Rosewood Services celebrated a decade of showcasing the abilities of horse riders with disabilities during the 10th-annual Rosewood Rodeo on Oct. 11. The milestone event took place at Great Bend Expo III Arena and it was an overall success, said Rosewood Services executive director Tammy Hammond.
“Our rodeo lived up to its commemorative billing,” she said. “At this year’s rodeo, we celebrated a decade of rodeos with participants, their families and friends. Some of our participants have actually ridden in every rodeo since we started in 2005, while others have participated for most of those years. It was a special day of performances, events and reminiscing for many folks who attended.”
One person who has participated in every rodeo was Rob Emory, who has served as the event’s announcer since its inception. Emory said he makes sure to set the date a year in advance so he never misses a Rosewood Rodeo. This year, he was joined by riding judges Randy Allen and Travis Hodson.
The riders who participated in this year’s rodeo are: Crystal Alkire, Raymond Bethel, Robin Bethel, Charles Bortz, Keith Boyer, Darren Brown, Jamie Crone, Chris Devine, Jason Ehrentraut, Carol Eskstrom, Mariah Estes, Jonathan Folkerts, Abbie Garrett, Caitlyn Galloway, Rae Griffen, Joe Hanchett, Taylor Hertach, Forrest Cinco-Lawson, Jesse Kern, Shaun Ledesma, Jeneva Maier, Jere McCutchen, Rita Mestas, Mary Minear, Charles Parker, Mario Perez, Samantha Purcell, Dawn Specht, Margaret Shobe, Cheryl Mendenhall, Ivan Smith, Krystal Thorne, Josh Trimmer, Melissa Trimmer, Debbie Wasinger, LeAnn Wegele, Jimmy Wonsettler.
Immediately following the rodeo, awards were presented. Jesse Kern earned a medal for “Best Cowboy Spirit.” Chris Devine won the “Most Improved Rider” award; and Raymond Bethel was awarded for “Most Inspirational Leader.”
Ribbons were presented to the participants – 1st through 6th place for Trail, Flags and Barrel events. Rosewood riders competed in one of three categories, depending upon their respective abilities, which are: rider with lead and side-walker, rider with lead, and independent rider.
The Rosewood Drill Team performed for the second straight year, comprised of six riders and instructed by Debbie Warren, along with horse training by Rosewood horse therapy instructors and their staff. Riding on this year’s drill team was Charles Bortz, Chris Devine, Mary Minear, Krystal Thorne, Josh Trimmer, and Melissa Trimmer. Jesse Kern was a drill team alternate.
Rosewood’s “Young Riders,” who participate in the Rosewood Ranch Children’s Horse Therapy Program, were recognized and awarded trophies at the rodeo. Those young riders in attendance were Italia DeTello, Logan Gregg, Kameryn Hembree, Weslie Jones, Fabian Montes Jr., and Landon Titsworth. Other riders recognized were Kayne Cross, Derek Grabast, Connor Robl, Gentry Ramsey, Ariana Smith, Trenton Welsh.
Rosewood’s Jeremy Cale, a local artist, provided candle-carving demonstrations throughout the day and talked with people about his nature art, while also showing a video, which documents one of his recent walking stick carving projects.
This year’s rodeo was made possible with the help of 14 sponsors: Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball; Alterna Care Home Health; Community Bank of the Midwest; Eagle Radio; Great Bend Appliance Furniture & Sleepsource; Heartland Homecare Services; Keller Real Estate & Insurance Agency; Kustom Floor Designs; Marmie Motors & Marmie Ford; Moeder Plumbing, Heating & Air; Office Products Inc. (OPI); P&S Security/P&S Electric; and Walmart Supercenter – Great Bend. Also contributing was Animal Medical Center.
A silent auction was held during the rodeo with businesses and individuals donating approximately 50 items for bidding. Proceeds from the silent auction go to Rosewood’s non-profit Roots & Wings Foundation. The foundation provides therapeutic, educational and recreational opportunities to people in need who have developmental disabilities.
The rodeo concluded with a celebration barbecue catered by Famous Hammond Brothers BBQ.
Nearly 60 people helped at this year’s event, which was organized by the Rosewood Rodeo Committee, led by Rosewood assistant director of services Jennifer Stoddard.