The heart of the cowboy took front stage at the Western Heritage Event Center last Saturday, Aug. 6, as cowboys, cowgirls and horses showed off their ranching skills during the sixth annual Western Heritage Ranch Rodeo.
Real world ranching skills are put to the test in the five-event team competition that includes Horse Catching, Calf Branding, Team Penning, Team Doctoring and Wild Cow Milking.
Nine teams competed this year bringing in cowboys and cowgirls from Arboles, Bayfield, Cortez, Mancos; Blanco, N.M., and, of course, our locals from Chromo and Pagosa. Whether it’s the Shahan Ranches and Bramwell Ranch located in Chromo, who have been in operation for over 100 years, the Rafter T ranch located along the Piedra River out at Chimney Rock, which was homesteaded in the late 1800s, or the third and fourth generation ranchers and farmers, these competitors all have a connection to a western way of life. They love what they do and it shows.
This event takes place during the Archuleta County Fair and it teams with the Western Heritage Event Center to promote the agricultural heritage of rural America.
Congratulations to the Grand Champions, Rafter T Ranch, for taking first place in this year’s event. Team members include Floyd McKee (manager, with his wife, Lori, of Rafter T), John McKee, Wes Lewis, Ash Tully and Jess Ketchum.
Second place went to Outlaw Land and Cattle, third place to The Rico Bunch, and fourth place to The Groundhog Bunch, all from Cortez.
Special awards went to Zane Odell from The Rico Bunch for Top Hand and to Travis Pacheco from E Crutch/Twin Peaks of Blanco, N.M., for his horse being named Top Horse.