Sixth Annual Jeremiah Ward Memorial Bronc Ride brings big success to Hugo, Colorado |

Sixth Annual Jeremiah Ward Memorial Bronc Ride brings big success to Hugo, Colorado

Jeremiah Ward was a cowboy, through and through. He loved life and he loved ranching and bronc riding. So when he was tragically taken at a young age, his friends and fellow bronc riders decided to pay tribute to him with a memorial ranch bronc ride.

Now in its sixth year, the Jeremiah Ward Memorial Bronc Ride improves every year with better stock, a better pay out and top riders. So many riders want to compete that the rodeo committee limits the number of entries to twelve.

What exactly is ranch bronc riding? Although the roots of both ranch bronc riding and pro rodeo saddle bronc riding are the same — both grew out of ranch hands gathering to see who was best at their job — that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.

In pro rodeo, events are structured, stylized and the equipment specialized, while in ranch rodeo competition, like the Jeremiah Ward Memorial Bronc Ride, the equipment used in the arena is the same used on the ranch. There are no style points in ranch rodeo and the emphasis is on just getting the job done.

The bronc saddles are strictly cowboy working equipment. The contestants use the same saddles they have been sitting in all week back at the ranch. Ranch bronc saddles have saddle horns on them. PRCA association saddles do not have saddle horns.

There is no mark out rule, which mandates that cowboys have their spurs touching above the horse’s shoulder out of the chutes, and form is not scored in ranch bronc riding. There is no penalty for touching the horse with the free hand. In fact, the cowboy can hold on to his rope or a night latch, which is a loop of leather or rope on his saddle, with his free hand The object is to stay on for eight seconds and get the job done.

There were some talented bucking horses from Kirsten Vold and twelve top cowboys at the Jeremiah Ward Memorial.

When the dust settled, it was Brady Burnham from the Flying A Ranch in Fowler, Colo., that took home the winner’s check for $1,200 and the championship buckle at the Jeremiah Ward Memorial Bronc Ride. Burnham covered Vold’s Betty White for a high score of 71 points. ❖

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