By Lisa Scott
Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo
The 71st Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo has come to an end. The All-Around Cowboy and Cowgirl title were awarded to Isiah Ethington, from Lewis, Colo., and Tylee DeHerrera, from La Jara, Colo.
Ethington competed in ranch bronc riding and tie-down roping. DeHerrera, 13 years old, competed in breakaway roping, junior barrel racing and placed first in scrambled egg team roping with her father, Tim. Both rodeo riders left the arena Sunday night with a grand prize Henry rifle, championship belt buckle and prize money.
From the New Mexico Rodeo Association, 258 contestants competed for points and prizes. First place winners were: bareback riding, Ryan Bitsui; saddle bronc riding, Brandon Blakely; ranch bronc riding, Brayden Munkers; steer wrestling, Justin Wilson; tie down roping, Dante Pacheco; breakaway roping, Lindsey Adcock; open barrel racing, Autumn Rorie; incentive barrel racing, Mila Hancock; junior barrel racing, Keelin Faulkner; bull riding, Hunter Salter; junior bull riding, Luke Mackey; open team roping, Wade Hatch and Calvin Brevik; #12.5 team roping, Mitch Canty and Ryan Canty; #9.5 team roping, Holland Roukema and Denton Favor; scrambled egg team roping, Tylee DeHerrera and Tim DeHerrera.
The crowds were entertained by other rodeo activity beyond the contestant events. The highly anticipated event for kids 12 and under is the daily raffle for a Red Ryder BB Gun. Winners included: Landyn Kate Grubert, 7 years old, from Middlebury, Ind.; Halden Sjostrom, 11 years old from Albuquerque; and Vincent Tom, 6 years old, from Durango.
Mutton bustin’ is always exciting as 10 contestants, 6 years old and younger, ride a sheep as long as they can for a chance to win an authentic rodeo belt buckle. Daily champion mutton busters were: Cash Canterberry, from Aztec, N.M., and Pagosa Springs hometown riders Bridger Tulley and Lane Maestas. All sheep riders received a Red Ryder BB Gun.
Record crowds enjoyed the grand festivities which included a spectacular grand entry and tribute to America which included Fiesta Days Rodeo Queen Roma Kreeger, and Junior Princess DeLaney Wesner carrying the American and Colorado flags. Grace Kiker, high school sophomore and 4-H member, sang the national anthem daily. The rodeo clown, Sugar Shane Harvey, provided rounds of various entertainment.
Our favorite rodeo personality, Kyle Tom, announced the rodeo event and the Bucking H Rodeo Company, a family-owned and operated business, was the stock contractor. Richard Hodgson and his family, including his children and grandchildren, live and work on their ranch in Gobernador, N.M., where they raise a large majority of their livestock and feed, care and train them to become rodeo animal athlete performers.
Mike Ray was at the festivities with family members and was awarded the Red Ryder Award for his years of support to the rodeo and living western traditions. The board of the Western Heritage Event Center organizes this annual rodeo. Members include Brian Keegan, president; Twyne Regester, vice president; Lynn Johnson, secretary; Pennie DeClark, treasurer; Keith Jacobson; Lisa Scott; and Diana Talbot.
Red Ryder was the feature cowboy character in the popular long-running western comic strip created by Stephen Slesinger and artist Fred Harman. Red, and his horse Thunder, was a tough cowboy who lived on Painted Valley Ranch in the Blanco Basin in the San Juan Mountains. He and his sidekick, Little Beaver with his horse Papoose, dealt with the bad guys of the day. Red Ryder Enterprises Inc. and the family of Shirley Ann Slesinger-Lasswell are major contributors to the Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo and own the Red Ryder trademarks and copyrights.