Lonesome Pine Ranch Wins 20th WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo

Kansas Team Takes Home Ranch Rodeo World Championship

AMARILLO, Texas – In January, Chris Potter sent his friend Travis Duncan a text message: “2015 World Champs.” The prospect was enough to convince Travis to join Chris on the Lonesome Pine Ranch team that competed in ranch rodeos throughout the year. In fact, Travis was so committed to the idea of caputuring a world title that he wrote the secret to success on his calendar: “Win every event.”

Lonesome Pine Ranch is based in southwest Chase County near Cedar Point, Kan., and is owned by the Higgs family. Bud Higgs is on the ranch rodeo team, along with his children, Troy and Makenzie, and his father, Frank. The team members traveled to Amarillo Nov. 12-15 for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association’s World Championship Ranch Rodeo – the be-all, end-all of ranch rodeo. This was where they would chase their dream. The Kansas team got off to a somewhat rocky start but gained steam as they went. In fact, on Nov. 15, the Lonesome Pine Ranch team set an arena record in the wild cow milking event, with a time of 18.70 seconds.

That, as well as a strong finish in other events, was enough to make Chris’ prophecy come true. The world championship title was going home to Kansas. Lonesome Pine Ranch had been reserve world champions for the last two years but were bridesmaids no longer.

“I’ve dreamed about it for 10 years, 15 years, Travis said of the championship win. “It means a lot.”

But to be sure, it wasn’t an easy task. Teams must qualify at WRCA-sanctioned ranch rodeos throughout the year, ensuring that the competitors at the World Championship Ranch Rodeo are the cream of the crop. The competitions are only open to working ranch cowboys, ensuring 100 percent authenticity.

“There are 23 teams here, and they’re here for a reason,” Chris said.

Besides the competitive spirit, there is also a strong sense of family among the team members.

“I get to be with my son and my grandchildren,” said Frank, who bred many of the foundation-

bred American Quarter Horses used by the team. “That’s worth a lot.”

And the sense of family extends beyond blood ties. Friendships among ranch families are strong, and people are quick to offer a hand up to those who need help. Chris exemplified this when he and his wife, Amy, made a donation to the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation and publicly challenged others to do the same.

The World Championship Ranch Rodeo is more than just a rodeo; it’s actually the primary fundraiser for the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation, which helps cowboys who have become sick or injured and offers scholarships to ranch kids heading off to college.

To learn more about WRCA and the Foundation, visit www.wrca.org. WRCA is also on social media at www.facebook.com/wrcarodeo or twitter.com/wrcarodeo.


World champions

Lonesome Pine Ranch of Cedar Point, Kan.

Reserve world champions

Sandhill Cattle Co. of Earth, Texas

Third place

JO Bar Ranch & Hatchet Ranch of Lordsburg and Hachita, N.M.

Fourth place

Jolly Ranch & Lord Ranch of Agate and Lamar, Colo.

Top horse and top American Quarter Horse

Dmac Dow Jones, owned by Buster Frierson of the Veale Ranch & Triangle Ranch team of Parker and

Tarrant counties, and Foard, Cottle and Hardeman counties, Texas

Reserve top horse

Shez Uno Hotplaygirl, owned by Everett Ashurst of the JO Bar Ranch & Hatchet Ranch team

Top hand

Tyler Rice of Sandhill Cattle Co.

Reserve top hand

Cody Heck of Crutch Ranch, Borger, Texas

Hard-luck cowboy

Bruce Beeman of Broken H Ranch & H Cross Cattle, Bronson, Kan., and Osage Co., Okla.

Event winners

Team branding — Jolly Ranch & Lord Ranch

Wild cow milking — Lonesome Pine Ranch

Team penning — Slash B Ranch & Dagger Draw Ranch of Magdalena and Carlsbad, N.M.

Stray gathering — Crutch Ranch

Ranch bronc riding — Lonesome Pine Ranch