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Carson-Douglas to host rodeo

It’s been a long week for the Carson-Douglas Rodeo Club, but the hard work will all be worth it this weekend.

Members of the club have had a full schedule this week in which they have been preparing for this weekend’s rodeo in which they will host high school rodeo teams from across the state. The rodeo will be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Competition begins on Friday with the cutting at the Corley Ranch.

Along with going to school and keeping up with their studies and practicing in their events, members of the the club have been spending three-four hours a night preparing for this weekend.

Actually, the club has been preparing for the rodeo for several months. The club receives no school funding and must raise 100 percent of the funds it needs. The cost to put on this weekend’s rodeo is $17,000.

The area has actually been generous to the club as it will be able to hold this weekend’s rodeo without charging admission.

Alyce Kugler, who attends Douglas, is ranked second in the state in girls cutting. The top four finishers in the state finals rodeo at Fernley in June will advance to the National High School Rodeo Finals to be held in July in Springfield, Ill.

In cutting, competitors are judged on how they manage one cow in relation to the rest of the herd. Competitors receive two minutes, 30 seconds and the goal is normally to keep two cows during that time from the rest of the herd.

There are many factors involved, including the relationship competitors have with their horse. Success also depends heavily on the cow that’s drawn. Competitors don’t want a cow that stands still, but they don’t want a cow that runs all over the place, either.

If competitors don’t like a cow they’ve drawn, the can ask for another one, so a lot of strategy is involved.

“It’s kind of just how correct you are,” said Kugler about how one is judged in cutting.

“Sometimes you can get bad cows and you can do well on them if you work them right. There’s a lot of strategy. You have to know what to do with certain cows.”

“It’s basically just like keepaway,” said Carson High senior Pia Wendell when explaining what cutting is.

Wendell has also had her share of success in barrel racing and pole bending and Kugler has had success in barrell racing and poles as well.

As her senior project, Wendell is organizing the barrel racing to be a fund-raiser for the Susan B. Coleman Breast Cancer Fund.

“I chose to do it basically because barrel racing is one of the biggest things in my life,” Wendell said. “I thought it would be great to give something back to the community doing something I enjoy.”

Not surprisingly, cutting is Kugler’s favorite event “because it challenges you to ride your horse and to know your horse and it’s fun and you can always get better.”

Another member of the club who has had her share of success this year is Galena’s Elyse Heberger, who competes in goat tying, breakaway calf roping, barrels and poles.

Dayton freshman Cody Kiser is looking for his first scoring effort in bull riding this weekend. He came close recently at Fallon where he stayed on the bull for 7.63 seconds, just under the needed eight seconds.