S.D., Wyo. women win at ranch rodeo
October 22, 2015
Their shirts may be pink and they may have flowers on their hats, but the women in ranch rodeo aren't too worried about breaking a nail.
For four women from South Dakota and Wyoming, the eight rodeos they competed in that were sanctioned by the Women's Ranch Rodeo Association, and the additional three finals rodeos just gave them a chance to show what they are capable of– and do– every day.
The Turkey Track team of Tiffany Hampson, Douglas, Wyoming, Jenny Walker, Lusk, Wyoming, Cheyenne Wilson, Oglala, South Dakota, Jennifer Scheer, LaGrange, Wyoming and Bridgit Downs, Douglas, Wyoming won the year-end champion title at the WRRA world finals Oct. 16 and 17 in Loveland, Colorado. The reserve year-end champion team was from western Nebraska and Wyoming, made up of Tasha Morava, Tami Dyer, Dusty Henry, Jill Eppert and Lora Anderson.
The 2015 WRRA World Finals champion team was River Bend Ranch–Cindy Due, Christine O'Neal, Cortney Anderson and Katie Pinner. Reserve champion went to The High Lonesome team of Julie Dawson, JV Thomas, Lori Campbell and Stacy Mathis.
Eighteen teams competed in the finals, coming from Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Cheyenne Wilson said she and her team members have been part of the WRRA for three years. She joined the Turkey Track team last year and the team seems to have just clicked. Wilson and her teammates agree that communication is one of the most important elements of their success. "I think communication is huge as is consistency," Wilson said. "Being raised around cattle and horses is a key element, but that doesn't mean you can't compete if you weren't. Being positive and having good sportsmanship is crucial also."
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They all enjoy the competition and the camaraderie of the ranch rodeos. Wilson and Hampson agree that sorting is their strongest event, a view that's reinforced by the year-end sorting title they earned this year. They say trailer loading and mugging and tying down a steer are more challenging.
The competition has been positive for the team, and they encourage other women to get involved.
"You need people who you can work well with," Walker said. "And don't be afraid to give something new a try. I guarantee you that you will be hooked after first rodeo composed of all women competing."
Hampson's advice is, "Learn to have fun, practice, and always work together!"
"I say just do it! I rodeoed until I was in college then didn't compete for 22 years," Wilson said. "I always wanted to, but the idea of hauling down the road to try to rope a calf in two seconds didn't appeal to me. When the opportunity to showcase our lifestyle amongst my peers presented itself I knew it was what I was meant to do. If you want something….go after it. You only have one life to live so get on that horse and ride!"