By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2014
A Green Country Classic Ranch Rodeo competitor hits the dust during last year’s bronc riding competition.
Shine up your boots and shape your hats, the 9th annual Green Country Classic Ranch Rodeo and Tradeshow are around the corner, April 25-26 at the Claremore Expo Center. Working ranchers from five states will be competing in exciting rodeo events such as wild cow milking, team penning, cattle branding and bronc riding.
Celebrating the history of early Oklahoma’s cattle raising economy and the rural traditions of the area, the Green Country Classic Ranch Rodeo will begin when the chutes open for action at 7 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday. Ranch rodeos are a dynamic part of the state’s cultural landscape and help maintain rural values and traditions despite a century of ever-increasing urbanization.
The rodeo invites teams of five to six cowboys from the leading 15 ranches in the Green Country area to compete in the events, providing spectators with on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment for the entire family. Claremore’s Green Country Classic Ranch Rodeo is one of only a handful of rodeos sanctioned by the Working Ranch Cowboy Association (WRCA) in the state.
The junior cowboys and cowgirls will also get in on the action when they show off their ranch skills, including doctoring, stray gathering, wild nanny milking, calf branding, sorting and pony bronc riding on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Junior Ranch Rodeo. “These kids are the next generation of ranchers who take cowboying seriously,” says Courtney Gagan, one of the event organizers. “It’s not just a sport for them; it’s a way of life.”
Teams are not only vying for thousands of dollars worth of prizes, but also a chance for an invitation to compete at the WRCA 19th World Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo, Texas in November 2014. The World Championship includes competitors from all over the United States and Canada.
A local group of ranchers started the GCCRR in 2005 to allow ranchers in Green Country to showcase their talents. The original board of directors, including Lester and Rebecca Gagan, Jerry and Barbie Wright, Burr Gagan, Julie Lamb, Jay Adcock and Ray Blasi, wanted to not only allow ranchers to compete but to also benefit local non-profits. “Over the past eight years, non-profits such as the Shriners, Gateway Foundation, Cancer for Kids, and this year the Blue Star Mothers, benefit from rodeo proceeds,” adds Gagan.
Currently the board of directors consists of Lester Gagan, Jerry Wright, Barbie Wright and Shannon Adcock. Hannah Bode of Prickly Pear Photography is the official program designer. Courtney Gagan is the tradeshow coordinator.
In addition to the ranch rodeo, you’ll want to browse the wide selection of goods and services offered at the Cowboy Tradeshow, where you’ll find every kind of Western gear imaginable, from handmade boots and saddles to house wares. The free tradeshow is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. For tradeshow and vendor information contact Courtney Gagan at (405) 834-6565. The deadline to sign up as a vendor is April 15.
Don’t forget to show up early each night of the event to secure your seat in the grandstand. Cost each night is $10 per person, while entrance to the junior rodeo on Saturday morning is only $5.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.