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Women’s Ranch Rodeo entertains Labor Day crowd

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All manner of visitors crowded the Mansfield Park arena stands to see daring feats performed by cowboys and cowgirls at the Labor Day Weekend rodeos sponsored by the Bandera ProRodeo Association. On Sunday night, the Women’s Ranch Rodeo provided a great slice of cowboy life to all viewers.

The weather was just cool enough to be pleasant as four teams of cowgirls competed for the top honors at this ranch rodeo, which is different from a traditional rodeo in that it showcases skills used on everyday working ranches.

The Loco Gringas, the V Bar Cattle Company, the Lee Nickle Cattle Company and the Kool Cowboy competed in multiple events for the fastest times. Each team of cowgirls demonstrated the skills needed for ranch work. The ladies showed how tough they were when they raced, roped, branded, tied, cut cattle from a herd, and loaded them in a trailer. Fastest times in each event were awarded the most points in the competition.

The members of the Loco Gringas team are: Renia Merritt, Tommi Brown, Michaela Loman and Alexa Searcy.

The members of the V Bar Cattle Company are Amanda Magill, Bella Ruggerali, Maddie McCracken, Kelly Thomas and Byrkley Husky.

The Lee Nickle Cattle Company team was composed of Veronica Pritchett, Amanda Magill, Lisa Melendez, Maddie McCracken, and Byrkley Husky.

The Kool Cowboy team was composed of Mikaela Loman, Rayni Sandidge, Nikki Long, and Lanie Pollock.

The events were scored closely, but the Lee Nickle Cattle Company team came out on top with nineteen points and bragging rights for the winning team of cowgirls. The V Bar Cattle Company team came in second with 17 points. The Kool Cowboy earned 12 points and the Loco Gringas earned seven points.

Each team came with different and varied skills. One of the most difficult skills, roping, was ably demonstrated by the ladies as two teams were able to rope their steer on their very first throw in the Steer Branding event. The frisky bovines were just a tad fractious as the teams tried to bring them down to tie their legs and brand them with chalk. Several of the cowgirls showed their grit as they wrangled the steer to the dirt and ended up under the animal. It took the whole team to keep the steer pinned while they tied three legs together to finish the event. The V Bar Cattle Company team easily took first place with a time of 1 minute, 39.12 seconds.

The Trailer Load was the most complicated event of the evening. The teams had to cut a designated steer from the herd and load it in the cattle trailer provided. They also had to load one of the team’s horses and get all four team members in the truck pulling the rig. The cutting skills of the teams were great. As one of the team members cut out the steer, the others kept the herd pinned behind a boundary line. The ladies and their ponies used superior cutting skills to separate the steer from the herd. The Loco Gringas won the event with a time of 55.65 seconds.

The Mutton Bustin’ and Sheep Scramble were two events provided for the youngsters. About twenty little ones participated in the Mutton Bustin’. When interviewed by announcer Rick Fuentes after their ride, the tiny cowboys and cowgirls all seemed proud of their performance. Several were veteran “mutton busters” and more than half of the entrants were girls. Proud daddies scooped up the riders from the arena dirt just seconds after they ended their ride. Even though a few tears were shed, all the participants came back with smiles when praised by Fuentes. Two of the youngest “mutton busters” were only three years old.

The Bandera Pro Rodeo Association wishes to thank its sponsors for their generous support of both the Men’s and Women’s Ranch Rodeo.

Rodeo organizer Jana Lindig said, “The Bandera Pro Rodeo Association Board thanks the selfless sponsors who continue to support our rodeos. The crowds were engaged and obviously enjoying themselves. It is a gift and very encouraging to see this. Stay tuned for next year’s ranch rodeos.”

Sponsors were: Hill Country Embroidery, Hevenor’s Lumber Company, Propane Depot, the Mayan Dude Ranch, Burns Insurance Solutions, Bar None Ranch, Texas Hill Country Bank, Royal Metal Buildings, John and Cynthia Payne – Attorneys, Hyo Silver, Backyard Bistro, SB Western Silver and Knives, Powell Disposal, John Teich Construction, Bandera Bulletin, Lone Star Kawasaki, 11th Street Cowboy Bar, Waterboyz, The Lodge at San Julian Creek, Flying A Ranch, American Waterwells, the Hedreen Ranch, Hill Country Equestrian Lodge, Bandera Prophet, Ray and Ada Wharton, Bandera Best Western, Bandera Ranch Store, Buddy’s Water Well Service, Texas Ranch Sales, Peaceful Valley Ranch, Stockade Ranches, Jana Lindig, Bandera Bank, and Texas Wool.

A cowgirl gets ready to throw her rope at a running calf during last week’s Women’s Ranch Rodeo sponsored by Bandera Pro-Rodeo Association.

BULLETIN PHOTO/ Tracy Thayer