The High Country Stampede Rodeo is set to begin its 29th season Saturday, July 7, and will be held every Saturday until Aug. 11.
Ray Thurston and wife Lacy are a rodeo couple.
Ray, now 42 is still involved in the rodeo circuit and continues to bull ride all over Colorado and Wyoming in the Mountain States Circuit and Professional Rodeo Association.
Lacy Thurston, 30, is a barrel racer and is looking forward to competing this summer at the Fraser Rodeo.
Ray performed in the Fraser Rodeo from ages 14 to 21.
He started riding steers while attending Middle Park High School and soon graduated to junior bulls and then to open bull riding at the rodeo.
He competed against riders from high schools in the area during his high school career.
"I did it on my own through the High School Rodeo Association, from there I got a college scholarship for rodeo at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne," Thurston said.
In college he was able to practice two days a week.
"It's hard to get practice in due to stock contracts. Most of the practice is at the rodeo," he said.
This summer, Ray is busying trying to qualify for the Mountain States Finals and Pro Rodeo Circuit.
"The Fraser rodeo was a great stepping stone. I remember going there as a kid," he said. "My whole family was there and members of my family started it."
Ray's father was one of the original members of the Fraser Rodeo.
Over the years, Ray has stayed in riding shape.
"Luckily I'm one of those people who stays fit by going to work everyday," he said.
"My wife is barrel racing three days a week," he said "which is a good training program for her horses, so they stay in shape and don't get sore racing barrel."
The 2012 rodeo season at the High Country Stampede Rodeo in Fraser is set to begin Saturday, July 7 and will host numerous events as well as free mutton busting for children ages 5 and under and calf scrambling for ages 6-12 during the performances.
For more information about upcoming events, to purchase tickets, or to register to compete in the rodeo visit highcountrystampede.com.