New Cowboy Up and Balloon Glow Events Kick Off Festival on Sunday, Jan. 19th

Shooter Jennings Rocks the Boat During Free Concert Immediately Following Stampede

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO-January 13, 2014-If there’s one thing Steamboat is known for besides the Champagne Powder® snow, it’s the western roots that run deep in this ranching community. Cowboys have long called Steamboat home, and on any given day you can find them hitting the slopes in their cowboy hats, or saddling up to the bar in the boots. But one particular day for the past 40 years, the western heritage of Steamboat collides with skiing and snowboarding head on, with the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill.

“There’s no other event like the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill, one of the most popular and unique events in sports,” said Rob Perlman, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Steamboat. “Professional Cowboys are about the heat of competition, and Steamboat knows competition better than any ski resort in the country, so combining the two for the entertainment of all is a natural fit.”

ProRodeo Champions from across North America are invited to stampede their way down the slopes of Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.® in the 40th Annual Bud Light Cowboy Downhill. A ‘can’t miss’ event in Steamboat, the Cowboy Downhill attracts professional cowboys from across the United States as well as Australia, Canada, Europe and Mexico. The race bursts out of the chutes on the base area beginner trail, Stampede, on Monday, Jan. 20th.

During the milestone season, Cowboy Downhill will premiere a new special Balloon Glow and Cowboy Up Party on Sunday night.  Shortly after sunset (around 5:30pm), six majestic hot air balloons will illuminate the night across the base area. Balloon pilots will inflate and ignite their burners in a mesmerizing dance of light and sound not to be missed.  Then, kick up your heels and dance the night away at the Bear River Bar & Grill to Cowboy Downhill and musical legends, Banks & Shane, at 6pm.

Monday’s events begin with the dual slalom race at 1pm.  After negotiating the slalom gates and on-course jump, the cowboys must lasso a person, saddle a horse, and cross the finish line in the fastest time and all in one piece. The grand finale of the 40th Bud Light Cowboy Downhill is a chaotic western stampede on skis and snowboards. The Stampede utilizes a mass start and pits cowboy against cowboy in a winner-takes-all race. The greatest challenge for the winner is getting out of the way of a hundred other cowboys hurling down the hill in hot pursuit. 

Cowboy Downhill racers

Immediately following the Stampede race, Shooter Jennings, the only son of country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, takes to the Steamboat Stage as part of the Bud Light Rocks the Boat Free Concert series. Don’t let Shooter Jennings fool you – he ROCKS! He’s lean and wiry, with tattoos snaking up his arms – his mother’s name on one, a gun on the other – and a crimson stud gleaming in one ear and has played sold-out shows at the Viper Room and the Roxy. The evening rides off into the sunset with the unique Cowboy Downhill Gala atop the Steamboat Gondola at 7:00pm, which includes a Western BBQ, music from Banks & Shane and plenty of good old-fashioned stories telling from cowboys and downhill participants. Gala tickets are $85 with limited availability and must be purchased in advance through Steamboat Central Reservations®.

Four decades ago, the Cowboy Downhill started when Larry Mahan, six-time All-Around World Champion cowboy, and Billy Kidd, Steamboat’s Director of Skiing & Olympic medalist, decided it would be fun to invite a few of the ProRodeo stars from the Denver Stock Show up to Steamboat for a day of skiing and racing fun. “Larry called me up and said I want to learn to ski and I heard you’re the guy to teach me,” Kidd said. “The next year he brought up a couple friends and when you get two or three rodeo cowboys together you’ve got a contest. That was the beginning of the Cowboy Downhill and we’ve haven’t looked back since.”

All Bud Light Cowboy Downhill participants must be entered in the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver scheduled for January 2014; be a member of the ProRodeo Cowboys Association or Professional Bull Riders; and wear chaps and cowboy hats to compete in the event.

The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., brews Bud Light, the best selling beer in the United States and the number one beer in the world. Bud Light is the official sponsor of the Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat. For 40th Annual Bud Light Cowboy Downhill event information, schedule and images, please click here.

– Happy Trails®-