There was plenty of action during the Ranch Rodeo and Ranch Bronc Riding at the Dawes County Fair on Tuesday night, Aug, 2.
The broncs suppled by Wilson Rodeo Company in South Dakota definitely were not the kind that bucked in a straight line or let the riders get much rhythm going. Some of them could jump and put lots of daylight under them, as the rodeo photos proved.
Beau Lake of Bayard was the bronc riding winner and he did it the hard way. Shortly after the chute gate swung open, Lake lost hold of the halter rope and had no way to control the big splashy brown gelding with four stocking legs. All Lake could do was hang on to the coiled lariat that was attached to the right side of the saddle and take his lumps.
Oh yes, Lake also hung on to his hat—with his left hand, the one that he should have been using to pull on the dangling halter rope. No matter how unconventional the ride was, Lake somehow stayed in the saddle longer than any of the other nine contestants. That allowed him to rack up 84 points, six more than the nearest contender in the first go-round.
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Lake had a more conventional mount in the finals, scored 75 points on a sorrel for a 157 total that was good for the victory
Much of Lake’s competition came from the Vincent brothers—Kaden and Kyler—of Rushville.
Kaden, who is 20 and has entered the Dawes County Ranch Rodeo at least twice before, scored 77 points in the first go-round and 76 in the finals for a 153 total, good for second place. He was more in control of both horses he drew and never seemed likely to be thrown off.
Kyler is only 15 and was competing in a ranch-style rodeo for just the second time. He showed lots of moxie while scoring 78 points on his first horse, a big bay that was head-strong and made a couple of significant, but straight-ahead, lunges in the air.
Kyler’s second ride didn’t last as long and undoubtedly gave his parents a scare because their son landed squarely on the top of his head. However, the arena surface was loose after being worked at least a dozen times in the past two days, and Kyler bounced up immediately.
The night’s wildest ride belonged to Rhett Harper of Oral, S.D., who drew a brown steed that seemed to have springs in his legs.
As soon as the chute gate opened, Brownie went straight up—at least two, maybe three feet. From then on, Harper hung on, but was all over, pulling as hard as he could on both the halter rope and the lariat. It’s doubtful that Harper wanted a re-ride after his five or six seconds of roller-coaster thrills.
The Ranch Rodeo that this year was composed of wild cow milking and roping and branding calf was tamer than the bronc riding. But the black cows were not delighted about being roped or standing still long enough for the milker to get even a few drops in the bottle.
Generally, it took all four cowboys to get the job done. The Bandits, made up of two former Crawford High standout athletes, Ty Brown and Robert Lemmon, along with Kolt Osentowski and Travis Lehrs, both from Alliance, were the winners among the seven teams.
Lemmon and Lehrs were late replacements on the winning team, but apparently really capable ones.
The Bandits got a break in the wild cow milking when they caught the cow and brought her under control almost in the circle where the milkman was to deliver the bottle. The lickety-split action took just 37 seconds while all the other teams needed at least a minute to get the job done.
The Bandits also completed the branding in 44 seconds, as fast as any of the other teams. Second place went to the Last Minute Crew made up of Patrick Brings Him Back, Ryan Burkinshaw, Justin Kapp and Ambrose McGannon.
Craven Feed, a team made up of Buddy and Morgan Darnell, Lynn Hruby and Dusty Hand, finished third in the milking and branding competition. Just Ranchin’, a crew comprised of Cort Baker, Buck Marsh, Dillion Steeley and Zach Wilkinson, placed fourth.