By RON PRESTON
The Auburn Pharmacy (formerly Bankes) barrel racing team rode their horses, signed autographs for the Elsie Brooks Cancer Fund, placed in the Central Kansas Free Fair Queen’s court, sang the National Anthem and oh, by the way, had fun at the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo.
Dickinson County residents should be proud of the group that qualified to enter and ran the barrels in the arena each night.
Sarah Johnson, Enterprise, began Wednesday after being elected First Attendant to the Central Kansas Free Fair Queen MacKenzie Riffel on Tuesday evening and then rode her horse Jetemiah in the opening night of the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo Wednesday.
The Chapman High School graduate will continue her education at Hutchinson Community College this fall.
DeDe Lorson, Hope, rode Boogie for her second time on the Bankes Barrel Team and she sang the National Anthem to a packed arena on Saturday night following an emotional tribute by rodeo announcer Mike Mathis for Rylee Miller, a young lady who loved the WBHR, horses, cattle and the ranching way of life, and passed away in January at the age of 21.
“We did pretty well, we had a couple of personal mistakes that cost us a little bit of time,” Lorson said of her ride on Thursday night. “Other than that, my horse ran pretty well and I was really happy with my run.”
“My husband and I have a farm near Hope and we have cattle and that keeps us pretty busy,” she said. “We go to amateur rodeos. I don’t have a permit, so that is why I get to run in the Bankes races here in Abilene.”
Afton Snider, Abilene, returned to the Bankes Team after taking a break to finish school, get married and raise a family. She first rode when she was in high school 12 years ago.
“I didn’t do too bad. It was a little sloppy going into the third barrel and coming out, lost a little time, but she’s (her horse Jil) is just getting seasoned this year so I expect her to be better next year,” Snider said, following her ride on Friday night. “I have just ridden her in five or six rodeos, just the close ones.”
“I was a little worried about the arena with all the rain and relatively new horse, but the rodeo committee did a great job getting it ready,” Snider said.
Saturday night, Kylie Bryant, just nine years old, rode Mickey on the final night of the rodeo. Kylie had a little trouble with the third barrel but said she still had fun and was excited to be in the rodeo.
Samples on Doctors Release
Micah Samples, Abilene, a former Bankes Barrel Racer and now pro-rider, was scheduled to race on Wednesday but had to withdraw from the weekend of rodeos due to injury to her horses.
“We have three horses and they’re all down with injuries,” Micah said Friday night as she and her mother Donna watched the rodeo action from the far north bleachers.
“Tag has got to be off for two weeks. I am getting ready to start riding him again soon,” Samples said.
“The horse that I would have ridden, Snake, fell pretty badly at Pretty Prairie in the mud, so that is why I didn’t run here or Dodge City,” she said. “I don’t know whether I’ll enter any rodeos between now and when I return to school in a couple of weeks. Probably not.”
Samples will return to Northwestern Oklahoma State University later in the month. Micah, Chelsea Bryant and Rylee Miller all grew up together as friends rodeoing when they were younger and then they were college teammates at Alva together.