Ranch rodeo coming to Cortez

Event will showcase ranchers’ way of life

Justin Ivins moves the rope from the head to the hind legs as David and Shawn Ivins hold the calf down after Preston Grover roped the animal in the Ranch Rodeo branding competition last year. The event is 5 p.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Justin Ivins moves the rope from the head to the hind legs as David and Shawn Ivins hold the calf down after Preston Grover roped the animal in the Ranch Rodeo branding competition last year. The event is 5 p.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds.

Absent the contributions made by ranchers, American dinner plates would look much different. Even so, very few people realize what the talented horsemen do on a daily basis.

In hopes of educating the general public while providing an entertaining experience, roughly 80 cowboys arrive at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds on Aug. 2 to participate in this year’s Ranch Rodeo.

One of the many events at this year’s Montezuma County Fair, the rodeo will feature five events, including trailer loading, tie-down roping, penning, branding and wild cow milking.

During the calf-branding event, four ranch-team members will separate two cows from a larger heard, secure them and touch them with a cold branding iron.

The tie-down roping will be similar to that seen in traditional rodeos in which a calf is roped and secured.

In the penning event, four mounted ranchers will separate previously distinguished cattle from a larger herd and corral them in a pen, while the trailer loading event will require ranchers to rope and load both a calf and a burro into a waiting trailer.

The ranch rodeo will conclude with the wild cow-milking event, which requires ranchers to rope, secure and milk a cow.

All in all, each of this year’s events will test skills that ranchers use on a daily basis.

“The events are things that we do on a working ranch,” local rancher Wyatt Wallace said during last year’s event. “Stuff like branding calves, roping caves, this is stuff we do everyday.”

Ranchers from numerous states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah are expected to attend this year’s Ranch Rodeo, which will once again be one of the region’s largest.

Cash and other prizes will be awarded to winning teams and crowd-pleasing activities will not be in short supply.

“We’ll have stuff that you would not see at a regular rodeo,” said event organizer Zane Odell. “The whole family can participate and enjoy this event.”

Registration for this year’s Ranch Rodeo will take place between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Aug. 2. Events will begin at 5 p.m.