The ooos, ahhs, gasps and cheers were many as an enthusiastic crowd was kept on the edges of their seats at the annual Stockgrowers Ranch Rodeo Aug. 17. Classes were packed with entrants and a new event, the dog race, turned out to be a real crowd-pleaser.
The dogs, unsure on the rules, left the starting line to dart hither and thither along the way to the finish, distracted by cowboys on horses, open gates and one another.
Scott McClaran attempted to simplify the matter and took his horse onto the track to give the dogs a clue. McClaran’s dog, Riley, streaked across the line first.
Second place was won by an unlikely competitor, West Highland White Terrier “Enya,” owned by Steve Sykora of Hillsboro, Ore. — in the county visiting his daughter Alexis Sykora of Joseph. He brought his Westies to the rodeo where they commented loudly from time to time on happenings.
Announcer Randall Eschler suggested the barking dogs take part in the race and offered an extra $20 if one of them won — Eschler came that close to losing his $20 as Enya streaked across the finish line in second place.
The World Championship Rockjack Building contest saw the toughest builders in the county fighting the most obstreperous logs in rockjack history. The battle of log versus cowboy was so intense that two mauls were broken in the fray.
The head split off Wyatt Warnock’s maul and the handle broken on Clancy Warnock’s. Tyrel Warnock won the unofficial prize for cowboy tough by fighting a log that took him nearly the whole competition to split and left him with bleeding hands.
The World Champion Rockjack Builder was Devon Patton of Joseph.
The winning rockjack and a stretch-jack were sold at the awards banquet later that evening to raise funds for the Annual Heifer Scholarship. The winning rockjack brought in $1,100 and was purchased by Burns Brothers. The double rockjack brought in $500 and then the add-ons began. In the end, add-on bids and a donation of $500 from Beth McClaran brought the total to $2,600.
The Heifer Scholarship awards bred heifers to applicants, which allows them to start their own livestock business, generate income and build their knowledge base. The scholarship is also supported by the Wallowa County Hay Growers, which offers hay or money to purchase hay for the first winter.
The Annual Wallowa County Agricultural Resource Foundation scholarships, separate from the Heifer Scholarships, were also awarded during the banquet. Past recipients have studied in a wide range of areas including veterinary science, rangeland management, communications with a focus on agricultural journalism, fish and wildlife, business, animal science, law and even brewing and distilling.
This year’s education awards:
• Casey Melville, The Probert-Boucher Scholarship. Melville is studying agronomy at Eastern Oregon University and supports his schooling through farming 100 acres.
• Miranda McFetridge, $2,000 Stockgrowers scholarship. McFetridge attends EOU and is majoring in Ag Ed.
• Emily George, $2,000 Stockgrowers scholarship. George attends Oregon State University and is majoring in Ag Business Management.
• Trevor McFetridge, $1,500 Stockgrowers scholarship. Trevor is studying diesel mechanics at Walla Walla Community College.
• Trent Bales, $1,500 Stockgrowers scholarship. Trent is in his second year at Blue Mountain Community College studying diesel mechanics.
• Riley Warnock, $1,500 Stockgrowers scholarship for diesel mechanics schooling at Walla Walla Community College.
Stockgrowers Ranch Rodeo 2018 Winners
All Around Cowboy: Bryce Svedin of Baker City
All Around Cowgirl: tie, Josie Ross of Troy and Hailey Hodges of Imnaha
Top Horse: Mark Kerns of Haines, Ore.
World Champion Rock Jack Builder: Devon Patton of Joseph; second, Riley Warnock of Imnaha
Ladies Steer Stopping: Jenny Turner of Heppner; second, Hailey Hodges of Imnaha
Youth Sorting: Katy Hoffman, Jacob Hoffman all of Enterprise and Codi Cunningham .
Adult Sorting: Cody and Josey Ross of Joseph and Tate Witters of Anatone, Wash.; second, Maryann Yost of Lostine, Bryce Svedin of Baker City and Barry Qualle of Enterprise.
Working Dog: Halle, a three year old border collie mix owned by Devon Patton
Ranch Horse: Barry Qualle of Enterprise on Dixie; second Mark Kerns of Haines, Ore.
Branding: Colt McNamee of Imnaha, Hailey Hodges of Imnaha, Maryann Yost and Bryce Svedin; second, Dwayne Voss, Maggie McClaran, Justin Davis and Tyson McLaughlin
Muley Roping: Dave Yost of Lostine and Bryce Svedin of Baker City; second Dan Probert and Luke Morgan; third Mark and Savannah Kerns
Dog Race: Scott McLaran and Riley; Second, Steve Sykora and Enya.
Relay Race: Zeb and Lute Ramsden and Trevor Wentz, all of Enterprise; second, Cody and Josey Ross of Joseph and Tate Witters of Anatone.
Horse Race: Mark Dawson; second, Mark Kerns