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Fair, Finals, and Facile Riding


By Dawni O'Bryan

October 4, 2023

As I was riding my horse the other evening, the sun was setting and darkness was closing in. I was reminded of the peace that accompanied me as I headed home. The air was starting to get cooler with each step my mare took. The bugs had given it up for the evening and the sunset was breathtaking. No cars were zooming by me and I was just enjoying my therapy of riding one horse, leading another, and my two dogs tagging along behind. I decided not to take a picture or video, but to just enjoy the moment. That is what is so awesome about this western lifestyle. It can be peaceful and relaxing, yet competitions can be ramped up, wild, fast, and furious; whatever you are looking for.

The Holly Gateway Fair wrapped up with another successful program of events. The breakaway roping event was held on Friday, September 22nd with a good turnout in both the open and 14 and under divisions. It was a two-header for $125 and $1000 added money from sponsors TBK Bank, Cliff’s, Trail Side Liquor, Claude and Kammie Cathcart, Mark and PJ Trostel, and Reyman’s Grocery. Winning the open was Tori Kunz, second was Kelli Frazier, third was Nicole Hadley, fourth was Chancy Etbauer, fifth was Laney Harper, sixth was Tatum Hall (Springfield), and seventh was Helen Poer. In the 14 and under, top honors went to Lily Poer, second was Slade Lord (Lamar), third was Conley Hall (Springfield), and fourth was Likely Poer. The event was put on by Shelbie (Weeder) Rose, former Hollyite and the current Women’s Rodeo Coach at Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

The ranch bronc riding was held on Saturday with 15 riders trying their skill to cover two head and win the average. Results are pending.

The Kansas Professional Rodeo Association had their year-end finals in Dodge City September 22-24. The top 12 in the standings of each event were allowed to compete in the finals. The Baca County rock star from Walsh, Colton Crawford, left no doubt to who was the best bareback rider in the area.

Crawford won round one with a score of 74 points ($543), he won round two with a score of 77 points ($543), and he won round three with a score of 82 points ($543), and thus nailing the average for another $849. He was crowned the 2023 Champion Bareback Rider winning over $9400 in the Kansas association. Former Granada cowboy, Chad VanCampen, had a good finals in the steer wrestling by placing fourth in the first round with 5.7 seconds ($218), fifth in round two with a time of 5.7 seconds, and second in the third round with a time of 5.2 seconds. He won the average at the finals and ended up third in the year-end standings. Ordway cowboy, Waitley Sharon, was second in round one of the saddle bronc riding with a score of 76 points ($329) and he won round two with a score of 79 points ($461) and ended up fifth in the year-end standings. In the ranch bronc riding, Kyle Hampton of Lakin was second in round one with 72.5 points ($541) and first in round two with 73 points ($1083). He was second in the finals average and second in the year-end standings. In the 40/40 team roping, Darren Ridley of Las Animas teamed up with Mike Weir of Dodge City to win round one with 7.7 seconds ($1139). Jayla Reed of Wiley roped with Tony O’Neal of Brewster to win second in round one with 8.4 seconds ($854). Ridley and Weir also won round three with 8.2 seconds ($1139). They ended up third in the finals average and Ridley was number two in the header standings when it was all said and done.

The Colorado Professional Rodeo Association has their finals September 29-October 1 in Montrose and will be reported next week.

When we try to control everything, we enjoy nothing. Sometimes we need to relax, breathe, pray, and just live in the moment.

Happy Trails.

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