Spills and Thrills of the 42nd Cowboy Downhill


One of the more entertaining events of the National Western Stock Show started some 40 years ago when Billy Kidd, Steamboat’s Director of Skiing, and Larry Mahan, six-time All-Around World Champion cowboy, decided to invite a few rodeo stars to Steamboat Springs for a day of skiing. The cowboys had so much fun that they decided to make it an annual event.  The Cowboy Downhill has rapidly grown to become one of the more popular events of the season with over 100 of the best professional rodeo cowboys competing in the most unique ski rodeo in the country.

The Cowboy Downhill is always scheduled to coincide with the National Western Stock Show in Denver.  Cowboys competing in the downhill must be entered in the Stock Show and also be a member of the Professional Cowboys Rodeo Association.  

This year, Grant Denny, a bareback rider from Mindin, NV, won the timed event where cowboys and cowgirls must make their way down a slalom course, rope a cowgirl and saddle a horse before crossing the finish line. Denny came in first with a time of 28.61 seconds.   He was followed by Wyoming bullfighter,  Marc Gill, who came in second with a time of 29.35.  

Following that event, all the competitors headed back up the hill for one last stampede run, where all the cowboys and cowgirls race downhill in a mass start and the first one down the hill wins.  This year's winner was saddle bronc rider Jesse Kirby from Dodge City, Kansas.   An award is even given out for most spectacular crash.  With all the rough stock riders who participate in this event, it's not surprising that there are a lot of crashes!

Steamboat Cowboy Downhill, 2016. Photo courtesy Shannon Lukens.

Posted by Steamboat Radio on Monday, January 18, 2016

Steamboat Cowboy Downhill, 2016. Photo courtesy Shannon Lukens.

Posted by Steamboat Radio on Monday, January 18, 2016

Lane Nordlund spoke with Colorado Northwestern Community College rodeo coach and former Wyoming bull rider Jed Moore about his involvement in the Cowboy Downhill.  Moore has been participating in the event for 18 years and has won both the timed slalom event and stampede run multiple times.  This year he won the timed event in a new category for legends and founders.  


Moore also was instrumental in adding an additional component to the annual event by inviting several cowboys and cowgirls with spinal chord injuries to participate including well known barrel racer Amberly Snyder.  Snyder competed several years in the Cowboy Downhill and keeps coming back for more. Video courtesy of Jed Moore.  




Amberley Snyder getting after it with NO assistance!

Posted by Jed Moore on Sunday, January 17, 2016

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