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Chance Machado and Nolan Scott took home the high money saddles at Three Rivers. Presenting is Jim Waggoner and Ed Lafferty, representing Three Rivers Lions Club.  – Off The Beaten Path Photography

By Mike Sweeney 
ACTRA Business Manager

THREE RIVERS, CA – In the spring of 1950, families in the small community of Three Rivers, Calif. got together to talk about the long winter. The men stood around and told tall tales, the women brought their favorite dish and the kids ran wild. Little did these folks know, they started a tradition that would be alive and well 68 years later.

 

Although the event is quite different in many ways, many of the things they did that first year are still going on today. People greeting each other with a firm hand shake or a meaningful hug. Kids laughter and playing. Yes the competition is quite different than they were in the early days, but team roping, calf branding, barrel racing and the pig scramble is still pretty much the same. The tradition still lives on. The Three Rivers Lions Club have worked hard through the years to make sure everything has remained close to the same as it was the very first year.

The Waggoner’s, Jim and Karen have certainly done their part to keep the traditions in place and make sure those lifetime experiences still exist in Three Rivers. Jim and Karen have been producing Three Rivers for 27 years and it is truly a labor of love.

The roping started early Thursday afternoon with the Clarence Ritchie One Over 40 Roping. It was Bud Stubblefield and Jason Johe that would come out on top and pick up the Skyline championship buckles and $595 each.

The next roping was the Open Roping, and some of the best in the world were there to show their skills. For the third year in a row, Kaleb Driggers would find his way to the winner’s circle, Kaleb had won with different partners the past three years. This year it was Wyatt Cox. Kaleb and Wyatt won the first round with a 4.88, then the champs pocketed over $3,500 each for their efforts. A big tip of the Resistol to all the Open Ropers who made their way to Three Rivers.

The Henry Mitchell Memorial Roping kicked off Friday morning. There were 107 teams entered and it would be the team of Melvin Rogers and Tim Gaither who would pick up the Skyline championship buckles and $760 each.

The biggest roping of the day was the Mixed Roping with 184 teams entered. When it was all said and done, Jenna Iverson and Denny Watkins who would take the victory lap. They too would pick up the Skyline championship buckles and $1,130 each in cash, wow! Something that would have never been thought of in the early days was the “All Girl Roping”. The All Girl saw 68 teams entered. The ladies who would come out on top were sisters, Ashley Hagens and Rikki Perezchica, great job girls. The day would end with the first round of the Craig Thorn Memorial Calf Branding. There were 15 teams entered and only 5 would make it back to championship Sunday. 

Saturday morning the first half of the #8.5 6 steer would be under way. After three steers, Luis Huerta and Ryan Eaton would be the leaders, Luis and Ryan picked up the championship buckle and $555 each. The next roping was the #5.5 Roping and would be the biggest of the weekend with 278 teams entered. The winner’s of this three steer were Seth Sweeney and Chance Machado, they picked up Skyline championship buckles and $1,150 each. 

The last roping of the day was the #4.5, this roping had the biggest payoff of the weekend. It would be the team of Charlie Quinn and Blaize Twisselman who would pick up $1,510 each and Skyline championship buckles.

The Junior Barrel Racing champs were Reagan Porter 11 and under and Ava Vanderpoel 12 – 16. The day ended with the Lions famous bbq dinner and dance on the mezzanine. 

As the sun rose on Sunday morning above the beautiful Sierra’s, Cowboy Church with Rick Holiday officiated on the mezzanine with some inspiring words and great music.

Championship Sunday started with the second half of the #8.5 six steer. Luis Huerta and Scott Childers would win the second three steer and it would be Cutter Machado and Chance Ruffoni who would be the six steer champions. Cutter and Chance would pick up the beautiful Yellowhair buckles. The Yellowhair buckles have been a tradition for many years in Three Rivers and is sponsored by the Three Rivers Lions.

While the #8.5 was going on in the arena, the Pee Wee Roping was taking place on the mezzanine, Karen Waggoner heads up this event and this year’s champions were: 5 and under Blevins Lockett; 6 to 8 Dallas Robinson; and Ethan Rodriquez 9 to 12. Each one won a Skyline championship buckle. A big thank you to Cactus Ropes for helping with this memorable event.

Now it was time for the ropers to take a break and watch something you don’t see at any other roping. First we would take some time to pay tribute to country, state, community and the Lions Club with the presentation of their flags. Riata Ranch’s Chad Nicholson took over the mic and told the inspiring story of our great country and the cowboy way of life and this makes it so special. With everyone on their feet, Hud Rose stepped to the mic and gave a wonderful rendition of Our National Anthem, a big tip of the Resistol to Chad, Hud and the ladies who presented our flags.

Next would be the Open Barrel Race, with some of the best cowgirls going down the road, today it was Julie Martin who would clock a 16.757 seconds, Julie would win $520 cash and a beautiful Best Ever Pad. Now it was time for the kids to take over the arena with the traditional pig scramble, hundreds of kids would make for some unbelievable fun and heart break.

The next event actually started Friday night with 15 teams competing with only five teams having a chance to make it back to the championship on Sunday with hopes of capturing the Craig Thorn Memorial Calf Branding buckle and bragging rights. When it was all over it was the team of Spencer Mitchell, Bruce Hayhurst, Ryan Read­mond and Ty Boesch who would join Megan Thorne and family in the championship photo. What a demonstration of what makes Three Rivers Roping so “special.”

Now it was time for the second half of the #5.5 six steer to get under way. Courtney Boesch and Dominic Patino Sr. would capture the three steer average championship. Melvin Rogers and Mark Burner would take home the six steer Skyline championship average buckles.

The only thing left was to add up the winnings and see who would claim the high money Cactus championship saddles. It was Nolan Scott who would win the #2.5 and under saddle and Chance Machado would win the #3 and over Cactus championship saddle. Congratulations to all the winners!

Needless to say an event like Three Rivers doesn’t happen without a lot of work and dedication. Thanks to the host, Three Rivers Lions Club,  producers Jim and Karen Waggoner for 27 years and cowboy Steve Simons of S Bar J Cattle Company who always does a fantastic job supplying the cattle. The office staff is lead by Toni Machado, along with Cory Couch and Tonja Sweeney. Hard to believe these three ladies can run an event of this magnitude with little or no issues, super job! Billy Butler and Lee Legasey took care of the flagging duties with all the professionalism needed to make the roping a huge success. Also to the chute help who worked tirelessly to keep the roping rolling along. Thanks to Stephen, Angel, Joseph, CJ, Johnny and Brandon. A grateful thank you to Lawrence Tractor who provide the equipment that allow us to keep the ground in great shape. A big shout out to Jack Stuhaan who keeps everyone at the right place at the right time. 

A big thank you to first timer Tom Pinter from Off The Beaten Path Photography. Three Rivers has been one of Tom’s bucket list items and is happy to have played a part in the 2018 Three Rivers Roping. Tom looks forward to coming back next year. If you weren’t able to get up and check out pictures, go to Tom’s website, offthebeatenpath-photos.com, he has a lot of great pictures.

We hope everyone has a great roping season and look forward to seeing you next spring.

Results are as follows:

April 26

Clarence Ritchie Memorial One Over 40 Hdcp: 59 teams, 4 for $40

1st go: 1. Cody Snow and Ron Garcia, 5.06, $125. 2. Spencer Mitchell and Ryan Eaton, 5.66, $85.

Average: 1. Bud Stubblefield and Jason Johe, 28.98, $595. 2. Cody Snow and Ron Garcia, 29.50, $355. 3. Bobby Blaswich and Cliff Garrison 2.30, $235.

Open: 60 teams, 5 for $150

1st go: 1. Kaleb Driggers and Wyatt Cox, 4.88, $700. 

2nd. go: 1. Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp, 5.08, $700.

Average: 1. Kaleb Driggers and Wyatt Cox, 31.76, $2,860. 2. Aaron Tsinigine and Junior Nogueira, 32.98, $1,715. 3. Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp, 66.50, $1,145.

April 27

Henry Mitchell Memorial Century #10 Hdcp: 107 teams, 4 for $40

1st go: 1. David Motes and Denny Watkins, 6.44, $190. 2. Buster Berna and Ty Boesch, 6.46, $110. 3. Sean McRoberts and Denny Watkins, 6.73, $85.

Average: 1. Melvin Rogers and Tim Gaither, 32.77, $760. 2. Zane Denio and David Daniel, 33.15, $545. 3. Sean Pascoe and Denny Watkins, 33.83, $415. 4. Sean Pascoe and Carl Wilken, 35.04, $304. 5. Mike Yates and Jon Shadle, 35.75, $150.

Mixed #10 Hdcp: 184 teams, 4 for $40

1st go: 1. Suzanne Williams and Spencer Mitchell, 6.49, $330. 2. Jenna McCarthy Iverson and Denny Watkins, 6.77, $200. 3. Courtney Boesch and Spencer Mitchell, 7.04, $135.

Average: 1. Jenna McCarthy Iverson and Denny Watkins, 27.11, $1,130. 2. Marcey Chaves and Chance Ruffoni, 28.05, $790. 3. Karen Dias and Hayes Smith, 28.09, $605. 4. Courtney Boesch and Spencer Mitchell, 28.14, $450. 5. Katherine Jericoft and Bert Ferrasci, 28.53, $340. 6. Fallon Avery and Ryan Reed, 29.09, $265. 7. Marcey Chaves and Kyle Lockett, 29.54, $190.

All Girl #7 Hdcp: 68 teams, 4 for $40

1st go: 1. Kelsey Mauro and Carol Johnson, 7.84, $145. 2. Tyra James and Chelsea James, 7.93, $95.

Average: 1. Ashley Hagens and Rikki Perezchica, 39.41, $550. 2. Melanie White and Marcey Chaves, 51.73, $410. 3. Ashley Hagens and Cheyenne Horner, 55.03, $275. 4. Cindy Williamson and Whitney Mitchell, 26.47, $135.

April 28

#4.5: 245 teams, 3 for $40

1st go: 1. Josh Shamblin and Daryl Vinnedge, 7.43, $335. 2. Dave Carrico and Dean Couch, 7.49, $265. 3. Katherine Jericoft and Brooklynn Sitton, 7.67, $175. 4. Donald Ornellas and Cory Carvalho, 7.79, $90.

Average: 1. Charlie Quinn and Blaize Twisselman, 28.87, $1,510. 2. Shelley Chico and James Leroy Chico, 29.82, $1,055. 3. Nolan Scott and Kade Holman, 30.15, $805. 4. Scott Jones and Owen Redfeairn, 31.19, $605. 5. John Vincent Jr. and Richie Jones, 32.01, $450. 6. Daniel Hank Williams and Aaron Franco Jr, 32.94, $350. 7. Shanae Morgan and Carl Pescosolido, 36.38, $250. 

#8.5, first 3 steer: 114 teams, 3 for $40

1st go: 1. Ryan Readmond and Bobby Roberts, 7.10, $140. 2. Buster Berna and Ty Boesch, 7.16, $85. 3. Bobby Blaswich and Bobby Roberts, 7.19, $60.

Average: 1. Luis Huerta and Ryan Eaton, 25.59, $555. 2. Nathan Scott and Rodney Rivera, 25.82, $395. 3. Buster Berna and Tony Lee Boggs, 26.39, $300. 4. Tanner Brumley and Justin Sorensen, 27.69, $220. 5. Chance Machado and Chance Ruffoni, 27.73, $110.

#5.5, first 3 steer: 278 teams, 3 for $40.

1st go: 1. Rikki Perezchica and Ryan Williams, 7.83, $290. 2. Chris James and Clayton Vincent, 7.95, $215. 3. Courtney Boesch and Stephen Howard, 8.11, $140. 4. Michelle Scott and Kade Holman, 8.12, $80.

Average: 1. Seth Sweeney and Chance Machado, 25.81, $1,150. 2. Wilson Redfeairn and Tanner Patino, 27.01, $780. 3. Taylor Ash and Charles Hagens, 30.96, $615. 4. Mark Levenson and Chris Flickinger, 31.03, $450. 5. Keith Blevins and Steve Simons, 32.02, $370. 6. Shelley James and Tony Lee Boggs, 32.40, $325. 7. Scott Ritchie and Colt Cowden, 32.45, $245. 8. Donald Ornellas and Manuel Enriquez, 33.19, $165.

April 29

#8.5, second 3 steer: 107 teams, 3 for $40

1st go: 1. Bert Ferrasci and Chance Machado, 6.18, $135. 2. Kenneth Ellison and Casey Dunham, 6.98, $80. 3. Kenneth Ellison and Ty Boesch, 7.28, $50.

Average: 1. Luis Huerta and Scott Childers, 24.28, $465. 2. Chance Machado and Ron Garcia, 24.42, $370. 3. Casey Yates and Brooks Dahozy, 26.62, $300. 4. Ryan Readmond and Tanner James, 29.48, $220. 5. Cutter Machado and Chance Ruffoni, 31.01, $150.

#8.5 six steer average: 1. Cutter Machado and Chance Ruffoni, 69.51, $635. 2. Nolan Scott and Brooks Dahozy, 81.14, $480. 3. Ryan Readmond and Chris James, 84.79, $320. 4. Tanner Brumley and Justin Sorenson, 51.96/5, $160.

#5.5, second 3 steer: 264 teams, 3 for $40

1st go: 1. Michael Dinkins and Bert Ferrasci, 6.22, $265. 2. Cheyenne Horner and Tanner James, 7.23, $200. 3. Rikki Perezchica and Ryan Williams, 7.25, $130. 4. Colt Cowden and Charles Hagens, 7.34, $65.

Average: 1. Courtney Boesch and Dominic Patino Sr, 26.08, $1,050. 2. Mike Redfeairn and Trent Jones, 26.64, $710. 3. Michael Dinkins and Bert Ferrasci, 27.75, $560. 4. Taylor Ash and Tanner James, 27.77, $410. 5. Kenneth Ellison and Jenna McCarthy Iverson, 28.23, $335. 6. Kelsey Mauro and Nathan Scott, 28.56, $300. 7. Melvin Rogers and Mark Burner, 28.70, $225. 8. Mike Sweeney and Jim Waggoner, 29.51, $150.

#5.5 six steer average: 1. Melvin Rogers and Mark Burner, 63.42, $1,085. 2. Scott Ritchie and Colt Cowden, 64.25, $740. 3. Keith Blevins and Steve Simons, 74.08, $580. 4. Nolan Scott and Brett Moody, 82.40 $425. 5. Donald Ornellas and George Porter, 96.93, $350. 6. Jim Yarbrough and Mark Burner, 58.90/5, $310. 7. Jim Jarbrough and Tanner Brumley,66.20/5, $230. 8. Cindy Williamson and Nathan Scott, 66.88/5, $155.

High Point Winners:

#2.5 & Under: Nolan Scott, saddle. 2. Blaize Twisselman, breast collar. 3. Melvin Rogers, saddle pad. 4. Courtney Boesch, headstall.

#3 & Over: 1. Chance Machado, saddle. 2. Mark Burner, breast collar. 3. Leroy Chico, saddle pad. 4. Luis Huerta, headstall.

Pee Wee Barrels: 1. Charlie Marcotte. 2. Landi Marcotte. 3. Kelsey Porter. 

Jr. Barrels 11 & Under: 1. Reagan Porter. 2. Reese Bryant.

Jr. Barrels 12 -16: 1. Ava Vanderpoel. 2. Ellie Hilvers-Sally.

Open Barrels: 1. Julie Martin. 16.757, $520. 2. Cheyenne Haddison, 16.834, $390. 3. Ava Vanderpoel, 16.946, $260. 4. Lori Meneses, 17.300, $130.

Pee Wee Roping-5 & Under: 1. Blevins Lockett. 2. Wyatt Robinson.

Pee Wee Roping-6 to 8: 1. Dallas Robinson. 2. Sutton Lockett. 3. Randon Rivera. 3. Rylee Gunderman.

Pee Wee Roping-9 to 12: 1. Ethan Rodriguez. 2. Shayla Lockett.

Craig Thorn Branding:

1st. go: 1. Spencer Mitchell, Ryan Readmond, Bruce Hayhurst, Ty Boesch, 59.86. 2. Shad Lawrence, Blaine Ketscher, Bobby Roberts, Brent Lockett, 70.64.

Short go: 1. Blaine Ketscher, Shad Lawrence, Bobby Roberts, Brent Lockett, 54.29.

Average: 1. Spencer Mitchell, Ryan Readmond, Bruce Hayhurst, Ty Boesch, 125.02. 2. Blaine Ketscher, Shad Lawrence, Bobby Roberts, Brent Lockett, 134.35.