Wilsall Ranch Rodeo showcases the region’s ranching heritage
The upcoming 10th annual Wilsall (MT) Ranch Rodeo on Aug. 22 attracts hundreds of spectators to this Park County community to watch ranchers showcase the skills that are part of their western ranching way of life.
Sponsored by Wilsall Community Events, the “local ranchers in action” rodeo features a ranch horse class, calf branding, penning, doctoring, wild cow milking and herd counting during the Sunday program.
This popular celebration of Western heritage is a family event that actually begins on Saturday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. with a barbeque, calcutta and dance at the Wilsall Veterans Park.
The Sunday program gets underway at 8:30 a.m. with cowboy breakfast, kids dummy roping at 9:30 a.m. and the ranch rodeo at 11 a.m.
“When we started it, we thought it would be a good time for locals to get together and have fun and it has grown progressively since then,” said Lyle Woosley, a rancher who helped to organize the rodeo and serves as the arena director. “Everything we make we put back into the facility.”
Woosley said the group of ranchers in the area thought it would be fun to have a friendly get together at the end of summer to celebrate surviving another year of ranching. After some informal meetings, it was decided that it would be great to help out the community of Wilsall while participating in a ranch rodeo.
Stock for the rodeo is provided by ranchers in the area and community volunteers provide the manpower.
“It’s been one of the nicest committees that I have worked on because everybody just does their job and has fun doing it,” Woosley said.
Proceeds from the rodeo have gone to new pipe fencing and other facility improvements.
The competition is limited to 10 teams from the region’s ranches.
As ranchers know, a ranch rodeo showcases the working cowboy skills that are essential to modern family ranching. It honors those ranchers who have the talent and commitment to grow America’s beef.
One of the four members of each team must include a female or young ranch person less than 15 years of age.
All of the six events are truly activities that challenge family cowboys on working ranches each day.
Last year, the Knock’em Flat team from Livingston, MT, captured the overall championship award. Justin O’Hair, Milee Malone, Ryle Harms and Ryan Malone were on the winning team that won the branding competition and placed high in several other events.
The Meagher Co. Ranches team from White Sulphur Springs Ranch placed second. Thad Hereim, Nancy Hereim, Tyler Floerchinger and Brian Bodell were on the team that captured the penning event and placed in several other categories.
Third place went to the Diamond X team of Warden and fourth went to the Crazy Mountain Cowhands of White Sulphur Springs. The Lazy SR Ranch of Wilsall placed fifth in the overall competition.
Brian Bodell received Top Hand award. The top horse at the ranch rodeo was owned by Luke Wiggins of Warden.
Staged by Wilsall Community Events, Inc., a non-profit Montana corporation, the organization raises money for the community.
Proceeds have helped to build a pavilion in the Veterans Park, improve the Wilsall Rodeo Grounds’ Arena and support local organizations such as the Wilsall Senior Center Building, the Wilsall Cemetery and the Wilsall Fire Department.
For event information, dial 406-578-2304.
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A pasture or lot with plenty of grass or bedding and windbreak is important when calving in the cold.