Annual Ranger Rodeo underway

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Annual Ranger Rodeo underway

November 5, 2009

The annual Ranger Rodeo presented by Northwestern Oklahoma State University will have its opening performance at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Woods County Fairgrounds Arena. More than 500 student competitors from 20-plus colleges and universities are expected to participate. The rodeo is a sanctioned event of the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Northwestern’s women’s rodeo team has a commanding lead, and sits at first place with the men’s team fourth in the Central Plains Region Standings going into the Ranger Rodeo.

In the individual events Northwestern has at least one member in the Top 15 in each event and completely dominates some events.

Nine out of 15 breakaway ropers are Northwestern women’s rodeo team members.

A list of events, student information and placement in the top 15 are as follows:
• Saddle bronc riding: Jesse Cassingham, Watonga freshman, 13;
• Bareback riding: Chancy Lovinggood, Coalgate junior, 2; Anthony Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., senior, 5; Kenny Feidler, Baltimore, Md., senior, 9;
• Bull riding: Clay Cudmore, Cherokee junior, 4; Steven Flitz, Pratt, Kan., senior, 8;
• Tie down roping: Tyrell Reynolds, Tribune, Kan., senior, 5; Clint Kindred, Oral, S.D., freshman, 6; Cole Wilson, Kinkaid, Kan., junior, 8;
• Steer Wrestling: Paul Tierney, Oral, S.D., sophomore, 5; Kody Woodward, Dupree, S.D., sophomore, 7; Lucas Camac, Augusta, Kan., sophomore, 12; Kindred, 14;
• Team roping header: Jessica Koppitz, Alva freshman, 3; Levi Burson, North Loop, Texas, sophomore, 5; Molly Bates, Estherville, Iowa senior, 9;
• Team roping heeler: Dakota Koehn, Logan freshman, 3; Tanner Braden, Dewey freshman, 4; Brice Buzzard, Colony, Kan., freshman, 5; Jenna Jo Jolly, Deer Trail, Colo., freshman, 8; Clay Phillips, Rexford, Kan., junior, 8;
• Barrel Racing: Haley Nida, Alva senior, 7; Brittany Young, Buffalo junior, 14; Kari Cable, Pukwana, S.D., freshman;
• Breakaway roping: Jacey Jandreau, Kimball, S.D., freshman, 1; Cindy Wood, Columbia, Mo., sophomore, 2; Janise Blanton, Lamont, freshman, 3; Karly Benzie, Alva freshman, 5; Keely Bemenderfer-Wren, Ignacio, Colo, freshman, 6; Kate Hansen, Everly, Iowa, sophomore, 9; Kaylee Nelson, Midland, S.D., junior, 10; Michelle Bartley, Emporia, Kan., senior, 12; Nida, 14.
• Goat tying: Toya Vogt, Corn junior, 2; Cable, 5; Gabriel Gregg, Highmore, S.D., junior, 8; Brooke Boulware, Scott City, Kan., junior, 11.

Performances start at 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets are being sold by all rodeo team members and by coach Tim Kolb, who can be reached at (580) 327-8688. They also will be sold at the gate.

“Everyone should be really excited about the rodeo because it is a great event for the community,” Kolb said. “Many competitors, along with their families and friends, are in town for at least two days, which really helps boost the community’s economy.”
Barring inclement weather, “Rodeo Days” will be held on the square for Alva’s elementary school children on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m. Rodeo team members will be on hand to explain the different events and demonstrate some of them.

Ten to 12 contestants in each of the nine collegiate rodeo events will be on center stage during the Thursday and Friday night performances. The top 10 in each event will return for the championship go-round on Saturday night.

The events are bareback bronc riding, tie-down roping, breakaway calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, goat tying, team roping, barrel racing and bullriding. Two sections of the popular bull riding event will be run on Thursday and Friday nights.
The rest of the contestants will appear in the “slack” performances starting at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Participation in the performance or slack rounds is decided by random draw.

Special events will occur at each evening performance. On Thursday night, Northwestern student teams will attempt to milk wild cows, and students will be admitted for $4 with a current I.D. card.

Friday will be children’s night and will feature a children’s calf scramble. Several animals will be marked to denote prize winners.

On Saturday night, when event and team winners are determined, there will be a relay race up and down the arena by cowboys and cowgirls representing different schools. However, they will all be on foot—not horseback.

Brett Wellden of Guthrie, will be the public address announcer. His love of rodeo began as a small child and grew into competitive bareback riding, team roping and bullriding. Wellden has enjoyed riding bareback horses for more than 16 years. Wellden is an official announcer and resides in Guthrie with his wife Shawn and their three children.

Bullfighters Ethan McDonald and Wacey Munsell will be performing cowboy protection duties. McDonald of Abilene, Kan., is a current student at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan. He has fought bulls at Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma bull fighting events. Munsell was the 2005 and 2006 PBR Dickie’s World Champion Freestyle Bullfighter for the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo and the National High School Finals Rodeo. His goals are to work for the NFR and PBR Finals.

“Our team members have been busy getting ready for our rodeo and practicing hard so they can make a good showing at home,” Kolb said. “I’m really proud of our student-athletes and their diligence because putting on a rodeo this size takes a lot of work. The team works hard, and I know it is going to pay off.”

Stock contractors Williams and Long Rodeo Company are providing bulls and bucking horses for events.

Visit, look in the left column for “Result Standings” and click on Central Plains Region to keep up with Northwestern Rodeo team standings.