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Ranchers Day Celebrates National Day Of The American Cowboy
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The Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, the Oakdale Cowboy Museum, and the Oakdale Saddle Club have joined together to present a Rancher’s Day Event at the Oakdale Saddle Club on Saturday, July 25, in celebration of the National Day of the American Cowboy.
“It’s only fitting that on this special day of recognizing the cowboy that his ranching work be honored by holding a competition between local area ranchers,” said Norm Mendenhall, President of the Oakdale Saddle Club.
The fee to participate in each event is $25 per contestant and will be free to the public to watch. There will be a BBQ lunch served at noon for $10.
The events will all demonstrate the skills of the ranching cowboy, their horses and their trusted helpers, the cow dogs. The day will get started at 8 a.m. with the four-man calf branding draw pot. There will be two men on horses that will rope a calf from a herd and two men on the ground that will stand inside a circle with the branding bucket awaiting the catch. Once the calf is roped, the two on the ground can leave their circle and prepare the calf for his paint brand. There is a five-minute time limit for this task and once completed the team on horses will switch duties with the team on the ground. The team with the fastest time will be crowned the winners.
The event that will follow the calf branding will be a two-man rope and sort. This event will pair two contestants together that are selected from a draw pot. There will be a herd of cattle in the arena that will have numbers on their backs. Each team will be given a designated numbered steer to sort and rope within a two-minute time limit.  There are penalties for a one-foot catch or steer going past a designated line.
Competitors will also get the opportunity to showcase their four legged help that in some cases may be better than a cowboy on horseback. The working cow dog will have a three-minute time limit to corral as many cattle as he can. Their handler can either be on horseback or on foot. Spectators will get the opportunity to see how well the handler commands the dog by hand signals, whistles or both.
There will also be a businessman’s calf branding to encourage friendly competition in the community. Men or ladies from the business community are invited to step up and try their hand at branding a calf.
“The ‘real’ cowboys will handle the roping part,” said Christie Camarillo of the Cowboy Museum. “The business people will just have to be fast workers to put the paint brand on the calf the correct way and run for a time.”
Mary Guardiola CEO of the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce said, “This will be a fun way to celebrate the cowboy as well as educate the public on real ranching work. We hope the community will come out and enjoy the Day of the Cowboy with us.”
There will be a payout and prizes for the winners in each event. Anyone interested in entering any of the events may call the Oakdale Chamber or the Cowboy Museum for information or entry blanks. Entries close on July 20.