This year’s wrangler contest was a little different than in the past thanks to the weather. The much needed rain couldn’t damper the spirits of these young cowboys. Their dedication to the sport was evident in each ride.
Jon Cannon graciously offered the use of his equestrian facility, Graceland, located on Island Road. It turned out to be the perfect solution under the circumstances.
Jessie Franich has been the event organizer longer than most of these boys can remember. In her words, “To know me is to love me, so you must all love me,” and each of the boys agree. Franich isn’t soft on these cowboys, she makes sure they know how to work for their titles, but they love her for it.
Last year’s head wranger Daxton Rowser presented Franich with a plaque on behalf of all the contestants, current and past. The plaque read, “Complaint department 300 miles,” with an arrow pointing away to the left. It was the perfect tribute.
Wrangler parents all know that in addition to the hard work the boys put in, the parents back these boys financially as well as putting in their own blood, sweat and tears, sometimes literally.
All wrangler contestants got the chance to vie for a title and chance to represent Morgan County. This year was much the same as in the past. The day began with an introduction to the judges followed with a speech and impromptu question. The horsemanship portion shows contestants’ ability to complete a number of obstacles based upon their age.
Every one of these young men worked hard all year long to prepare for this competition and deserve recognition for their efforts.
After points were tallied, winners were announced. Head wrangler for the 2014-15 season is Chase Peterson, son of Brandon and Janell Peterson. According to his mom, Peterson just missed last year’s title by a hair, so he was thrilled about this year’s win. He said, “I love this competition because it gets me out and riding my horse more and I am excited to represent Morgan County.”
Peterson likes to go hunting, participate in rodeos and hang out with friends. His goal is to be a stock contractor or a game officer. He was sponsored by BP Training.
First wrangler was announced as Owen Clark, son of Cale and Lisa Clark. Clark says he wanted to participate again this year because it is “so fun.” Showing his work ethic at such a young age, he says he loves the competition because he is able to try to do better than he did before.
Clark loves participating in the UYRA rodeos every month. He plays guitar and baseball and can’t wait for his next trail ride and fishing trip with his grandpa, Mike. Clark was sponsored by Clark Equine.
Second Wrangler Broc Mahoskey, son of Marc and Steffanie Mahoskey, says he is proud to be a part of Morgan County. “This contest has helped me find new friends, learn to rope, herd cattle and has given me good examples to look up to,” said Mahoskey.
He continued saying, “Anything outdoors is awesome. My dog Katie helps me practice sports. She gives me a workout!” Mahoskey loves being on his horse and says, “We make a good team.” He also gave a shout out to his grandpa and said, “My family is important to me and my time with them rocks.” Kane Consulting sponsored Mahoskey this year.
This year the Rookie Wrangler title went to Cole Keele, son of Ryan and Steffanie Keele. Keele was so excited to be a part of the rodeo. It is evident when he rides that this kid has a lot of fun out there.
Keele is going into fourth grade and says that he really loves school, especially math. He loves sports of any kind but especially football, basketball and wrestling. His goal is to play football for Brigham Young University someday.
Other head wrangler contestants were Trever Weaver, son of Kenny and Codi Weaver and Luke Weil, son of Brent and Mikelle Weil.
Weaver loves riding his horse, hunting, fishing, four wheeling and camping. He hopes to someday serve a mission and go to college. He was sponsored by Weaver Daycare.
Weil said that competing for head wrangler pushed him to learn more about his horse and about rodeo history. He loves to ski and play baseball. After high school, Weil would like to go to college on a rodeo scholarship and work on his uncle’s ranch. EmpRes Health Care sponsored Weil.
Brothers Rylee and Ethan Brown were the other first wrangler contestants. Rylee and Ethan’s parents are Darren and Britanie Garner. Rylee’s horse had an especially hard time with his new surroundings, but he handled it so well that judge Niki Wilde generously offered to give Rylee four free lessons with his horse to help his horse prepare for the competition next year.
Both Brown brothers love baseball and basketball and Ethan commented that his goal is to go to a great college and become a surgeon.
Reese Carter also competed for the position of second wrangler. Carter is the son of Tel and Sherrie Carter and loves to play soccer, basketball and wrestle. He enjoys riding his horse and four wheelers and going fishing with his dad.
The Wrangler contest committee would like to thank all contestants, parents and supporters for their participation in this rewarding event.