The ninth annual Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association World Finals kicked off yesterday in Dodge City with a pair of rodeos at the Western State Bank Expo Center at 11333 U.S. 283.
If you missed the first two rodeos, you’re in luck, the last rodeo will be held today at 5 p.m. at the Expo Center. Teams of four cowgirls will compete in five events that are designed to be purer representations of the ranch hand skill set than other rodeos.
In the doctoring competition, the cowgirls simulate the separation, control and administration of medicine to a calf in a herd. Usually, two ropers secure the animal while one acts as the vet by marking the calf with chalk. The fourth member keeps the rest of the herd safely away.
Trailer loading involved sorting a target calf out of the herd and into the back of a wheeled trailer. With this event, and the others, best time wins discounting penalties for breaking the rules.
The branding competition uses flour instead of hot iron to mark two cattle, but the action remains the same.
In the sorting event, judges call out numbered animals from the herd and the team must separate and move the calves in order.
The cowgirls will display their tie-down skills by roping and controlling a calf, one of the most essential ranch skills.
If you’re inclined, grab your wide-brimmed hat, embroidered shirt and boots and watch your step. The fee at the door is $5 which will support for Dodge City Community College rodeo team.