It’s All in the Details

It’s All in the Details 
Unloading the World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days
For two nights at the historic Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, famous for its broad spectacle of events and entertainment, things will get even wilder June 21-22 with the CBR World Finals taking center stage in place of nightly concerts. The event is a power-packed display of athleticism with cowboy vs. bull, but it’s also a product of herculean efforts by CBR staff to set up the show in record time. 
The process that, during normal CBR tour dates, takes at least a day and a half, now must be done in only two hours. 
And the two men at the helm of the ship are Production Manager, Chris Rankin and Arena Manager, Matt Noble. 
Noble, who is from Illinois, has worked with CBR for the past four to five years and spent many years before that producing bull ridings and running production for events, but he calls the World Finals at Cheyenne, “unique.” 
“Normally we have at least a day and a half load in to set up and prepare for an event, where Cheyenne; we have two and a half hours before doors, and to be able to do that is an accomplishment in itself,” he says of setting up.
Noble is in charge of coordinating all of the trucks, equipment and unloading with the help of his crew. “My job is just to make sure there’s a good plan in place to make sure everything gets set in a timely manner and torn down in a timely manner,” he explains. 
Several semi-trucks hauling the arena and production equipment make the trek to Cheyenne and begin setup in front of the grand stands at the racetrack across from the Cheyenne Frontier Days arena. 
For Rankin, the seamlessness of the process is a credit to the crew being familiar with they should do. 
“Basically, it’s just lining up all the guys and making sure everybody knows what their role is, and for the most part everybody has been with us for the whole year or a couple years, so they know what their job is,” he says.
Rankin works with Noble to arrange and assemble everything from the pyrotechnics to the bucking chutes, panels and signs displayed at the event. The holding pens for the bulls are set up in the CFD arena just behind the track. 
The task requires the help of six large forklifts. 
When it comes to getting the signs posted on the panels and chutes, the job goes pretty quickly, but getting the signs to Cheyenne from Copy Craft Printers in Lubbock, Texas, is another journey altogether, according to Rankin. It is one that couldn’t be done without the help of Stock Contractor, Lyndal Hurst. “He graciously hauls them to Cheyenne for me, and we’ll pick them up from him,” Rankin laughs and adds that the challenge of setting up is hard to describe, it transforms into the World Finals, almost like magic. 
If the chutes and panels are the skeleton of the event, then the bulls are the muscle. To get the bulls unloaded is an intricate process in itself, Noble explains. It is an order that is set in place from the start when loading bulls into their individual trailers from the livestock housing east of Frontier Park at the fairgrounds. Then they arrive correctly positioned at the arena.  
“Everything has got its order spatially. Those bulls all have to come in there one trailer at a time, and everything has got to be just so,” Noble says referring to the draw order.
Both men are quick to acknowledge the help of their crew of approximately ten people and the CFD volunteers that lend a hand in setting up. “They’ve been great help, great people to work alongside. You couldn’t ask for better,” Noble says of the volunteers already hard at work making sure CFD itself goes off without a hitch. 
Despite the speed and chaos of setting up, the rewards of hosting the finals at CFD outweigh the challenges for the crew, Noble assures. 
“It’s just neat to be an integral part of that. There’s a lot of history with [Cheyenne Frontier Days], and everyone on the CBR staff, myself included, is just very excited and happy to be a part of it.”
Cheyenne Frontier Days begins July 19th through the 27th with the CBR World Finals July 21st and 22nd. For tickets and information please go to and – Ticket information - 800.227.6333. For more information on CBR see or info@cbrbull – 817.626.8255