, Ranchin , Ridin&
Wheaton , Missouri , ranch rodeo series spotlights working cowboys , skills and community generosity
STORY & PHOTOS BY LISA FLOREY
t’s not about the buckle — although that’s a nice bonus. Ranch rodeos showcase the skills cowboys (and cowgirls) use every day on the ranch, along with the bond of the ranching community. Rockin P Ranch in Wheaton, Missouri, hosts a ranch rodeo buckle series throughout the summer that’s a great way for families to spend a summer evening watching local hands demonstrate their skills handling horses and cattle. Located just east of town, Rockin P is owned by Terri and Melvin Priest. Held on select Saturday nights through September, these ranch rodeos are different than regular rodeos. There’s no bull riding or barrel racing — because these aren’t activities you’d see on a ranch. And unlike rodeos, where individuals compete against each other, ranch rodeo teams are made up of working hands who compete as a team for a ranch. Some teams are made up of cowboys from one ranch, while others are a combination of ranches. Ranch rodeos are full of excitement and unpredictability as teams race against the clock to complete tasks. With events like ranch bronc riding, steer branding and wild cow milking, the action is nonstop.