Wyoming State Winter Fair’s first ranch rodeo draws teams, wide audience
Lander – The 2014 Wyoming State Winter Fair hosted its first ranch rodeo at the Lander Old Timer’s Rodeo Arena on Feb. 28.
Eight ranch teams from around Fremont County competed for a purse and prizes. The crowd heckled the contestants they knew, as well as applauded and gave sympathy when needed.
“When the Winter Fair re-organized this year,” said Tara Peters, organizer of the ranch rodeo, “the committee was looking for something on Friday night. We offered to do a rancher’s rodeo, as ranchers have more time to compete in the winter.”
Peters also served as the announcer for the ranch rodeo and is involved in putting on the Fort Washakie Ranch Rodeo. The Winter Fair Ranch Rodeo had eight events – ribbon roping, branding, sorting, trailer loading, steer stopping, team tying and the hide race.
“Trailer loading is my favorite event,” said Stevie Randall of Riverton and member of the Wild Bunch team. “Tonight was calm. Most ranch rodeos are a lot more ranchy, but slow and steady is what wins.”
Randall and her Wild Bunch teammates, Todd Peter, Aaron Nicol and Tibbs Washakie, won first place. The team also won the 2013 Fort Washakie Ranch Rodeo. The Wild Bunch finished most events with a good time, except sorting and team tying.
“I was getting anxious at the end when I knew we were ahead,” said Aaron Nicol. “The team tying was our slowest event. I even practiced the knot to tie the steer’s hind legs on the fence beforehand. After roping the steer, I couldn’t remember how to do it.”
Second place went to the GLK Ranch team members Ryon Glick, Austin Alley, Shane Joseph and Nathan Pebeashy. High Mountain Vet won third with a team of Dex Maddox, Talon Cooper, Mike Manzanares and Desiree Cooper. The M&M Well Service team received fourth place with members Zack Braswell, Colton Hill, Paul Cross and Randi Perry.
Cowboy Addiction, BV Leather and Lander Old Timer’s Rodeo Arena were sponsors of the ranch rodeo. Jeremy Washakie provided the event’s steers.