“It’s gonna get western!”
That was a social media post from the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, and it served as fair warning in the days leading up to the second annual Championship Ranch Bronc Riding, May 25 in Amarillo, Texas.
No mistake about it, the Championship Ranch Bronc Riding will offer plenty of action, spotlighting 36 men and 10 women who’ll display grit and guts as they battle it out for prize money and prestige. The men are vying for $15,000, and the women will compete for $10,000.
In the women’s division, there are several repeat competitors from last year, including champ Jessica Mosher of Colorado, who comes from a family of rough-stock riders. Her competition includes ranch hands, colt starters … and even a WRCA staff member, Kaycee Hooper. Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Kentucky are the states represented by the women.
The men come from ranches large and small, from all over the West – from Oregon to Kansas and from Montana to New Mexico.
And don’t forget the other talented athletes. This year’s broncs will be provided by four rodeo companies: Dakota Rodeo Co., Omak Rodeo Co., Walls Rodeo Co. and McCloy Rodeo Co. In recognition of the horses’ supreme importance, WRCA will honor the Top Ranch Bronc and the Reserve Top Ranch Bronc.
Another new award this year is coming from title sponsor Bud Light. The Bud Light Wild Ride will be decided by Budweiser Distributing of Amarillo.
But like you’ve been warned, there are likely to be a lot of wild and “western” moments. These horses are tough, but so are the cowboys and cowgirls.
Ranch bronc riding hearkens back to a time when horses were started under saddle by letting ’em buck. It took a good hand to stay on board, and if someone was called “sticky” – referring to his ability to stick to the saddle – that was the ultimate compliment.
These days, ranch bronc riding is done for a different cause. At the WRCA championships, money is being raised for the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation, the nonprofit organization that funds scholarships for ranch kids and a crisis fund for injured or ill ranch cowboys and their families.
The WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo, held each November in Amarillo, is the association’s other signature event, and both events are designed to showcase ranching heritage, while also raising money to preserve it through the WRCF’s efforts.
The Championship Ranch Bronc Riding will feature vendors that include the WRCA General Store, Cowboy Honor, Ranch Royalty Clothing, Amarillo Truck Center, Easley Trailers, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the Panhandle Heritage Foundation. Plus, your ticket also gets you into a post-event barn dance with Reckless Kelly and a performance by Adrian “Buckaroogirl” Brannan.
Gates at Amarillo’s Range Riders Bud Light Arena, 313 W. Loop 335, will open at 2:30 p.m. May 25, so come early to meet the riders and participate in a bronc rider “auction” that will benefit WRCF. The event itself starts at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased at the gate for $25, and ages 12 and under are admitted free.
For more information, go online to www.wrca.org or call (806) 374-9722.