Each year, we honor pioneers who have dedicated their time, energy, ideas, and passion to the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. This is a rodeo rich in history. The rodeo we know today evolved from a small rodeo in 1966 featuring “wild cow milking” and ranch related events to one of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association’s (PRCA) best small and medium market rodeos. Our history is attributed to the hard work of hundreds of volunteers and their pioneering spirit. We appreciate all of our volunteers and the pioneers who have made this rodeo one of the finest in the country.


2023 - Ricky Maher

“I enjoy the Stampede family,” Maher said. “All of the volunteers really try their best to put on the best rodeo for all of the fans and contestants. Every year keeps improving with hospitality or with the grounds and it makes it a better experience. Every year it gets better.”

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2022 - Ron  and Mary Louise Vermillion

“The Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo is the largest event in Elizabeth each year and continues to promote the western way of life beyond our community. This rodeo provides an education, so people understand the basis of this way of life.” Ron and Mary Louise

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2021 - Jace Glick

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2019 - Buddy Cox

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2018 Susan Johnson

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2017 Freddie and Mary Hudson

"People are at the best when they are serving others."  - Freddie

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2016 Dan and Priscilla Schnell

"Never knowing which athlete will win on any given day–the cowboy or the bull or the horse. Success and glory along with the risks and dangers. That’s as close to real life as you can get in a sport." –Dan

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2015 Dennis and Susan Jay

"This rodeo runs so efficiently during the performance — we deal with animal issues, we keep the rodeo clicking with no down time. The volunteers and production crews keep it running smoothly and we have a good time." –Dennis

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2014 Bill Snead and Linda Mai-Snead

"You didn’t say ‘No’. You drafted friends and neighbors. Anything you needed to do. There was always somebody who stepped up and volunteered. I really enjoy working with people and making a lot of friends. The mutual respect and camaraderie is what keeps me coming back." –Linda

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2013 Tom and Kathy Knowles

"I thought working as a volunteer would be as much fun as competing. It’s hard work volunteering. A lot of walking and cowboys never walk if they can ride. But we always had a real good time." –Tom

2012 Norm and Linda Almquist

"To put on a great Rodeo is what we’re trying to do and be the best small market rodeo. You set up a good program and get good people, and we have a lot of good people here. We do this because the rodeo is important to us and our community." –Norm

2011 Jack and Vivian Christensen

2010 Ed and Dona Lovelace

"There were thirteen of us and we started from scratch with the PRCA. We were committed. We had to perform." –Ed & Donna

2009 Chuck and Connie Nichols

"We worked on the rodeo because we wanted to serve a greater cause, and because it was very gratifying. It’s the motivation that all volunteers have and we can’t forget that as the rodeo moves ahead."

2008 Guy and Carol Williams

"I still work as a volunteer because I like being around the rodeo. It gets in your blood."    –Guy

2007 Diane and Roger Evans

"It was a lot of hard work but I remember a few years after we went pro in 1988, I was back of the bucking chutes with Pete Burns and it was a glorious night and seats were full and I thought, ‘Look how far we have come.’"     –Roger

2004 Pioneers: Don and Leanna Morgan

“The focus of the rodeo was always on what was going on in the arena. Taking the focus beyond the contestants and the events was the key to the future of the Stampede. –Leanna

2001 Pioneers: Bear and Lizanne Kay

"It is so important to us that we remember that the rodeo was put together by all kinds of wonderful people. This is the heart of it."

1999 Pioneers: June and Jim Jurczewsky

"Over the years Chamber members worked many hours and used their own tools and equipment to make improvements. We often wondered why we did this, pay dues to work, but it was fun, and when you saw fans enjoying the rodeo it was worth it." –June