OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Any good cattleman will tell you their stock handles a lot better when they’re calm, which is the secret to the sport of Rodear.
No cattle bawling, no barking here, just the sound of a dog whistle or the command voice of a confident cowboy moving his herd efficiently through a series of pens.
The literal translation of Rodear, says Rita Shinn, “is to gather cattle.”
Shinn organized this Rodear at the Oklahoma State Fair.
The cowboys competing in this open category work stock like this all the time at home.
“Definitely,” she agrees. “You’ve got the dog reading the cattle and the horse. The handler should be reading the cattle and the dog.”
Kevin Lippe and his six-year-old dog Chock work ranches in Missouri.
Chock is just entering his prime as a cattle dog.
Lippe calls him well-seasoned.
“What’s the lynchpin of this operation?” asks an observer.
“It takes a little bit of everything,” Kevin replies. “It takes a nice horse, a good dog; you have to be in time with everything and get a decent draw of cattle.”
Sonny Mahurin and his two-year-old border collie Pete already have a national championship buckle to wear.
He says Pete is always ready to go to work.
“Big outrun,” says Sonny. “Big type worker. No quit to him at all.”
The buckles awarded to the winners of this Rodear go on the human belts of the cowboy handlers, but they know their whistle is only the beginning of this game.
The Rodear National Finals is scheduled for Oct. 9, 2021, in Fort Worth, Texas.
For more information on events or the sport itself, go to rodearamerica.com.