My favorite moments during the World Championship Ranch Rodeo involve top horses, wild rides, cowboy grit and patriotism.

Story and photos by Ross Hecox
November 15, 2017

The team of Wilson Cattle and Haystack Cattle Co. won the 2017 World Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo, Texas.The team of Wilson Cattle and Haystack Cattle Co. won the 2017 World Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo, Texas.

I always enjoy covering the World Championship Ranch Rodeo in Amarillo, Texas, each November. This year, the team of Wilson Cattle and Haystack Cattle Co. claimed the title. The two ranches operate in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and team members included Tanner Allen, Mike Crump, Jed Middleton, Clay Paige and Rodey Wilson.

Regardless of who wins, it’s great to catch up with friends and meet people within the ranching community. This year was no exception, and here are my top 10 highlights from the 22nd annual WCRR.

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10. Dedicated Fans. The Amarillo Civic Center was packed with spectators, young and old, cheering loudly during the ranch bronc riding, stray gathering, wild cow milking and other events.

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9. Young Horsemen. In addition to hosting a Ranch Horse Association of America show, the WCRR puts on a Youth Cow Horse Championship, with a division for youth ages 12 and under, plus a division for kids 13–17. Regan Wheatley of Colorado won the senior division.

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8. Ranching Grit. Bucking horses tripped and slammed their riders into the wall. Yearling heifers that had been roped clotheslined cowboys. And angry cows dragged an entire crew across the arena. But cowboys like Tyler Karney held on tight and refused to give up.

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7. Cowboy Sprints. Maybe it’s just me, but I get a kick out of watching cowboys sprint to the finish line during the wild cow milking. These men are so smooth and agile in the saddle, but on the ground, not so much.

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