Western Ranch & Cow Horse – Cowboys and Cow Horses Competition

cowboy roping calf

Horse competition and sale puts students in the lead

Planning and hosting a horse competition and sale is another hands-on experience for students in the western ranch and cow horse program.

Students work with instructors to organize and host the Cowboys and Cow Horses Competition and a Working Cowboy Horse Sale which is held in April every year.

The competition usually runs on a Friday in the Equine Centre at the Vermilion campus. Classes typically include:
  • Ranch cutting
  • Ranch roping
  • Cow horse
  • Horse/rider/stock dog trial

There’s also an evening ranch horse team event that features sorting and doctoring cattle.

The Working Cowboy Horse Sale follows on Saturday with a performance preview in the morning and sale in the afternoon. The sale often features about 40 horses including rope, ranch and performance prospects.

For more information on the competition or sale, email ron.hoffman@lakelandcollege.ca

Ranch Roping View More ∇
This event is sanctioned by the Canadian Ranch Roping Association.
  • Entries will be taken in the morning at the Riding Arena.
  • If you do not have a full team (three members), teams can be made up that morning by draw, if necessary.
  • Roping starts.
  • Novice and Open categories will run at the same time with arena split.
  • Open category entry fee is $TBC per person
  • Novice category fees is $TBC per person
For more information, email ron.hoffman@lakelandcollege.ca
Stock Dog Trial View More ∇
  1. stock dog obstacle graphicHorse/rider and dog will take cattle through described obstacles in order. All three cattle must complete each obstacle before proceeding to the next obstacle.
  2. Time starts when all three cows cross the foul line. Riders will be in arena before cows enter.
  3. Teams will move three head of cattle between Arena fence and pen (Obstacle #1).
  4. Cattle will proceed to Obstacle #2 and move between fence panels and arena fence.
  5. Obstacle #3 is an alley about 15 feet from Arena wall. Cows must proceed through the alley.
  6. Rider will open the pen gate and team will pen cattle (Obstacle #4).
  7. Time may be called with any number of cattle in the pen. Time is called by closing pen gate and signal to judge by raising hand.
  8. The team with the most cattle penned after completing all obstacles in the shortest time will be the winner.
  9. Roughing livestock will result in a no-time.
  10. Teams will have one run.

Ranch Horse Competition View More ∇
ranch horse competition patternOur competition has adopted the rules and scoring for the American Quarter Horse Association's working ranch horse. The diagram of the pattern (right) and pattern instructions are:
  1. Beginning at the centre, take a right lead and do two circles to the right, away from the judge, of moderate size and speed.
  2. At the centre of the arena, change leads and do two circles to the left both of moderate size and speed.
  3. At the centre of the arena, change leads.
  4. Go to the end of the arena without stopping or breaking gait, and begin run down near the approximate centre of the arena; run the length of the arena past marker.
  5. Do a square, sliding stop, hesitate.
  6. Turn left and begin a run to the opposite end of the arena; run length of arena past the marker.
  7. Do a square, sliding stop, then hesitate.
  8. Turn right, and begin a run down past the centre marker of the arena.
  9. Do a sliding stop, and back to the centre of the arena or at least 10 feet (3 metres). Let horse settle in approximate area of stop.
  10. Do two spins to the right.
  11. Do two spins to the left.
  12. Hesitate to show completion of pattern.

Horse and rider are judged on reined work, cow work and roping.

Full rules are available in the AQHA handbook  or by going online to www.aqha.com and clicking on the Find Forms Here heading in red letters at the bottom of the page, then scroll down to AQHA Handbook of Rules.

Ranch Doctoring View More ∇
  • Only header is judged.
  • Heeler is only to enter arena after cow is headed and will have a maximum of three loops to catch heels (only one heel is required).
  • Header may give directions to heeler.
  • Header will have a maximum of three loops and 90 seconds to obtain a legal catch (neck or neck and one front leg).
  • If cow slips neck out of loop, but loop holds by the front leg that was caught, it is still legal. If cow slips both neck and front leg out of loop before being heeled, she must be headed again if header has not already used three loops.
  • Dallying on belly loop is disqualified. If cow runs through belly loop, header can rope again if he has not already used three loops.
  • After cow is heeled, it should be laid down in as low-stress fashion as possible.
  • Header can dismount after cow is heeled to complete doctoring.
  • Header ensures that both heels are in heel loop and head rope is transferred to front legs.
  • Header then remounts and cow is turned loose.
  • Clock stops when both ropes are off cow.
  • Time will only be used to break ties.
  • Scoring will be divided into sections. For example, head catch, handling for heeler, working rope for ground work, and stockmanship/horsemanship.
Ranch Bronc Riding View More ∇
  • “Ride as ride can” for 8 seconds.
  •  A standard working saddle must be used.
  • No Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rigging allowed.
  • Horse has to be saddled as he would for everyday use.
  •  A regular bucking horse halter with one rein must be used and shall be provided by Lakeland College.
  • No hobbling of one or both stirrups.
  • Points will be awarded for the difficulty of the horse and also for the degree of aggressiveness, control, and exposure demonstrated by the rider. Points: Horse – 25 points, Rider – 25 points, times two judges.
  • A re-ride may be awarded at judge’s discretion.
Canada's Greatest Working Cowboy View More ∇
  • This award was created to recognize the cowboy with the greatest range of skills in a working environment.
  • Contestants entered in at least three different classes out of the five are automatically eligible for this award.
  •  High point at the end of the day will be crowned “Canada’s Greatest Working Cowboy.” The winner will receive a custom buckle from Lynes Custom Cowboy and a cheque for $2,000.

Clayton Millar receives championship coatScoring

1. Points will be awarded for one point for every entry you beat in a class, up to a maximum of 10 points for a first place in a class with more than 10 entries.
2. Contestants may only count points from one placing in each class even if they have entered that class more than once. See the example
Contestant Event Results
Ranch roping – 18 total entries – placed 2nd and 4th 9 for 2nd
Stock dog – 6 entries – placed 6th 0
Ranch doctoring – 14 total entries – placed 3rd and 6th 8 for 3rd
Ranch horse – did not enter 0
Bronc riding – 7 entries – placed 1st 6 for 1st
Total 23

Photo: Clayton Millar, Lakeland alumnus, was crowned Canada's Greatest Working Cowboy in 2011

Working Cowboy Competition Package View More ∇
The competition package includes contest descriptions, rules and entry forms.

Click on the tiny magazine below to go to the e-document version. A printable pdf is also available.
Working Cowboy Horse Sale View More ∇
In conjunction with the working cowboy competition, is the working cow horse sale on the next day.

There's a performance preview in the morning and the sale in the afternoon at the riding arena. Typically about 40 horses are expected ranging from started prospects to seasoned ranch and performance horses.

Watch for the events sale catalogue for specific details.

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