No one can say that Lee Meyring didn't make the most out of his time in the arena during last week's ranch rodeo.
Not that he spent a lot of time there.
The longtime Steamboat Springs veterinarian placed second with Bedell Bunch and then returned later in the day with the team from Steamboat Veterinary Hospital to win the competition. For those who are counting, it was less than eight minutes for two teams.
"The guys on the second-place team gave me some ribbing," Meyring said. "But I was just fortunate to be on two really good teams."
The winning team also included Meyring's brother Spike, his cousin Coy Meyring, and his friend Lonny Shoemaker. The squad penned, branded, doctored and milked in a time of 3 minutes, 37 seconds to win the event.
"It was our goal to finish under 4 minutes," Meyring said. "It helped that we went late in the competition. We were able to watch the other teams and come up with a plan before we got in the arena."
Meyring said the key was strong roping, but he admits the team got a break when he was able to milk the wild cow despite only securing it with a heal rope.
"Those guys have been working together for a long time," organizer Bill Montag said. "It really shows in an event like this."
Meyring also joined Orval Bedell, Travis Bedell and former world champion steer wrestler Chad Bedell on the second-place team. That squad completed the four tasks in a time of 4:02:67.
Bad Lands Trucking from Kremmiling was third with a time of 4:07:53. That team included Bud Carpenter, Jody Hill, Grover Pryor and Port Toft. Pancost Fencing was fourth at 4:11:05, Saddle Back Ranch was fifth at 4:12, and The North & South Team from Wyoming placed sixth with a time of 4:28:17.
The cowboys had to compete in a muddy arena and through periods of rain Sunday, but by the time the event came to a close, organizers thought it was another successful year.
"I think the rain hurt us a little bit in terms of the numbers," Montag said. "But it was bigger than last year."
He said the neat things about the ranch rodeo are that most of the competitors work on area ranches and that the event draws visitors, as well as locals to the arena.
"I think we would have been swamped had it not been for the rain," Montag said. "But we had a good year, and this event is becoming a holiday tradition in Steamboat."
This year, thousands of people came out to watch the event, which was free, and 20 teams competed for prizes and bragging rights.
"I'm happy to have won here," Meyring said. "I think we had 20 quality teams in this competition, and any one of them could have won."
The ranch rodeo honored three longtime ranching families (the Acords, the Camillettis, and the Semontans), as well as F.M. Light & Sons, which is celebrating 100 years in Steamboat, during the performance.
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