High Desert Stampede History
Early in 2014, a small group of experienced rodeo producers, athletes and local business owners set out to elevate the world of professional rodeo while Bringing You the Stars. Countless hours, volunteers and community partners delivered the first ever High Desert Stampede in September 2015.
Late in 2015, relationships established with John Growney of Growney Brothers Rodeo and others led to a new opportunity that had never before been available to a rodeo committee. Aiming to deliver the top athletes in each event in a championship type tour, the Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) was set to launch an unprecedented shift in the rodeo world. The directors of the High Desert Stampede jumped at the opportunity to be a part of rodeo history. Never before had they been able to guarantee the appearance of so many top athletes and animal athletes!
Just 78 days after being sanctioned by the new association, the second High Desert Stampede kicked off the first ever ERA Premier Tour on March 25 & 26, 2016. The entire world was watching and Redmond didn’t disappoint. The energy in the standing room only arena was palpable. World champion athletes and animals performed at the top of their game leaving everyone drooling for more.
Financial backing, legal challenges and lackluster attendance at the remaining ERA Premier Tour stops led to the suspension of the 2017 season and ultimately the ERA. The High Desert Stampede committee was left on another short timeline to produce the next installment of rodeo. Quickly sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) the directors set out to put on another high-quality production focused on a modern take of traditional rodeo. They aimed to achieve their goal by creating a fast-paced entertaining show around traditional rodeo events.
New rodeos are unusual. New nationwide top 40 rodeos are unheard of. In a few short years, we've become an anticipated Central Oregon tradition, because we're new, different and focused on bringing rodeo to everyone. Always at the end of March, we will continue Bringing You the Stars! See you at the rodeo!