The Snake River Stampede started in 1913 as a bucking contest to spice up the Nampa Harvest Festival. Today, it’s one of the top pro rodeos in the world, and this week features a record number of athletes (727) and the largest pile of prize money ($426,000) in history.
The five-day run at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa starts with pre-rodeo events at 6:45 p.m. and the rodeo at 7:30. There is a family matinee at noon Saturday (all tickets available at ictickets.com).
The schedule includes Pink Night (Wednesday), Patriot Night (Thursday), Civil Service Night (Friday) and the Championship Finals (Saturday night).
Most top cowboys and cowgirls are expected, including 21-time world champ Trevor Brazile ($124,967) and Tuf Cooper, who is No. 2 in the all-around standings ($68,304). Not all top cowboys will appear in the night sessions because some will compete in Monday/Tuesday slack sessions.
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There are 22 pro-sanctioned rodeos in the U.S. and Canada this week, so it’s clearly the heart of the rodeo season, which continues with the Caldwell Night Rodeo on Aug. 18-22.