Wells Takes 1st at Boot Kick-off

A buckaroo rounds a barrell on his stick horse Saturday night at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds.
A buckaroo rounds a barrell on his stick horse Saturday night at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds.

“From the first boot kicked to the last tail gate shut, the most fun you’ll have anywhere.”

That’s the theme of the Sheridan WYO Rodeo and Saturday night began with the time-honored tradition – the annual “Boot Kick-off.” It was all about technique – or lack of it; the kind of sock you wear, or no sock at all; kicking that boot way up high, or shooting it fast and straight. No matter which way they kicked it, it was a great way to kick off this year’s Sheridan WYO Rodeo.

Gina Juroszek-Smith garnered 1st in the 18 and over women’s category, and Tyler Wells took 1st in the men’s 18 and over division. But that wasn’t all. Those little buckaroos had their turn at the starting gate. Before the boot kick-off, those wee wranglers, eight and under, mounted their steeds and competed in the timed event…barrel racing. Yup, those little cowpokes took off on their stick horses and ran as fast as they could in the cloverleaf pattern around the barrels.

A couple of racers got “bucked off”, but fortunately there were no injuries. In the four and under group, a little squirt named Laden came in first; in the seven-to-eight-year-olds, Aden Vielhauer took first, and in the seven-to-eight-year-old division, Morgan Smith won first.

The event was held at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds for the first time, moving from Kendrick Park. Although a few glitches need to be worked out, sound being one of them, rodeo board member Linda St. Clair indicated that it was all done in fun. She added the change is also a way to get folks up to the fairgrounds and pique their interest, getting them to attend the rodeo which begins Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.

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