying conclusion to the year’s drama, and if there’s a better way to cap a centennial celebration than with Trevor Brazile winning the all-around cowboy, I just don’t know what it could be.
All in all, the Stampede proved they know how to throw a week-long party for themselves, and it was well deserved indeed. A centennial only happens once, but what can I say? Bring on the 101st — I’m ready!
2015 Overall Results
Trevor Brazile $8,654.07
Steer Wrestling – 1st Go – Timmy Sparing 3.8 sec. $3,753.14
2nd Go – Casey Martin 3.6 sec. $3,881.48
Short Go – K.C. Jones 3.8 sec. $1,653.00
Aggregate – K.C. Jones 13.2 on three head $5,822.22
Tie Down Roping – 1st Go – Shane Hanchey 6.9 sec. $3,869.39
2nd Go – (Tie) Monty Lewis 7.8 sec. and Trevor Brazile 7.8 sec. $3,516.90
Short Go – Trevor Brazile 7.5 sec. $1,334.00
Aggregate – Caleb Smidt 24.8 sec. on three head $5,643.41
Team Roping – 1st Go – (tie) Charly Crawford & Shay Carroll 4.5 sec. and Travis Whitlow & Tyler Whitlow 4.5 sec. $2,329.19
2nd Go – Matt Sherwood & Quinn Kesler 4.3 sec. $2,491.69
Short Go – Matt Sherwood & Quinn Kesler 4.6 sec. $1,080.25
Aggregate – Matt Sherwood & Quinn Kesler 13.8 sec./on three $3,737.54
Barrel Racing – 1st Go – Katelyn McLeod 15.81 sec. $5,434.18
Short Go – Katelyn McLeod 15.80 sec. $2,300.18
Aggregate – Katelyn McLeod 31.61 sec./two runs $5,434.18
Bareback Riding – 1st Go – Kaycee Feild 86 pts. $5,101.50
Short Go – (tie) Clint Cannon 88 pts. and Winn Ratliff 88 pts. $1,450.00
Aggregate (tie) Winn Ratliff 169 on two head $4,506.32 and Kaycee Feild 169 on two head $4,506.32
Saddle Bronc Riding – 1st Go – Charlie Kogianes 86 pts. $4,297.80
Short Go – (tie) Brad Rudolf 87 pts. and Cort Scheer 87 pts $1,450.00
Aggregate – (tie) Brad Rudolf 169 pts. on two head $3,796.39 and Cort Scheer 169 pts. on two head $3,796.39
Bull Riding – 1st Go – Corey Granger 91 pts. $4,509.30
Short Go – Brennon Eldred 84 pts. $5,000.00
Aggregate – Brennon Eldred 171 pts. on two head $4,509.30