When Champions Meet -(monument)
Length 23 1/2″
WHEN CHAMPIONS MEET (1996)
Bronze, 38’’ x 23.5’’ x 15’’
Monumental Bronze, 15’ x 11’ x 7’
Located in Greeley, Colorado, the Greeley Independence Stampede is known as the world’s largest Fourth of July rodeo. I was commissioned to create the monumental sculpture When Champions Meet for the stampede’s 75th anniversary in 1997. The sculpture depicts saddle bronc riding, often referred to as “the classic event of rodeo.” The horse is rocketing out of the chutes, with a rider balanced in the mark-out position. What you see is a champion bucking horse against a champion cowboy in a beautiful, wild dance. I have probably sculpted more cowboys riding bucking horses than any other subject. There’s always something epic about a horse trying to throw a man off of his back.
Rodeo is more about trying than anything else. A man or women with guts and heart can become anything in this world they want or desire, because to be a champion, all you have to give is all you got.
WHEN CHAMPIONS MEET
They say I’ve drawn a champion bronc that no one can ride.
Well, I’m a champion, too, and I’ve got just as much pride.
So I guess I’ll take my chances and nod for the gate,
‘Cause it gives my life meaning, being in this wild dance with fate.
By Chris Navarro