In Photos: From Bulldogging To Barrel Racing, Deer Trail Rodeo Marks 150 Years

July 7, 2019
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryDeer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Kennesburg's Peyton Stepanoff, 17, rides Fireball through the barrel racing circuit Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the annual Deer Trail Rodeo. The Colorado plains town claims the title of being the site of the first rodeo in the American West, and this marked the event's 150th anniversary.

There's a red and white billboard outside town on Interstate 70 about an hour east of Denver that proudly tells you you're passing Deer Trail, site of the first rodeo ever held in the American West -- in 1869. Do the math and that means the little High Plains town marked its 150th annual rodeo on Independence Day weekend this year. Doubt Deer Trail's claim to fame? The Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association is here to set you straight, so was just about everyone in the arena and the stands. It was a full house Friday, and the competition continued Saturday.

Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging, kicked off Friday, July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo. Steers get a head start out of the gate and are chased down by a bulldogger and a hazer. With the clock ticking, the bulldogger has to slide off his saddle and onto the steer and then wrestle it to the ground.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Miss Deer Trail Rodeo 2019 Hailey Frederiksen, right, and Lady in Waiting Kelly Lynch pause on their horses before entering the ring Friday, July 5, 2019.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Rodeo clown and barrelman JD Schulze of Brighton lowers his outsized green cowboy hat during "The Star-Spangled Banner" before competition begins Friday, July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Steers are ready for roping and wrestling competitions in the pens at the end of the arena Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A bronc rider gets thrown from his horse Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo. The horses are bred and raised for rodeo competitions.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
From left Liz Lindsay of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Rachel Bourgin, and her husband Rob Bourgin, of Castle Rock, watch the steer wrestling competition Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The annual Deer Trail Rodeo marked 150 years when it got underway Friday evening July 5, 2019. Deer Trail, about an hour east of Denver on the plains, claims to be the home of the first rodeo in the United States.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Riders tend to their horses outside the ring on Friday evening July 5, 2019, before roping events at the Deer Trail Rodeo.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Shelby Dines of Idaho warms up Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Riders, spectators and judges wait for the action to start Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A bull throws a rider Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The rodeo featured barrel racing on Friday evening July 5, 2019, in Deer Trail.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Two men on horseback chase down a bronc after a ride Friday evening July 5, 2019, at the Deer Trail Rodeo.
Deer Trail Rodeo 150 AnniversaryHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Spencer Mosher, 7, is too young for the ring, but he keeps an eye on the grownups from the rail at the Deer Trail Rodeo.