JP Ranch Rodeo offers real cowboy action
The usual professional cowboys rodeo isn't what is offered during the 18th annual Jim Owens Memorial Ranch Rodeo held Friday and Saturday at the Tehama District Fairgrounds.
Instead, the two-day event will offer dozens of "honest to goodness working ranch cowboys" competing in what they do best — the day-to-day workings of the ranch cowboy and his horse.
Three-man teams representing ranches from the western US will be competing in the rodeo event held in the fairground's Pauline Davis Pavilion.
A few of the ranch rodeo events are unique to this type of rodeo and not seen at traditional rodeos, such as ranch doctoring, sorting, and calf branding.
During the timed ranch doctoring event a three-man team of cowboys separates then heads and heels a designated cow from a herd. A veterinarian then places a mark between the cows eyes and the cow is let go. Shortest time wins.
In calf branding the three-man teams must brand three calves in five minutes. One man on the ground will brand, while the other two cowboys on horseback will head and heel the calf.
Ranch sorting also uses a three-man team which will sort cattle out of a designated group of cattle. There will be seven color groups of seven head each and taking turns the cowboys must separate their color of cattle out of the herd and run them between two barrels. This must be done is a three minutes time limit and penalties are plenty.
The rodeo starts at 4 p.m. Friday, with such traditional ranch jobs as herd counting, calf branding, ranch sorting and doctoring, dally calf roping, bronc riding, ranch horse class, and more.
Saturday's rodeo beings at 10 a.m., with some of the same action, followed by a beef barbecue at 5 p.m. and kids goat roping at 5:30 p.m.
The top six teams will return to the finals with a clean score at 6 p.m. that evening.
Admission for the working cowboy rodeo is $10 for Friday and Saturday morning; and $20 for the finals on Saturday night; $30 for all three rodeos.
Of the 26 ranch teams competing in the rodeo, six are from Tehama County: Lazy KO Ranch, Antelope Creek Cattle Co., UI Ranches, TX Bar Ranch, Nuttal Ranch, and Shasta Livestock.
Contestants competing in this event are members of the Working Ranch Cowboy Association, which was created in March 1995 in Amarillo, Texas.
"We believe in the ideals and work ethic of the working ranch cowboy, and desire to keep our western heritage alive in our fast changing world. Many grew up with cowboys as role models, and the WRCA wants to insure that the future generations will have the opportunity to look-up-to these real people and the ideals that keep them strong," the association states.
Ranch Rodeos are located all across the United States and Canada. In order to participate in these Working Ranch Cowboy Association sanctioned events contestants must follow the association's Ranch Rodeo rules.
The first and most important rule of ranch rodeo is all participants must make their living from a ranch. A working ranch is defined as any ranch which has a minimum of 300 head cow/calf operation or runs at least 500 yearlings for a minimum of six months of the year.
Making a Living is defined as deriving at least 90 percent of one's income taking care of cattle on a ranch.
While the rules are lengthy, the bottom line is the cowboys that compete must be honest-to-goodness working ranch cowboys in order to even make it past the chutes at Ranch Rodeos.