Ranch Hand Competition returns
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 06:00 am
For more than a decade, the Airdrie and District Agriculture Society (ADAS) has hosted its annual Ranch Hand Competition, and the popular event is back once again July 22.
The event is a way to celebrate and showcase everyday tasks ranchers take on. Individuals compete in a variety of traditional ranch tasks as quick and as best they can.
“(We want) to give people a chance to see what goes on (at a ranch),” ADAS vice president Kevin Fletcher said. “It’s a close representation of what we do and gives people somewhat of an idea how things operate on a ranch.”
The one-day event will include five different tasks for people to compete in over the course of the afternoon, including team penning, team sorting, simulated branding, simulated doctoring and team trailer loading.
Each team will consist of four competitors who will have to work as a unit to accomplish the five skill-testing tasks for a combined overall score, as well as to see who can score best times in each of the events.
In the simulated branding event, teams will be expected to rope a head of cattle and go through the process of how branding is completed on the ranch, but instead of actually branding the cattle with a hot iron, the teams will use chalk.
“It’s a pretty good representation. It’s hard to actually brand calves in a situation like this,” Fletcher said. “In real life, we’re not on a time clock either; it goes a little faster (in this situation). When we’re at home we’re not in a race to get it done.”
Team doctoring will pose a similar challenge, where a team must separate one head from its herd and keep it separate from the rest while they attempt to treat the cow for its illness and daub it as if they were giving it a needle.
“We don’t actually stick a needle in them. We just have a little paint dauber to say that it is done,” Fletcher said.
In team sorting, team’s will have to sort a certain number of cattle out of a large herd as fast as possible, while in team penning, the teams will be required to get an entire herd into a pen as quickly as possible.
The event wraps up with trailer loading as trailers are brought into the middle of the rodeo grounds and teams corral a group of stock into the trailer.
The event runs from 12 to 4:30 p.m. and will conclude with a dinner for those in attendance. Food trucks will be serving lunch during the event as well. The event is free and those wishing to attend and cheer on the competitors are asked to arrive prior to 12 p.m.
According to Fletcher, there is still room for teams to sign up and those wishing to compete can do so by contacting ADAS over the phone at 403-948-2290 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org