MCHS rodeo team wraps-up fall season at home
September 26, 2001
By ELWOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
There’s nothing quite like finishing a season at home.
This was the case for the sophomore cowgirl Kelly White, who racked up three top 10 places at Saturday and Sunday’s Moffat County High School Rodeo. White, who placed twice in barrel racing, a second and forth place, and once in poles, a seventh place, during the two-day rodeo said the home arena is the way to end the fall season.
“Rodeoing at home is a lot easier, mainly because our horses are used to the arena,” she said. “It’s not a huge advantage, but it’s still there. It’s also easier, because your not traveling across the state.”
For White and the rest of the Moffat County rodeo team the riding, roping and rough stock that took place at the Moffat County Fairground will be the last competition, until the valley thaws out in March.
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Of course the usual names appeared on the leader board at the rodeo, the White’s, the Tia Brannan’s and Chelsey Schnackenberg’s. But new names also cropped up, with nearly the entire team competing.
One of the most notable were two cowboys, sophomore George Raftopoulos and junior Luke Wilson, who broke into the top placings – which has mainly been a cowgirls-only club.
Raftopoulos and Wilson pulled into a seventh place finish in team roping, and are the only cowboys who have placed so far this season – with the exception of sophomore Tyler Pinnt, who placed in the second rodeo of the year in team roping. However, Pinnt’s roping partner was from a different school.
Raftopoulos has yet to compete in a rodeo this year because he is also a football player for the Bulldogs.
In all, 22 cowboys and girls competed from the Moffat County team, with the cowgirls composing 15 of the participants. Nearly 158 rodeoers came out for the final event.
Four different Moffat County cowgirls placed in four different events, and only the team ropers placed for the cowboys.
“It was an excellent rodeo,” coach Danette Webber said. “Most of our boys rode rough stock, but didn’t place. But, the rodeo still went well.”
The fall season is now over, and the spring season will start with the Cortez Rodeo March 20.
In between the two seasons Webber plans to hold organized practices, which is something that hasn’t been done for awhile at Moffat County.
Before Webber took over as coach last spring, most athletes who rodeoed were forced to practice on their own time, and without coaching. This year the rodeo team will spend much of its time in the Fairground’s indoor arena, or riding rough stock in the Hayden arena.
“It’s a pretty big advantage being able to practice through the winter,” White said. “There’s a lot of places around the state were the girls don’t have anyplace to practice.”
Practice is not the only benefit the split season provides for those who rodeo. It is also a time of rest for their partners, the horses.
“Really, this is the only time Webbster (White’s horse) has to rest,” she said. “The rest of the time he’s competing.”