2023 Stampede brings professional rodeo back to San Juan County
by David Boyle
Professional Rodeo is returning to San Juan County this week. Nearly 300 cowboys and cowgirls will compete at the San Juan Stampede Rodeo, which returns to the County Fairgrounds in Monticello this Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10.
The Stampede Rodeo is returning for the first time since 2019. With the Covid-19 pandemic first interrupting the event, rodeo organizer Karah Nay said she wasn’t certain this year if they would be able to do it again.
“Then County Commissioner Bruce Adams called me this year and said ‘We got the funding, let’s do this.’”
With the green light, Nay and a host of other volunteers have been busy getting ready for the return of professional rodeo to the area.
“I think it’ll be awesome for the community with so many contestants coming. It’s going to bring a lot of revenue to the county.”
Nay says the 294 contestants in eight contests include many that have been to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR).
Among those that have been to multiple NFR’s is Derrick Begay of Seba Dalkai, AZ. Begay has been to nine NFR’s and finished multiple times in the top 10 world standings in Team Roping. Begay will be roping with Ty Romo of Whiteriver, AZ. The pair has won several large events over the past four years.
Barrel racers include sisters Autumn and Amberley Snyder out of Tremonton, UT. Amberley Snyder is the subject of the Netflix biopic Walk. Ride. Rodeo. about her journey back to competitive rodeo after a car crash left her paralyzed from the waist down.
Bull rider Cody Jesus of Window Rock, AZ is also set to compete, Jesus is ranked #56 in the 2023 PBR Unleash The Beast rankings.
Gates open Friday and Saturday at 6:00 pm with action starting at 7:00. Events include bull riding, bronc riding, bareback riding, barrel racing, team roping, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, and breakaway roping.
The two nights of professional rodeo action are part of both the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Legacy Pro Rodeo-Bar-T
is the event stock contractor, with the Jester-Dusty Jenkins performing as the barrelman/rodeo clown.
Over half a dozen vendors including several food booths will be open each night. Food options include Navajo tacos, BBQ, concessions, and treats. The San Juan Jr. Stampede Rodeo Club will also hold a fundraising gun raffle and offer t-shirts for sale.
While rodeo attendees will see mostly an evening of professionals, they may also see some familiar faces in the arena.
Entries are open for mutton bustin’ and open barrel racing through Wednesday, June 7 at 5:00 pm.
Mutton Bustin’ will be limited to 10 entries each night for those aged 5 and under. Busters are required to bring their own helmets and there’s a $20 cash-only entry fee, with a belt buckle given to the winner of each night.
The open barrel race is limited to 5 entries each night for all ages. Racers are limited to one horse per rider with a $50 cash-only entry fee. The top three finishers of each night win cash from entry plus $300 added money.
Both entries close June 7 at 5:00 pm. To enter text or call 435-979-5722.
Title sponsors for the event include the Larry H. Miller Family Foundation, Clarks Market, TM Premier Services, Utah Navajo Health Systems, and Blue Mountain Meats. The San Juan Stampede has dozens of other sponsors that have helped to make the rodeo return.
Attendees can purchase one or two-day tickets to the San Juan Stampede Pro Rodeo.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at RelaDyne 1261 S Main Street in Blanding, or at the San Juan Record 49 S Main Street in Monticello.
Two-day passes are $25 purchased in advance and $30 at the gate for those aged 13 and up.
Two-day passes are $10 purchased in advance and $15 at the gate for kids age 5-12.
Kids four and under are free.
Single-day passes are $13 purchased in advance and $15 at the gate for those aged 13 and up.
Single-day passes are $7 purchased in advance and $10 at the gate for kids age 5-12.
Kids four and under are free.