Pikes Peak or Bust leaves PRCA affiliation, gains sponsor

Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo President Gary Markle announced in a news release Thursday that the organization will add a Colorado-based company as title sponsor and will no longer affiliate with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

The 74th Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days event next year will take place without the involvement of the Colorado Springs-based PRCA, which schedules competitors and provides other support for its member rodeos. But the Pikes Peak or Bust will see the arrival of Cinch Jeans and Shirts as a title sponsor, according to the release.

“Cinch is proud to sponsor this great event and its dedicated organizers,” said David Dean, the company’s president. “For us, the great rodeo tradition combined with support of the U.S. military are compelling.”

Markle said in the announcement that the departure is part of a larger effort to create an “open format” that is more progressive and competitive.

“You’ll see some of the world’s top cowboys and cowgirls at our event and I’m confident our fans will appreciate the excitement this format has to offer,” Markle said in the announcement.

The transition from PRCA affiliation to this open format will allow the rodeo to govern itself more freely and while developing its own methodologies, Markle said in a phone interview. He said that this change will allow the organization to award contestants their money and prizes at the event’s conclusion, rather than afterward.

Media contact Julie Whitehead new format, which is currently in the works and already has been adopted by rodeos in other cities, will allow for a faster and more exciting event that will appeal to the audience in the eclectic Colorado Springs community.

“Where we are today is of course in large part built upon the history of this much-loved community event,” Markle said in the announcement.

Markle said that despite the organization breaking away from the PRCA after many years, the two entities are on good terms: “We see no negative implication of this move — at all.” PRCA has been headquartered in the Springs since 1979.

Cinch has been in business in the state since 1996 and specializes in Western wear used by many professional athletes in rodeo, bull riding and equine sports, according to CinchJeans.com.

The 2014 event is scheduled for July 9-12 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center located at 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road in Colorado Springs.