The Wallowa County Stockgrower’s Ranch Rodeo and dinner on Saturday provided a good time for all and roped in funds for scholarships, including more than $600 from the sale of a pick of the litter from a stellar cowdog. Tom Birkmaier and B.J. Warnock took top prize in rock-jack building with an energetic performance. Devin Patton and Mark Ramsden were a close second. Stock dog competition was won by Cody Ross and his two border collies, who put the set of three steers through stock fences, barrels, and in and out of a corral in 4 minutes, 14 seconds. Second place stock dog went to Mark Schott.
Team sorting was won by an out of county team of Dave Gordon, Wes Osborne, and Lexie Osborne. Local favorites Barrie Qualle, Zach Compton and K.C. Little took second place honors. Branding honors also went to an out of county team: Mark Kerns, Savanah Kerns, and Wes Osborne. But Todd Nash, Greg Seufer and Hadley Miller teamed up to garner a close second.
Three teams competed in the horseback relay race—with the first three legs ridden at a trot and the last leg usually at a full-out gallop. First place easily went to the team of Zeb Ramsden, Lute Ramsden and Trevor Wentz who loped home with the prize. The real competition was between second and third place, with Skyler Willis, Scott Shear, and Deanna DeMelo holding off a fast-closing third team to win by just a few seconds at the finish line.
The kids’ stick horse races were a little less dramatic. In what seemed a display of good sportsmanship, most of the 3 to 5 year old set “galloped“ to the finish line, and then stopped just short of crossing it until most of their fellow racers arrived. The 5 and up group was not as polite, with the winner letting out a whoop as he carried his (stick) horse across the finish.
Deanna DeMelo was recognized as all around top cowgirl. Trevor Wentz took top cowboy honors. And the Wallowa County Stockman’s Ranch Rodeo top horse award went to Dan Probert’s sturdy sorrel.