Ten four-man teams from around the region descended on the Park County Fair last month, competing in the second annual ranch rodeo. In addition to battling in four different events, awards for top hand and top horse were also handed out.
Sky and Christen Grant, organizers of the rodeo, told the Tribune prior to the event that the success of last year’s inaugural ranch rodeo had them excited for this year’s incarnation.
“We truly enjoy working with the Park County Fair Board and hope to continue to do so,” Christen Grant said. “We’ve been putting on ropings and rodeos for nine years now [but] we couldn’t do it without our team of helpers.”
Ranch rodeo allows contestants to show their skills with cattle, horses and their teams while also performing tasks that are similar to what ranchers do on a daily basis. The four-man teams competed in team branding, sort and doctor, trailer loading and wild cow milking. At the conclusion of the event, ladies competed in steer stopping. In that event, each contestant must rope a steer, then dally it to make the animal come to a complete stop. The fastest time wins, and the winner received a buckle and prize money. The winner of the steer stopper was Rachel Mitchell.
Each event was timed, with the quickest team in each event receiving 10 points, the second fastest team getting nine and so on.
The Hooks Ranch team — consisting of Hace Hook, Rachel Mitchell, Braden Grant and Mike Lloyd — took first place, while Lloyd won the Top Hand award. The Hooks Ranch team will now go on to compete at the NILE Ranch Rodeo in Billings, Montana, in October.
41 Spear, with a four-man team of Jacob Nicholas, Justin Morgan, Vay Jensen and Curtis Waddington, earned second place, while finishing third was the Cowboy Relief team of Chris Hatch, Doug Kremer, Sky Grant and Christen Grant. Gillian Severe won the Top Horse award.