Sunday, May 14, 2017

Working dogs, horses take stage at Pendleton Cattle Barons

Dan Roeser rode Sanjo Gold calmly and confidently into the Round-Up Pavilion Saturday, ready to show what the 7-year-old palomino gelding was capable of doing. It was several hours before the Western Select horse and working dog sale would begin inside the Pendleton Convention Center, part of the annual Cattle Barons Weekend, and ranchers huddled inside the pavilion for a preview of the animals in action. Some scrawled notes in their programs as the horses ran alongside steers during a live roping demonstration. Roeser, who runs Roeser Ranch in Marsing, Idaho, has been training horses for 40 years and taught a number of local cowboys the finer points of horsemanship. He regularly attends Cattle Barons Weekend, now in its 10th year of raising scholarships for local students and preserving the Western way of life in northeast Oregon. Along with Sanjo Gold, Roeser also brought a second horse, Dealers Kid, to market at the sale. Whereas Sanjo Gold is a gentle ranch horse for riders of all abilities, Roeser said Dealers Kid is more fit for high-caliber ropers. It is his job to show both animals to the best of their abilities in the preview and auction rings. “It’s a lot of work,” he said. “You have to use a lot of consistency in your methods so the horses know what they can expect from you.” Once the sale begins, trainers like Roeser ride inside the convention center where buyers bid up to tens of thousands of dollars. Roeser said selling horses is a big part of his business, and Cattle Barons Weekend has proven to be a great venue. “It’s a good market for the horses,” he said. “The people who run the sale do a really good job." Meanwhile, Cattle Barons Weekend also features a Western-theme trade show, engraving show and Buckaroo Barbecue Challenge, where teams compete for the best ribs and tri-tip beef. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for high school and community college students to pursue degrees in agricultural sciences, thereby keeping the Western tradition alive. “That’s why we do what we do, to maintain it into the future,” said Andy VanderPlaat, Cattle Barons president...more

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