Real Cowboys Compete for Bruises, Bragging Rights at OCA Range Round-UpThu, 15 Aug 2013 15:37:35 CDT
A year’s-worth of bragging rights are up for grabs during the upcoming 29th Annual Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Range Round-Up. The two-night event kicks off gets underway Friday, August 23rd, at the State Fairgrounds Arena.
“It’s not a traditional rodeo,” said Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Michael Kelsey. “ If folks are used to going to that traditional rodeo, then this is going to be a little bit of a change for them because these types of events are closer to the working ranch events. It’s exciting.” (Kelsey will appear with Ron Hays on this Saturday’s “In the Field” segment on News 9 about 6:40 Saturday morning.)
The competition is comprised of six events depicting day-to-day ranching jobs. The events include saddle bronc riding, team sorting, wild cow milking, team branding, team penning, and the wild horse race.
Twelve teams from historic Oklahoma ranches will square off in head-to-head competition. The contestants compete for the coveted “Top Hand,” “Top Horse,” and “Tough Hand’ awards.
“These are all Oklahoma Cattlemen’s members,” Kelsey said. “Spectators who come will each receive some information about each of these ranches and you’ll see some of the tremendous heritage and tradition in these family operations-fifth-, sixth-generation operations in some cases-which is just fantastic and very typical of the cattle industry in Oklahoma which is very family oriented. A lot of these folks who are going to be competing are, of course, owners and operators in the ranches as well as just some good, hard-working ranch hands.
“Some of these families settled in this country even before statehood, depending upon what area of the state it may have been. Lots of history and tradition, lots of legacy and the good kind of pride that a lot of our families in this country have.”
Kelsey said range roundup competitions are gaining in popularity and there is an actual circuit that some of these ranches compete on. The winner of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Range Round-Up qualifies for the event in Amarillo, Texas.
Not only is OCA’s Range Round-Up a showcase for the talents of ranch owners and ranch hands, Kelsey said, it is an opportunity to give back to the community. The proceeds from the event are donated to the Children’s Miracle Network.
“If you look at a lot of these ranching families and the ranching culture in Oklahoma, it’s not something that’s closed. It’s very open. These folks participate in their local communities, schools, churches, local citizens’ groups and those types of things. So this is something that’s very natural for us and our leadership has decided we need to continue doing that and I’m very glad that they have.”
OCA has contributed more than $420,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network in the last 15 years.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full conversation between Michael Kelsey and Ron Hays.
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