Wyoming State Fair Ranch Rodeo has a successful return
The Wyoming State Fair (WSF) Ranch Rodeo returned to Douglas, and the energy in the Ford Grandstand buzzed as spectators watched ranch cowboys and cowgirls compete in the 2023 ranch rodeo sanctioned event on opening night of WSF.
Eight teams competed in ranch bronc riding, wild cow milking, team doctoring, team branding and team trailering.
The Broken Arrow/Cross H team, consisting of Ben Hanson, JV Boldon, Travis Krein and Cade Herring was the top-placing team with a score of 34 points.
The second place team, scoring 30 points, was M Y Cattle Company. Team members were Jordan Skerkel, Tanner Willey, Denum Santero and Beau Lake.
The Graves Cattle/Selle Rodeo team placed third and the fourth place team was Bootheel 7/Hageman Ranch.
Lance Hageman took home honors of Top Hand. The Top Horse went to Bryce Sturman. Top Bronc was awarded to Beau Lake, and the Hard Luck Award went to Jace Beard.
Cowboys and cowgirls showcase their talent
Ranch rodeos are a favorite event for many communities across the country, and they are deeply rooted in the state’s history, creating a tradition over the years. The WSF Ranch Rodeo returned this year and thrilled spectators in a near-packed house.
Ranch rodeo is different from Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)-style rodeos.
Ranch rodeo is considered a working cowboys and cowgirls event, connecting generations. Teams compete to showcase their talents in real-life situations.
Participating teams for the evening event were hardworking ranch hands from the Bootheel 7/Hageman Ranch, TNT Livestock, Benchmark Cattle, the Platte River Crew, Broken Arrow/Cross H, Graves Cattle/Selle Rodeo, M Y Cattle Company and the Z Ranch.
Bronc riding and wild cow milking
The evening event kicked off with the calcutta, followed by bronc riding, which was sponsored by Becky Constintino.
The wild cow milking event had the crowd cheering as they supported the teams roping a cow and hand milking it into an empty bottle.
To stop the timer, one member from each team had to run the bottle on foot across the finish line, while another brought up the rope. The teams and crowd watched anxiously as the judge poured milk out to prove they had accomplished their task, then celebrated the accomplishment.
Not every team was successful at producing milk, but the crowd cheered and supported each team’s attempt.
This year’s wild cow milking was sponsored by Lusk State Bank.
Trailer loading, team branding and doctoring
The trailer loading event, sponsored by Rhonda Dilts, was a crowd favorite. Teams competed by sorting off a few specific cattle, each identified by a number from a larger herd and moving the sorted cattle into a trailer.
Team branding was next. Teams displayed their ability to rope a calf out of a larger herd of cattle, bring the calves to the branding area and “brand” them by marking the calves with chalk.
As the cows and calves huddled and maneuvered side to side, each team worked hard to record a score. This event was sponsored by Frank and Elaine Moore.
The next event was steer doctoring, sponsored by Jeannie Moore.
This event is similar to calf branding, except teams have to simulate pulling a sick cow from the herd for care. The timer stops when the team can place a mark between the cow’s eyes.
“We are glad it is back,” stated Broken Arrow/Cross H Team Captain Travis Krein. “We have been coming to the WSF Ranch Rodeo for many years, and we are happy to be back up in Douglas this year to compete.”
The return of the WSF Ranch Rodeo was a success, made possible through numerous donors, area cowboys and cowgirls and the support of the local communities who are committed to tradition.
Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.