The mission of the Pikes Peak Range Riders is to promote and support the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, support the Pikes Peak Range Rider Foundation and carry on our western heritage.
The first ride of the Pikes Peak Range Riders around Pikes Peak in July, 1949 was an experiment to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, resulting from an idea of Everett Conover and Kenneth Brookhart. Anyone who wanted to go, and could provide himself with a horse and $35, could go. A total of thirty-eight riders made the first trip. The second year, the ride was preceded by a street breakfast held on Pikes Peak Avenue. The breakfast had been held for a number of years to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo so it was a “natural” as a starting point for the “Round the Peak” ride. The Pikes Peak Range Ride has become a tradition and a part of the rich history of Colorado Springs.
The annual ride kicks off with the Colorado Springs Western Street Breakfast, sponsored by the City of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Range Riders. The breakfast is prepared and served by Fort Carson volunteers. The $5.00 breakfast includes eggs, pancakes, milk, coffee and juice and is free to children under five. Tokens for the breakfast may be purchased the morning of the breakfast, or in advance at area businesses. All proceeds from the breakfast go to benefit local military charities.
The Pikes Peak Range Riders ride out of downtown at 8:00 AM marking the 68th annual range ride, thirty-five of which have been around Pikes Peak. The City of Colorado Springs, private landowners, and the U.S. Forest Service have historically been very gracious in granting access and the permits necessary to reach our historical campsite at Gillette, Colorado.
One of the best traditions of the annual Range Ride is Guest Night when military and community leaders, guests and Range Riders join together to celebrate our western heritage in the shadow of Pikes Peak with nothing but sky overhead!
The Cinch Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo
Following World War II, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo made a commitment to serve the area’s military and community charities. Since that time, the rodeo has donated millions to such programs as the Fort Carson Outreach Program, the Peterson Air Force Base Outreach Center, the Schriever Air Force Base Financial Management Fund and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Operation Warm Heart. In 2008, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days was honored with the highest accolade in the sport, induction into the prestigious ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
2016 marks the 76th Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, presented by Cinch, which will gather crowds from all over the United States. Many Range Riders are either directors on the Rodeo Board or work on various volunteer committees.
The non-profit Pikes Peak Range Riders Foundation was formed in 1998 to allow the Pikes Peak Range Riders to focus their charitable community activities. The initial years of the Foundation saw funds raised through auctions and events like West Fest, and then made contributions to several local organizations including the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.
In 2001, the Foundation accepted the generous contribution of the land and facilities of Latigo from a few individual Range Rider benefactors. Since then, the 45 acre site has hosted youth events and activities, offered horse boarding facilities, and leased space for a variety of events. The Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center, a special needs equestrian program, operates from Latigo.
In 2009, the Foundation Board clarified the mission and prioritized the use of the facilities for youth events and activities. The youth activities are designed to have a western, agricultural and equine orientation. They include events like 4-H, Rodeo Bible Camps, Little Britches Rodeo and the Pikes Peak Rangerettes.
The Pikes Peak Range Rider Pivots, a precision riding group consisting entirely of Range Riders, were formed in 1954, in hopes of bringing even more excitement and fast-paced fun to the world of rodeo. Year after year, more and more fans are drawn to the captivating routines and the speed and excitement of the Range Rider Pivots and their Grand Entry performance.
In addition to practicing year-round, the Pivots have ridden in numerous performances in places throughout the United States, traveling to places such as Denver, Wyoming, Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma, while representing the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo and the City of Colorado Springs with class and cowboy flair.
They’ve been described as one of the most prestigious women’s equestrian drill teams to represent a rodeo. To be a Rangerette, each prospective rider must meet specific standards. Consideration is given to character, morals, the desire to participate in precision riding, horsemanship, and the involvement in extra-curricular and school activities. All members of the team must be between the ages of 12 and 20, and they must own their own horse. Since 1957 the Pikes Peak Rangerettes have ridden to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. It’s a stunning picture – the Pikes Peak Rangerettes are full of class and finesse.
The Range Riders started the Special Rodeo in 1996, held each year at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame during the week of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. The Special Rodeo gives special needs children an opportunity to experience horse related events in a rodeo environment where every participant is a winner.