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Hell on Wheels Rodeo series sets attendance records in Year 3; over $750K of total economic impact

DC Cathcart of Burns competes in bareback riding at the Hell on Wheels Rodeo at the Archer Rodeo Arena in Cheyenne. (Lisa Hushbeck/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Cheyenne’s popular summer rodeo series that gives fans of the sport an opportunity to view it in the city outside of Cheyenne Frontier Days had a record year this summer.

The Hell on Wheels Rodeo and Chuck Wagon Dinner series — originally started in 2020 due to Frontier Days’ cancellation at the Archer Complex just outside of Cheyenne — saw a record 1,754 tickets sold and a total spending impact of more than $750,000 in its third year, per a Visit Cheyenne news release Friday afternoon.

The release stated that there was a 5% increase in ticket sales this year despite there being one less show than in 2021, with attendees hailing from 46 states and 11 countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Turkey. In all, 55% of tickets were purchased by visitors hailing from outside of Wyoming.

Total payouts also reached a new high as the rodeo reported a combined $52,000 purse across the six rodeos held this year for the competing athletes. Cowboys and cowgirls from six different states (Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and California) competed in this year’s series as a total of 11 different categorized champions were crowned.

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“We had visitors to the series who planned their entire vacation around being at the chuck wagon dinner and rodeo,” Visit Cheyenne CEO Domenic Bravo was quoted as saying in the release. “The economic impact on the community is important but the visitor experience is the most significant thing we can do.”

Visit Cheyenne additionally noted in the release that the six confirmed dates for the 2023 edition of Hell on Wheels are June 9 and 30, July 7 and 14, Aug. 25 and Sept. 8. Tickets will go on sale for the shows on April 1, 2023.

The champions of this year’s Hell on Wheels series are as follows:

  • Bareback riding: Dalton Williams
  • Steer wrestling: Trayton Travnicek
  • Breakaway roping: Tatum Runner
  • Saddle bronc: Beau Scarborough
  • Tie-down roping: Donnell Holeman
  • Team roping: Royce Breeden and Colby Runner
  • Barrel racing: Emme Norsworthy
  • Novice bull riding: Wyatt Applegate
  • Bull riding: Cody Wooldridge
  • Men’s all-around: Colby Runner
  • Women’s all-around: Tatum Runner

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