Meet Jolly Ranch and S&L Cattle: 2016 WRCA World Champions

Meet Two-Time WRCA World Champions Jolly Ranch and S&L Cattle!

The Jolly Ranch and S&L Cattle team claimed its second world championship at the 2016 World Championship Ranch Rodeo, and the Colorado cowboys had a strategy coming into their fourth trip to the big event.

“This year, we went in with the mindset that we were going to do well and go after first place in the stray gathering,” said team member Dustin Bowling. “That was one of our main goals this year.”

Team captain Jesse Jolly, Dustin’s brother-in-law, said the team was packed with team ropers, so it made sense that stray gathering – which they’ve had a tough time with in the past – should be their strong suit. This year it was, with Jolly/S&L capturing first place in stray gathering, as well as wild-cow milking.

Color commentator Randy Lewis likes to tease the teams he knows personally, and he often refers to Jesse as the “milking ninja.” Randy also gives Jesse and Dustin a hard time about their iconic apparel – argyle sweater vests, which they have yet to convince the other members of the team to wear.

“We figure ‘Look good, feel good, do good’ – that’s our team motto,” Jesse says, laughing. “You’ve got to write that one down.”

But it takes more than luck and lucky sweaters to win a world championship. It also takes horse power, and much of it was provided by team member Kyle Spitz, an AQHA life member and 10-year breeder. Four of the team’s horses were bred by Kyle and sired by his stallion, Big Swing.

“It’s nice to see them out there competing,” Kyle says humbly. Although he doesn’t sell many of his horses, other WCRR teams in the past have ridden them into the Amarillo Civic Center.

Nick Peterson, who works part-time for the Jolly Ranch, rode Brother Boogie (Big Swing-Hickorys Tammy by Tamulena), a 2009 sorrel gelding.

“I got him from Kyle when he was a 3-year-old,” Nick said. “He’s just a good, fun horse to ride. He can do whatever you want him to do.”

Other members of the Jolly/S&L team are Phy Lord and Gilbert Cruz, Jr.

The Jolly Ranch is based in Agate, Colorado, and is a cow-calf operation first purchased by the family in 1932. S&L Cattle is a yearling and feedlot operation owned by Phy and Kyle and based in Lamar, Colorado.

The team ended the 2016 WCRR with 88.5 points.

The reserve champion team, Sandhill Cattle Co. of Earth, Texas, had 74.5 points. Team members are Tripp Townsend, Riley Smith, Randy Knight, Tyler Rice, Autumn Townsend and Trail Townsend.

The overall third-place team was Veale Ranch and Triangle Ranch, with 60 points. These operations run in the Texas counties of Parker, Tarrant, Foard, Cottle and Hardeman. Team members are Buster Frierson, who earned the Reserve Top Hand award, Spicer Lewis, J.B. Miller, John C. Brian, Skyler Flake and Brady Jump.

And first-time competitors Diamond H Ranch and Lochhead Cattle ended in fourth place overall, with 56.5 points. The team is from north central Texas and Terrell, Texas. Team members are Cash Lochhead, Colt Carter, Ty Looper, Jered Sikes and Bo Crabtree.