Spotlight On Equine Sports- Ranch Rodeo
Ranch Rodeo is an event that returns to the roots of rodeo when the first event was established in the early 1800’s. It is believed the first rodeo was held in North Platte, Nebraska. Some believe the first one was produced by Buffalo Bill as part of his Wild West show. The competition was generally ranch-versus-ranch for bragging rights, as well as prizes awarded for the best ranch rodeo.Events were created that simulated what the ranch cowboys did for work each day on the ranch. These events became a social function where Ranch families gathered not only for competition , but to visit with each other and share their lives. As time passed rodeo evolved and became an individual sport where cowboys competed against one another rather than the team concept of ranch-verses-ranch competitions that were originally held. A Ranch Rodeo is a team event. There are usually four people on a team. There are usually 6 events, but at some rodeos there are five. Ranch Bronc riding doesn’t vary from the event seen at PRCA/WPRA rodeos. The rider has to stay on the horse for 8 seconds. This event is considered the core of the Ranch Rodeo. Even today horses are the primary (and preferred) transportation of the American Cowboy as they perform their jobs. Ranch Bronc riding simulates the skills necessary to ride a horse that is bucking. Ranch Team Sorting simulates the process of sorting cattle and herding them to different locations when needed. Team members must herd the cattle, that have the numbers, they pulled into an enclosure. Calf/Team Branding simulates the process of branding calves that is a tradition that stayed much the same for over 100 years. The calf is roped and branded ( of course a real branding iron is not used) and it’s a timed event. Calf Doctoring simulates what cowboys had to do when a calf was sick or needed vaccines. The calf is roped head and heels then marked on the head. The fastest time wins. Wild Cow Milking is to simulate when a cowboy needed to milk a cow if a calf couldn’t nurse. It’s one of the wilder events and is a timed event. Although names and events vary most Ranch Rodeos have these events. Modern day Ranch Rodeo is a return to those times of sharing and friendly competition.