impressive how a small non-profit club in Moab can create
a major event involving animals, people, clowns, parades,
queens, and good family fun. The Canyonlands Rodeo Committee
is just such an example of volunteers doing big things.
In the early days the Sheriff’s Posse sponsored the Moab Rodeo.
Then in 1988 Moab joined the big time by becoming affiliated with the
PRCA, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys of America. With this professional
affiliation, Moab’s small rodeo committee can bring first class
animals, cowgirls, and cowboys to town.
Green, President of the Canyonlands Rodeo Committee, says they have two
goals. To provide Moab with good family fun and to be voted the “best
small town rodeo in America” by the cowboys who participate. The
rodeo is also a popular tourist attraction especially with foreign visitors.
One can see why rodeo time is popular. Many activities occur both before
and during the Rodeo which will be June 9, 10, and 11 at the Spanish
Trail Arena. Cricket Green, Kent’s wife, heads the Rodeo Queen
selection committee. Judges are brought in from out of town. The contestants
give speeches, answer questions and ride their horses, to determine who
will be the 2005 Rodeo Queen. The public can attend the screening at
Star Hall the morning of May 7 to watch the women perform.
Then the excitement really begins. The rodeo starts on Thursday, June
9. On Saturday, the selected Queen and the Rodeo Grand Marshall lead
the Rodeo Parade through Moab. Floats, horses and riders in Western regalia,
clowns and music set the stage for the final day of competition.
Children love to go to the rodeo, and the Rodeo Committee orchestrates
events in the arena to keep them entertained. Many world class cowboys
and cowgirls entertain the audience with traditional events such as calf
roping, barrel racing, bronco, and bull riding. Between these exciting
events, the clowns, the local Red Rock Riders Equestrian Drill Team,
or the Mutton Busters, (small kids who try to ride the sheep), may perform.
A dance contest for children is also held.
thinking of the organization to bring off so many events is enough to
make your head spin. And it’s all done by volunteers. First, the
committee must be assured that it has the needed $32-33,000 it takes
to create the events. They hire the Bar-T Rodeo stock contractor to bring
in good, consistent stock to ride and rope. Prime stock is a very expensive
commodity. The cowboys like coming to a rodeo which uses good, well cared
for stock. By choosing Bar T, the Moab committee can attract first class
riders. To insure the safety of the animals, volunteer veterinarian Len
Sorenson is in attendance.
Purse money is a big part of the cost the committee must pay. The winner
of each of the seven major events wins $1000. In addition, PRCA judges
and an announcer must be paid. The Queen and her attendants win gifts.
The money for the budget comes from local sponsors who get good advertising
via banners carried in the parade and during drills in the Spanish Valley
Arena. Large donors get a banner at the chute where a big event erupts.
For example, the announcer says, “Out of the Red Cliffs chute come
the bull riders!” Everyone looks that way. In addition to commercial
sponsors the Moab Recreation Board provides some start-up funds as does
the Moab Travel Council and Grand County. Last year, due to good management,
the Rodeo Committee was able to return $9000 to the Recreation Board.
The Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce also get involved helping
with the parade. A raffle and entrance fees help make up the necessary
Each aspect of this major event in Moab takes planning and lots of energy.
Most of the volunteers are working members of the community, who devote
their spare time to this project. The Canyonlands Rodeo Committee is
a non-profit club whose purpose is to bring an outstanding rodeo to Moab.
Many long-time residents are involved. Kent Green, the President, is
a deputy sheriff (his dad was the deputy sheriff of San Juan County for
many years). Cricket Green is the queen selection coordinator. (Her grandfather
owned the Red Cliff Ranch). Josh Green, the son, handles the sound system
at the arena, and daughter AmAsie, a former rodeo queen, helps out. Cliff
Eggling is Treasurer and Sarah White is Secretary. Many other local residents
volunteer for the myriad jobs that come up as the rodeo approaches. They
handle the gates, take tickets, host the cowboys and cowgirls in a VIP
room, help the rodeo sponsors meet the cowboys, and organize the parade.
The closer the time comes to the rodeo, the more help the committee can
use. Anyone interested in becoming involved as a volunteer for the Canyonlands
Rodeo should call Kent Green at 435-259-7089.