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Real ranchers show their skills at Ranch Hand Competition

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 06:00 am

A member of the Line Cattle Company group is going to let this cow reenter the herd as he participates in the Team Sorting event at the Airdrie and District Agricultural Society’s Ranch Hand Competition on July 26 at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo Grounds. The event demonstrates ranch hand skills as the teams work to separate specific animals from the herd and keep them at the other end of the arena while they move on to the next animal. The group ended with four separated animals in just one minute and 10 seconds.
A member of the Line Cattle Company group is going to let this cow reenter the herd as he participates in the Team Sorting event at the Airdrie and District Agricultural Society’s Ranch Hand Competition on July 26 at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo Grounds. The event demonstrates ranch hand skills as the teams work to separate specific animals from the herd and keep them at the other end of the arena while they move on to the next animal. The group ended with four separated animals in just one minute and 10 seconds.
ALLISON CHORNEY/Rocky View Publishing

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The Airdrie and District Agricultural Society (ADAS) Ranch Hand Competition held on July 26 at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo Grounds was even better than last year, according to event director, Reid Warne.

“This one was much better than last year because the weather was much better,” he said. “The (Alberta) Summer Games added a little charm to it. There was more going on with the biking events and more people coming to take a look-see.”

The two events took place at the same time with the Alberta Summer Games Mountain Biking events also taking place on the rodeo grounds on July 26.

Warne said there were no surprise upsets in the competition because that’s not what the event is about.

“This is folks getting together for fun,” he said. “On any given day circumstances prevail and if you’re having a bad ride, you’re having a bad ride that day.”

The Genuine Cowgirls comprised of Lori Gordon, Laurel Pole, Laurie Miller and Dixie Edge took home top honours in the Ladies Reserve competition and Cowgirl Cattle Company made up of Danita Phelan, Judy MacKenzie-West, Robyn Kumlin-Kurble and Wendy Hawes won the Ladies Hi-Point Champion.

The Open Reserve winner was the Fletcher Cattle Company comprised of Kevin Fletcher, Crystal Feltcher, Joe Becker and Jeff Deigel. The Open Hi-Point Champion was Soderglen Ranches Ltd. made up of teammates Scott Lees, Elan Lees, Jeff Emarni and Kyle Johnson.

“We had the good level of competition we are used to,” Warne said of the event.

He said the competition is different from other rodeo events because there is no rough stocking, bareback or bull riding, because the event is more about highlighting what these ranchers do everyday, such as penning and sorting cattle.

He added you may see bucking in ranches but it’s not a usual occurrence and most times you can be riding for hours without seeing an animal buck.

“This is an opportunity for folks to use their everyday skills and play off against their neighbours,” he said.

Warne said the competition is similar to a recreation sports league where you play amongst your friends.

“It’s an opportunity to get together in a family setting with your neighbours,” he said. “It’s kind of like a pick up football game. It’s a chance to have some fun.”

Warne added there is a similar event called the Madden and District Agricultural Society Ranch Rodeo coming up at the Madden Community Centre Grounds on Aug. 16, where many of the competitors from the Airdrie event will compete again.

For more information on the Ranch Hand Competition or the ADAS, visit airdrieagsociety.com


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