Photos: Rodeo of Champions honors Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Western Stock Show

· Jan. 16, 2024, 12:32 am
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In steer wrestling, a cowboy chases a steer on his horse, gets off the horse at full gallop, grabs the steer by the horns and wrestles it to the ground. The Martin Luther King Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo at the National Western Stock Show, Jan. 15, 2024.

With bronc and bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and even some mutton bustin', Black Cowboys and Cowgirls put their own mark on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Denver's National Western Stock Show on Monday. The event, billed as the MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo, featured competitors from the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, which marks its 40 anniversary this year.

240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The braids were flowing on this rider during the junior category barrel racing.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A rider, left, runs for safety after falling from a bull during competition.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A bull rider tries to stay aboard.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A bull rider pulls off his helmet after taking a fall, while the bull runs free in the background.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Two-year-old Rari Baez, center, watches the rodeo with her family.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Westernaires, a precision equestrian team from Jefferson County, performed moves in lighted costumes.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Akin to steer wrestling, the ladies steer undecorating event sees contestants and their horses chase down a steer and then pluck a small flag from its back.
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The ladies breakaway roping event is a timed event in which the rider chases and ropes a calf, then pulls up the horse so that the rope breaks free.
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As his horse looks on, a steer roping cowboy ties the feet of a steer together. The judge , at right, will drop his flag when the maneuver is complete.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A cowboy trapped beneath the leaping ranch bronco from which he fell.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A cowgirl and her hat. The Martin Luther King Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo at the National Western Stock Show, Jan. 15, 2024.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
In steer wrestling, a cowboy chases a steer on his horse, gets off the horse at full gallop, grabs the steer by the horns and wrestles it to the ground.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
A young contestant in the mutton busting event.
240115-MLK-RODEO-NWSS-STOCK-SHOWHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Carrying the Stars and Stripes under the spotlight of the Martin Luther King Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo at the National Western Stock Show, Jan. 15, 2024.

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