The first ever Ranch Rodeo was held on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 in conjunction with Reston Fair.
The main goal of a ranch rodeo is to preserve the traditions of the ranching lifestyle.
Teams of 4 people compete in events that depict everyday tasks performed on working cattle ranches.
Team doctoring shows how cattle are treated for lameness or sickness in the pasture. Catching them quickly and getting them treated is sometimes faster and less stressful than trailing them somewhere to get them into a corral system to administer antibiotics.
Range Branding is a traditional event where an animal is caught and marked for ownership with a hot iron. Of course at the rodeo chalk is used on the branding iron to make a mark.
Wild Cow Milking is a spectator favourite! It’s action packed and has a certain amount of danger involved. It shows how nasty a mama cow can be when it comes time to help her newborn calf along, if it’s needing it.
The Trailer Relay is just a fun race event. Competitors have to unload their saddled horse and carry an item at full speed for a lap around the arena; hand it off to the next guy then load their horse back on the trailer.
The Saddle Horse Race shows just how it can be some days on a ranch. When the neighbour calls and says you have an animal out, you have to catch your horse and get it saddled quickly and go catch it before it gets too much further in the wrong direction.
To the untrained eye watching one of these may look like a lot of roping going on. But that is the main tool and method that ranch cowboys and cowgirls use on a daily basis, as it is quick and efficient.
It takes years for the people to learn the skills and for the saddle horses to become great working partners. So when they get a chance to come out to test their skills against the others, have some fun and hopefully win some cash they jump on the opportunity.
We had contestants travel from Arborg, Rossburn, Hartney, Lenore, Carievale, Wawota, Pipestone and Elkhorn to take part. We also had local celebrities take part by each joining a team and giving a hand where they could. Special thanks to those that stepped up-Michelle Hamel, Tera Eagleson, Todd Van Loo, Lisa Dobbyn Amanda Gray and Peter McConnell. I think they may have even had a little fun.
Local farmers supported by donating the use of their corral panels, used to make an arena fence that would hold the cattle. Cattle were contracted and hauled from the Fairlight, Sk area. Van L generously donated the tractor for grooming the arena. We had some fabulous volunteers jump in to give a hand as well.
The winners of First Place Cash and trophy horse blankets was a team by the name of JK Ranching, consisting of Jeremy Pilkey, Kevin Taylor, Jason Zuk and Ken Nolan. The local Marsh team Pipestone ended up placing 4th. And the Top Hand Award, voted on by the judges, was a horse blanket that went to Jason Airey of Elkhorn.
Jackpot Gymkhana Sunday
A Gymkhana is games played on horseback. We had 25 competitors travel from Lenore, Virden, Rapid City, Pipestone, Melita, Lauder, and some hometown entries. They ranged in ages from 6-18+. They competed in 7 different events ranging from Barrel Racing to Egg Stomp to Pole Bending. They accumulated points through the day and there were Hi-Point and Reserve Hi-Point blanket winners in each of the 4 different age divisions.