Cadets watching cowboys
The Air Force Academy’s Class of 2016 blanketed the bleachers at the Norris-Penrose Event on Saturday as part of Air Force Academy Day. Air Force Superintendent Michael Gould offered opening remarks and the Falcons’ rodeo team and mascot made appearances during the matinee’s opening ceremony.
Packing the house
The stadium was as vibrant as ever Saturday. The concourse was jam-packed with spectators decked out in their finest Western attire, the vendors buzzed and the Coors flowed when more than 6,000 people jammed into the stadium to catch the final night of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.
The sellout Saturday marked the largest crowd of the week, but the rodeo reported more than 5,000 fans at all five performances.
Extending the Etbauer legacy
Despite growing up in one of the most storied families in rodeo history, Trell Etbauer says he’s never felt like he had to live up to the combined seven saddle bronc world titles of his uncle and father.
“All of them helped me down the road and coached me and so, I mean really, it doesn’t feel like there’s any pressure,” he said. “It’s like I’ve always been doing that my whole life and so it just feels like going to bed every night or doing something you do all the time.”
Wright praises Hall of Fame inductee
Saddle bronc rider Jake Wright, who finished in a tie for fifth with a score of 80 Saturday afternoon, said he once ran into legendary bronc rider Billy Etbauer. Wright has four other brothers who compete on the pro rodeo circuit alongside him, and was in New Orleans for his older brother Cody’s appearance at the National Finals Rodeo.
When the bronc legend overheard his fans talking about him, he took a seat to chat with the young Wright.
“He’s not only a great bronc rider but a great guy in general and I have a lot of respect for that guy and his family,” Wright said. “They’re all great people.”
IAN MCCUE, THE GAZETTE