The tension rises as each cowboy mounts his ride. Then, they come charging out of the gates - on bucking broncos and angry bulls, kicking up a lot of dust and hanging on to beat the clock - at Longmont's Old Timer’s Rodeo.
The riders are men and women, who are 40 years old or older and some of the tough old riders, who love the sport of rodeo, are in their 60’s and 70’s - and still hanging for those wild rides to gain competitive points and win prizes.
Cowboys and Cowgirls, many of whom were previously Rodeo champions in their younger days, came from Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California and Wyoming to compete - and they thrilled the crowd with their skill and tenacity.
The Old Timer’s Rodeo, which is the only Senior Pro Rodeo Tour event left in Colorado, is part of the Boulder County Fair, Livestock Show and Rodeo, Boulder County’s largest single event. Now in its 136th year, it draws an attendance of over 75,000 people.
Preceded by formations performed by the Cloverleaf Riders Drill Team with their green and white flags waving in the breeze, Andie Lee, the 2005 Fair and Rodeo Queen and Alissa Neitenbach the Fair and Rodeo's Lady-In-Waiting entered the arena - to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd - in the rodeo’s opening ceremonies.
This year’s Rodeo events included: calf roping, saddle bronc riding, ribbon roping, steer wrestling, ladies barrel races, team roping, and bull riding.