Always up for a good challenge, local cowboys made their way to the familiar confines of the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo Grounds on Saturday, ready to take part in competition to celebrate the National Day of the American Cowboy.
The bulk of the action came in the morning, wrapping up before the heat of the day hit, and there was competition in ranch doctoring, calf branding and ranch sorting.
With a focus on the work that cowboys do and the importance they have in today’s ranching culture, teams hit the arena for their events, with bragging rights at stake.
Taking top honors in the Calf Branding event was the team of Brady Santos, Colton Santos, Dan Dooley and Travis Kent, while Tanner Kent, Travis Kent and Justin Kamous took first place in Ranch Doctoring. The first place team in the Ranch Sorting event was the duo of Chance Caudle and Will Musick.
That event was the most competitive, with two teams having to battle it out in a ‘sort off’ for second place. In sorting, the team has a corral full of calves to be ‘sorted’ and turned out into the arena. Each calf is numbered, and the team is given a random number, having to start with that number and get that calf out of the corral first, followed by the rest in sequential order.
Oakdale brothers Tanner and Travis Kent ultimately took second place with a time of 1:28 to complete their sorting, just edging out third place finishers Les Porter and Della Nielsen, who took 1:35 to do their sorting.
Also on hand for the day was Miss Rodeo Oakdale 2015 Julia Chamberlain, who has served in that role since April. The 22-year-old from Turlock said she has had a busy few months, representing Oakdale and the rodeo life.
“I’ve been to a lot of rodeos, I was just in Salinas last week,” she noted. “I also got to be a presenter at Ag Day at some Oakdale elementary schools and that was fabulous, I am doing a lot of PR.”
Chamberlain said it has been very fulfilling so far, as she gets to inform the community about the role cowboys play and how important the farm and ranching life have been in the region’s history.
She also had some T-shirts for sale on Saturday, specially designed for her reign, which will help defray travel costs. The shirts sell for $25 each or two for $40 and you can order them through Chamberlain’s Facebook page, missrodeooakdale2015.
“There are two different prints,” she said of the T-shorts, adding that the money raised will come in handy.
“It’s all going in my gas tank,” she said, chuckling.
And while she had a chance to get in on some of the competition on Saturday, Chamberlain said serving as an ambassador throughout the region is not something she takes lightly.
“It is everything I anticipated and more, I absolutely love it,” she said. “I’m just trying to educate people as much as I can about why this (ranching and rodeo) is so important … it’s agriculture and agriculture affects everybody.”