Working cowboys from throughout the Flint Hills and beyond have Sunday, Oct. 7, circled in red on their calendars.
It’s the 32rd annual Fall Ranch Rodeo at Council Grove, and they wouldn’t miss it.
Actually many of the cowboys were there for the first rodeo when such true-ranch-like-work competitions were a new attraction. They’ve been there ever since making sure the first Sunday in October is always free.
Of course, it’s a family and neighbors affair. Like the contestants, their immediate families, some third generations now, extended relatives, friends and neighbors wouldn’t miss the action either.
Sponsored by the Morris County Youth Rodeo Association, this is an invitational event featuring more local cowboys. Yet, those who’ve won national ranch rodeo association competitions will be there, too.
They sure hope those working cowboys who stay home more doing necessary work on the ranch don’t beat them. Yet, that’s happened on several occasions.
At the arena just off Highway 56, a mile-and-a-half east of town, action starts with a morning junior ranch rodeo.
Events, at 10 o’clock, include team penning, ribbon roping and calf branding. According to Clay Wilson, president of the sponsoring group, entries can be made by calling him at 785-466-1359.
Beginning at 1 o’clock, the ranch rodeo is to feature double mugging, team penning, steer branding and team penning.
At least a dozen four-member-working-cowboy ranch teams, possibly more, are anticipating the stringent competitions.
An annual additional attraction is always the mutton busting, or sheep riding, for little cowboys and cowgirls. They can sign up with parental permission release at the rodeo.
A new highlight set this year is a steer dressing contest for FFA teams from the area.
Of course, there’ll be refreshments for all, with the snack shack operated by the Morris County Youth Rodeo Association. A fundraiser for the group, complete meals, snacks and cool drinks are on the menu.