Ranch Rodeo begins countdown to CJD

By Katy Nesbitt, The Observer June 26, 2013 11:49 am

 JOSEPH — The Countdown to Chief Joseph Days Ranch Rodeo is this weekend, pitting neighbors against neighbors doing what they do all day, yet in an arena full of fans.

Nine teams from Wallowa County ranches are signed up to test their skills at virtual branding, penning and roping Saturday afternoon starting at 5 p.m.

The fun starts Friday with a horseback ride up the east moraine of Wallowa Lake starting at 2:30 p.m. from the Chief Joseph Days Rodeogrounds. 

That night, social hour is at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 7 p.m. followed by a Calcutta auction where bidders can buy their favorite team. 

The Caluctta is a fundraiser — 25 percent of the proceeds goes to a scholarship fund and 75 percent goes to the “owner” of the winning team.

There will be live and silent auctions with items such as a ton of hay, 10 yards of crushed gravel, Western art and a log rocking chair to name a few.

New this year to the Saturday rodeo is the “Quarter Century Goat Roping.” 

Teams of two kids whose ages can’t add up to more than 25 years to enter as they team rope a goat.

In addition to the $200 entry fee for each rodeo team, the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo committee added $1,500 to sweeten the pot. 

The saddle bronc riding competition will be run separately this year from the team events and the entry fee is $75.

The Chief Joseph Days Rodeo starts July 24 through July 27, wrapping up the Harley Tucker Rodeo Series.