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Laura Dahl, Director
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350
Email: lola@opsu.edu

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**For Immediate Release**
Stick Horses Included in Festival
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 03-20-2006

Goodwell, Okla. - As part of the Festival of the Horse, OPSU will sponsor a Working Ranch Cowboys Association Junior Ranch Rodeo on Friday, April 28. Doug Smith of Panhandle, Texas, also known as “Pokey the Clown,” will preside over the event designed for children from 4-16 years old. The competition teaches the youngsters the ways of working ranch hands as well as team work. It also provides great family entertainment for participants and spectators.

The junior rodeo features calf branding, a pony express race, wild cow milking and wild cow doctoring. Instead of livestock, the participants use stick horses and wood cattle represent the stock. In the pony express race, team members “ride” a stick horse around four barrels, then hand off saddlebags to the next team member in line. The clock stops when the last member rounds the fourth barrel and drops the saddlebags into a bucket.

The wild cow milking begins when team members take positions at the starting line. The team captain rides a stick horse down the arena leading his teammates to the cow, which is mounted on skids. One child steps onto the skids at the back of the cow while the captain, on a stick horse, grabs the rope on the cow and the other two team members help pull the cow back to the milking line. The child on the back, who has been holding the tail while being dragged across the arena, steps off the skids, picks up the milk bottle from a pail, and “milks” the cow. Once there is liquid in the bottle, the hand races across the finish line to stop the time, and the official verifies there is milk in the bottle. The wild cow doctoring works much the same way, except the teammate on the back of the cow picks up a marker and marks tape on the side of the neck to stop the time.

In the calf branding, a team member stands in the branding circle with his branding iron. The captain, riding a stick horse, and the other two members line up at the start next to the brander. Two calves stand at the end of the arena, and the captain and the other two members race to fetch one. One member goes to the back of the calf to make sure it is standing, and then the captain and the third member drag the calf to the branding circle. Once inside, the calf is flanked and the brander “brands” the calf. Then the calf is put back on his “feet.” The team goes after the second calf and completes the same process. Time stops when the second calf is branded and the iron has been returned to the “fire.”

There are three age groups in junior ranch rodeo including Pee Wee for ages 4-7, Junior for ages 8-11, and Senior for ages 12-16. Each team is comprised of four members and ages are calculated by the age of the child on January 1, 2006. One adult coach per team is allowed.

The competition stresses team work, finishing a task despite obstacles, and having fun. The rodeo will feature teams from the around the area, and Terryll Gloden, an OPSU equine science instructor, hopes new teams from Texas County will join the fun. Those interested in entering a team in the first annual OPSU junior rodeo may contact Gloden at 580-349-1517 or Doug Smith at 806-537-5245.

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All Rights Reserved. Copyright Oklahoma Panhandle State University 2005
Developed by: Michal Stachowski
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
P.O. Box 430 Goodwell, OK 73939, tel: 580-349-2611
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