Fifty-two cowboys representing 13 Flint Hills ranches from eight counties found that blue skies and enhancive temperatures seemed to expand toughness of competition at the 28th annual Morris County Fall Ranch Rodeo.
Arena conditions apparently matched weather appeal as in just three hours of efficient excitement, sponsored by the Morris County Youth Rodeo Association, final championship determination coming down to the final event as a handful of teams remained in close contention until the final steer came out of the chute, had been roped and tied.
When rodeo secretaries-timers had calculated and pencil checked every time, score and placing, the Buck Creek-Lone Pine Ranches team from Chase County was determined the overall winner.
En route to collecting top payback check and impressive engraved heavy leather working breast collars signifying the prestigious win, the team with co-captains Randy Peterson and Bud Higgs partnered with Troy Higgs and Doug Scribner to rank high in all four sanctioned events.
Buck Creek-Lonesome Pine was second in both the steer branding and team roping competitions, while rating fourth in team penning, and seventh in the steer mugging.
There were two go rounds of team roping, with all ranch team members partnering up in pairs to participate in separate rounds. The Chase County foursome had a combined time of 35 seconds flat on two steers stretched.
Second place overall went to longtime ranch rodeo participant and championship contender, Les McGhee and his Les McGhee Cattle Company team from Anderson County. Travis Kopft, Maurice Ball and Ted Buzzard completed the lineup that placed second in mugging, fourth in steer branding, and sixth in both team penning and team roping.
Their payback check came for placing first in both the team penning and steer branding, as well as fourth in team roping, with two steers stretched in 53.62 seconds. Hard luck in mugging when the Stinson team was unable to make a qualified run kept the foursome out of the championship limelight.Representing the Stinson Ranch of Lyon Country, the team of Clay Wilson, Zack Parkin, Kolby Boos and Chad Harris came in third overall when tabulations were completed.
Special attraction of the afternoon show was a calf scramble that drew nearly three dozen cowboys and cowgirls 10 years of age and under, even a number were four and younger, who scrabbled to pull a tightly twisted ribbon from a rambunctious calf’s tail.
A special drawing as a fundraiser for the annual Morris County Youth Rodeo Association Scholarships, presented each spring to young cowboys and cowgirls to expand their education in the livestock industry, was won by Carl Lee Stueve of Olpe, longtime supporter of youth rodeo activities throughout the Midwest.
A Youth Ranch Rodeo Sunday morning had cowboys and cowgirls 13 years of age and under at height of competition adrenalin that expanded further when there was a tie for first place, which had to be broken with a foot race.
All three members of both the Division Ranch in Chase County and the Johnson Ranch in Morris County competed in a relay race the length of the arena, and the championship determination was almost a photo finish on the line.
Top award including payback stipend and impressive breast collars matching those presented the top winning adult cowboys went to the Johnson Ranch team of captain Chancy Johnson, Kylie Adams and Trey Adams. En route to the threesome’s first place team tie, they placed second in both the calf branding and ribbon roping events.
Jaron Lewis was captain of the Division Ranch team which also included Makenzie Higgs and Mitchell McDaniel. The cowboys and cowgirl were first in calf branding, and third in ribbon roping.