I rode bulls for about 40 years. I quit about 10 years ago. Now, I judge rodeos all over the whole area. Arizona. Colorado. We have a ranch in Ignacio where we raise miniature bucking bulls. Zebus for kids. And Zebu-cross. The are like Brhamas. They are about half the size of a regular bull. I don’t have a lot to do with the fair. I am just with the rodeo. I never did raise show animals. But I have been 

doing rodeo in the Durango area since I was kid.  Billy Cook, Ignacio, CO    

Cook was serving as a judge at the annual True West Rodeo at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Despite its date, time, and location, the rodeo is not officially associated with the La Plata County Fair.

We still live on the same land where Pat was born. Land that has been in the family for 115 years. One mile north of Red Mesa. We have been coming to the fair for decades. A lot has changed. Are you from around here? I live in Santa Fe. What magazine? Edible Southwest Colorado. Where do I find it? I bet somebody is going to see you in it and bring you a copy. Nobody knows us, Pat says. Lila laughs. Thank you. I think 4H is a wonderful thing, Lila says. –Pat and Lila Greer. Married for 65 years. Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, opening day of the La Plata County Fair

This is my second year. Did you do better this year than last year? I think I did better last year because I had better control of my lambs. I did a lot more exercise. Was it because these were a little bit ill-behaved? Yeah. It’s not your fault. No (She laughs). Do you get nervous out there? Yes. I kind of do. But I love it. What do you love most? Everything about the La Plata County Fair.  – Kaycee Jefferson, 12, and her sheep on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 at opening day of the La Plata County Fair.

This is my first year. Both of my goats made weight, which is good because if they don’t make weight, they won’t make sale. So he is 61 pounds (points to the bigger of the two) and she is 54, and you have to be 50 pounds to get in. This one is Batman and that one is Shady. So this is the first day of fair, so there isn’t like a 1,000 people yet. Tomorrow it gets busy. And tomorrow my goats are going to sale. You don’t really sell your animal. You show it. There is a judge and you go out into the ring with the other kids and you have to look at the judge and we must keep eye contact with the judge and be kind to the judge and no matter what you do, you don’t take your eyes off the judge. I just kind of go out into the ring and do what I can. I hope they do good.  

– Judah Ashley, 9, on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, opening day of the La Plata County Fair

Are you nervous? Not really. So this is not big deal? Do you think you have a pretty good chance? I don’t know. Because this year was not a very good year. For the goats? Yes, we had a lot of goats die. And the sheep…What happened to the sheep? Nothing really, just never know what to expect because they can freak out on you when you’re not expecting it. You just never know what to expect. Is this one well behaved? Most of the time. Later this week, I will be showing goats. –Mariah Ashley, 11, just before showing her sheep on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, opening day of the La Plata County Fair. 

Jenna Baker, 15, hangs her first ribbon from her sheep’s stall during the first day at the La Plata County Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 8th, 2018.