Near sell-out for 2nd annual WRCA rodeo

       The second annual Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) Rodeo at the Penrose Equestrian Center was a near sell- out (estimated at more than 3,000 people) Saturday night, July 3.
       But it wasn't just the numbers that made the event a “giant pleasure” for Kathleen Collins of Ride for the Brand Productions (also Western Jubilee), a Colorado Springs recording company that put on the event. The rodeo “is a true celebration of western heritage,” she said. “There's so little of it now. People respond to it. They know it's real the minute they see it.”
        Specializing in traditional Western music, Ride for the Brand/Western Jubilee works with cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell, who helped form the WRCA and hosted the Penrose rodeo; and the group, Sons of the Joaquin, which played during and after the rodeo.
       The event, one of 22 sanctioned rodeos on the WRCA tour, pitted teams from 16 ranches in seven states - including the T- Cross Ranch & Norris Cattle Co. between Colorado Springs and Pueblo - in five events that replicate some of the chores working cowboys must perform.
       The events were wild-cow milking, team doctoring, bronc riding, trailer roading and wild-horse racing.
        Collins said that although Ride for the Brand really just “broke even” on the rodeo, the company plans to continue it as an annual event, on “the closest Saturday to July 4.”
       “It's wonderful to be in that arena, and to have that sunset, and the mountains,” she said. “It's the best of Colorado, I think.”
       The winning ranch was the Sand Hill Cattle Co., from Earth, Texas, which took home a $3,200 prize.

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