Cowboys and cowgirls will team up to test their ranching skills in a co-ed ranch rodeo at this year’s Marion County Fair.
Chuck McLinden, fair board member, said the co-ed event replaces the women’s rodeo that has run for over a decade.
“First there was the men’s rodeo, then they had the women’s rodeo that caught on a while ago,” he said. “It seems like co-ed ranch rodeos have become more popular in the area over the past five years.”
The new event is also different from the Kraft Rodeo.
“The Kraft Rodeo is a traditional rodeo,” McLinden said. “Co-ed ranch rodeos have events that simulate things that most ranchers regularly do at the ranch.”
During the trailer-loading event, he said contestants will simulate taking a sick animal to the vet when they have to rope an animal out of a herd and load it into the trailer.
In a team sorting event, contestants will sort about 15 to 20 head of numbered cattle at one end of the arena before hustling then back across a timeline in numerical order.
In the team doctor event, contestants will rope cattle by the head or horns and the back legs, then pull ropes in opposite direction to stretch the animal out, after which a third team member will mark it with a paint stick to simulate administering a shot.
Teams must have four members ages 18 or older, McLinden said. At least one team member must be of the opposite sex. The co-ed ranch rodeo will kick off the fair at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Hillsboro. Tickets are $5 for ages 6 and older. Kids under 5-years-old are free.