Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo honors military members

By Norman ShifflettJuly 19, 2023

A bareback riding competitor rounds a barrel during the National Finals Rodeo Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Fort Carson and 4th Infantry Division Night, July 12 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs. Bareback riding is one of the eight events that the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo holds to compete for the championship.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A bareback riding competitor rounds a barrel during the National Finals Rodeo Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Fort Carson and 4th Infantry Division Night, July 12 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs. Bareback riding is one of the eight events that the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo holds to compete for the championship. (Photo Credit: Norman Shifflett) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Col. Buddy Ferris, deputy commanding officer of the Fort Infantry Division and 4th Infantry Division thanked the community during the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, at Norris-Penrose Colorado Springs Event Center in Colorado, July 12, 2023. The week-long event began with a parade in Downtown Colorado Springs attended by the Mounted Color Guard and Fort Carson leadership.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Col. Buddy Ferris, deputy commanding officer of the Fort Infantry Division and 4th Infantry Division thanked the community during the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, at Norris-Penrose Colorado Springs Event Center in Colorado, July 12, 2023. The week-long event began with a parade in Downtown Colorado Springs attended by the Mounted Color Guard and Fort Carson leadership. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Scyrrus Corregidor) VIEW ORIGINAL
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard presents the colors during the opening ceremony of the National Finals Rodeo Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Military Night July 12, 2023, at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs. The rodeo is part of Western Heritage days and events, which began Feb. 15, 2023, and runs until Dec. 9, 2023.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard presents the colors during the opening ceremony of the National Finals Rodeo Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Military Night July 12, 2023, at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs. The rodeo is part of Western Heritage days and events, which began Feb. 15, 2023, and runs until Dec. 9, 2023. (Photo Credit: Photo by Cpl. Robert Spaulding) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CARSON, Colo. --The National Finals Rodeo Open at Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo (PPBR) held Fort Carson and 4th Infantry Division Night, July 12 at Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.

The event brought Soldiers, their Families and the community together to celebrate the Front Range’s rich Western Heritage.

Deanne Funkhouser, a member of the Pikes Peak or Bust Board of Directors, said that the rodeo is a very family-oriented event and that having the military and community’s support keeps it growing every year. This year they added an additional night and matinee performance because they had such a large interest in the rodeo.

Col.  Buddy Ferris, deputy commander, 4th Inf. Div., started the event off by thanking the community for their support.

“Right now, you have 4ID Soldiers standing watch from Korea, the Middle East and Europe,” said Ferris. “Thank you to the entire Front Range Community for all your support of the military.”

After the opening remarks, the Pikes Peak Rangerettes drill team performed in the arena to start off the event.

Competitors from the U.S., Canada and Mexico came to compete in events, such as bareback riding, steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, barrel racing and more.

The rodeo depends on volunteers to operate and most of those volunteers come from Fort Carson, the United States Air Force Academy, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Schriever Space Force Base and Peterson Space Force Base.

“Most of our volunteers come from the military,” said Funkhouser. “If we did not have them, we would not be able to put on the rodeo.”

Funkhouser also said that Colorado Springs is a military friendly town and events like this help bring the military and the community closer together.

Pvt. Adam Jacob Ewing, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., said he felt it was important to engage with the community by volunteering at the rodeo.

“I love the idea of Soldiers being able to interact with the community, because it builds a nice rapport between civilians and the Soldiers,” said Adams. “I like the ability to interact with the community surrounding the post (Fort Carson) and build a bond with the people we are serving to protect.”

The lead up to the rodeo was the Western Heritage Street Breakfast Token presentation on June 7, followed by the street breakfast itself on June 21 and the Pikes Peak or Bust Parade July 8, all focusing on promoting the rodeo.

The PPBR is a part of Colorado Springs Heritage and has been in performance every year since 1937. It was paused during World War II, but resumed once the war was over.

Since 1946, the proceeds of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo have been utilized to help support service members and their Families in the Pikes Peak region.

“The community has always had strong support for the military,” said Funkhouser. “Having the military at the rodeo gives our community a great chance to interact with the service members and get to know them better.”