Thompson team overcomes tragedy in Ride for Brand

       A crowd close to last year's 4,600 people attended the sixth annual Ride for the Brand Rodeo July 5 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center. Owen Hiatt of the local T-Cross Ranches & Norris Cattle Co.
rides to victory in the bronc riding competion of the Ride for the Brand Rodeo July 5.
Westside Pioneer photo
       “This was thrilling to all of us,” said Kathleen Collins of Jubilee Records and Ride for the Brand Rodeo Productions, which again organized the event through the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA). “I think people have an awareness now of what ranch rodeo is.”
       Competing in six events were about 100 working cowboys from 25 large ranches nationwide.
       The winning ranch this year was Thompson Ranch of Munday, Texas, which many found fitting, according to Collins, because of the serious injuries a couple of months ago suffered by the two Thompson boys (Trey and Tyler) who had competed in past rodoes. An auction with donated valuables at Norris-Penrose the day before the rodeo raised nearly $22,000 to help the family with medical costs, she said.
       Placing third (its highest ever) and qualifying for the WRCA national competition this year was the T-Cross Ranch, owned by Bob Norris (the “Norris” in Norris- Penrose).
       A new event this year was the Chuckwagon Champions Challenge, which was won by Glen Moreland of Fort Davis, Texas. The seven entries were judged cumulatively on how well they cooked (within certain limitations of old-days cowboy cookery) meat, potatoes, bread, beans and peach cobbler. Moreland and the other wagons also provided meals for several hundred people before the rodeo. People ate under a large, open-air tent while watching popular Western musicians Don Edwards, Waddie Mitchell and Sons & Brothers. “It struck a chord, to listen to music under the tent and eat a July 5 chuckwagon dinner,” Collins said, adding that all the proceeds went to the WRCA fund that helps cowboys with medical needs.
       The Colorado Springs event is one of 22 on the WRCA tour.

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