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Riders gain an audience at 8th Annual Rosewood Rodeo
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Grand Entrance Rosewood Rodeo participants Chris Devine and Krystal Thorne lead the way during the processional to begin the 8th Annual Rosewood Rodeo, held at Great Bends Expo III Arena on Saturday. Pictured sitting atop the buckboard is Eric and Tammy Hammond, along with the couples granddaughter Brooke.

Thirty-four Rosewood Services horse riders collectively had a nice problem to overcome on Saturday during the 8th Annual Rosewood Rodeo. A larger-than-usual crowd of about 300 people was on hand at Great Bend’s Expo III Arena to start the rodeo, due in part to a special morning performance by the Double Trouble Trick Riders. The extra attention brought on some early performance jitters, but the riders quickly adjusted and performed well, said Rosewood Ranch manager Eric Hammond.
“It was a very good crowd, so there were nerves to get through for the riders and their horses,” he explained. “In competition, it doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, but you have to keep trying. That’s our goal for our riders and that’s exactly what they did. Their performances got stronger as the day went along. It was a great rodeo for each one of our participants.”
Immediately following the rodeo, awards were presented. Margaret Shobe was named Most Improved; Mary Minear was awarded Best Cowboy Spirit distinction; and Dawn Specht took home the Inspirational Leader award. Ribbons were also presented 1st through 6th for Trails, Flags, Barrels and Pole Bending events. The clients competed in three categories, depending on their riding ability: rider with lead and side-walker, rider with lead, and independent rider.
The riders and crowd were treated to two outstanding horse-riding performances from the Double Trouble Trick Riders, comprised of twins Bethany and Brittany Iles, along with their younger sister, Libby. The Day Services Team won the staff competition against the Residential and Administration Teams. A silent auction of 15 donated items raised more than $600, with proceeds going to Rosewood’s Roots and Wings Foundation. The rodeo concluded with a celebration barbeque catered by Famous Hammond Brothers BBQ. During the barbeque, local musician Terry Fellers played acoustic guitar and sung classic and Christian rock songs.
This year’s rodeo was made possible by the sponsorships of Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball; Alterna Care Home Health; Community Bank; Dawson Jewelers; Doonan Specialized Trailers; Eagle Radio; Identifications Company; Keller Real Estate & Insurance Agency; Kustom Floor Designs; Marmie Motors & Marmie Ford; Moeder Plumbing, Heating & Air; Office Products Inc.; and Walmart. Also contributing were Bert and Sue Newhal, Moeder Oil Company, and Animal Medical Center. It took nearly 50 volunteers to carry out this year’s event.
“We could never put on a rodeo of this caliber, if not for our sponsors and the dozens of volunteers who step forward each year to help with the event,” said Tammy Hammond, executive director of Rosewood Services. “It’s because their commitment and efforts that the rodeo is one of the best days of the year for our clients, their families, and the Rosewood staff.”
The clients who competed in the 8th Annual Rosewood Rodeo are: Patricia Ledesma, Darren Brown, Mary Minear, Dawn Specht, Jaime Crone, Cheryl Mendenhall, Ella Haberman, Kelsey Spence, Jeremiah McCutchin, Margaret Shobe, Krystal Thorne, Robin Bethel, Josh Pike, Shawn Ledesma, Chris Devine, Raymond Bethel, Taylor Hertach, Charles Bortz, Jimmy Wonsettler, Carrie Stickney, Rae Griffin, Crystal Alkire, Melissa Trimmer, Jesse Kerns, Ron Lloyd, Samantha Purcell, Mario Perez, Leann Wegele, Troy Wilson, Johnathan Folkerts, Haley Schremmer, Carol Ekstrom, Robert Butler, and Abbie Garrett.
The rodeo caps off a season of horse shows for riders at Rosewood Ranch. Hammond said the clients will still ride, but won’t train again for horse shows until the beginning of next year. Within these next few months, client ranch hands will also work with baby horses, yearlings and two-year-old horses to prepare for the sale barn.
“We switch direction a bit, following the rodeo, but all of them continue to do some riding,” said Eric. “They get a break from show training for a few months, but they are always ready to begin training again. They are very competitive and driven to improve their riding.”