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Family fun is stressed in annual ranch rodeo

“We’re out to have fun more than anything.”
That’s former Fort Macleod Agricultural Society president Dave Weir’s description of the Monty Wesley Memorial Ranch Rodeo to be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25 at Midnight Stadium.
About 10 teams of four people will compete in the six events Weir has lined up for this year’s fun.
“It’s just the regular activities of a ranch,” Weir explained. “It’s more of a friendly, family type of thing.”
Weir has six events lined up this year — a horse catch, team sorting, calf branding, bull gathering, team doctoring, and wild cow milking.
“The cow milking, that’s usually pretty wild,” Weir said, adding bull gathering has proved difficult for the teams the last couple of years.
“That’s been the downfall of the teams,” Weir said. “They just can’t get the bull loaded (in the trailer). We may do something a little different with it this year.”
Helping Weir organize the family rodeo is Brenda Wesley, who said this is the third year the rodeo has been held since it was renamed in honour of her late husband Monty Wesley.
“I’m proud of him,” Wesley said. “And my kids were really proud. He and Dave (Weir) started this rodeo 15 years ago. Monty was always the announcer.”
While Weir has been lining up teams for the rodeo, Wesley has been arranging for the teams’ sponsors.
“A sponsor buys a team,” Wesley explained. “We put the team’s names in one hat, and the sponsors in another hat, and then match them. Each team will have a sponsor — mostly local businesses, and one or two individuals.”
“I’ve put up posters all over Fort Macleod, and Claresholm, Pincher Creek, Lethbridge,” Wesley said. “A lot of seniors come out. And old cowboys. We don’t get much of the young crowd. But we get quite a few tourists — a lot of people who have never seen a rodeo.”
This year’s winning team will receive $400 as well as vests.
The owner of the horse that puts on the best performance in the rodeo will also receive a presentation — a halter or a bridle, and a vest.
Last year about 100 took in the ranch rodeo, which lasts about 2 1/2hours.
“It’s getting more popular all the time,” Weir said.
Admission to the rodeo is $5. The concession will be open.