Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5 Peaks Classic

I never jackpotted when I was growing up, but I've since learned that there's a special group of people that spend their weekends together every spring.  

Trailers are loaded and cattle are hauled around the state so that kids and cattle can compete together each weekend.

Families wake up early in the morning to wash and blow out their calves, and make sure everything is ready before they head into the ring.

Few make it out of the show ring with the coveted "Champion!" slap...

But many walk away with memories made.


Last weekend we spent Saturday in Madras at the 5 Peaks Classic. 

The Ellis & Bartels family had put together a great two ring jackpot for kids to compete in.

A two ring jackpot means that kids pay two entry fees, and are judged by two different judges.   One heifer might win in one ring, and a totally separate heifer may win in the other ring, since you have two different opinions.  It's a great format because basically, you get to compete in two separate jackpots, but only have the travel expenses of one. 

 And I think everyone knows how expensive fuel is! 

It was a great day, filled with great people, and great cattle!


PS - Lindsay's birthday was yesterday.  She's out of town on vacation this week, but we got to see her for a little bit on Saturday when she and Henry stopped by.  Happy Birthday Paco!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Branding in Burbank.

It was all smiles on Sunday, as we helped Tom & Debby brand a set of their calves in Washington.

But I'll be honest - I didn't have a smile on my face on the drive there. 

In fact, I'd make excuses for not going the day before - too tired, too grumpy, too much to do - and if it hadn't have been for Anna calling and asking if I was coming along that morning as I was headed down the road to check the ditchwater, I wouldn't have gone.

But I'm sure glad I did.

Thanks Tom, Debby, Terry, Anna, RJ, Clint, Justin, Jenny, Cidney and Cameron for a very fun and relaxing day. 
It was needed. 

It's funny how the things we need the most, come when we're not expecting them at all.....

*Of the 724 pictures on my camera at the end of the day, many were taken by Cidney & a lot of the photo credits above need to go them.   I'd say they did a pretty great job!  :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The home stretch....

After 10 days of breeding....we were headed down the home stretch last Saturday.

By Saturday - we were all pretty tired. 
Not that the last week of breeding hadn't been fun, and everyone was still in good spirits - but the last day of breeding heifers at the feedlot was pretty demanding, and I think everyone was ready for a break.  

That morning, we had woken up early to breed a set of heats that had come in late in the day Friday, and then started in on the time breeding and breeding the other groups of heats that had been pulled.

Everyone had their job, and made sure it got done.  Jace & Justin sorted and brought groups of cattle up, Dave filled the alley and made sure cattle came to the chute, Walt ran the squeeze chute, Clint, RJ and Morgan bred and I pulled semen.

We started at 5, and by 4 that afternoon the guys had bred close to 380 heifers. 

That's a pretty good day, if you ask me.

As busy as we were, this year's breeding project at the feedlot was a lot of fun, mostly because we had great people helping out and everyone kept a good attitude.

I might add that I cooked a few delicious meals that helped the cause...but I may be biased.

Here's to great success for the heifer owners when it comes time to preg check!

PS - Justin introduced us to the new Coors Light in the screw top bottles during this breeding project. 

  And - because it has a screw top, you don't get any manure in your beer when you're working the cattle.  Those people were thinking!

And everyone knows that a cold beer after a good day of working cattle is a win-win!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ranch Branding.

Each year during the Cattle Baron's weekend in Pendleton, there's a ranch branding. 

Teams of 4 pay an entry fee and work to be the fastest team to "brand" four calves.   Each calf has to headed and heeled, and then "branded" with a cold iron dipped in chalk in the correct location.

We'd been breeding heifers all day (and all week) so when Saturday night rolled around, we were looking forward to cleaning up and heading to town.

As a bonus, we got to watch friends of ours compete. 



Trevor, Travis & Brian







A very fun evening, and a fun tradition for Pendleton.