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Photo finish at 2010 Bandera Dude Ranch Championship


Bandera dude ranches squared off against each other during the National Day of the American Cowboy Dude Ranch Wrangler championship on Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24, at Mansfield Park.

This year’s hotly contested Dude Ranch Rodeo came down to the wire in the final event - with the top team winning by a nose.

Not surprisingly, the standing room only crowd was treated to an outstanding competition. Defending their 2009 trophy, “Team Girl Power,” as crack rodeo announcer Matthew Myers dubbed the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge’s all-girl team, captured first place in the Rescue Race, by a slim margin.

Team Girl Power members included Captain Dianne Lindig, Janna Ivey Lindig, Kathy Lindig Hunt, Delaney Disher and Hanna Thomson.
However, Twin Elm Ranch team members Cap’n Kury as captain, Zac Hearnsberger, Jessica Hearnsberger, Grace Cleaver and Bob Simmons answered right back with a win in the Cow Hide Races, sleeping on the overall point total lead after Friday night’s events. Saturday night brought the dude ranches back for the Pony Express and Stampede races.

The Flying L team of Dennis Jerome, Courtney Jerome, Tawni Solis, Evan Tune, Tim Colton and Scott Lucena made a strong showing and were barely edged out for first in The Pony Express Race by Team Girl Power.

The 2010 championship came down to the final event with two points separating the top three teams. It was anybody’s trophy going in and the results of The Stampede Race proved to be closer than anyone could have imagined.

Only a razor thin margin separated the first and second place teams. The times were so close that The Flying L finished with a time of 1:58:28 and Team Girl Power of Hill Country Equestrian Lodge with a 1:58:25 for the win and the championship by 3/100ths of a second.

Team Girl Power of Hill Country Equestrian Lodge won the the Dude Ranch Championships by placing first in the Rescue, Pony Express and Stampede races and third in the Cow Hide Race.

The team from the Flying L Guest Ranch took home second place by placing second in the Cow Hide, Pony Express and Stampede races and third in the Rescue Race.

The team from Twin Elm Ranch won third after placing first in the Cow Hide Race, second in the Rescue Race and third in the Stampede Race. They failed to qualify in the Pony Express Race
Team Girl Power already has their collective eyes on the 2011 trophy up for grabs next summer. Whether a “three-pete” is in the offing for Team Girl Power is anybody’s guess.

When the arena dust finally settled, the museum board of directors also announced the winners of the 2010 Frontier Times Museum Ranch Rodeo.

This sanctioned event served as a preliminary competition to the South Texas Ranch Rodeo Finals that will be held during the San Antonio Live Stock Show and Rodeo in February.

• First place went to Wexford Ranch, Goliad, and Neil Heard, Tommy Ohrt, Josh Baros, David Cochran and Trevor Pistler

• Second place went to Rancho La Fe, Crystal City, and Johnny Graciano, Jesse Graciano, Oscar Lombrana, Mannie Aguirre and BJ Boone

• Third place went to South Texas Cattle Marketing Group, Pearsall, and Lew Thompson, Junior Martinez, Charles Zella, Justin Walburg, Chicki Cisneros and Phil Rob Hartzel

• Fourth place went to 4-L Ranch of Cotulla and Travis Hurt, Dustin Gonzales, Abel Dennis, Chase Hermes and Cody Henry

• Fifth place went to Flying B Ranch, Riviera, and Dakota Pearson, LB Pearson, Jason Alegria, Buddy Gonzales and JR Brown Garcia

• Sixth place went to Solomon Cattle Company, Falfurrias, with Robert Silguero, Dillon Schultz, Carlos Saenz, Tom Wright and Tyson Bollen

The Brahmer Tamers, comprised of Brentlee Grant, Tanner Dittmar and Riley Joe Beckham, won Little Wranglers’ Ranch Rodeo.