Behind every great ride you see in Brent Romick Arena are the unsung heroes of all rodeos: the animals providing cowboys their rides. Top-notch stock is what lures top-notch riders, and the Steamboat rodeo series brings in only the best.

The rides beneath every contestant are as athletic as their riders, bred specifically for rodeoing. They’re taken care of by the best stock providers in the country, arriving fresh and ready to go every weekend.

And this is where the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series truly shines. The rodeo’s animal needs are subcontracted to some of the best stock contractors in the country, providing fresh mounts at every event — something not many rodeos offer.

“The Steamboat rodeo uses a bunch of different stock contractors, so they always have great horses,” says three-time Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding award winner Colin Stalley. “Competitors love that about the Steamboat rodeo.”

 Every contractor has its own competitor following; having three contractors ensures well-rounded participation,” says Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 12.05.40 PMrodeo administrator Char Mighton. “Everyone’s always excited about riding fresh mounts.”

“Quality animals are the key to a great rodeo,” says stock provider Kirsten Vold, whose 32,000-acre Avondale ranch houses more than 600 horses and 150 bulls. “Riders and spectators always see quality buckers in Steamboat.” The Steamboat rodeo is also high on Southwick Rodeo’s list, which supplies 35 rodeos a year.

“We have good, fat, healthy livestock that will buck,” says owner Glenn Southwick. “And we know everything about them — from the up-and-comers to the potential superstars.”

Here is the Stock Contractor List for the 2016 season:

Southwick’s Rocky Mountain Rodeo

Picket Pro Rodeo

Harry Vold Rodeo Co