Professional Kansas cowboys on horseback making their living working cattle have again proven to be the best in the country.
There’s no debating accuracy of that statement when reviewing results from the recent 23rd annual World Championship Ranch Rodeo (WCRR).
Of 22 teams qualified to compete from across the nation, Kansas ranches collected three of four top awards.
Sponsored by the Working Ranch Cowboys Association in Amarillo, Texas, the championship featured ranch teams represented by five or more cowboys. No more than four mounted team members could be in the arena competition at a time.
Not only did Kansas ranches take the most top team honors, but also collected majority of the individual event titles.
Big winner, the champion ranch rodeo team title went to Beachner Brothers Livestock of Erie in Neosho County.
Beachner Brothers Livestock was established in southeast Kansas in 1960 by Corky, Jerry, Bob and Bill Beachner.
Calvin Kendall, who now manages the ranch’s cow-calf operation, has worked for them since he was in high school.
Kendall was joined on the team by a trio of younger cowboys: sons, Cody and Caden, and dayworker, Ty Swiler.
The Kendall boys came up through the junior ranch rodeo ranks. “It means a lot for us to compete as a family,” Calvin said. “Nobody gets mad, we compete as a team.”
Both Cody and Caden were WRCA Foundation scholarship recipients. Cody, 22, graduated from Oklahoma Panhandle State University and now works full time for Beachner Brothers.
Cody rode Little Tee J Paul to collect titles as the Top WCRR Horse and Top American Quarter Horse.
“Dad bought him as a two-year-old, trained him, and I traded for him when he was four,” Cody said. “I’ve been riding him ever since.”
Little Tee J Paul, bred by Don Dillinger of Saint Paul, Kansas, was reserve top horse at the WCRR in 2014. He’s sired by Tee J Bandito Finger and is out of Peachy Little Susie by Roll Ron Bar.
Receiving a trophy from the American Quarter Horse Association, Little Tee J Paul is permanently acknowledged on his registration papers. He has been named top horse at WRCA sanctioned rodeos numerous times.
“Coming to these deals, there are a lot of things you have to worry about that can go wrong. But, I don’t have to worry about this horse at all,” Cody verified. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, he’s going to do his job. It makes it way easier on me.”
The 16-year-old gelding is often excused from regular ranch work now since he is getting some age on him.
Beachner Brothers Livestock also won both the wild cow milking and the team penning events.
Ty Swiler was runner-up for the Top Hand award out of more than 100 working cowboys in the rodeo.
Beachner Brothers Livestock qualified for the world championship while competing at the Earth Ranch Rodeo, September 14-15, Earth, Texas.
Second place team honors went to Haywire Cattle Company of El Dorado. Cowboys on the roster are Clint Bohnen, Andy Jones, Callie Jones, Randy Jones, Justin Peterson and Jake Peterson.
They qualified for the world effort by winning the Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo, September 28-29, at Medicine Lodge.
Justin Peterson was honored as the Top Hand at the rodeo, while Justin Peterson won the ranch bronc riding.
That put Haywire Cattle Company in first place for obviously the bronc riding as well as the branding events.
Randy Jones rode Playboys Ten Eagle to receive the Reserve Top WCRR Horse honors.
Third place team represented the Buford Ranch LLC, Osage County Division, from Hominy, Oklahoma.
Joint efforts of the Broken H Ranch, Bronson, and the Hebb Ranch, Fall River, claimed the fourth place overall team awards.
Cowboys mounted for the ranches were Brock Hall, Cliff Hall, Bayle Hebb, Tiffany Hebb, Josh Lilley and Chris Potter.
They qualified to enter Amarillo by winning the Sandhills Championship Ranch Rodeo, July 13-14, in Arthur, Nebraska.
Crossroads Ranch, Roswell, New Mexico, won the stray gathering event.
Thorn Doc Bar representing the Singleton Ranch of Lamy, New Mexico, was honored as the Top Ranching Heritage Bred American Quarter Horse.
Other Kansas teams competing at Amarillo were Eight Over Quarter Circle/Stinson Ranch of Minneapolis, Lonesome Pine Ranch of Cedar Point, Robbins Ranch/Keith Cattle Company of Cottonwood Falls and Stock Ranch/Felt Ranch of Redfield.