One of the favorite evening events of the Fremont County Fair took place Wednesday night in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Riverton Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena with the Rancher’s Rodeo. Nine teams competed this year with great competition spread over the evening in six events.
A ranch rodeo is different than a traditional rodeo such as the PRCA event on Monday and Tuesday at the same facility.
In a ranch rodeo, the events are more attuned to the work you’ll find on a working ranch during the course of a year, aside possibly from the rawhide drag which might be done by a few young cowboys just for fun when the boss isn’t around.
The six events began Wednesday with the trailer loading competition. Teams are allotted three chances to rope a steer out of a group of 10 or so on the far end of the arena. Each animal has a number attached and when the announcer draws a number, the team must rope the animal, bring it back to the trailer, load it, secure it, then load two horses, get all the hands out of the trailer, and then close and latch the trailer door.
The Parsley Red Angus team from Burlington won the event in 1:04.57.
The Lazy DZ trailer loading team had a little extra excitement when they missed all three throws at their steer. The steer bolted around the trailer, and out behind the south grandstands and into the parking lot until they were able to rope it and return it to the arena a few minutes later.
Mugging is another event, one that takes place all the time on working ranches. A cowboy or cowgirl ropes a steer and two other team members “mug” it or take it to the ground and tie the feet.
The Mill Iron Ranch team with TJ Jarrard roping won the mugging with a time of 46.35 seconds.
The third event was just for fun, with a rider hanging onto a piece of rawhide that is dragged behind a galloping horse. The horse and dragged rider must complete a complete circle around a barrel at the far end of the arena and return for a qualifying time. The 7 Spear Ranch won the drag in 19.81 seconds.
Branding is one of the most iconic ranch activities and while no irons were used, the procedure was the same with teams roping and simulating a branding in the arena. The Mill Iron Ranch team won this event as well in 23.22 seconds.
Cow milking is a skill that cowboys must have at times if a calf isn’t nursing well, or if they need to collect a little colostrum to store for the herd. Parsley Red Angus had the best time with a 56.16 second milking.
Bronc riding was the final event, won with a score of 79 by the bronc buster from the Parsley Red Angus team.
Shawn Steffen of Non-Typical Services and Logistics supplied the trailer for the loading competition and worked as the starter. Bob Vogel served as the judge, riding on horseback to signal when a team had completed a competition.
The overall winner was Parsley Red Angus of Burlington with 43 points, they scored in every event. The second place team was Mill Iron, with 41 points, but they didn’t score in bronc riding. Third was Lundgren Land and Cattle of Thermopolis with 34 points.
Members of the Parsley Red Angus team were: Cody Parsley, Mike Lloyd, Rachel Lloyd, Bruce Bolli, and Jace Hook.
Members of the Mill Iron Team were: TJ Jarrard, Ami Jarrard, Clint Brower, Jake Mikols, and Conner McCoulee
Members of the Lundgren Land and Cattle team were: Taylor Cordingly, Matthew Cordingly, Vance Lundgren, Tristen Lundgren, and Dustin Whitehead.