“Action packed” is the best way to describe the 27th annual Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo set for Council Grove, Friday and Saturday, July 5-6.
“Of course, the rodeo is the biggest attraction, and it will again be sanctioned by the Working Ranch Cowboys Association,” announced Clay Wilson, president of the Morris County Youth Rodeo Association, sponsor of the first and now the oldest continuous ranch rodeo in the state.
Starting at 7 o’clock each evening, the ranch rodeo will include 16 four-man teams of working cowboys from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas competing for the right to participate in the annual World Championship Ranch Rodeo this fall in Amarillo, Texas.
Events scheduled at each performance are wild cow milking, stray gathering, team penning, calf branding, and ranch bronc riding, with points totaled from both evenings to determine the champions.
“This rodeo is a unique opportunity for the community to see some of the best real working cowboys in our part of the country put on a show doing what they know and love,” Wilson promised.
A memorial service is planned to recognize Bob Hensley and Jack Wilson, who had been dedicated workers for the rodeo since its inception.
“In recent years, we have added a Summer Junior Ranch Rodeo to this event to provide young people in our community with an additional opportunity to compete and have fun. It will be Saturday morning, July 6, beginning at 10 o’clock,” Clay Wilson said.
Events for the junior competition open to three-member teams of cowboys and cowgir1s, 13 years of age and younger, are team penning, ribbon roping and calf branding. Entries are welcomed in advance, but will be accepted up to rodeo time. Wilson can be contacted for information at 785-466-1359.
An additional special attraction before and during the rodeo performances will be a Western Trade Show featuring vendors selling Western tack, clothing, accessories and home decor.
A new attraction this year, following in a tradition set at the 25th anniversary ranch rodeo celebration two years ago, will be a country-music concert at the conclusion of Saturday evening’s performance, for all of those paying the regular evening rodeo gate admission.
Country Music Association recording artist Jake Gill, perhaps best recognized for his song, “John Deere Rockstar,” which has been licensed for commercial use across the country, will entertain at this year’s rodeo.
Gill has performed numerous times in Nashville, and is currently opening for many hit artists at leading venues.
A licensed and practicing chiropractor at Hutchinson, Gill now spends most of his time entertaining his increasing volume of fans. He performed at the recent 2013 Country Stampede in Manhattan.
Tickets for the Friday and Saturday, July 5-6, ranch rodeo performances at the Morris County Rodeo Arena, on Highway 56, just 1-1/2 miles east of Council Grove, will be available both evenings at the gate.
The Morris County Youth Rodeo Association Youth Rodeo is Saturday, Aug. 3, 6 p.m., at the arena. Events, divided into three age groups, are steer riding, goat tail tying, goat tying, breakaway roping, barrel racing, pole bending, chute dogging, calf roping, and team roping.
The 27th annual Invitational Fall Ranch Rodeo is Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1 o’clock, with double mugging, team penning, steer branding and team roping. It will feature a youth mutton busting competition.
A Fall Junior Ranch Rodeo has been set for the morning of October 6, for three-member teams of youth 13 years of age and under, with team penning, ribbon roping and calf branding scheduled as events.
Information on all activities of the Morris County Youth Rodeo Association is available at www.mrcoyouthrodeo.com.