State Working Ranch Horse Finals in Great Falls last weekend

By: 
Lisa Jassen
Thursday, August 29, 2019
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Allie Uecker of Fergus County sits tall in the saddle.
          
          Photo courtesy of Sherry Berg

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Weston Hersel prepares for dummy roping.

Photo courtesy of Dory Wade

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Peyton Henderson of Fergus County pats his horse after his sorting run.

Photo courtesy of Sherry Berg

Ranching from across the state took two well-deserved days off to compete in the State Youth Working Ranch Horse Finals Competition. Many families gathered at the King’s Arena in Great Falls this past weekend, where the finest youth cow hands from across the state of Montana, armed with ropes, cowboy hats, and mounted on a horse of more value than their first car enjoyed the chance to match their skills among 60 plus other top-hands in roping at head and roping at heels, sorting cattle, knowledge, reining, pleasure, trail, and working cows.

As most of them raised their own horses, they compete for bragging rights and over $15,000 in much-needed quality cowboy gear like custom spurs and bits, ropes, Greeley hats, bridles, saddle pads, bags, breast collars, halters, etc. Every competitor received a jacket sponsored by Montana Shed Center and ProTech Steel and a Cinch bag.

Day 1 was a 4-H competition with each competitor showcasing his or her skills in five events based on the Working Ranch Horse curriculum project. The competitors from Day 1 are all enrolled in the 4-H Ranch Horse project where they study, keep records, practice and work from October until this event to be ready.

Day 2 was a Versatility Ranch Horse competition where youth compete in 4 events to show the most versatile horse rider teams in each of three age divisions and with some youth also showing colts (horses aged 5 & under).

Area competitors Tanner Allen (Moccasin), Kaleb Morris (Moore), Royce Stonehocker (Denton), Callie Deupree (Hobson), Colt Patterson, Allie Uecker, Raya Carlson (Lewistown), Kora McCray (Stanford), and Gracie Thiel-Watson, Hailey Assels, and Parker Osterman (Belt) were first time competitors in this big event.

Taten, Ali and Tike Erickson (Hobson), Asa, Clayton and Reagan Jassen, Brady Drummond (Belt), Shaylee Berg (Stanford) along with Weston Hersel, Hunter and Peyton Henderson (Lewistown) are veterans with three and four years under their new belt buckles.

These kids along with many other good hands got the day off to come push a cow for fun. All placed high in many events and took home some sweet prizes.

Overall 4-H Level 1 Ranch- Horse with county and horse

1st: Taylee Huft (Custer County) riding Chex, 2nd: Kaleb Morris (Judith Basin County) riding Copper, 3rd: Case Heupel (Yellowstone County) riding Piper, 4th: Tanner Allen (Judith Basin County) riding Ringo

Overall 4-H Level 2 Ranch Horse with county and horse

1st: Mariah Olson (Lewis and Clark County) riding Magnum, 2nd: Tike Erickson (Judith Basin County) riding Mister, 3rd: Weston Hersel (Fergus-Petroleum County) riding Mickey, 4th: Tabitha Vermulum (Pondera County) riding Champ

Overall 4-H Level 3 Ranch Horse with county and horse

1st: Dusty Weaver (Teton County) riding Roany, 2nd: Kody Weaver (Teton County) riding Boo, 3rd: Shaylee Burg (Judith Basin County) riding TJ, 4th: Hannah Botz (Gallatin County) riding Colonels Bay Clark

Overall 4-H Level 4 Ranch Horse with county and horse

1st: Asa Jassen (Cascade County) riding Freckles Dazzlen Belle, 2nd: Taten Erickson (Judith Basin County) riding Freckles, 3rd: Gage Banner (Teton County) riding Gertie, 4th: Dakota Abbey (Beaverhead County) riding Cookie

Overall VRH Open Colt Division

1st: Taten Erickson (Judith Basin County) riding Freckles, 2nd: Brady Drummond (Cascade County) riding Houston, 3rd: Gage Banner riding Gertie

Overall VRH Open Jr Division

1st: Avery Banner (Teton County) riding Lucky, 2nd: Taylee Huft (Custer County) riding Chex, 3rd: Tike Erickson (Judith Basin County) riding Mister, 4th: Kora McCray (Judith Basin County) riding Belle, 5th: Reagan Jassen (Cascade County) riding Ducky

Overall VRH Open Intermediate Division

1st: Lane Smart (Gallatin County) riding Hiccup, 2nd: Allie Uecker (Gallatin County) riding Badger, 3rd: McCoy Banner (Teton County) riding Lewis, 4th: Gage Banner (Teton County) riding Gunsmoke Gertie, 5th: Ali Erickson (Judith Basin County) riding Mister.

Overall VRH Senior Division

1st: Taten Erickson (Judith Basin County) riding Freckles, 2nd: Asa Jassen (Cascade County) Freckles Dazzlen Belle, 3rd: Brady Drummond (Cascade County) riding Houston, 4th: Mariah Olson (Lewis and Clark County) riding Magnum.

Top Hand Champions

Seniors – 1st: Taten Erickson, 2nd: Asa Jassen, 3rd: Lydia Vermulum

Intermediates – 1st: Gage Banner, 2nd: Allie Uecker, 3rd: McCoy Banner

Juniors – 1st: Tike Erickson, 2nd: Tylee Huft, 3rd: Tanner Allen

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