Rodeo features region’s ‘working cowboys’

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RANGELY — Last year was a first for the Septemberfest ranch rodeo.
The first-time event went well, said local cowboy Wade Allred, but the weather was summer-like, to say the least.
“It was hot, really hot,” Allred said. “That’s why we’re having it in the evening Friday and in the morning Saturday, to avoid some of the heat.”
Allred and his brother Hank came up with idea of the ranch rodeo during Septemberfest. Wade and Hank are coordinating the second annual event with the support and resources provided by Columbine Park and the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Parks District.
Unlike the professional cowboys that travel around the country competing, the cowboys in a ranch rodeo are real working cowboys from area ranches who compete more for the title than for the money.
This year’s rodeo begins at 6 p.m. Friday, and will continue again at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Before the events begin, spectators will have the opportunity to bid on teams, called a calcutta. All the money earned on the bids will be put in a pot. If a person wins the bid on a team and the team wins the rodeo, then he or she wins the pot.
Each team will have four members. They will have six minutes to complete four tasks and the fastest team will win.
Each team will have to milk a cow, brand a calf, rope and tie down a yearling calf and rope a steer and load it into a trailer. Cash prizes will be offered to the top teams.
“So far, we have teams from Meeker, Rangely and Vernal (Utah),” Wade said.
Rodeo events will include trailer loading, cow milking, branding and tie down, as well as cowboy steeplechase and various horse races.
“We’ll have a three-horse relay race, a hide race, a rescue race, and a stake race,” Wade said.
The steeplechase is a race that begins at the grandstands, goes around the track containing all kinds of obstacles, and as the riders come around the final corner they will have to “rope a big ol’ horned cow,” Wade said. “The first one to get her roped wins.”
Prize money will be paid to the top three in each go-round, on both days. A saddle will be awarded to each of the four members of the winning team.
“I think everybody enjoyed (last year’s rodeo),” Wade said. “We had a lot of fun. We added a few more things this year, some other horse races, and some stuff for the kids, too.”
Kids’ events will include mutton bustin’, greased pig chase, rescue race, hide race and wild cow milking.
“We’re going to have a calf scramble for the bigger kids, and a greased pig chase for the littler kids,” Wade said. “For the younger kids, we’ll have a goat roping deal.”
To reserve a spot in the rodeo, contact Wade Allred, 675-8642, or Hank Allred, 675-2559.