Rodeo Athletes Gather Downtown to Meet Fans

Top rodeo athletes sign autographs for fans Friday night in downtown Sheridan. (Photo by Pat Blair)

About 70 of the top professional rodeo athletes in the world gathered on Grinnell Plaza to meet their fans Friday night in advance of the Elite Rodeo Association's performance that starts at 4 p.m. today at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds.

The event Friday started about 4 p.m. Sheridan-WYO Rodeo board President Nick Siddle:

In addition to music by Justin Beasley, Friday's event included a chance to get autographs from the rodeo athletes. There were also food vendors and a couple of dummy steers that allowed people to try their hands at roping. Among the vendors was Chugwater Chili, which provided free chili to contestants and others. Sheridan Media Sales Manager Jim Schellinger explained.

Siddle said in addition to the rodeo performance, today's events will include a “meet-n-greet” starting at 2:30.

The event is hosted by the Sheridan-WYO Rodeo board, and is one of only eight scheduled by the Elite Rodeo Athletes nationwide. Siddle said Sheridan is the only Wyoming city scheduled on the national tour. The event will feature 12 competitors in each event, including bareback, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, saddle bronc, team roping, bull riding and barrel racing. Siddle said the event in Sheridan will be televised on Fox Sports 2 on Wednesday.

View more photos below.

Justin Beasley and band provided music. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Maelee Heart ropes one of the dummy steers. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Brittney and Steve Baumgartner at the Chugwater Chili booth. (Photo by Pat Blair)