2/7/2013 8:54:00 AM Ranch Rodeo coming to fairgrounds
SPRINGFIELD — Twelve teams will compete in four working cowboy events at the Illinois Horse Fair in Springfield, IL, March 1 and 2, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Ranch Rodeo is a team competition pitting teams of cowboys against one another, range cattle and the clock.
Ranch Rodeo is the “original rodeo” and steeped in history formed from the everyday realities of the cowboy life. Ranch Rodeo honors the traditions of ranch life and promotes respect for the cowboy of today, whose hard work and long hours put food on Americans’ tables. But Ranch Rodeos are about fun, too: The excitement gets ramped up when judges measure the cowboys’ speed and skill, and when good-natured rivalries between teams come into play. Spectators love the unpredictable tumbles and spills of the team competition. While traditional rodeo events are not part of a ranch rodeo, the spirit of the working cowboy comes to life when ranch skills are performed against the stopwatch.
Each team of cowboys will compete in four events: Team Sorting, Stray Gathering, Ranch Team Roping and Trailer Loading. In Team Sorting each team will sort 10 steers in numerical order one at a time, letting one cross the line out of order results in disqualification. During Stray Gathering, two steers must be roped and tied down like it would be done on the ranch when steers wander where they shouldn’t. Ranch team roping is a test of roping skills, each team must head and heel 2 steers, just as they would for doctoring on the range or in the pasture. How fast can a cow be caught and loaded in a trailer? The Trailer Loading contest will not only show you, but the cowboys will also load their horses and race to pickup truck.
Daily admission tickets are $10 each and weekend passes are $25. Children under 8 are FREE with a paid adult so bring the kids along for a fun and educational weekend! General admission tickets give access to all exhibits, clinics and educational presentations at the Illinois Horse Fair. Gates will be open at 8 AM and wristbands can be purchased at the gates. Ranch Rodeo requires separate tickets for Friday and Saturday nights with general Admission tickets for $10. Reserved Seating tickets for the evening performances are $15. Be sure and watch for new parking locations for spectators. A handicap parking area is designated for easy access at the northeast side of the Expo Hall. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.horsemenscouncil.org/HorseFair or calling 217-529-6503.
Illinois Horse Fair is produced by Horsemen’s Council of Illinois, an affiliate chapter of the American Horse Council, and sponsored by Purina Mills and the Illinois Farm Bureau. HCI is the statewide “organization of organizations” and individuals providing central leadership and advocacy for Illinois’ 64,000 horse owners, 178,000 horses and its diverse $1.2 billion equine industry.