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Durango Fiesta Days kicks off at La Plata County Fairgrounds

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Friday, July 27, 2018 8:46 PM
Tait Kvistad takes down a steer on Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days steer-wrestling contest at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Eight bulldoggers competed in the afternoon round. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Jesse Jolly takes down a steer on Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days steer-wrestling contest at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Eight bulldoggers competed in the afternoon round. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Makena Burris throws her lasso at a calf on Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days breakaway-roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Young cowboys watch breakaway roping Friday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Taylor Bond takes down a steer on Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days steer wrestling contest at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Eight bulldoggers competed in the afternoon round. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Cowgirls wait their turn Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days breakaway-roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bandee Tubbs chases a calf on Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days breakaway-roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Halle Householder throws her lasso at a calf on Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days breakaway-roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Calves keep a close eye on Snip as he climbs into their water buckets to cool off Friday during Durango Fiesta Days at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Bethanie Shofner takes off out of the gate to chase a calf Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days breakaway-roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
A great place to watch the roping Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days breakaway-roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Taylor Bond slides off his horse and onto a steer Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days steer-wrestling contest at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Eight bulldoggers competed in the afternoon round. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Spurs on boots at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Russell Sulivan competes Friday at the Durango Fiesta Days tie-down roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Blaine Garley ropes a calf Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days tie-down roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Steers wait their turn Friday during Durango Fiesta Days at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Laci Brunson, 13, left, and Karley Pollock, 15, hang out Friday during Durango Fiesta Days at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Holli Timmerman, 14, left, and Liesl Chenowith, 13, work the gate as a calf runs out of the arena Friday during Durango Fiesta Days at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Tie-down roping and barrel racing kicked off the Durango Fiesta Days events Friday morning at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Rodeo events will run all weekend as part of the annual Fiesta Days, which have been running since 1935.

In the timed, tie-down roping event, a horseback rider chases and lassos a calf. Then, the rider dismounts, wrestles the calf to the ground and ties together three of its legs.

Women competed in a modified version called “breakaway roping,” where the rider catches the calf but doesn’t dismount and tie the calf.

Quincy Montoya, 13, of Hesperus competed in breakaway roping.

She is a member of the local Basin Rodeo Club and recently competed at the National Junior High Finals rodeo in South Dakota.

Montoya, whose favorite event is goat tying, has been participating in rodeo for most of her life after a preschool teacher introduced her to it.

The best part of the tight-knit rodeo community is “hanging out with friends and having a good time,” she said.

Another competitor, Wendy Brandt, was waiting for the barrel races to begin.

Brandt grew up on horses and said, “It’s my sanctuary.”

An experienced rodeo participant from Monticello, Utah, Brandt frequents events in Cortez, Durango and Farmington.

The old fairgrounds in Durango, which had more space for rodeo events, was ideal, Brandt said. She added that she would like to see the La Plata County Fairgrounds expand in the future.

Multiple rodeo performances are scheduled through the weekend at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

On Saturday, the Fiesta Days parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Main Avenue in downtown Durango, and the Fiesta Queen Coronation will take place at 6:15 p.m.

On Sunday, Cowboy Church will held at 9 a.m. at the fairgrounds’ grandstand followed by the Cowboy Pancake Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. at the fairgrounds’ patio.

rsimonovich@durangoherald.com

2 Images

Bandee Tubbs chases a calf Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days breakaway-roping competition at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.
Taylor Bond slides off his horse and onto a steer Friday during the Durango Fiesta Days steer-wrestling contest at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Eight bulldoggers competed in the afternoon round.
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