New Mexico Team takes early lead in World Championship Ranch Rodeo

This may be their first appearance at the World Championship Ranch Rodeo, but members of New Mexico's Hatchet and Moon ranches team put the axe to their competition like old pros in the first go-round, which ended Friday night.This may be their first appearance at the World Championship Ranch Rodeo, but members of New Mexico's Hatchet and Moon ranches team put the axe to their competition like old pros in the first go-round, which ended Friday night.

Story originally posted by Horsecity.com Staff

This may be their first appearance at the World Championship Ranch Rodeo, but members of New Mexico’s Hatchet and Moon ranches team put the axe to their competition like old pros in the first go-round, which ended Friday night.

Team member C.W. Morris turned in a smoking 79-point ride to win the ranch bronc riding, edging out the Canadian team, Rocking P and Sears ranches, by one point. In ranch bronc riding, the cowboys "ride as ride can" for 8 seconds. A standard western saddle is used, and riders can hold onto the saddle horn. Spurring isn’t required, but many of the more advanced bronc riders do spur and even fan the horse with their hat in their free hand.

The Hatchet and Moon team, which has headquarters in Deming and Buckhorn, N.M., also earned a second place in wild cow milking, a third place in team penning, a fourth place in team doctoring and fifth place in team branding – putting them on the board in every single event so far. All events except the wild horse race have two go-rounds, with the second one running in two performances Saturday and Sunday. The wild horse race, which can sometimes be a little dicey, calls for team members to saddle a bronc who’s just been released from a chute, then mount up and ride him to the other end of the arena. Hatchet-Moon has not yet performed in this event.

Last year’s world champions, the Slagowski-Martin ranch team, is sitting in close second place after the first go-round. They haven’t yet won an event, but three solid second places have them just two points behind Hatchet-Moon and still very much in the hunt. Team member Joe Slagowski hails from Pine Valley, Nevada, while his teammates from the Martin Ranch are from Evanston, Wyo.

The Latham and Grenola, Kan., team of Les Cooper Cattle Co. and Bannon Land & Cattle Co. is on the board with 20 points, just six off the lead. And a number of other ranches are on the board with lesser amounts. But with second-go-round points yet to be added, as well as average awards, it could still be anybody’s game.

Check www.wrca.org for regular updates to see if Hatchet-Moon continues with strong performances throughout the weekend – or see if somebody else catches fire!

The World Championship Ranch Rodeo is sponsored by the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, based in Amarillo, Texas. Visit their Web site or call (806) 374-WRCA for more information.