The Duncan Banner

February 7, 2014

It’s OU-Texas Weekend (on horseback) in Duncan

Steve Olafson
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — The Oklahoma Horse Fair will stage its own version of OU-Texas Weekend in Duncan, but this may be rougher than the Dallas version because nobody will be wearing helmets or shoulder pads.

Ranch teams from the two states will compete in ranch bronc riding, team branding, wild cow milking and wild stray gathering during each night of the three-day horse fair.

“This’ll be for braggings rights to see who has the best cowboys — Texas or Oklahoma,” said Gary Lohman, the fair’s producer.

Ranch rodeos date back to the 1880s, when ranches would compete with one another to see whose cowboys were the best.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association revived the tradition and will stage three ranch rodeos this year. The Duncan version,  called The Chisolm Trail Ranch Rodeo, will be  at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $8 with kids under 6 free.

The ranch teams, seven from Oklahoma and seven from Texas,  can be composed of cowboys from full-time ranches or selected individuals who like to rodeo.

The Oklahoma Horse Fair has drawn around 6,000 people to Duncan in past years, according to Lohman, who lives in Blanchard.

Another highlight of the fair will be the Colt Starting Challenge USA in which four horse trainers will compete to see who does the best job in training a young, unbroken horse during a two-hour period on Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and a three-hour period on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is $5, with kids under 6 free.

In theory, the trainers will be able to ride the horse they have trained during the Sunday session.

Other activities include:

* A free cow dog demonstration from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday. Six cowdogs judged to be outstanding will be auctioned. Last year the outstanding cowdogs sold for $1,000 to $3,500, Lohman said.

* On Saturday morning around 10 a.m., 120 horses, ponies and mules will be auctioned. Free admission.

* On Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.,  the High Noon Ranch Bronc Derby featuring mutton bustin’ for kids 8 years and under, steer ridin’ for kids 16 and under and ranch bronc ridin’ for teenagers 17 and under. Admission $8, with kids under 6 free.