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July 10, 2014

Waurika hosts Chamber of Commerce rodeo

WAURIKA — Can anyone break the hold Texas has on titles at the Waurika Chamber of Commerce Ranch Rodeo?

That’s one of the questions that will be answered over the weekend, when the ninth Ranch Rodeo is held at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at Rex Dunn’s Coyote Hills Arena.

Although there have been teams from around Oklahoma and Kansas in the field since the first Waurika Ranch Rodeo was held in 2006, there’s little doubt Texas-based teams — most from West Texas — have dominated the winner’s prize money and the automatic qualification to the Working Rodeo Cowboys Association World Championship that goes to the title winner.

La Major Ranch of Seymour was the first team of Texans to win the event that is a key fund-raiser for the Waurika Chamber. Following the inaugural rodeo in 2006, three more Texas teams were crowned, including Crutch Ranch, which picked up back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

The Texas streak ended in 2011, when Buford Ranches-Purebred Division of Welch, Okla. claimed the title. But the Texas trend resumed quickly, when Wilson Cattle & T-4 Cattle Company of Canyon copped the top prize in 2012 and 2013.

Wilson & T-4 will be seeking a third straight championship when this year’s 24-team competition begins on Friday. Following the format change that began two years ago, there will be 12 teams competing on Friday and 12 other teams will close the show on Saturday, when the overall champ will be decided.

With 24 teams, the prize money that goes to the top four finish teams is attractive. The overall champ receives $8,400 and the berth in the WRCA World Championship in Amarillo. The runner-up check is for $6,300, while the third-place team receives $4,200 and the fourth-place finisher $2,100.

“I think we’ve got a good cross-section of teams, most from Oklahoma and Texas, but there will be one Kansas ranch this year,” said Brad Scott, who’s been a fixture in helping lead the organizing end of the rodeo since its inception.

“One of the new teams we’ve got is RA Brown, of Throckmorton, Texas, and Wilson & T-4, and Crutch Ranch will both be back. So will Pitchfork out of Texas. And we’ve got several Oklahoma.

“Carl Gholson does a good job of getting all the teams together. Don Reno Rodeo Company is our source for bucking horses, Bradley Ranch 2 LLC, Gary and Jane Carter, and Elizabeth and I donate the cattle.

“It’s unbelievable how everybody, including our sponsors, come together to put this on every year. Everybody does their job in organizing, and it works out well.”

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