Jon Ragatz started his day in Sheridan, Wyo., as he was competing in a rodeo there during the day before traveling back to Colorado Springs for the final round of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.
It took a rented U-Haul to get him to the Norris-Penrose Event Center, and Ragatz made it just before it was his turn to compete in the steer wrestling event. After that, he says, his nerves were gone.
"I was so nervous about not making it down here and getting through traffic in Denver, and when that all worked out, I was just kind of calm," Ragatz said.
Ragatz claimed the competition with a time of 4.73 seconds in the Super Shoot Out Round.
Cody Pratt was the lone competitor from Colorado, but the Pueblo native didn't make it to the Super Shoot Out round. He failed to get his steer to the ground in the Championship Round.
Saddle bronc competition goes to Baeza
With a score of 84 in the Championship Round and 88 in the Super Shoot Out Round, Tyler Baeza came out on top in the Saddle Bronc competition Saturday.
Ultimately, Baeza says, it was familiarity with the horse he was riding, Mountain Climb, that allowed him to be successful.
"I've been on that horse before, and I knew how he was," Baeza said. "So I just tried to let it all hang out and give myself an opportunity to win first."
The Championship Round featured two Coloradans in Garrett Buckley, from Craig, and Dalton Davis, from Holcomb. Both were unable to ride for the full 8 seconds, though, and they didn't qualify for the Super Shoot Out Round.
O'Quinn unfazed by poor conditions, new horse
Sabra O'Quinn was worried about her horse coming into the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. She had never run the horse in performance before, and with the dirt at the Norris-Penrose Event Center being soaked by rain all week, it made for tumultuous conditions.
"In any other rodeo or situation, I probably would have not even run," O'Quinn said. "But, you know, you qualify, and you go through the process, and this is such a big deal. So I was nervous about running in the first performance."
The nerves didn't show Saturday night, as O'Quinn was two-tenths of a second faster than her competition in the Barrel Racing Super Shoot Out Round, winning with a time of 18.413 seconds.
Shali Lord, from Lamar, finished the Championship Round in 23.952 seconds after knocking over a barrel. She didn't qualify for the Super Shoot Out Round.
Ramagos breaks bull riding tie with superior riding
When there is a tie in any of the roughback rodeo competitions, it is broken by whomever the judges deem to have had the better riding technique.
Saturday night, in the Super Shoot Out Round for Bull Riding, that proved to be Jeffrey Ramagos. He and Tustin Daye each scored a 90 for their rides, but thanks to Ramagos' superior kicking action, he took home the $15,000 prize.
The only Colorado native who made it to the Championship Round was Rifle's Dallas Rohrig. But after falling off his bull too quickly, his night was ended early.
First time is right time for Santos
It may read on the media guide that Taylor Santos, a tie-down roper, is from Creston, Calif. But before he resided in California, he was born in Colorado Springs and spent the first year of his life in the area.
Although Santos and his family moved away from the Springs, he and his family would always come back to attend the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo - due to his mom running the media department for the PRCA.
The now 22-year-old remembers being back behind the chutes and always dreaming of competing in the event. Santos never imagined he would win the tie-down roping competition during his first time at the rodeo.
"It's a dream come true," Santos said. "Coming back to where you were born, roping in front of family, and win $16,000, it's unbelievable. I'm not sure it has set in yet."
While Santos won the individual event, he had some help with from his brother.
Santos used his brother's horse in the qualifying rounds.
"It's pretty exciting," Santos said.
Santos loved the format of the rodeo. And he is more than willing to come back and compete.
Keylon repeats as champion after six-year hiatus
It has been six years since a bareback horse rider Jared Keylon competed at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. And in his return, he repeated as champion.
Back in 2011, Keylon won the bareback event with an 88-point ride. But thanks to some unfortunate injuries, he was forced to put off rodeoing for a while. However, thanks to some lucky scheduling he was able to return to Colorado Springs.
"My wife called me and said, 'Hey Jared, (Colorado Springs) has some openings in the bareback competition,'" Keylon said. "I called the public relations department, asked if I could compete and they said we will slot you in."
Keylon had Friday open after competing in a rodeo in Wyoming.
"Man, Lord, I know you made this possible for me for a reason, so I am going to come down (to Colorado Springs)," Keylon said on his split-second decision to stay through Saturday.
Lucky for Keylon, he made the right decision as he won the bareback competition with an 86-point ride.
"To come back here and win the event, it's almost surreal," Keylon said.
A dream come true for Blasingame
The rodeo is 30 to 40 minutes away from team roper Ty Blasingame's house in Sugar City. And he finally captured the title after it long eluded him.
While he never previously won the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, he always performed well.
Growing, it was always Blasingame's dream to win this event. And he almost did it back a couple of years ago but missed first place by a second. But claiming the team roping competition with his partner Tanner Luttrell with a time of 5.02, is a dream come true.