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Horse Riders Shine In 14th Annual Rosewood Rodeo

All Smiles – Rosewood Rodeo participant Gentry Ramsey rides Daisey Duke during youth trails pattern with the support of her team Ashley Romans, Melinda Suppes, and Robbie Holmes at the 14th Annual Rosewood Rodeo, held at Great Bend Expo III Arena on Oct. 6. Ramsey was among six youth riders and more than 40 Rosewood Rodeo participants who showcased their abilities during this year’s daylong event.

As a gloomy early autumn day lingered outdoors, dozens of radiant smiles beamed indoors at Great Bend Expo III Arena on Oct. 6. That’s because more than 40 equine therapy riders from Rosewood Ranch were taking the opportunity to show their horsemanship skills and abilities during the 14th Annual Rosewood Rodeo.

The riders participate in equine therapy throughout the year at Rosewood Ranch, which exists to help people with disabilities, and is located approximately five miles north of Pawnee Rock. The rodeo is the day they get to showcase their abilities to family and friends.

“In 14 years, we have seen sunshine, rain, and even snow, but it hasn’t mattered,” explained Rosewood Ranch manager Eric Hammond. “Rain or shine and even in cold weather, this day has become absolutely the best day of the year for our rodeo participants and their families. It wasn’t the best day weather-wise this year, but it wound up being an amazing day for our riders in the arena. All of them did well.”

The clients who participated in the 14th Annual Rosewood Rodeo were: Courtnery Adams, Crystal Alkire, Pam B., Kammi Bennett, Robin Bethel, Keith Boyer, Charles Bortz, Darren Brown, Jamie Crone, Vance Cornwell, Chris Devine, Jason Ehrentrout, Jonathan Folkerts, Codie Hardie, Taylor Hertach, Ashley Hullett, Jonathan Howe, Shaun Ledesma, Daniel Leroy, Jere McCutchen, Tyler Michaelis,  Mary Minear, Rita Mestas, Samantha Purcell, Angie Rogers, Josh Radar, Tori Rose, Andy Schultz, Dawn Specht, Abbie Stanley, Josh Trimmer, Melissa Trimmer, Debbie Wasinger, Trenton Welsch, and Jim Wonsetler.

Rosewood’s youth riders, involved in the Children’s Horse Therapy Program, participated in a trail pattern event at the beginning of the rodeo. At the end of each of their rides, the youth riders received a ribbon for their participation and they were photographed with their family members. Youth riders participating were: Kanye Cross, Italia DeTello, Ethan Harr, Gentry Ramsey, and Landon Titsworth.

Immediately following the rodeo, awards were presented. Jim Wonsetler earned the medal for “Best Cowboy Spirit;” Codie Hardie was named “Most Improved Rider,” and Darren Brown won the “Most Inspirational Leader” award. Ribbons were presented to participants for Trails, along with Barrel and Horsemanship events. The clients competed in three levels, depending on their riding ability: rider with lead and side-walker, rider with lead, and independent rider. During the awards ceremony, high point and reserve awards were presented to Horse Show participants. The adult therapy riders were recognized in front of their peers and spectators for earning the most points in their respective categories during Horse Show Days at Rosewood Ranch throughout the spring and summer. Sashes were awarded to a dozen winners, representing three divisions in the categories of trail and horsemanship.

Winners in each respective category were: High Point Horsemanship - Shaun Ledesma, Robin Bethel, Josh Radar;  Reserve Horsemanship - Kammi Bennett, Rita Mestas, Keith Boyer; High Point Showmanship - Chris Devine; Reserve Showmanship - Josh Trimmer; High Point Trail - Mary Minear, Jason Ehrentrout, Tori Rose; Reserve Trail - Charles Bortz, Samantha Purcell, Jere McCutchen.

Other events throughout the day added to the rodeo experience. They included two performances by the award winning all-female Heartland Twisters riding drill team. The Administration Team won the staff competition against the Residential and Day Services Teams. A silent auction of items donated by local businesses was held to raise money, with proceeds from the auction going to Rosewood’s Roots and Wings Foundation. And a tack shop also provided items for sale, selling items made by Rosewood clients who work at Rosewood Studio. Games and activities entertained children throughout the day. A celebration barbecue was served at lunch during the rodeo. Dan Haselhorst provided the invocation during the Rodeo grand entry ceremony, which began the day’s events.

This year’s rodeo was made possible with the help of 15 sponsors. Sponsors were: Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball; Alterna Care Home Health; Community Bank of the Midwest; Gibbs Electric, Great Bend Appliance Furniture & Sleepsource; Heartland Homecare Services;  Keller Real Estate & Insurance Agency; Kustom Floor Designs; Marmie Motors & Marmie Ford; Miller Lawns, Moeder Plumbing, Heating & Air; MPIRE Properties, Office Products Inc. (OPI); Rich’s Automotive, Rosencrantz-Bemis Drilling Co.

Approximately 50 people helped at this year’s event, which was organized by the Rosewood Rodeo Committee, led by Rodeo chairman Anna Hammond.

“I’m amazed every year at the impact this one day has on our riders, their families and our employees,” said Rosewood Services executive director Tammy Hammond. “It takes a tremendous effort from dozens of people to make this event a success, and for 14 years on this one day, we’ve been able to come together to create memories that last a lifetime for people with disabilities and their families. My sincere gratitude goes out to each of our participants, our sponsors, volunteers, and everyone who played a part in making this year’s rodeo a success.”


Find more about Rosewood Services online,

For more information, contact Eric Hammond,, 620-786-1693

October 15, 2018
Story by: Michael Dawes, 785-577-8348,