Ranch Rodeo coming to Illinois Horse Fair
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[February 20, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- Twelve teams will
compete in four working cowboy events at 7:30 nightly at the
Illinois Horse Fair in Springfield on March 1 and 2. Ranch Rodeo is
a competition pitting teams of cowboys against one another, range
cattle and the clock.
Ranch Rodeo is the "original rodeo," steeped in history formed from
the everyday realities of 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 competition. While
traditional rodeo events are not part of the competition, 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 as it would be done on the ranch when steers wander
where they shouldn't. Ranch team roping is a test of roping skills,
in which each team must head and heel two 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
show you as the cowboys load their horses and race to a pickup
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Daily admission tickets to the fair are $10 each and weekend
passes are $25. Children under 8 are admitted free with a
paid adult, so visitors are encouraged to bring the kids along for
an educational weekend with fun. General admission tickets give
access to all exhibits, clinics and educational presentations at the
Illinois Horse Fair. Gates will be open at 8 a.m. and wristbands can
be purchased at the gates.
The Ranch Rodeo requires separate tickets for Friday and Saturday
nights along with the $10 general admission tickets. Reserved
seating tickets for the evening performances are $15.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 217-529-6503.
Watch for new parking locations for spectators. A
handicapped-accessible parking area is designated for easy access at
the northeast side of the Expo Hall.
The Illinois Horse Fair is produced by the Horsemen's Council of
Illinois, an affiliate chapter of the American Horse Council, and
sponsored by Purina Mills and the Illinois Farm Bureau. The
Horsemen's Council of Illinois provides central leadership and
advocacy for Illinois' 64,000 horse owners, 178,000 horses and the
state's diverse $1.2 billion equine industry.
[Text from file received from the
Horsemen's Council of Illinois]