National finals - Wyo ranch rodeo team travels to AmarilloWritten by Lacey Brott
Amarillo, Texas – Two eastern Wyoming ranches, Bootheel 7 and Hageman Ranch, together as one, made the 10-hour trek to Amarillo, Texas last week to try their hand at bringing home a world championship title at the National Ranch Rodeo Finals for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA).
The cowboys had to be at the Civic Center by Nov. 11 for a mandatory team meeting, followed by dinner and calcutta. The team consisted of brothers Andrew and Eric Wasserburger and Nolan Brott of Lusk, Brett Hageman of Fort Laramie and Lance Hladky of Casper. This year, 23 teams participated in the rodeo, with a Nov. 12 rodeo kicking off the weekend.
At the WRCA event, the rodeo performances are broken up into four performances over four days. Half of the qualifying teams perform two or three exhibitions each day. The events of the ranch rodeo are mostly the same as any locally run show, with a few minor changes, and are based on what a day of working as a cowboy and rancher is like.
Competing in Texas
On the evening of Nov. 12, Bootheel 7 and Hageman Ranch was selected to do bronc riding, stray gathering and wild cow milking.
In the gather, they clocked in at 78.06 seconds. A fast time of 36.41 was recorded in the milking, and Hladky rode his first bronc, receiving the high score of 80.
Those events placed them in the middle of the pack for the evening.
The following night, the Wyoming boys had some tough luck with long times in team penning – 177.25 on two head – and branding, with a time of 105.53.
The Nov. 13 performance brought a no time, or disqualification, in the stray gathering because of the loop limit.
Wild cow milking left the team with a quick time of 28 seconds, but that quickly changed when the judges added on a 30-second penalty. It was determined that Brott crossed the starting line too early while in the arena.
Hladky had yet another qualified bronc ride of 73 points, placing him eighth overall.
The fourth and final day of the rodeo weekend was the best day for the boys from the Cowboy State.
Team penning situated them with a time of 73.45, and the team branding clocked a fast 45.16 second run, placing them second overall for the event in the second go-around.
WRCA works on the points-per-event system, so for every event completed, points are awarded. At the end of the rodeo, the team with the highest number of points wins.
This year, the world champions came from a ranch in Kansas called Lonesome Pine. The boys from Wyoming came up short, landing in the middle of the pack for the weekend.
Hageman said, “Amarillo was really great. It’s the NFR of the ranching world, and I would encourage everyone to go see it if they ever get a chance. I’m really proud and fortunate to be on the team that I am. They’re the best ropers and toughest guys. Having the best bronc rider really helped make it one of the greatest times of my life.”
He noted that the experience was very positive, and captain Andrew Wasserburger motivated the team to perform at their best.
“It was a really great experience,” Hageman said. “Our team captain Andrew Wasserburger is the one who always keeps us going and gets us to perform our best. He’s always there to keep us upbeat, giving us Dr. Seuss quotes.”
Hageman continued, “One of the quotes Andrew gave us in Texas was, ‘Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if you only try!’”
WRCA Ranch Rodeo
The Working Ranch Cowboy’s Association (WRCA) Ranch Rodeo includes five events.
In team penning, teams must sort of a specific number of cattle into a small pen as a team.
In team branding, two small calves must be roped by a mounted cowboy and then dragged to three team members on the ground. The ground crew must flank and brand the calf, with the fastest time winning.
Ranch bronc riding is when one member of each team must ride a bucking horse for a total of eight seconds. The bronc rider is scored based on his ability to stay on the animal, gaining more points for “showboating” his ride. Activities such as spurring garner more points.
Stray gathering showcases the cowboys’ roping and horsemanship skills, much like doctoring cattle out on the prairie. This event is very precise, because only a certain number of loops are allowed to be thrown while in the arena. Teams must head and heel two steers and tie three of the animal’s legs together with a piggin’ string using a half hitch knot. Once the animal is tied down, an official will then time six seconds, making sure the steer stays gathered and does not get up.
What seems to be the crowd favorite, wild cow milking, demonstrates one cowboy’s roping ability and three other’s patience and strength with a mama cow. Once the cow is roped, the three muggers on the ground must attempt to hold her still as one squeezes at least enough of her milk to pour out into a bottle. Only a few drops are needed. The cowboy then runs to a designated area of the arena, where an official dumps out the collected milk, stopping the time clock.
Lacey Brott is a correspondent for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Brott also writes for the Lusk Herald. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.
Newcomer Bradley secures All-Around Rookie Cowgirl title at National High School FinalsWritten by Madeline Robinson
Rock Springs – Big Piney high school freshman Karson Bradley proved she has a place in rodeo when she won the All-Around Rookie Cowgirl at the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in Rock Springs at the Sweetwater Events Complex during July 13-19.
Bradley, the daughter of Mack and Tiffany Bradley, won the Rookie Cowgirl title with a total of 450 points.
The NHSFR rodeo had over 1,500 contestants attend, and they came from all over the U.S., Canada and Australia to compete for a national title.
“It meant a lot to me to win Rookie Cowgirl because this is my first year competing at the NHSFR. I’m only a freshman, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment for me,” comments Bradley.
She continues, “Competing in the NHSFR was a very cool experience. It was fun meeting new people from across America, Canada and Australia and learning from older and stronger contestants there, as well.”
To win the All-Around Rookie, a contestant must have points in two events, and Bradley was able to achieve high enough points in both barrel racing and pole bending to qualify for the All-Around.
Bradley is 14 years old and no stranger to national rodeo competitions. Three years ago, when she was in sixth grade, she was the champion in barrel racing at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo (NJHFR) in Gallup, N.M. with a time of 16.605 seconds.
In seventh grade, Bradley placed seventh overall in barrel racing out of a 153 contestants.
“I’ve been competing in rodeo since I was six years old,” states Bradley. “I have always ridden horses since I was little, and I started running barrels on my older horses.”
Her dad’s experience as a team roper led her to the rodeo arena. Bradley plans on competing in breakaway roping next year.
“It’s a very difficult decision to choose my favorite event between barrel racing and pole bending,” ponders Bradley. “Some days I lean more towards barrels because I have worked so hard my whole life doing barrels, but poles are really fun.”
She adds, “It just depends on the day as to which event is my favorite.”
When asked what she loves most about rodeo, she explains rodeo challenges a person to be at their best, and she gets to compete against some tough competition.
“When competing in rodeo, it is also a challenge to keep my horse running in top shape during every single rodeo. It can be tough at times,” she explains.
While Bradley is not certain which college she will attend in a few years, she is confident it will be a college where she can continue her rodeo career.
“A future plan of mine is to professionally rodeo and rodeo during college. I’ll always rodeo – that’s for sure,” claims Bradley. “I want to make it to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) when I’m older.”
When asked what advice she would give to fellow rodeo contestants, she states, “Contestants should try their hardest and never give up. If they have a bad rodeo, they just need to go home and practice and prepare to come back stronger than they ever have.”
“If I don’t have a great run one time, I just go home and practice so that the next time I compete I’m able to have a good run,” she states. “If I struggle one time. I just work twice as hard, if not harder.”
NHSFR Wyoming contestants
Team Wyoming finished 10th out of the 40 teams in attendance at the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR). Wyoming finished with a total of 3,950 points.
The Wyoming boys and girls team also each finished 10th, with the boys scoring 2,185 points and the girls scoring 1,765 points. A total of 38 teams were present for the boys and 35 teams for the girls.
Several Wyoming contestants competed in the Short Round of the NHSFR, and Sheridan’s Jeffery Zdziarski finished in fourth place overall in bareback riding with 208 points. In the Short Round, he placed third with a score of 72.
Hunter Carlson from Douglas finished in 15th overall with 138 points and Chance Ames from Big Piney placed 17th overall with 130 points in the bareback riding average.
For tie-down roping, Colton Kofoed from Bear River placed 19th in the overall event.
In barrel racing, Pinedale’s Cassidy Williams took the overall 11th spot for the event.
Buffalo’s Breanna Reimler gave it her all in pole bending and just missed the national title for the event by 0.031 seconds. Reimler placed sixth in the Short Round and second overall in the poles.
In saddle bronc, Daniel cowboy Tanner Butner secured first place in the short round with a score of 80 and finished fifth overall in the event. Hillside’s Brody Cress finished his season in 17th with an average score of 73.
Steer wrestler Teigen Finnerty finished in fifth place overall in the event and is from Wheatland. During the Short Round, he placed fourth with a time of 5.46 seconds. Jackson’s Levi Wilson placed 16th in bull riding.
The NHSFR will be in Rock Springs at the Sweetwater Events Complex for 2015. Next year will be the last year the NHSFR will be hosted there.
Wranglers hold ranch rodeo
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.
Youth compete at the NHSFRWritten by Madeline Robinson
Rock Springs – High school students from across the U.S., Canada and Australia are putting their heart and soul into competing at the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR). The rodeo kicked off in Rock Springs at the Sweetwater Events Complex on July 13 and will continue throughout the week, with the last day of competition on July 19.
The NHSFR is the “World’s Largest Rodeo” and has over 1,500 contestants competing for a national title. Participants also contend for an assortment of prizes and a share of thousands of dollars in college scholarships.
Two rodeo performances are held each day, with the top 20 contestants in each event advancing to a final round of competition to win the coveted championship belt buckle.
Events held at the NHSFR are bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, steer wrestling, team roping and cutting for the male contestants. For female contestants, events held are breakaway roping, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, cutting, team roping and the NHSFR queen contest.
Be sure to read next week’s Roundup for a look at how Wyoming’s competitors placed in the event.
Wyoming cowboys top the College National Finals Rodeo
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.
2 – Zeke Thurston, Sheridan College – 275.0
3 – Taygen Schuelke, Sheridan College – 230.0
5 – Wyatt Clark, University of Wyoming – 95.0
6 – Devan Reilly, Gillette College – 95.0
10 – Zachariah Phillips, Casper College – 75.0
4 – Taygen Schuelke, Gillette College – 185.0
4 – Dalyn Wingard, Northwest College – 67.5
9 – Shawn Bird and Zach Schweigert, Northwest College – 30.0
1 – Taylor Engesser, Gillette College – 280.0
9 – Kaylee Burnett, Central Wyoming College – 20.0
1 – Taygen Schuelke, Sheridan College – 415.0
4 – Sheridan College – 690.0
5 – Gillette College – 345.0