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Winners of 1955 Wyoming State High School Rodeo

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

With two champions from Wyoming at this year’s National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) Finals Rodeo, it sparks a memory of the 1955 Wyoming State High School Rodeo held in Saratoga, as well as the list of winners.   

But first, congratulations to a hometown cowboy Tuker Carricato of Saratoga for winning the bareback championship, and Rayne Grant of Wheatland for winning the all-around cowgirl championship, plus top honors in the pole bending competition, as well as second in the barrel racing.

Also, the NHSRA Girls Horse of the Year Award went to Rayne Grant with her horse VF A Famous Lady, otherwise known as Chili. Both champions were featured in last week’s Wyoming Livestock Roundup.

Back in July of 1955, I wrote the following article in The Saratoga Sun.

More than 20 winners in the first Wyoming State Championship Junior Rodeo held in Saratoga, July 3-4, 1955, qualified for the National High School Rodeo July 21-23 in Harrison, Neb. Approximately 2,000 attended the two-day accident-free show at the Legion Rodeo grounds, which was sponsored by the Saratoga Junior Rodeo Club.

“The first four winners in each event, with the exception of the queen contest and team-tying, were eligible to participate in the national rodeo. Only the queen is eligible to compete in the contest at Harrison while team-tying was an extra event at the Saratoga show and winners in the event were not qualified for the big rodeo,” Saratoga club President Bob Runner said.

Over 100 entries by boys and girls from all over the state were made in the 12 events with the winners as follows: 

Team tying – Vince Hayes, Thermopolis and Jim Moore, Midwest, first; Sonny Morris, Encampment and Bob Runner, Saratoga, second; and Tom Fitzgerald and Con Allen, both of Saratoga, third.

(Edited to list order of finish first through fourth.)

Cow riding – Dean Allison, Wheatland; Ellis Harvey, Upton; Leslie Nicolen, Moorcroft and Stan Starr, Wheatland.

Bareback bronc riding – Allen; Buddy Hirsig, Cheyenne; Stan Starr and Jim Scott, Gillette.

Saddle bronc riding – Bob Corpening, Saratoga and Raymond Record, Gillette. These boys made the only qualified rides in two days.

Boys cutting – Bob Runner, Moore, Stew Runner, Saratoga and Steve Starr, Wheatland.

Bull dogging – Scott, Stan Starr, Stew Runner and Bob Runner.

Calf roping – Stew Runner, Moore, Allen and Hayes.

Girls breakaway calf roping – Frances Sedgwick, Lusk, and Verna Allen, Saratoga. They were the only two entries in this event.

Girls cutting – Mary Kay Walker, Saratoga; Miss Sedgwick; Karon Wessels, Laramie and Miss Allen.

Girls barrel racing – Miss Sedgwick, Miss Allen, second and third on two horses and Miss Walker.

Queen contest – Queen Miss Wessels; first attendant Miss Sedgwick and second attendant Miss Allen. The queen reigned over the local rodeo and led the parade through town and is eligible to represent Wyoming at the national rodeo. She was judged on horsemanship, appearance, personality and Western costume/attire.

Several comments were made to the effect this year’s show was one of the cleanest ever held here with fights and drunkenness held to a minimum, plus all entrants waiting to be let into the arena were prompt and kept the rodeo going.

Rodeo officials were Al Baum, Denver Miller, Geo. Salisbury, Jim Roush, Len Walker, Vernie Allen, Mrs. Denver Miller, Mrs. Jim Roush, Elmer and Louis Irene and Chuck Gavin. Bill Whitney of Centennial served as announcer and Jack Runner as arena clown. The sound system was furnished by the Wyoming State Fair Board.

Jim Roush, state fair and rodeo manager, also aided the local club with registration and acted as the arena director.

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