On Friday at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds, such activities will be on display during the Montezuma County Fair’s annual Ranch Rodeo, which will feature roughly 80 ranchers from around the Southwest competing for cash prizes.
According to organizers, five events will take place at this year’s Ranch Rodeo – trailer loading, tie-down roping, penning, branding and wild cow milking.
Ranchers will be divided into teams, and overall points and cash prizes will be awarded to top performers.
Among the most exciting events at this year’s Ranch Rodeo figures to be the wild cow milking, which requires ranchers to rope and secure a milk cow in the center of the arena before milking that cow into a waiting bucket.
Also figuring to draw the attention of the audience is the trailer-loading event, which requires ranchers to undertake the perilous task of roping and loading a calf and a burro into a waiting trailer.
In the penning event, four mounted ranchers separate previously distinguished cattle from a larger herd and corral them in a small pen. The branding event requires teams to separate two cows from a larger heard, secure them, and touch them with a cold branding iron.
This year’s Ranch Rodeo will also feature a tie-down roping event, which is familiar to traditional rodeo fans, and will require cowboys to rope a racing calf and secure the calf on the ground.
“The events at the Ranch Rodeo are things that we do on a working ranch,” said local rancher Wyatt Wallace after competing at the Montezuma County Fair’s Ranch Rodeo in 2013. “Stuff like branding calves, roping calves, this is the stuff we do every day.”
“We’re pushing this year’s Ranch Rodeo to be a more family-oriented event,” added organizer Zane Odell. “Each team that participates will have a woman or a child under the age of 16 years old.”
According to Odell, this year’s Ranch Rodeo will begin at 7 p.m.
Teams will be auctioned to audience members via a Calcutta auction, and a prize will be awarded to the winning team’s buyer.
Concessions will also be available as part of the larger Montezuma County Fair, and according to Odell, families and fans of all ages are encouraged to attend.
“The Ranch Rodeo is something that pretty much anyone can enjoy,” Odell said.
“Fans will see stuff that they might not see at a regular rodeo, and the whole family can participate and enjoy the event.”