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The Wheatland Wranglers held their Third Annual Charity Ranch Rodeo on June 14 at the Platte County Fairgrounds.

The rodeo is sanctioned by the Wyoming State Fair, meaning that the winning team has the opportunity to compete at the Wyoming State Finals Ranch Rodeo. 

The winning team was Bootheel 7 Livestock of Lusk, winning the event for the second consecutive year. The team also won the branding and wild cow milking events. Team members Andrew Wasserburger, Eric Wasserburger, Lance Hladky, Brett Hageman and Nolan Brott earned $1,350 at the event. 

A second prize of $900 went to Hageman/Buchaults of Yoder. Team members Levi Kosmicki, Ross Buckhaults, Hugh Hageman and Lane Hageman participated in the event.

The Bad Medicine Rodeo Company of Chugwater, including members Wayne Larsen, Sam Rosengreen, Lane Stevenson and Ryan Brown, won the third-place prize of $250. 

Stevenson of the Bad Medicine Rodeo Company team also won the bronc riding event.

Gittaway Ranch of Wheatland, won the trailer loading event. Team members Justin Brennan, Jim Mathis, Nate Huyser, Blain Tamlin and Cotton Huyser competed in the event, and Brennan was the winner of the Hard Luck Cowboy Award.

The Wheatland Wranglers Annual Charity Ranch Rodeo is produced by volunteers who donate all rodeo and concession profits to Platte County Memorial Nursing Home.  

Next year’s event is set for June 27, 2015.

Douglas – As the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette draws near, this weekend Wyoming’s high school competitors are busy making as many points as they can at the Wyoming High School Rodeo Finals in hopes of qualifying for nationals.
The finals rodeo, which runs June 23-26 at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas and is sponsored by the American Legion, has a few less entries this year, which Director Dixie Huxtable attributes to high fuel prices and the economy, but otherwise she says the rodeo’s set to continue as usual.
Of the level of competition at the Wyoming High School Rodeo Finals compared to regular season rodeos, Wiley King of Casper says everyone steps up their intensity.
“They’re ready to perform this weekend, so you have to be on top of your game to win here,” says Wiley, who just completed his junior year at Kelly Walsh High School and who will compete in his third finals this year.
“Here at the finals we win double the points for every go-round we win, and the top four point-holders in the state get to go to nationals, and that’s what everyone is aiming for,” he adds. “If we win a go-round here we get 20 points, versus at regular rodeos where we only get 10.”
Wiley competes in bull riding and saddle broncs, and last year he barely fell short of making the National High School Finals Rodeo in both events.
Of how he became involved in the sport of rodeo, Wiley says he started riding steers when he was around 12 years old, and before that had participated in mutton busting. Both of those events led to his interest in bull riding.
“My dad was a bareback rider, and my grandpa was a bull rider, so we’ve always been around rodeo, but we weren’t a big rodeo family until recently, when it’s become a part of us,” he explains.
Wiley’s sister Kellee King is also competing at the finals in Douglas this summer; her events are barrel racing and goat tying.
“My brother started to rodeo about six years ago, and I went to the rodeos and saw everyone competing, and thought it looked like a lot of fun,” says Kellee, who recently finished her sophomore year at Kelly Walsh High School, of how she became involved.
“I started barrel racing because it was the typical sport for girls to do, but what I really love is goat tying,” says Kelly, who is at her second finals.
To prepare for competition, Kellee says she spends time riding and working with her horse, and not always in the arena. This year she’s running two new horses in both of her events.
“I spend a lot of days in the pasture, focusing on clicking with my horse,” she says. “Practicing for goat tying includes a lot of ground work, and both events involve exercising and eating right, too.”
After the first go-round at the Thursday morning performance on June 23, Kellee says she had a good get-off on her goat horse, and that she took fifth in barrels out of 20 competitors.
Of what she enjoys about the days spent at Wyoming’s state finals, Kellee says she likes the experience of rodeo, as well as the friendships that come out of it and the practice she gets with her horses through competing.
Of his rodeo future, Wiley says he will definitely stick with the sport through college, and that he hopes to go to school on a rodeo scholarship.
“If it works out, I’ll go on to pro rodeo, but if not, I’ll use the degree and go to work,” he notes.
Christy Martinez is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lander – The 2014 Wyoming State Winter Fair hosted its first ranch rodeo at the Lander Old Timer’s Rodeo Arena on Feb. 28. 

Eight ranch teams from around Fremont County competed for a purse and prizes. The crowd heckled the contestants they knew, as well as applauded and gave sympathy when needed.

“When the Winter Fair re-organized this year,” said Tara Peters, organizer of the ranch rodeo, “the committee was looking for something on Friday night. We offered to do a rancher’s rodeo, as ranchers have more time to compete in the winter.”

Peters also served as the announcer for the ranch rodeo and is involved in putting on the Fort Washakie Ranch Rodeo. The Winter Fair Ranch Rodeo had eight events – ribbon roping, branding, sorting, trailer loading, steer stopping, team tying and the hide race.

“Trailer loading is my favorite event,” said Stevie Randall of Riverton and member of the Wild Bunch team. “Tonight was calm. Most ranch rodeos are a lot more ranchy, but slow and steady is what wins.”

Randall and her Wild Bunch teammates, Todd Peter, Aaron Nicol and Tibbs Washakie, won first place. The team also won the 2013 Fort Washakie Ranch Rodeo. The Wild Bunch finished most events with a good time, except sorting and team tying.

“I was getting anxious at the end when I knew we were ahead,” said Aaron Nicol. “The team tying was our slowest event. I even practiced the knot to tie the steer’s hind legs on the fence beforehand. After roping the steer, I couldn’t remember how to do it.”

Second place went to the GLK Ranch team members Ryon Glick, Austin Alley, Shane Joseph and Nathan Pebeashy. High Mountain Vet won third with a team of Dex Maddox, Talon Cooper, Mike Manzanares and Desiree Cooper. The M&M Well Service team received fourth place with members Zack Braswell, Colton Hill, Paul Cross and Randi Perry.

Cowboy Addiction, BV Leather and Lander Old Timer’s Rodeo Arena were sponsors of the ranch rodeo. Jeremy Washakie provided the event’s steers.

Melissa Hemken is a correspondent for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wyoming cowboys hit top spots across a number of events at the College National Finals Rodeo after a week of performances and slack on June 15-21. 

The Wyoming students who placed in the top 10 are listed below, as well as the number of points they scored in their event.

Saddle bronc 

2 – Zeke Thurston, Sheridan College – 275.0

3 – Taygen Schuelke, Sheridan College – 230.0

Bareback riding

5 – Wyatt Clark, University of Wyoming – 95.0

6 – Devan Reilly, Gillette College – 95.0

10 – Zachariah Phillips, Casper College – 75.0

Bull riding

4 – Taygen Schuelke, Gillette College – 185.0

Steer wrestling

4 – Dalyn Wingard, Northwest College – 67.5

Team roping 

9 – Shawn Bird and Zach Schweigert, Northwest College – 30.0

Barrel racing

1 – Taylor Engesser, Gillette College – 280.0

Goat tying

9 – Kaylee Burnett, Central Wyoming College – 20.0 

Men’s All-Around 

1 – Taygen Schuelke, Sheridan College – 415.0 

Men’s Teams 

4 – Sheridan College – 690.0

Women’s Teams

5 – Gillette College – 345.0

Casper — Wyoming High School Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls recently returned from Farmington, N.M. with saddles, belt buckles and good memories in tow. Topping it all off, A.J. Fuchs of Teton Village came home carrying the national all-around saddle.
    Fuchs acquired points by taking seventh in the cutting and eighth in the team roping with heeler Matt Schieck of Casper. Earning 807 points toward the title, Fuchs outpaced his nearest competitor, Cameron Hopper-Craig of Battle Mountain, Nev. by 165 points.
    Despite the point difference, Fuchs says he wasn’t sure until 12:30 a.m. Sunday that he’d won the title. Thinking that he may have won, he anxiously waited as the final results were tallied. “It’s definitely the most exciting thing I’ve ever had happen to me. I was pretty overjoyed when they announced it,” says Fuchs.
    Going into the final go round performance on Saturday evening, July 25 Fuchs says he knew he was one of a few boys still competing in two events. Winning the all-around hadn’t even crossed his mind until he found out he was leading the race for the award after the first go around when he took fifth in both cutting and team roping.
    Fuchs’ prizes include a saddle, a buckle, a Resistol hat, Ariat boots, a jacket, a bag, a horse blanket and scholarships from Wrangler, Ariat and the National High School Rodeo Association. He plans to attend Central Arizona College beginning next month where he’ll study equine and agriculture science and compete at college rodeos in team roping. Following college he says he’d like to spend some time rodeoing professionally with a goal of qualifying for the NFR.
    Fuchs’ parents are Junie and Lena Fuchs of Teton Village. “I’d like to thank all the people who helped get me there,” he says, mentioning everyone from his parents to those who helped push his steers at the rodeos.
    Wyoming’s last all-around cowboy at the national event was in 1991 when Lynn Sheehan of Baggs earned the title. Other past winners from the Cowboy State include John King who won the award in 1970 and again in 1971. King was the 1971 saddle bronc riding champion and in 1970 won the national bull riding title. Gary Frank won the award in 1962 after winning both the saddle bronc and bareback riding championship titles that same year.
    J.R. Vezain of Cowley rode to the 2009 national bareback championship by riding three broncs for a combined total score of 223 points. Yance Day of Tahlequah, Okla. trailed in second with 217 points.
    Wyoming has a successful history in the national bareback riding competition. Thomas Baker won the award in 2004, Mark Garrett in 1982 and 1984, Wayne Graves in 1968 and Frank in 1961 and again in 1962.
    Megan Belus of Buffalo roped three calves in 9.498 seconds to take second place in the breakaway. “It’s a lot warmer there than is it here,” laughs Belus of the trip to Farmington. She says her second place finish earned her a buckle and $900 in scholarship money.
    A junior and the daughter of Dave and Lisa Belus, Megan has new goals in mind for the 2009-2010 high school rodeo season. “I’d like to go back to the finals in more events than pole bending and roping.” In working toward those goals, Belus competes with a certain philosophy in mind. “You have to take it one rodeo at a time no matter how big the rodeo is,” says the soon-to-be high school senior. “You have to compete against yourself. You’re competing against the clock.”
    Belus’ teammate Devin Nicholls of Kinnear trailed closely behind her in third place with three calves roped in 9.571 seconds. Nichols was also a contender for the national all-around cowgirl title, finishing the rodeo in ninth place.
    Jordan Thurston of Lance Creek tied three goats in 24.606 seconds to earn reserve national champion honors. Thurston says she was slower than she would have liked on her first two goats. She made up for it in the short go, tying her goat in 7.2 seconds. It was the fastest time of the week. Finishing the 2008 finals in third place, Thurston says she was determined to improve upon last year’s performance.
    Thurston will attend college in Gillette this fall where she’ll be a member of the college’s up-and-coming rodeo team. She says she’ll compete in the breakaway, barrel racing, goat tying and possibly team roping. “I definitely couldn’t have gotten there without my parents,” says Thurston of her success in high school rodeo.
    Luke Camino of Clearmont threw three steers in 13.276 seconds to earn reserve champion honors in the steer wrestling.
    Tim Malm of Albin roped three calves in 31.439 seconds to take second place in the national tie-down roping competition. Malm says he took second in the first go with a nine-second run. After the second go he was sitting in 11th place. Roping his calf in the short go in 8.342 seconds, he moved into second place in the average. “Wyoming did really good,” says Malm. “We had a really good short go, the whole team for Wyoming.”
    Malm, the son of Howard and Dixie Malm, will attend Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo. this fall. He plans to compete in calf roping at the college rodeos. Scholarships earned as part of his recent win will help fund his education.
    In the team standings, Wyoming ended up sixth overall. Texas was the top team followed by Utah, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma and then Wyoming.
    Jennifer Womack is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..