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“Medicine Bow Diddley”
WMTA Trials Series
24th Medicine Bow Cup
Rounds 6 & 7
July 3-4, 2010
By Ron Pocher
Photos By Colleen Straka
You’ve got your givers, and you’ve got your takers. Mr. Tim Pexton most definitely falls in that first category. Pexton is a real Wyoming cattleman in every sense of the word – he’s just not one to be slowed by tradition. Tim does his ranching while astride a motorcycle instead of a horse and if you’d ever been bitten by a horse; well, you wouldn’t much blame him.
This year was the 24th edition of the WMTA’s Medicine Bow Cup and every last one of them have occurred on the gracious Pexton’s Indian Creek Ranch. Roughly 25 years ago, club member Dallas Peak figured the odds were pretty good that he might acquire permission to hold a trials event (or two) in the massive gray rocks he had spotted near Esterbrook, when Pexton came riding up to his ranch house aboard a Kawasaki trials bike. Pexton admits to this day that he didn’t even know what trials was or that the bike he was riding had any specific purpose other than herding cattle. Pexton obviously granted Peak’s grandiose wishes and the rest, as they say, is history.
Pexton’s usual schedule would exhaust the hardiest of souls. Not only does he ranch full time; he attends more monthly meetings than most ambitious, young attorneys. Pexton is President of the Wyoming Rural Development Council; the Wyoming Representative for the National Rural Development Partnership; the Budget Officer for the Converse County Animal Damage Management Board; President of the Converse Area New Development Organization (CANDO); Chairman of the Esterbrook Community Association; District Director for the Wyoming Farm Bureau; and finally, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture. Holy Cow! As if Mr. Pexton’s hands weren’t full enough; I read on the internet where he also took the time to highly recommend the Remington R-225 Microflex 200 electric shaver – pretty creditable advice from a man who’s definitely “on the go”.
Ron Anderson and Barry Matlack usually set the day one sections and this year found them orchestrating yet another masterpiece. The ten traps that this dynamic duo pulled out of their (ahem) hats, reached to the tippy-top of the fun meter. There were certainly no “gimme’s”, and a well-executed ride often resulted in a clean on a fair percentage of the traps in question. Peak usually designs the day two affair but was uncharacteristically absent due to participation in his fortieth high school reunion. Dallas must have been one of those gifted students who graduated when he was twelve because there’s just no way that this handsome lad is pushing sixty. Cousins Russell and Casey Coates filled in for Peak and also turned in an enjoyable course for Sunday’s contingent. The Coates boys were forced to downgrade the difficulty in a few of their traps after some rather steady rainfall throughout the previous night. Sunday morning’s rocks proved much less forgiving, as the slickness value was considerably higher than on day one, but the upper level classes had to deal with the really dicey conditions when the clouds opened up again half way through their second loop.
The Pro class hombres put on their usual stunning demonstration, but Mr. Keith Wineland must have really been “feeling his oats”. The Team Gas Gas, TdN regular zeroed three of the weekend’s six loops. Wineland only needed three dabs during his day one outing and didn’t plant a pod on Sunday until things got really slimy during the final go-around. Wineland’s two-day total bettered all of his opponents’ one day best as his final tally hit the boards reading 14. Stevie Darrow showed up to ride his annual trials event and pulled an upset on Saturday when he rolled home with seven points less than Miles Morgan, with his 20-card. Morgan topped Darrow on day two, 52 to 58, but Stevie was able to pocket the silver medal for the event overall by just squeaking by Miles, 78 to 79. Shad Peterson, who lent Darrow his spare bike for the meet, only competed on Sunday and must have had a bit of trouble with both the time limit and the slick conditions. Peterson, who missed Saturday’s meet in order to jump behind the wheel for a touch of sprint car racing, rounded out the class with his 109.
Derek Martinson had just a little too much machismo for his Expert class cohorts on this fine “feet up” weekend. Washington’s Luke Matlack was able to claim the runner-up spot on each day, and therefore headed back west with the silver medal, but Martinson held a pretty comfortable margin at the end of each round. Derek trumped Luke 5 to 12 on Saturday, while the pair’s Sunday totals read 18 to 27. Brian Martinson left the ranch with the bronze, by snatching third on each day, with cards totaling 21 and 68. Al Duke turned in a pretty fair score of 59 on day one, but Sunday’s slick rocks and numerous drop-offs were contributing more to his back pain than he had bargained for. Duke had to punch fives on the second half of loop three to finish within the allotted time.
Randy Mosteller was just on a higher rung, than his Advanced class mates, throughout the course of the two-day event. Mosteller was able to clean the final circuit on day one, finishing with just 5 points, while Sunday’s round found him holding a card with but 11 marks punched. Sarah Duke and Ross Stewart had their usual skirmish, where Sarah has the better score on Saturday; thus forcing Ross to claw his way back on day two in order to record the higher overall position by a handful of points. Stewart seemed on course to do just that, yet again, until running into a spot of bother in section 7 on the final circuit. Ross was a mere ten feet from the exit gate when he found an unexpected slick spot while trying to battle his way out with a three. The sudden jolt knocked Stewart’s feet from the pegs and throttle hand from the grip, thus causing the unwanted five that proved to be the difference. Duke was able to punch an impressive one in her last attempt at this slippery trap. Sarah came out on top in Saturday’s contest, 16 to 19, while Ross posted the better score come Sunday, 35 to 37. Duke ended up with the silver by just a single dab, 53 to 54. Russell Coates was able to roll home in second with his day one 9-card but those rock-hard “slip-n-slides” weren’t quite as relenting, as day two’s card showed 56. Russell didn’t qualify for the overall due to his Trials Master obligations. Younger cousin, Cody Coates, turned in a stellar effort on Saturday with his fourth place 18-card and held on for fourth overall with his day two 57. Eric Enloe fought for every point, throughout both rounds, to finish fifth overall.
Darren Youngs looked to have the gold medal all but wrapped up in the Senior Advanced class, but an unfortunate trip over the bars on day two’s final circuit mercilessly caused him to dnf. Youngs handily won the day one battle over Idaho’s Clyde Jernberg, 34 to 88. Jernberg decided that the Advanced line presented a bit more challenge than he really needed, and jumped down to the intermediate level for day two.
Just how slick was it, exactly, during that last loop-and-a-half of Sunday afternoon? A term that faintly comes to mind has the words “greased owl shit” in there somewhere. The really good riders never bothered to show any signs of the conditions being adverse – they just simply went about the task at hand. One of these “business as usual” plonkers would have to be Mr. Kenny Mosteller; whose fondness for dabs and butt rash are on an equal par. Mosteller bluntly confirmed this well-known hatred when he finished Saturday’s contest with nary a point. Kenny didn’t even average a dab per circuit as he was able to close out day two’s ride with only five marks lost, to easily win the Veteran Advanced division. Mosteller’s second round total included a last loop 1-card that was accomplished in those previously mentioned poor conditions. Mark Franklin steered his way to second on day one with 23 while Todd Hancock rounded out the podium with 37. Hancock turned the tables on Franklin come Sunday, 43 to 49, but Mark was able to scoop up the overall silver on the strength of his day one effort. Ron Anderson only competed on Sunday and filled out the class in fourth.
The Intermediate class saw seven sluggers stepping to the plate on each day, but Ryan Matteson must have been the gent with the corked bat as he snatched the gold with relative ease. Matteson bested Zack Blackmore on day one, 41 to 62, while Chuck Moline was able to nab third with his 69-card. Nate Matlack handily won on Sunday, after dropping down from Advanced, with his sterling 19-card. Matteson’s 47 found him sitting in second for the day and first overall while Guy Chapman completed an impressive comeback to claim the overall silver. Chapman could only manage a fourth place finish on day one, but came roaring back on Sunday to just nip Blackmore by two. Zack probably drove home trying to squeeze the blood out of that overall bronze. Roy Moline also made a worthy second day run and ended up in fourth overall after a disappointing Saturday. Marc Chapman and Patrick Dechant battled all weekend with Marc taking fifth by a single dab.
Rick Daniel and Bruce Coates were the talented contestants who vied for the honors in the Senior Intermediate class and when it was all said and done, Coates probably would have preferred Daniel just staying on his couch back in California. Daniel posted 24 and 45-point tallies for the two fun-filled rounds while Coates showcased his usual consistency with 65 and 60-point cards.
The Veteran Intermediate ranks saw a surprise winner on day one, as Mr. Frank Petersen was able to escape with the laurels. Petersen turned in a stellar 13-point performance to just nip the always-hard-to-beat Mike Buchholz and his 16-card. Ron Pocher was but another three points adrift with his 19-point tally in what turned out to be an all-Colorado affair. WMTA members Dirk Carroll and Barry Matlack had to call it a day after both were forced to retire with crash-related injuries. When you’ve pocketed as many medals as Sir Buchholz has over the years, you know what it takes to win. “Buckwheatz” rebounded on Sunday and took the overall with the help of his day two 17-card. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly for Petersen during the second round as he fell to third for the day (and the weekend) after posting 41 on day two. Pocher was able to sneak into second with his 31-card and surprisingly left the site with the overall silver. Jernberg joined the fray, come Sunday, and took fourth with his 58.
Chris Adams must have certainly missed the brutal competition that Fred Martinson always throws his way, and spent a rather blasé weekend chasing the Vintage A gold. Bob Strohman looked like he might present somewhat of a challenge for Mr. Adams but a possible broken wrist kept him from starting day two. Adams was able to clean the final loop on day one and finished with just 8 marks lost while Strohman came home in second with his 38-card. Tim Evans rode his Bultaco to third with 69 while Dan Straka was able to steer his “cherry” Ossa MAR to fourth with 74. Adams and Evans were the only cowpokes who pulled their boots on come Sunday and Adams left the venue with a gold medal after punching a second round 18. Evans snatched the silver with his day two 42.
If John Hutchinson would have just stayed poolside in Colorado, the Amateur class could have boasted the weekend’s tightest scuffle. Hutchinson was plain “muy macho” on his way to a two round sweep. John finished day one with 28 and day two with 27 for a rather golden total of 55. Sharon Jubb rolled home in second on Saturday but fell to third overall after managing just sixth in round two. Rob Schmidt turned a couple of third place scores into an overall silver when his two-day total came in at 93. Chase Abbott fought back on Sunday to take fourth overall with his 104-point total, just a dab arrears of Miss Jubb. Ralph Anaya was but another six marks back in fifth.
Mike Morgan jumped down to the “Last Class” for the Saturday round and promptly won that skirmish with his 23-card. Clay Hoyt woke up in second with just 37 marks lost while Gregg Stewart was left sitting in third with his first day 70. Doug Wilson found the traps a little rough for his liking and threw in the towel after one loop. Dirk Carroll joined this fracas on day two, due to his aching rib cage, and ignored the pain on his way to a class-best 14-card. Morgan retired on Sunday, after filling his needs, thus allowing class rivals Hoyt and Stewart to slug it out for the overall. Stewart found a bit of salvation when he came in one point shy of Hoyt’s 44-card and headed home with Sunday’s second place points. Hoyt took the overall gold and Stewart the silver while Wilson finished out day two in fourth with 71.
Ryan Anaya led the way, from start-to-finish, in the always-competitive Novice division. The young Anaya had very consistent rides of 25 and 24 for a two-day total of 49. Shawna Chapman was battling a sore back, but still strolled away with the silver after posting 73 marks dropped for the weekend. Jody Hutchinson was trailing Chapman by but a dab after day one, with her 37-card, but felt that Sunday’s greasy rocks weren’t exactly her best surface and therefore chose to retire early.
The Junior ranks had a great turnout and an even greater battle as the gold medal came down to a little factor called cleans. Kaylene Enloe and Hannah Chapman had a fight to the finish with both girls showing 18 points after two days worth of hair pulling. Enloe was able to clean one more trap throughout the weekend and that proved to be the difference. Kaylene kept her feet on the pegs for 18 rides while Hannah was right there with 17. Will Chapman, who apparently has no trouble voicing his opinion, took third with his 27-card. Kari Anaya almost made it a “sweetie-pie sweep” but came up just a tad shy in fourth with 34. Brayden Martinson had a bit more trouble than usual but still put in a promising ride while Samantha Hutchinson was definitely sporting her “race face” in sixth. This serious group of tikes really meant business.
In 1999, the WMTA decided that the Medicine Bow Cup shouldn’t just be placed in the hands of the same top riders year after year and therefore changed the format. These days each class winner’s name, excluding those previously honored, is tossed into the cup and a winner is randomly chosen from this fortunate group. This year’s recipient was the Intermediate class “top dog” Ryan Matteson. The Montana youngster was certainly a popular winner since he’s recently been serving (us and) his country in the Middle East.
Pexton really threw a wrench into my plans when he corrected me by saying that he considered himself a cattleman and not a cowboy, since he never uses a horse. I didn’t say anything but it seemed like an appropriate enough title to me, since he has spent more than forty years messing with cows. After all, Roger Staubach didn’t play quarterback for the Dallas “Horseboys”.
If Late Show host David Letterman could do his “Top Ten List” for thirty years now; I figured I ought to be able to get away with it just this once. Here’s my all-time, top ten list of cowboy sayings:
10. “Ride it like you stole it”
9. “Never drink downstream from your horse”
8. “It’s better to be a has been than a never was”
7. “Never corner something meaner than you”
6. “It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep”
5. “Don’t stop kicken’ till the clock stops ticken”
4. “Never kick a cow patty on a hot day”
3. “It’s hard to put a foot in a closed mouth”
2. “If you find yourself in a hole, stop diggin”
and the all-time number one cowboy saying:
1.“Sure you can trust the government, just ask any Indian”
Ah-h-h the government, now there’s your takers; or maybe I’m just being ornery. Okay, my actual all-time, bar none, number one favorite cowboy saying just happens to be… “He’s studying to be a half-wit”.
PRO:1. Keith Wineland (3); 2. Stevie Darrow (20); 3. Miles Morgan (27).
EXP:1. Derek Martinson (5); 2. Luke Matlack (12); 3. Brian Martinson (21); 4. Al Duke (59).
VET ADV:1. Kenny Mosteller (0); 2. Mark Franklin (23); 3. Todd Hancock (37).
SR ADV:1. Darren Youngs (34); 2. Clyde Jernberg (88).
ADV:1. Randy Mosteller (5); 2. Russell Coates (9); 3. Sarah Duke (16); 4. Cody Coates (18); 5. Ross Stewart (19); 6. Eric Enloe (45); 7. Nate Matlack (51); 8. Casey Coates (91); 9. Jeff Hutchinson (dnf).
VET INT:1. Frank Petersen (13); 2. Mike Buchholz (16); 3. Ron Pocher (19); 4. Dirk Carroll (dnf).
SR INT:1. Rick Daniel (24); 2. Bruce Coates (65).
INT:1. Ryan Matteson (41); 2. Zack Blackmore (62); 3. Chuck Moline (69); 4. Guy Chapman (71); 5. Marc Chapman (72); 6. Patrick Dechant (78); 7. Roy Moline (81).
VINTAGE:1. Chris Adams (8); 2. Bob Strohman (38); 3. Tim Evans (69); 4. Dan Straka (74).
AMA:1. John Hutchinson (28); 2. Sharon Jubb (34); 3. Rob Schmidt (59); 4. Ralph Anaya (61); 5. Chase
Abbott (64); 6. Shawn Rivers (68).
LAST CLASS:1. Mike Morgan (23); 2. Clay Hoyt (37); 3. Gregg Stewart (70).