Concert Highlights 30th Anniversary Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo Won By Chase County Team

A makeshift trailer and flashing colored lights set the seemingly-perfect stage for a true cowboy concert.

It was the 30th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo, first performance concluded.

Championship team
Lonesome Pine Ranch, Cedar Point, topped 16 teams to win championship honors at the Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo in Council Grove. Shown are Travis Duncan, Chris Potter, Frank Higgs, Makenzie Higgs, Troy Higgs and Bud Higgs. (Photo by Bruce Hogle.)

Crowd swelling to nearly a thousand turned around in bleachers, unfolded lawn chairs and majority stood on the lawn.

Ned LeDoux entertained with personal song repertoire, hits of his rodeo champion-chart-topping dad Chris LeDoux, most congenially visiting, and reflecting between each set.

Some sang along, occasional dance steps, and near continuous boot toe tapping assured rodeo fans loved the style.

A perfect climax to three-hour-packed action of the original and longest running ranch rodeo in Kansas, which was one of the first such Western events in the country.

Sixteen teams representing ranches from throughout the Midwest showed their profession abilities in the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) sanctioned competition.

Four cowboys or cowgirls could be in the arena, although several ranches had sideline team members who occasionally stepped in as replacements.

Attendance for Saturday’s second go round was a bit shy Friday evening’s celebration crowd, but said to still be one of largest in recollection.

Each night featured ranch bronc riding, team penning, calf branding, stray gathering and wild cow milking.

Cole Wilson, Lola Vogel and Carly Potter composed the “45 Cattle” team winning the Junior Ranch Rodeo during the Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo at Council Grove. (Photo by Amy Allen.)
Cole Wilson, Lola Vogel and Carly Potter composed the “45 Cattle” team winning the Junior Ranch Rodeo during the Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo at Council Grove. (Photo by Amy Allen.)

Points from both performances were totaled to name the top team which qualified to compete at the WRCA World Finals, November 10-13, in Amarillo, Texas.

Events including ranch bronc riding, team penning, calf branding, stray gathering and wild cow milking.

Big winner in a repeat of local championships was the Lonesome Pine Ranch from Cedar Point in Chase County, and also the WRCA World Finals winner last year.

It was percentage-wise a Higgs family-dominated outfit with patriarch Frank Higgs, his son Bud Higgs, along grandchildren Makenzie and Troy Higgs. Travis Duncan and Chris Potter completed the team.

Arndt & Bailey Ranches of Chase, Greenwood and Lyon Counties placed second with Mike and Ryan Arndt, Richell and Wes Bailey, along with Glen Collinge, and Josh Lilley, as team members.

Haywire Cattle Company of Butler County and Kalvesta Ranch of Finney County joined efforts to be the third place team. Andy, Callie and Randy Jones were joined by Pate Collins, Justin Peterson and Luke Rush as team members.

The team of Eight Over Quarter Circle and Stinson placed fourth with Kolby Boos, Ty Bryant, Josh Breeding, Clint Heller and Zack Parkin riding.

Adrian Vogel, Cottonwood Falls, of the Robbins & Keith Ranches team took home a trophy from the American Quarter Horse Association for having the Top Horse at the rodeo.

Cowboys and cowgirls, ages 13 and under, composed three-member teams competing in the Junior Ranch Rodeo Saturday morning. They competed in calf branding, team penning and ribbon roping.

Top honors went to the “45 Cattle” team of Carly Potter, Lola Vogel and Cole Wilson, with a tie for second between the Robbins Ranch and Diamond Creek Ranch.

Top Horse Award from the American Quarter Horse Association at the Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo in Council Grove was presented to Adrian Vogel of Cottonwood Falls. (Photo by Bruce Hogle.)
Top Horse Award from the American Quarter Horse Association at the Santa Fe Trail Ranch Rodeo in Council Grove was presented to Adrian Vogel of Cottonwood Falls. (Photo by Bruce Hogle.)