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Team penning added to U.P. Rodeo schedule

IRON RIVER—The U.P. Championship Rodeo has announced that team penning has been added to the events of the 49th annual rodeo.
    This team penning competition takes place Saturday, July 16, starting at 11 a.m. and will likely continue into the early evening in the upper arena of the Iron County Fairgrounds, according to Kris DuFresne of the Rodeo Board.
    Team penning is a western equestrian sport that evolved from the common ranch work of separating cattle into pens for branding, doctoring or transport, she explained.
    “Today, it is a fast-paced event that gives a team of three riders on horseback from 60 seconds to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and put them into a 16-by-24-foot pen through a 10-foot opening at the opposite end of the arena,” DuFresne said.
     “This is a great spectator event, and we are super excited to be adding this event to the weekend. We just started getting the word out and have already received inquiries from prospective competitors.
    DuFresne said the rodeo anticipates high participation.
    “We expect to see horse trailers pulling in from Wisconsin, Minnesota, the U.P. and Lower Michigan, as well as our own backyard. You’ll see teams of three made up of parents and kids, best friends, first-timers and those with years of experience.
    “Before the afternoon is over, those original teams with be reorganizing, and you will see all new combinations entering. Put this event on your Saturday schedule. Come on up after the parade on Saturday or before either of the rodeo performances.”
    There will be no charge to watch this event. Both food and beverage sales will be available at the upper arena throughout the afternoon.
    Limited bleacher seating is available. Spectators are also welcome to bring lawn seating.
    The veteran coordinators for the event are Sandy and Curt Graham of the Cut N’ Run Ranch in Rumely.
    If interested in participating, contact Graham at 906-748-0631.