Three Performances of the Bozeman Roundup Ranch Rodeo this Weekend at the Gallatin County Fair.
Bozeman, MT—Heading into its 99th year, the Bozeman Roundup Ranch Rodeo at Big Sky Country State Fair is offering $11,000 to contestants in a double header competition, the largest known ranch rodeo purse in the state. Twenty teams will compete for a chance to win top money at one of the oldest sports in the West.

“A ranch rodeo is different from a professional or amateur rodeo such as PRCA or NRA,” said Dennis Voeller, general manager of Big Sky Country State Fair. “This is a team sport with up to five people per team. The events are modeled directly from the working atmosphere on any of today’s ranches.” Each team must contain a person of each gender and someone to ride a bronc.

Offering a strong purse is an important draw for the Fair, according to Voeller. Higher earning power increases team quality, a good thing for fans, and rewards cowboys for the long distances they often travel to make it to Bozeman.

The Bozeman Roundup will be held Saturday, July 21 featuring two “long go’s” with a performance of the first 10 teams at 1 p.m. and the second 10 teams at 7 p.m. On Sunday, July 22, the top five teams from each go will compete in the finals at 1 p.m. Sankey Pro Rodeo, Joliet, Mont., is the stock contractor and event producer.

The Bozeman Roundup includes a variety of hair-raising events including wild cow milking, sorting, branding, doctoring and trailer loading. In the wild cow milking, one contestant must rope a cow while teammates must wrangle and milk her. All teams compete at once, making for a particularly wild and entertaining event.

Trailer loading challenges teams to rope a steer, load him in the trailer, load two horses with him, and finish with all team members jumping in the pickup truck. Time stops when the truck doors close. The calamity is akin to ranchers having to rope a critter in the big open with no help from corrals, in order to take him back to the ranch.
Much like a PRCA rodeo, the Bozeman Roundup showcases bronc riding. The scoring is a bit different in ranch rodeo – contestants are judged on style, control, degree of difficulty and creativity. Some cowboys go all out with costumes, waving hats and other amusing charms during their ride.

Added in 2017 was the Hide Race. Two contestants at a time race from one end of the arena to the other dragging a cowhide. A cowboy risks his pride by being the hide rider. The rider must make it all the way to the barrel and back to qualify in this timed event. The hide race isn’t so much a replica of real work, as it is a show of ranch life fun.

All performances of the Bozeman Roundup, sponsored by Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply and Frontline Ag Solutions, are held in the Anderson Arena at Gallatin County Fairgrounds during the Fair. This rodeo and all events (night shows, motor sports, grounds entertainment) are free with Fair admission. More information regarding rodeo rules, entry forms and Fair schedules may be found at or by calling (406) 582-3270.
The winning team from the Bozeman Roundup Ranch Rodeo will compete at the  Farstad Oil Ranch Rodeo Finals at the NILE  Saturday, October 13 at 7 p.m. in Billings, Montana. The NILE is proud to have the Bozeman Roundup Ranch Rodeo as one of the sanctioning partners. 
The Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) is a non-profit organization 501(c)5 established in 1967 that is dedicated to preserving and embracing the Western lifestyle through the promotion of livestock, agriculture education, and respect of the western tradition. Billings, Montana.
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