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The Cimarron Maverick Club celebrates its 100th Fourth of July Rodeo

Updated: Aug 11, 2023


A cowboy is bucked off their bull on July 4, 2023 at the rodeo grounds in Cimarron, N.M. Photo by Zoe Cranfill.


In the village of Cimarron, few things are more exciting than the annual Maverick Club Rodeo. Within the beautiful scenery of the historic rodeo grounds, wranglers test themselves in rodeo events such as bull riding, barrel racing, chute dogging, mutton busting, and more. For many, it is a chance to return to their roots and reconnect with family and friends.


“One of the greatest things about it is that you can come here and you will have the opportunity to see friends that you might not have seen in decades,” said Dave Kenneke, Director of Ranching and Conservation at Philmont. “If there's one day that they're going to come back and visit, it is probably going to be over the Fourth of July.”


“It's the biggest event, probably of the year,” said Brian Hobrock, president of the Maverick Club. “We are expecting more people in Cimarron for this rodeo than what probably has ever been here before.”


The Maverick Club rodeo is the oldest continuously-running rodeo in the United States. As the club celebrates its 100th rodeo this year, its members reflect on their past and plan for the future ahead.


“The first Maverick club rodeo I went to was my first year when I worked here as a wrangler in 1983. This is our hundredth. It's actually the 101st year, but the only thing that ever stopped us from having one was COVID. All the wars never did stop the rodeo.” says Hobrock.


“We put together a book commemorating the 100th rodeo, with a lot of great photos from the last 30 or 40 years. Through great support of the community and some of our benefactors, we were able to try and spruce up the rodeo grounds a little bit. It's just pretty exciting to be part of this milestone for the club and the community.” says Kenneke.


A group of contestants pose for a photo in front of the new grandstands in summer 1936 at the Cimarron Rodeo Grounds in Cimarron, N.M. Photo courtesy of the Maverick Club

“The Maverick Club is a very giving organization.” says Hobrock. “If there's a need in the community here in Cimarron, the club has always stepped up to help financially, or do whatever needs to be done to help. We are very involved in veterans organizations. We raise a lot of money to put on a veteran's hunt every year for veterans that do not have the opportunity to have a hunting experience like that. Our veterans causes are very, very important to the club.”


“The ranches around here have always come together in time of need.” says Kenneke. “They recognize the significance of the Maverick Club and the Fourth of July rodeo and its importance to the community. They have always been great about offering equipment or material and it's great to work with our neighbors. We all work towards that common goal.”


Philmont’s benefactor, Waite Phillips, was also one of the founding members of the Maverick Club. In 1935, Waite Philips donated 35 acres in Cimarron to be used as the Maverick Club's rodeo grounds.


“There's many Philmont connections to the Maverick Club Rodeo.” says Hobrock. “It's always been a big part of all seasonal staff’s summer, not just the livestock department. But especially wranglers have always looked forward to the rodeo. Over the years, a lot of different staff members have actually entered the rodeo in different events and probably will this year as well.”


The Maverick Club was founded in 1922 with the goal of pursuing civic and educational activities while staying away from political and religious views. Today, it manifests itself in the club’s deep connection and support for the surrounding community


“The Maverick Club is a very giving organization.” says Hobrock. “If there's a need in the community here in Cimarron, the club has always stepped up to help financially, or do whatever needs to be done to help. We are very involved in veterans organizations. We raise a lot of money to put on a veteran's hunt every year for veterans that do not have the opportunity to have a hunting experience like that. Our veterans causes are very, very important to the club.”


“The ranches around here have always come together in time of need.” says Kenneke. “They recognize the significance of the Maverick Club and the Fourth of July rodeo and its importance to the community. They have always been great about offering equipment or material and it's great to work with our neighbors. We all work towards that common goal.”

A contestant looks out thoughtfully over the arena on July 4, 2023 at the Cimarron Rodeo Grounds in Cimarron, N.M. Photo by Caroline Fallin.


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