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Rodeo provides memorable performances
biz or loc Rosewood rodeo
Rosewood Rodeo rider Jonathann Folkerts prepares to round the pole in the pole bending event during the 9th Annual Rosewood Rodeo at Great Bend Expo III Arena on Oct. 12. Leading Folkerts on the horse was Rosewood employee Ric Loiland. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The 9th Annual Rosewood Rodeo is now in the books, but the Oct. 12 event will long be remembered by participants and spectators alike. That’s because many of the more than 30 participants turned in stellar therapeutic rides and the new Rosewood Drill Team wowed the crowd, which was on hand to witness the team’s debut performance at the Great Bend Expo III Arena.   
The Rosewood Drill Team, comprised of six riders, was instructed by Debbie Warren. Riding on this year’s drill team were Chris Devine, Jesse Kerns, Mary Minear, Krystal Thorne, Josh Trimmer, and Melissa Trimmer.
“The Rosewood Drill Team performance was beyond everyone’s expectations,” said Eric Hammond, Rosewood Ranch manager. “Debbie did an amazing job teaching them the routines.
Immediately following the rodeo, awards were presented. Rita Mestas earned a trophy for “Most Improved.” Mestas was an obvious choice for the award, given that she is excelling in horse riding after overcoming her reservation to ride. Hammond said she serves as an example to others to never give up on their goals.
“We’ve been working with Rita for nearly two years just to get her on the horse,” explained Hammond. “It’s only been the last four months that she has gotten on and rode. Now, she is unstoppable on a horse. It was a little step just getting her on a horse, but it was a giant leap for her and her confidence.”  
Veteran rider Mary Minear won “Best Cowboy Spirit” award; and Chris Devine was awarded for “Most Inspirational Leader.”
Ribbons were presented – 1st through 6th place for Trails, Flags, Barrels and Pole Bending events. Rosewood riders competed in one of three categories, depending upon their respective abilities. The categories are: Rider with lead and side-walker, rider with lead, and independent rider.
Other clients who participated in the 9th Annual Rosewood Rodeo are: Crystal Alkire, Robin Bethel, Charles Bortz, Keith Boyer, Darren Brown, Jaime Crone, Jason Ehrentraut, Caitlyn Galloway, Abbie Garrett, Rae Griffin, Shae Griffin, Joe Hanchett, Jonathann Folkerts, Ella Haberman, Taylor Hertach, Shawn Ledesma, Mario Perez, Josh Pike, Jere McCutchen, Samantha Purcell, Haley Schremmer, Margaret Shobe, Dawn Specht, LeAnn Wegele, Troy Wilson and Jimmy Wonsettler.
The riders and the crowd were treated to two horse-riding performances by the Heartland Twisters, an all-female riding team from Chanute, which made its third appearance at the rodeo.
This year’s rodeo was made possible with the help of 16 sponsors. Several businesses and individuals donated items for the rodeo’s silent auction, which raised funds for the Rosewood Roots and Wings Foundation. The foundation provides therapeutic, educational and recreational opportunities to people in need who have developmental disabilities. And, nearly 60 volunteers helped at this year’s event. The rodeo concluded with a celebration barbecue catered by Famous Hammond Brothers BBQ.
The rodeo caps off a season of horse shows and brisk activity for the Rosewood Ranch. The riders will continue practicing weekly at the ranch’s indoor arena through the remainder of the year.