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July 17, 2013

Riders cowboy up at Waurika’s rodeo

WAURIKA — There’s a little anxiety involved for the teams that compete on opening night of the Waurika Chamber of Commerce Ranch Rodeo: Things can change over night.

Because the annual rodeo is conducted in two sessions, with teams assigned to compete in either the rodeo’s opening performance or the finale, the cowboys who participate on the first night don’t know until late on the second night if their score will put them “in the money.”

After finishing with the top score in the curtain-raising performance of the 2013 rodeo at Rex Dunn’s Coyote Hills Arena, the cowpokes from Wilson Cattle & T-4 Cattle Company finally got a chance to celebrate late.

No team in the final performance was able to eclipse the opening-night score posted by the team from the Canyon, Texas area, and Wilson Cattle & T-4 Cattle Company became the rodeo’s second repeat champion.

Bolstered by finishing in the top four of each event in the curtain-raiser, the team that combined cowboys from Wilson Cattle and T-4 Cattle Company had finished the opening round with a slight edge on two other teams — Schneeman Ranch & Middleton Ranch and Myers Cattle & 96 Ranch LLC.

Seven teams had competed in the first round, but as 10 more teams competed in the second round, the point leaders had to wait to find out if their marks would hold up.

Ultimately, it was worth the wait. By the time the final overall scores were tallied, Wilson had finished with 32 total points, a first-place check for $5,600 as the overall winner and an automatic berth in the Working Ranch Cowboys Association 2013 World Championship.

Schneeman Ranch & Middleton Ranch, from Big Lake, Texas, ended up second with 28 points, claiming $4,200 in prize money.

After winning the title in 2012, Wilson Cattle & T-4 Cattle became the second team to repeat as champion in the Chamber’s feature event, which began in 2006. Crutch Ranch, of Borger, Texas, captured the crowns in 2009 and 2010.

Crutch was back for the eighth Ranch Rodeo, and after competing in the finale, exited in third place, with a score of 23.

Slate River Ranch of Weatherford, Texas also had a score of 23, which forced a tie-breaker to come into play for prize money. A higher score in team branding gave Crutch Ranch third place and a $2,800 payoff, while Slate River earned $2,400 for finishing in fourth.

Rodey Wilson, Jesse Valdez, Tyler Bridges, John Wilson, Jason Thomas and Jordan Satterfield combined to spark Wilson Cattle and T-4 Cattle to the championship. Rodey Wilson was also named the Top Hand in the rodeo and his horse was selected for the Top Horse award.

“We had a really tough rodeo on the first night. The competition was good and it turned out to be a great first night,” said rodeo committee chair Brad Scott. “On the second night, we had a bigger crowd and they got to see another good rodeo.

“The prize money was down some, because we didn’t have quite as many teams as the last two years. But the rodeo continues to be a success.”

As in the past, teams from Texas were predominant in the team line-up, with a dozen teams coming to town from below the Red River.

Two area teams were in the field, including Treadwell Cattle & McPhail from Frederick, and the Sugarloaf Ranch from Velma and Treadwell Cattle & McPhail from Frederick. Treadwell Cattle & McPhail tied for 10th overall, while the Velma ranch tied for 12th.

Other Oklahoma teams were Barron Highsmith & Short from Talala, Lost Creek Cattle & Smith Oasis from Erick, Davison & Son’s Cattle Company from Arnett, and JH Cattle & DGE Ranch LLC from Alva.

Lost Creek & Smith Oasis had the top finish of a Sooner State entry, taking fifth overall, with 21 points.

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