Cowboys saddle up at Northwest MT Fair
West Glacier bull rider Beau Hill tells NBC Montana the Northwest Montana Fair is a favorite on the rodeo circuit every year.
"It's hometown and it's just an awesome rodeo," Hill explained. "The fans really get into it. Anytime you have a good crowd, good stock it makes for a good rodeo."
Tie-down roping contestant Curtis Cassidy agreed -- the crowd makes the rodeo, but the Albertan said numbers are down.
"Obviously if there was more money there would be more contestants here but the contestants are so spread out this time of year," Cassidy said.
The rodeo goes head to head this weekend with rodeos all over Montana, Canada, and on the East Coast. Some have big money up for grabs, but the Northwest Montana Fair offers $4,000 per event.
"If it went up to $10,000, the number of contestants would probably double from 40 to about 80 in our events," said Cassidy.
"The more money you have, the more guys who go hard doing it for a living look at your rodeo and try and fit it in," said Shane Moran.
Moran, a saddle bronc rider, said money talks but riders like him also appreciate Kalispell's energetic crowd.
"I just try to do my job and have fun at it and see how it comes together," Moran explained.
Despite the numbers and dollar amount, these cowboys say they'll always try to squeeze the Northwest MT Fair Rodeo into their hectic schedules.
"There are a lot of rodeos going on but this one is the number one rodeo for me right here," said Hill.
"I think everybody that's here is not afraid of any kind of conditions. This rodeo draws the real cowboys," concluded Moran.