A SOO-weet victory at N-S ranch rodeo
The Cross Country and Old Chisholm Traildrivers queens post the colors for the start of the 2011 Nixon-Smiley Ranch Rodeo Oct. 15 in Nixon.
NIXON -- Twenty-two teams gave it their all to advance to the finals in the Nixon-Smiley Livestock Show’s Wild Hog Ranch Rodeo held Oct. 15 in the Nixon-Smiley Livestock Show Arena, located east of Nixon off U.S. 87. When the dust settled, Nixon’s JC Ranch, led by Captain Trevor Henderson, was named the overall champion.
The teams were accumulating points to qualify for the San Antonio Ranch Rodeo to be held Feb. 26 in San Antonio. At the same time, proceeds of the Nixon-Smiley Ranch Rodeo, held in conjunction with the Wild Hog cook-off, supports the FFA, Family, Career and Community Leaders Association, and the 4-H programs of the Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District.
First-round events included steer branding, steer mugging, and Nixon-Smiley’s signature wild pig race. All teams were competing against each other, as well as the clock, since the six teams with the fastest combined scores advanced to the final round.
While football players pass the pigskin, these South Texas cowboys used real pigskin, in the form of feral hogs. Using four- to five-member teams, one cowboy hands off the pig to a mounted cowboy, who races with his squealing buddy to yet another team member, so the pig can be loaded into a trailer.
The JC Ranch led the way with a fast 24.47 run, followed by the Rancho Seco with a 28.10. The Wexford Cattle Co. placed third with a time of 29.40.
The JC Ranch again led the way with a time of 28.58 in the steer-mugging contest. This contest is similar to calf-roping, but uses larger livestock. The M&M Cattle Co. and the Rafter K Ranch placed second and third, respectively, with times of 33.50 and 35.30.
The Thompson Ranch’s quick time of 23.10 gave the team the lead for the branding contest. The Reynolds Pierce Ranch and the Wexford Cattle Co. fought it out for a close second- and third-place finish, with times of 24.60 and 24.70, respectively.
The top six teams advanced to the final round to compete in the wild cow milking, the trailer-loading contest, and wild-hog roping. Teams included the Rancho Seco, the M&M Cattle Co., the Wexford Cattle Co., the Rafter K Ranch, the Thompson Ranch, and the JC Ranch.
The Rancho Seco team, which led the South Texas 2011 circuit as of Oct. 3, sped quickly to load its steer in the trailer-loading contest in a time of 22.40. The M&M Cattle Co. followed with a time of 31.70. Three teams -- the Rafter K Ranch, the JC Ranch, and the Thompson Ranch -- all timed in the 32 range, keeping the pressure on the leaders.
It seems officials must have had a hard time finding six cows for the wild cow-milking contest, since steers were used. The cowboys tried their hands at waxing steers. The cowboys had to first rope the animals and then proceed to remove the back tag that was strategically placed to ensure the cowboys were kicked. Rules state the animal must be standing -- just like in milking -- when the tag is removed. The time stops when the tag is handed over to the official.
The M&M Cattle Co. had the fastest time with a 21.50, but only by a shave, since four-tenths of a second separated the top three contenders. The Wexford Cattle Co. placed second with 21.80 and the Rafter K Ranch took third.
The finale of the evening was the wild hog-roping contest. The cowboys were allowed to catch the hogs any way possible, to be literally hog-tied.
Some teams were successful in roping the hog; others just wore the hogs down first, and then proceeded to chase the animal on foot, making for a comical event. A 6-minute limit was allowed for the cowboys to finish the business at hand.
The JC Ranch did not let their hog, Terminator, stop their chance of capturing the title. With three cowboys chasing Terminator, they were able to stop the hog in its tracks with a 60.60 time.
Only the Thompson Ranch had a better time, with a 60.0, when they caught Flash, but their hooey -- the last tie in steer wrestling -- was not tight enough to keep Flash down, earning them no time.
The Wexford Cattle Co. caught Volcano in 73.20, while the Rafter K Ranch caught Dynamite in 83.40. The determined Rancho Seco Ranch team took 169.0 to catch Whip Lash, as the hog circled the roping arena three times!
When the tally was counted, the JC Ranch finished in first place with a combined time of 118.70 for the final three events. The Rafter K Ranch accumulated 138.10 for a second-place finish. The Wexford Cattle Co. finished third with a 153.60. Rounding out the order for the top six were the M&M Cattle Co., fourth; the Rancho Seco Ranch, fifth; and the Thompson Ranch, sixth.