Cedar Point ranch team claims a rodeo world championship

The Lonesome Pine Ranch from Cedar Point topped the wild-cow milking event en route to winning the World Championship Ranch Rodeo at Amarillo, Texas. Shown with Working Ranch Cowboys Association officials and a portion of their championship hardware and loot are: captain Bud Higgs, Troy Higgs, Chris Potter and Travis Duncan.

Kansas cowboys are the best in the world.

That?s been a tongue-in-cheek jiving among those tough-as-cow?hide professionals on horseback working cattle drives for the past century and a half.

Now there is no doubt of its accuracy. A Kansas ranch handily came in first out of 23 teams at the 20th annual World Champion?ship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo, Texas, Nov. 12-15.

It was lucky 13 for the Lonesome Pine Ranch of Cedar Point in the lush Flint Hills of Chase County as the six-member, mostly-family team came home with the world title and all of the loot accompanying it.

?We?ve been second the past two years, and were close in the 12th time there, but finally everything came together with the best group of cowboys we?ve ever had, so we could win the rodeo,? said Bud Higgs, team captain and ranch manager.

Family-dominated

Winning is always good, but making it even more special and personal for Higgs is that his ranch is truly a family-dominated team.

?My dad, Frank, and my son and daughter, Troy and Makenzie, were all riding in Amarillo,? he said. ?But, still key to our success was the other two team members: Chris Potter and Travis Duncan. They are outstanding all-around cowboys who sure enough helped cinched the win for us.?

Potter, a Maple City-based cowboy, rode both of his ranch broncs, tallying top score total of the rodeo, enabling Lonesome Pine Ranch to win that division of the rodeo.

?Chris was 77 points on his first bronc, but that second bronc really bucked, and Chris got with him to mark 84 points, and win the event title for us,? Higgs said.

Rodeo record to boot

However, what will go down in the record books as the score-to-beat will be the Lonesome Pine Ranch time in the second go-round of the wild-cow milking.

?After Travis milked that old renegade cow, Chris and I got her mugged, and collected enough, so Troy could get her milked and run across the finish line in a time of 18.7 seconds,? Higgs said. ?That?s the fastest time ever in wild-cow milking at the world championship ranch rodeo. So, now all those other teams are out to beat us.?

Lonesome Pine Ranch also placed seventh in the team branding event, having qualified for the World Championship Ranch Rodeo by winning the Kansas Championship Ranch Rodeo at Medicine Lodge earlier this fall.

Lonesome Pine actually earned that opportunity twice by winning two previous WRCA-sanctioned qualifying rodeos.

In all, four additional teams from Kansas competed at Amarillo: Keith Cattle and Robbins Ranch, Lyon County; Lazy B Ranch, Ellsworth County; Stock Ranch & Diamond E Ranch, Bourbon County; and Broken H Ranch & H Cross Cattle, Bronson.

Winning intuition

Potter had intuition of the national title early in the year, when he texted ?2015 World Champs? to his cowboy friend, Duncan, of Union?town, convincing Duncan to join the Lone?some Pine Ranch team this year.

?I?ve dreamed about it for 10 years, 15 years,? Duncan said of the championship title. ?It means a lot.?

Winning wasn?t an easy task. The qualifying process ensures competitors at the World Championship are the cream of the crop. The WRCA competitions are only open to working ranch cowboys, ensuring 100 percent authenticity.

?There were 23 teams here, and they were here for a reason?they?re best in the country,? Potter said.

Giving back

Friendships among ranch families are strong, and cowboys are quick to offer a hand up to those who need help. Potter exemplified this when he and wife Amy made a donation to the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation, and publicly challenged others to do the same.

The World Champion?ship Ranch Rodeo is more than just a rodeo. It?s also the primary fundraiser for the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation, which helps cowboys who have become sick or injured and offers scholarships to ranch youth going to college.

For more information about the Working Ranch Cowboys Association visit wrca.org.

Frank Buchman is a rancher in the Kansas Flint Hills, a lifelong horseman who writes about the rural way of life, horses and horsemen and spirituality.


by Frank J. Buchman

Special to The Free Press

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