About Us - History of the Rally
A small group of mostly avid bikers came together one day in January of 1993, sat around a table in a cafe in Ignacio, and discussed the possibilities of organizing a motorcycle rally in the small town of Ignacio, which happens to be within the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. This group had simple purposes in mind. Determined that motorcyclists would have a great time riding through the awesome scenery in Southwest Colorado and the whole Four Corners Region, they felt the location was perfect. At the same time, positive relations could be established between the motorcycling tourist and the local community. Of course, motorcyclists, who often participate in rides for charitable causes, determined that profits, if any, could be contributed to local charities and Motorcycle Rights Organizations. Sounded simple enough! However, on that day, no one present had any idea what they were about to create.
After conversing with local businesses, the event was staged on Labor Day weekend of 1993 to help the local economy on what was perceived as a slow tourist holiday. The main event was to be held primarily at the Southern Ute Indian Tribe's Sky Ute Event Center. The Sky Ute Casino was currently under construction and set about a new goal of holding their grand opening weekend over Labor Day.
The original event coordinators were Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Mike Lovato, Gib Motto and Tim Craig (who is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors) Ben, Mike and Gib had to provide financing and personal guarantees to service providers and entertainers assuring that all expenses would be paid. A steering committee was formed, and with a tremendous amount of volunteer help, the first rally was a great hit. The organizers of the Rally in 1993 were hoping to have three thousand people attend just so they could cover their expenses, and were overwhelmed when the final attendance count was closer to eight thousand and five hundred motorcyclists. It was reported that the income from 1993 allowed the organizers to pay all the expenses and still be able to donate funds to local charities and motorcycle rights organizations.
In 1993 the Four Corners Iron Horse Motorcycle Rally became a 501(c) 3 Not-for-Profit Corporation. Ben Nighthorse Campbell was the original founder of the Rally, but he didn't actively serve on the Board of Directors. In 1993, Mike Lovato was the 1st President, Gib Mono from Farmington was Vice President, Ann Brown was Secretary and Cheryl Bellino was the Rally's Treasurer. Tim Craig, DeWayne Albin and Susie Hathaway were also original members of the Board of Directors. Linda Lovato was an advisor and in charge of Rally products. Nearly all the ABATE ("A Brotherhood Active Towards Education" - a national motorcycle rights organization), District 8 members of Southwest Colorado and Tres Rios ABATE members of Northwest New Mexico, along with many members from CMA were the volunteer work force in those early years.
The Four Corners Iron Horse Motorcycle Rally is like rallies of yesteryear. It has been compared to old time rallies like early Sturgis, meaning less crowded than the huge rallies of today, but every bit as much fun. Participants enjoy most events being held in one location. They like the "laid back" approach of the Rally, offering plenty of activities and entertainment to occupy their time and keep them interested. Many participants return year after year. We are best known as the "Rally of the Rides" because of where we live and ride everyday. Maintaining the rally in this region is vital to our continuing popularity with our two-wheeled tourists.
While the Four Corners Iron Horse Motorcycle Rally has not had a Rally since 2002, we did have some very successful events for 2003. We have been in a reorganizational mode trying to stay out of the limelight and going over our options. WE are very much interested in putting on another Rally when the timing is right and not as much controversy is being stirred up.
THIS RALLY IS NOT ASSOCIATED IN ANY WAY WITH THE RALLY KNOWN AS THE "RALLY IN THE ROCKIES".