Ranch Rodeo

On Saturday Aug. 3, horse riders from near and far gathered at the horse arena at the Pipestone County Fairgrounds for the annual Pipestone County Fair Ranch Rodeo. The event kicked off with spectators standing with hands over heart, listening to “Ragged Old Flag” by Johnny Cash as the nation’s colors were carried by an entourage of riders and horses around the arena.
The rodeo is one of several in southwest Minnesota that is put on by Birch Coulee Arena in Morton.
Tim Hennen, a rodeo organizer and the owner of Birch Coulee Arena, said that they have been putting on ranch rodeos for around 20 years.
“I believe we have been doing the Pipestone rodeo for around 10 years,” Hennen said.
Twenty-five teams of four showed up to compete in Pipestone, he said. The cost for team entry at a County Fair Ranch Rodeo is $140, with around half of the fee going to the top performing team.
“We pay out a minimum of three placing teams — more depending on how many have registered and competed,” Hennen said.
In a ranch rodeo, everything is timed. There is no bucking stock. Every event is done with cattle that are numbered and everyone rides their own horse in teams of four or five depending on the rodeo, Hennen said. The name “Ranch Rodeo” represents the type of work participants do while competing.

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