Ranchers compete in Findlater rodeo

Hayden O’Brien, competing on the A & M Ranch team, sets up a lasso during the wild cow milking event.

By Joel van der Veen

FINDLATER — Even seasoned cowboys can find themselves on a string of tough luck.

That was the case for Boyd Sanden and his teammates, four ranching veterans who competed in their first ranch rodeo at Findlater last weekend.

“It’s all the luck of the draw on half of this stuff,” said Sanden, who competed on the Dennis Edwards team.

Edwards, a Craik-area rancher, was the captain for the team, which also included Boyd’s brother Codey Sanden and Kelly Smith, a rancher from the Tugaske district.

Boyd said the animals are often unpredictable, and having multiple teams in the arena at the same time complicates matters further.

He recalled one instance where he’d roped an animal, then had to release the rope to avoid cutting off a competitor: “That’s the way it goes.”

However, the Edwards ranch redeemed themselves with a second-place finish in the final event, the wild cow milking, and ended the day in ninth place out of 10 teams.

“Basically our goal was not to come in last, which we didn’t,” said Sanden, adding that they enjoyed the day and hope to return in the future.

The Findlater Ranch Rodeo, presented by K+S Potash Canada, was held Aug. 12 at the John Edwards Memorial Field east of Findlater.

Shannon McArton, who serves as one of the rodeo directors, said roughly 800 people were in attendance for the event, now in its ninth year.

“Given how many people were harvesting, and these things go up and down,” she said last week, “we were relatively pleased.”

McArton said the events ran smoothly and the weather was ideal.

The rodeo’s organizers prepare for the worst and had both an ambulance and veterinarian on hand, but there were no significant injuries during the day.

Ten teams competed in the ranch rodeo, which featured five events: the wild horse race, team doctoring, team branding, trailer loading and wild cow milking.

The events of the ranch rodeo are chosen to represent the daily work that happens on ranches. The program describes the event as “a salute to the working cowboy.”

Winning first place were the FWDP Team of Shawn Francis, Chris Williamson, Ross Davidson and Riley Pritchard, whose members hail from the Piapot First Nation, Ponteix and Mankota districts.

The winners are presented with the Chum Edwards Memorial Trophy, which features a bronze depiction of the late Findlater-area rancher on horseback.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 21 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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