Rodeo debuts June 24-25

The Buckaroo Fest 2000/Minden Ranch Rodeo will take place June 24-25. The rodeo, headed up by Bently cow boss Jimmy Lee and A & A Construction owner Alton Anker, will feature ranch-style events including muley team roping, bronc riding and ranch doctoring.

The event is a celebration of the ranching profession, say Anker and Lee.

"This rodeo is different because the people involved make their living ranching, they're experienced, and the events are distinctly ranch events," Lee said.

"These men take what they do very seriously and they love what they do," Anker said.

Love for the job may explain why many ranch hands are up before dawn and don't leave the fields until 7 or 8 p.m.

"Regular rodeo is a spin-off of ranch work. Ours is timed ranch work," Anker said.

"Our bronc riding uses only ranch equipment used for everyday horse training, not the specialized equipment used by many commercial rodeos," Lee said. "We're more about technique than prizes."

"We're the guys that you see at a regular rodeo rounding up a loose bronc or bull," Lee said.

In ranch doctoring, teams must find and herd out a single cow from an arena with 30 head of numbered cattle. A number is randomly selected for the team, which, after herding it, must then head and heel the cow, and mark its head.

In ranching, doctoring occurs on the field, with medicines toted in the saddle. Horses are trained to stand by while cowhands administer medication to the cattle.

One of the seemingly simple events, wild cow milking, is anything but, especially when the cows in question are Texas Longhorns and they have to be roped first.

The rodeo has slots for 20 four-person teams, with 16 of those spots already filled.

Lee will be participating with his own team, as well as Park Ranch cow boss Danny Nalder and brothers Nick and Domingo Uhart.

The entry fee is $500 per team.

"The rodeo is open to people all over the U.S.," Lee said. A team from Cottonwood, Calif., is scheduled to compete.

Event winners will receive Red Bluff belt buckles which are on display at Sharkey's casino. Cash prizes will be awarded based on team averages, and the highest scoring team will have the membes' names engraved on the Brooks Park memorial bronze trophy also to be displayed at Sharkey's.

Park, whose family has been ranching in Carson Valley and at Lake Tahoe for generations, died in January.

"We hope that the whole community will come out to watch," Lee said.

The Minden Ranch Rodeo/Buckaroo Fest will be held at 6 p.m., Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. For entries or information, call Lee at 265-4334 evenings.


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