The Ride for the Brand Championship Ranch Rodeo kicks off next week in Colorado Springs.

The event is steeped in history and formed from the everyday realities of the cowboy life. Teams travel from cattle ranches across the west to compete in an evening of fun and tradition. These cowboys work all week on their ranches, sorting and moving cattle, starting colts, doctoring and branding calves — and they ride for the legendary brands that represent the heart of America’s livestock industry.

“Most of these men and women own or run business in Colorado Springs (banks, restaurants, investment professionals, etc.) but also own and run ranches in area,” said rodeo committee volunteer Chris Valentine. “They wear boots and cowboy hats to work every day. [It is] kind of a unique perspective as they bring their love of the western lifestyle to their work in town.”

The action starts at high noon Thursday, July 2 with a Longhorn cattle drive through downtown Colorado Springs as a way of promoting the western way of life. The cattle start on Tejon Street just north of downtown and are driven south on Tejon to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum at Tejon and Vermijo.

On Friday, July 3, cowboys from 12 ranches will compete in events that demonstrate their skills – bronc riding, wild cow milking, sorting and trailer loading. Gates open at 4 p.m. with a rib cook-off featuring some of the best ribs in the area. The Ride For the Brand Championship Ranch Rodeo starts at 6:30 p.m., followed at 9 by live music, dancing and the awards ceremony at 9 p.m.

The rodeo takes place at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road. Tickets are available online at championshipranchrodeo.com or at the Norris Penrose Event Center Ticket Office.

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The Facebook address is facebook.com/ChampionshipRanchRodeo.

Proceeds benefit local military charities, WRCA Scholarship Fund and the WRCA Crisis Fund.

The Ride for the Brand Championship Ranch Rodeo is sponsored by Home Source Partners, Stockmen’s Bank, Strategic Financial Partners, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Coors, Summit Catering and Ranch Foods Direct.