SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Chris Kelly and Diane Teague, former co-executive directors of the Snowmass Western Heritage Association and the rodeo, announced recently that they have stepped down from their positions.
"As of the last rodeo of the season in August, we are no longer associated with the Snowmass Rodeo," they wrote in an email addressed to several individuals, including the Snowmass Sun. "We are both proud of the success of the rodeo over the many years and we hope that legacy can continue. We had a good run and we were glad that you were a part of it."
Kelly declined to comment further.
The SWHA produces the annual summer rodeo. Board member Tom Yocum said there had been some conflicts within the association over finances.
"We're also trying to make it more of a Snowmass organization ... as it is a community event, and I was trying to get more locals to participate," he said. Kelly and Teague live downvalley, and not many recent rodeo participants have been from Snowmass.
Stock contractor Darce Vold will now take over the whole rodeo. Condensing those roles into one position will make the rodeo more "streamlined," Yocum said.
"The expense was getting a little bit much for us," he said. "We're trying to make it a little more simple."
Vold has run some big rodeos, including one in Cheyenne, Wyo., according to Yocum.
"This is a natural change of things after a few years," Yocum said. "We compliment them on a job spectacularly done for a long time."
The Snowmass Rodeo is headed into its 40th anniversary year. With new leadership and an anniversary to mark, the association might change some things at the event next season, according to Yocum.
Last summer set a record for the rodeo's attendance. In their email, Kelly and Teague thanked their sponsors, volunteers, participants and all supporters for contributing to the most recent season's success.
"Good weather helped a lot," they wrote. "But so did you. ... We couldn't have done it without you."