Saturday, September 20th, 2014

First ranch rodeo meets with big success

It was a homegrown production featuring local and area cowboys, the local I Bar Ranch won it, and supporters say overall it met with great success.

The ranch rodeo during this year’s Saints’ Roost Celebration exceeded the expectations of the Clarendon Outdoor Entertainment Association (COEA), said Ken Shelton, who is the group’s president.

A big attendance was reported for both nights of the rodeo and the dances which followed, and comments around town have generally been positive.

For decades, COEA had hosted an annual amateur rodeo in conjuncture with the annual celebration, but the event had consistently lost money in recent years, Shelton said.

“We were just going the wrong way with the PRCA rodeo. Our attendance was down, and I think the community had just lost interest,” Shelton said. “We had to do something or split up.”

To offset their losses from the July 4th rodeo, COEA held a ranch rodeo in August 1999 and June 2000. Shelton said the 2000 ranch rodeo was a pilot program to see if the community would support it as an Independence Day activity. This year the group decided to make the change.

The ranch rodeo concept is more family oriented, Shelton said, and generates more interest because it features local cowboys in competition.

The response from area ranches was reported to be overwhelming. COEA had planned to have 20 teams compete over two nights. But the response was such that 24 teams competed, and officials had to turn other teams away.

The self-produced rodeo was a learning experience for COEA, and officials say they hope to overcome difficulties and improve the ranch rodeo for next year. It is possible that the event could be expanded to more than two nights to allow more teams to compete. Other changes may be made to quicken the pace of the competitions.

Officials aren’t sure how much money they made on the 2001 rodeo, but they feel certain they came out ahead. Shelton said any profits would first go to make improvements to the Community Center and the arena and to the COEA’s scholarship fund.

Shelton said in the past, “when we were making money,” the group used to contribute to the Little League, some local school programs, and other community activities. Shelton hopes COEA can start doing that again with future successes.

“We thank everybody for their support,” he said. “We hope the rodeo will be bigger and better next year, and we welcome any ideas for improvements.”

Results of the rodeo are as follows:

First place team: I Bar Ranch from Clarendon with members Steve Shaller, David Shaller, Cash Gates, Cody Graves, and Mike Wallendorff.

Second place team: Broken G Livestock Co. from Alpine, Texas, with members Jason Owen, Keith Grigsby, Michael Seaton, Juan Naverette, and Marcus Ethridge.

Third place team: Spade Ranch from Clarendon with members Rooster Falcon, Andy Falcon, Kyle Everson, Moe Borchardt, and Marty Daniels.

Top Hand Award was presented to Juan Navarette from the Broken G Livestock Co and the Top Horse Award went to Bubba Withers from the LeMejor Ranch in Seymour, Texas.

Event winners include:

Bronco Riding: Juan Navarette from Broken G. Livestock Co.

Team Doctoring: Bar W Ranch from Clarendon with members Danny Bennett, Teal Bennett, Tate Bennett, Dave Lande, and Clay Waters.

Team Sorting: High Card Ranch from Clarendon with members Morris Crump, Linda Crump, Randy Crump, Ray Crump, and James McCleskey.

Wild Cow Milking: LX Ranch from Amarillo with members Dave Anderson, Marty Crim, Bill Gillaspie, Jim Kingston, and Bob Benton.

Team Branding: High Card Ranch with members Morris Crump, Linda Crump, Randy Crump, Ray Crump, and James McCleskey.

Open Wild Mare Race: Friday night – Kyle Jones, Kyle Everson, and Moe Borchardt; Saturday night – Zack Baldwin, Brad Shadle, and Randy Crump.

The Junior Calf Ride winners were: Friday night – Clay Raglin, first place; Pecos Williams, second place; Paydon Hales, third.  Saturday night – Clay Raglin, first place; Paydon Hales, second place; and Michael Hall, third place.  Overall winners were Clay Raglin, who received a belt buckle provided by West Texas Western Store, Paydon Hales, and Michael Hall.  The event was sponsored by Walco International and West Texas Western Store.

The Junior Steer Ride winners were: Friday night – Devin Cornell; Saturday Night – Caleb Shadle, first place; Wichita Falcon, second place; and Jo Don Shipp, third place.  Overall winners were Caleb Shadle, who received a belt buckle provided by West Texas Western Store, Devin Cornell, and Wichita Falcon. The event was sponsored by Walco International and West Texas Western Store.

Calf Scramble winners were: Friday night – Brett Cauble, Edward Graham, and Jessie Howard.  Saturday night – Jessie Cornell, Arlin Ray, and Anthony Rodriquez.  The Scramble was sponsored by The Donley County State Bank.

Wid Slick was the winner of the handmade spurs.  The $200 beef certificate was won by Jo Don Shipp on Friday night and Carey Thornberry on Saturday night.

The Ranch Horse Competition was held Saturday morning at the Rodeo Grounds.  The winners were:

Cowboy Class: first place – Andy Michael riding Blue Eyed Cougar; second place – Ken Jarosz riding Forest; and third place – Steve Lewis riding Otoe Pepi Badger.

Open Class: Junior Division – Andy Michael riding Blue Eyed Cougar, first place; Colin Land riding Cappi, second place.  Senior Division – Joe Leathers riding Juke Box, first place; Jim Stevenson riding Bud Ro, second place.

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