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Working Ranch - March 2018

weekend rodeo BY KESLY PORTER ELLIS Feeding the Hunger Ranch Rodeo Action in Fort Bend County, TEXAS Ever met a hard-working ranch cowboy who does not enjoy As most full time ranchers know, leaving the ranch for a rodeo frequently is not at all practical, but that doesn’t mean that the hunger for competition fades. That hunger is largely why ranch rodeos have become so popular in the ranching industry. Fort Bend County Fair Ranch Rodeo has been carrying on the Texas Ranching Heritage that is ingrained in the community’s culture. Up to twenty teams, comprised of four local cowboys and cowgirls each, gear up once a year in Rosenberg, Texas to compete for high point ranch rodeo team as well as the champion cow horse award, and they most certainly have some fun while doing so. “Most of the teams come from local ranches, and we really have a lot of good hands that come to compete”, says previous competitor and current chairman of the rodeo Thomas Snedecor. “We have a few competitors who have even gone on to participate in the WNFR,” says competitor and committee member Nick Yelderman. PHOTOS BY JOELYNN RATHMANN PHOTOGRAPHY One of these cowboys happens to be Thomas’s son, Scott Snedecor, a threetime steer roping world champion. Ranch rodeos are undoubtedly enjoyable for the competitors, but the community of Fort Bend County delights in the entertainment, and a sizeable crowd gathers to spectate each year. Snedecor says, “We have a lot of fun, and it’s really a pretty good show.” The three timed events; steer yoking, double mugging, and pasture doctoring, are crafted to test and spotlight the skills that working ranch men and women develop and utilize daily. But the added pressure of a time limit and eager spectators really turns up the heat as each team scrambles to rack up the most points. In steer yoking, a steer is sorted out of the bunch and across a line. One of the team members must then head the steer, and the other team members work vigorously to secure the steer to the neck rope which is connected to a yoke. The rope must be going to town once in a while and showing off their skills for a chance at glory and money? Neither have I; after all, that’s why the sport of rodeo was born. The perpetual chase for fame on the rodeo circuit is a lifestyle that many cowboys are acquainted with; however, the gap between the full-time rodeo cowboy and the full-time working ranch cowboy has been growing since the sport was invented. The three timed events; steer yoking, double mugging, and pasture doctoring, are crafted to test and spotlight the skills that working ranch men and women develop and utilize daily. (2016 action here) 26 I WORKING RANCH I MARCH 2018


Working Ranch - March 2018
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