What is a ranch rodeo? Ranch cowboys show their skills at the Black Hills Stock Show
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Black Hills Stock Show Ranch Rodeo kicked off Tuesday, giving real ranch cowboys an opportunity to show off their skills at one of the biggest riding events in the region. Over 50 contestants are competing in roping events, cattle gathering, and more.
What is the Ranch Rodeo?
Rodeo riding takes skill, but not quite the same skills that are typically used in ranching as a profession. The Ranch Rodeo is a series of events meant to simulate the same kinds of activities that ranchers do as part of their work.
“The Ranch Rodeo consists of four guys on a team, and they’re showing their roping ability and the talents of their horse and how well they work out on the ranch to be honest. They’re doing things that they do out on the ranch every day,” Chair for the Ranch Rodeo Tif Robertson said. “Some of the events that make up the Ranch Rodeo include trailer loading, ranch bronc riding, branding, with a fake branding iron obviously, and more.”
What’s in it for the competitors?
For the competitors, it’s an event that brings them together to have fun just before one of the busiest times of the year in the cattle business.
“It’s what we do. Most of our horses get rode every day pretty much, so they’re ready to go and it’s an everyday deal,” Ranch Rodeo competitor Lonnie Richards said. “I wouldn’t say that this is bragging rights, it’s more just a fun time to get together, you know? Just get together, right before calving season, where you won’t see anyone again for another three or four months.”
Are there prizes?
The competition isn’t all fun and games, and a wide range of prizes are given away to the top teams. With saddles, coats, and cash prizes being awarded, “they leave here with a pretty good haul,” Richards said. “It’s worth their time.”
The Ranch Rodeo finals will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday with the top 12 teams from the day’s competitions.