Ranch rodeo

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo has a professional rodeo, but the Ranch Rodeo is growing fast as one of the show's major spectator draws.

Bar C 5 Ranch Rodeo team
The Bar C 5 Ranch Rodeo team, named for its Canadian rodeo stock contractor, included a group of neighbors from Interior, S.D., says T.K. Sampson (left).

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo has a professional rodeo, but the Ranch Rodeo is growing fast as one of the show's major spectator draws.

In its 18th year, Ranch Rodeo pulls 70 teams from ranches throughout the region and beyond, says Kevin Schmidt, event coordinator. The Ranch Rodeo has $10,000 in prizes, and four trophy saddles for the first place team. Competitors pay $100 each as an entry fee, which comes back in a jackpot.

"The Ranch Rodeo is predominantly local people, but this year we have teams from Saskatoon and Alberta, from Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado," Schmidt says.

"The local guys are coming in, trying to earn bragging rights over who's the best at whatever chores," says Ron Jeffries, general manager of the stock show. "They're doing stuff that they're doing at home, but when you add that speed element, it really tells you who's 'handy' (in cattle chores) and who's not quite as handy. All of these guys are handy, they can all do it. But speed is the deciding factor of deciding who's really the handiest."

Here are the events in the show's Ranch Rodeo (There are no "gs" when listing Ranch Rodeo events, Agweek is advised):


•Titan trailer relay racin' -- Four cowboys have four horses loaded in a trailer. They must get their horses out, ride a relay race around the arena and load them back into the trailer. To make the event interesting, there are two teams doing the event at the same time.

•Ropin', muggin' and tyin' -- The team has one steer. Team members have to rope one steer by the horns, get off, bulldog him down and then tie three legs together. They have to stay tied 6 seconds to qualify.

•Stray gatherin' -- A horned roping steer and a yearling are put out in the arena. Teams have to head- and heel-rope both steers and tie them down, with at least two legs, and they must stay down 6 seconds to qualify.

•Calf trailer loadin' -- The team draws a number of one of several cattle they must sort out from a group held on one end of the arena. One man sorts the calf out and drives across a line before it can be roped with a head loop and the team can load it into a trailer. The gate stops the clock.

•Range doctorin' -- The cowboys bring a yearling across a line, head and heel him with loops, lay him down and one of the members uses a paint stick to simulate a pasture vaccination that might be needed for foot rot or an eye problem. The flag ends the event when the ropes are off the animal.

•Crown Royal range horse bronc ridin' -- The teams take a saddle bronc out of the chute, saddled. A cowboy must mount the horse, ride it for six seconds and then the teammates must pick him up. They must unsaddle the horse and bring the saddle to a designated point in the arena.

•Double-muggin' -- "We'll have a steer in the arena with a ribbon on his tail," Schmidt says. "They have to rope him, mug (someone dismounts and gets the steer on the ground by the head) take the ribbon off his tail, take the rope off him, and they have to foot race to a designated point in the arena."

Mikkel Pates is an agricultural journalist, creating print, online and television stories for Agweek magazine and Agweek TV.
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