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Pawnee Springs cowboys win ranch rodeoTell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
Pawnee Springs competitors
Photo by George Lauby
Gathered for instructions
Courtesy Photo­Image
Clint Wilson
Photo by George Lauby
Mill Dale Ranch
Courtesy Photo­Image
Billy Ray Jensen

The Pawnee Springs team bested 15 other teams of cowboys in the annual ranch rodeo at the Lincoln County Fair.

Working in four-man teams, the cowboys battled to see who could do the quickest job of sorting, gathering strays, branding and cow milking.

The 7-Bow team took the early lead in team sorting. They sorted three yearlings out of a herd of 48 head and penned them on the other end of the fairgrounds arena in just 114.9 seconds.

The Pawnee Springs team had a respectable sorting time of 150 seconds. The Mill Dale ranch scored 142 and the Clark Ranch, 152.

Most other sorting times were above 200 seconds. The 2W Ranch team earned applause from competitors for fine work sorting five head at the pen.

The Mill Dale Ranch (TeeJay Meyer, Burton Mikleson, Andrew Dailey, and Eric Garels) won both the branding competition and cow milking, but failed to get the job done in stray gathering, taking them out of the overall race.

Pawnee Springs (Cole Schaffer, Greg Eshlemen, Pat Johnson, Darrin Sellers) won stray gathering as well as the championship, and survived a near disaster in cow milking.

Their cow fought back and at one time Eschlemen was drug underneath for several seconds, with the cow straddling him.

Overall, the Clark Ranch placed second, the 7 Bow Ranch was third, and the 3 1/2 Men Ranch was fourth.

The competition was close. Only 11 seconds separated first and second place. Just four seconds separated second and third place.

Judge Jeremy Knoles of Knoles Performance Horses selected Clint Wilson of the 3 1/2 Men Ranch as the Top Hand, and Billy Ray Jensen of the Gaffney Ranch got the award for the top horse.

Ranch rodeo events are less familiar to most people than traditional events of rodeo, but ranch rodeo events capture the essence and spirit of many everyday activities on the ranch, organizer Sarah Schaffer said.

More than bragging rights were involved. The top teams split about $3,300 in prize money.

The auctioneer was Charlie Mueller.

The Clark team were the defending champs. The team consisted of Adam Clark, Jess Koubek, Steven Morrison, and Squeak Smidts.

This report was first printed in the July 31 print edition of the North Platte Bulletin.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/3/2013
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