The 17th annual Colorado Championship Ranch Rodeo was held in Hugo, Colorado, last Saturday. Fourteen teams from 9 states competed at the rodeo in hopes of advancing to the World Championship Ranch Rodeo (WCRR) in Amarillo. Ultimately, the grit of the Lonesome Pine Ranch outfit from Cedar Point, Kansas, prevailed.

Lonesome Pine Ranch is represented by Bud Higgs, Troy Higgs, Makenzie Higgs and Paul Osgood of Cedar Point; and Frank Higgs of Valley Center, and Travis Duncan of Fort Scott. The team will advance to the prestigious WCRR in Amarillo this November. "It's always good to qualify for the finals," says multiple WCRR qualifier Bud Higgs.

Second place went to Detwiler Cattle Co./Heck Cattle Co. from Childress and Clarendon, Texas, and rounding out the top three was the JOD Ranch/Brown Mill Ranch of Wild Horse, Colorado.

Chris Laucomer from the Four Three / FX Bar crew was awarded the Top Hand award. Laucomer calls Scottsbluff, Nebraska, his home.

Little Tee J Paul ridden by Cody Kendall of Eric, Kansas, captured the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) top horse award. Calvin and Gina Kendall own the 2002 gray gelding. The gelding's sire is Tee J Bandito Finger, and he's out of Peachy Little Susie by Roll On Bar Money.

Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA) produces the WCRR as a way to showcase the skills of the working ranch cowboy,  and to raise funds for the WRCA Foundation; which provides financial assistance to working ranch cowboys and their family members during times of need.

"As a ranching and agriculture community, we are committed to the ranching way of life. We appreciate the organization of the Working Ranch Cowboys Association for bringing recognition to the hard-working ranch cowboy and ranch owners," says the Colorado Championship Ranch Rodeo committee.

The Colorado Championship Ranch Rodeo was jam-packed with other fun activities including a Chuckwagon Cook-Off, a Western Trade Show, the Jeremiah Ward Memorial Open Ranch Bronc Riding, and a dance with live music.

To the committee, the event is more than just entertainment; it's a vital part of their rural and ag-based community. "You've got to keep the heritage alive somehow," says committee secretary Tina Wait. "One part of the ranching heritage, of course, is the camaraderie shared by neighbors, even if they live many miles apart. The annual ranch rodeo is a good time for everybody to get together and keep those bonds strong," explains Tina.