There's exciting news for rodeo fans on the Western Slope, as Grand Junction is getting ready for the return of the Colorado Stampede in 2024. Did you know Colorado claims to be the home of America's very first rodeo?

The very first rodeo in America is an event claimed by multiple states. Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas all claim to have been first.

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America's First Rodeos

New Mexico claims to have held the first rodeo in June of 1847. Arizona held its first rodeo in July 1888, known then as a "cowboy tournament." Texas claims to have hosted its first rodeo in Pecos in 1883. Colorado's first rodeo was held in Deer Trail on July 4th, 1869.

Colorado's First Rodeo

Deer Trail, Colorado, is a town of about 1200 residents in Arapahoe County. They held their first rodeo on July 4th, 1869. The event was recorded in the "Field and Farm" magazine and told of area ranches and their outlaw horses competing in a "Bronco Bustin' Contest". A brand new suit of clothes was awarded to the Champion Brocn Buster. The 1869 winner was Emiline Gardenshire from the Milliron Ranch who rode "Montana Blizzard" for 15 minutes without being thrown off.

Deer Trail, Colorado is technically located on the far reaches of East Colfax Avenue east of Denver. The site of America's first rodeo has been recognized by the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Colorado State Legislature, the History Channel, and the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Rodeo Returns To Grand Junction This Summer

Rodeo is back in Grand Junction, Colorado for the summer of 2024. Did you know that the Colorado Stampede PRCA Rodeo will take place on the Western Slope? It's happening on May 24th, 25th, and 26th at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

The Colorado Stampede was held in Grand Junction from the 1950s to the 1990s. This event was established by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and then taken over by the Mesa County Sheriff Possee in 1957. The Colorado Stampede has been held on North Avenue at the old motor speedway, then the Lincoln Park Fairgrounds, later at Uranium Downs, and the Mesa County Fairgrounds in Orchard Mesa.

Keep going to check out some great photos of the old Uranium Downs racetrack and events at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, and keep listening for more info about next summer's big event.

LOOK: Historic Photos of Colorado Horse Races + More

Please enjoy a number of Bob Grant photos from the Grand Valley's past. These came from a box labeled "Horse." Yep, that's it, the box was called "Horses." These were selected at random, covering a number of decades.

Gallery Credit: Waylon Jordan

FIRST: Colorado Was the First State in America To Have These 10 Things

Over the years, the state of Colorado has been first many times. Despite being the 38th state added to the union, Colorado has been first several times when it comes to introducing new things. Scroll through the photos below to see ten different times when Colorado was the first state across the finish line with a new idea.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

You Have to See This Epic Colorado House Shaped Like a Horseshoe

You have to see this amazing home in the hills of Boulder, Colorado. It has been called one of the most architecturally significant homes in the state of Colorado.

Gallery Credit: Matt Sparx

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