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RBC | “Competitive nature” and “livestock enthusiast” are two phrases that go hand in hand. During the winter and into early summer, this is on full display as livestock exhibitors travel up and down the state and across the country to attend jackpot shows. Typically, jackpot or prospect shows are a one day or weekend event open to all youth in different age brackets. 4-H and FFA members who are preparing their animals for county or state fair can utilize these shows to gain more experience in preparing, fitting and showing a steer, hog, lamb or goat. Rangely High School freshman Kastyn Dembowski, 15, dreamt of bringing a jackpot to her hometown. Dembowski is the daughter of Scott and Melissa Dembowski and the granddaughter of Curt and Susie Dembowski. She has been a member of the youth organization 4-H since she was old enough to sign up and now is also involved in FFA. She and others like her are the future leaders of the agricultural industry and our country.
Despite the naysayers, Dembowski moved forward with her plan and worked tirelessly over the past several months to make her dream a reality. She announced publicly on March 22 that she intended “The Best of the West Showdown” to take place Saturday, May 8 at Columbine Park in Rangely, stating on Facebook, “I am going to do everything in my power to make this a great experience for everyone who attends!” From that point forward she solicited sponsorships and award donors, secured a nationally recognized livestock judge, and went to work ordering awards, T-shirts, and transforming the shabby indoor arena at Columbine Park. She left no stone unturned while organizing the event.
The big day came last Saturday and as promised, the event Dembowski worked so hard to plan was a great experience. Two-hundred and thirty-six hog, lamb, goat and beef entries from around the region flocked to Columbine Park in Rangely. When asked about the experience Dembowski humbly thanked her family and friends for their help and support before taking any credit herself.
Generous donations from the event sponsors: Cripple Cowboy Cow Outfit, Curt and Susie Dembowski, MGM, Rio Mesa Resources, Heritage, Rangely True Value, Rangely Conoco, High Voltage, Bolton Construction, W.C. Striegel, Big D’s, Giovanni’s, BNS, Prime, Jeff and Rebecca Rector, Ty and Kelli Neiberger, Meeker Fertilizer, Rangely Napa Auto Parts, Diana Sizemore, Get your Stitch On, Jim and Bonnie Bilbao, Loma Livestock, EZ Auto Mechanics, Alpine West Properties (Alex Plumb), Lulu’s Laser, Northwest Auto, and Rangely Trash Service allowed Dembowski to hand out more than $5,000 in cash and prizes to jackpot winners. Winners included Rio Blanco County youth Kinzlie Preciado (reserve champion peewee hog showman), Tanner Musser (reserve champion senior beef showman), Ryann Mergelman (grand champion senior beef showman, reserve champion market beef), Nick Gates (champion junior goat showman), Haigen Harrison (reserve champion junior beef showman) and Tatumn Kennedy (reserve champion senior lamb showman). Congratulations to all the jackpot participants and to event coordinator Dembowski.
By ROXIE FROMANG | Special to the Herald Times