Are Those Cowboys on Skis?!
On January 19th, over one hundred professional rodeo cowboys flocked to Steamboat to participate in the 41st Annual Bud Light Cowboy Downhill. The atmosphere was lively as the cowboys lined up for the iconic “Stampede” event, where they all race and huck themselves over a couple decently sized jumps. Watching it, you notice these cowboys are actually taking themselves quite seriously! I wouldn’t call the PBR Cowboys the greatest skiers I’ve ever seen, but with that magical combination of natural competitiveness and lack of fear, they impressed us all!
This signature event of Steamboat’s was originally the idea of Billy Kid, Director of Skiing, and Larry Mahan, six-time, All-Around World Champion Cowboy. Forty-one years ago, the two decided to invite some of the ProRodeo Cowboys up to Steamboat for some serious fun on the slopes. Since then, the event has evolved into an iconic one, unique to Steamboat Springs.
As a local, I love it. Our genuine western culture is something that truly sets us apart from all other ski resorts and the Cowboy Downhill embodies it like no other event (except maybe the rodeo itself!). So next time you’re in Steamboat and you notice a man in chaps cruising down the hill, tip your hat to them. And it’s totally ok to laugh.
Check out the full video of the 2015 Cowboy Downhill here: http://www.steamboattoday.com/videos/2015/jan/19/3532/