Tag Archives: Stray Gathering

BHSS All Girl Stray Gathering


Look at all of those cowboys and cowgirls!! There were 44 teams of 4 cowboys/cowgirls in the Open Stray Gathering and 10 teams of 4 cowgirls in the All Girl Stray Gathering last night at the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, SD. It was 12 degrees outside and the wind was blowing…..so we were really happy to be indoors. However, it was HUMID in there…..holy cow!!! Our poor haired-up horses didn’t know what to think with all the heat in there!

The Open Stray Gathering kicked off at 7:30 pm with the first half of the teams. They ran 22 of the Open teams and then went into the 10 teams of the All Girl then went back to finish the last half of the Open. The funnest part about the All Girl was that it was a draw pot…..meaning that your name went into a hat and they drew your team that way instead of you entering up with people ahead of time. They do this a lot at team ropings…..I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about it, but I loved it in the end! It gave me a chance to get to know some new gals and to just go out and have some fun (while trying to do well, of course)! 🙂

I entered twice and drew up with 6 gals I had never met before. The first team I was on included Denise Nelson, Jamie Kirkpatrick, and Rhonda Matt. I partnered up with Rhonda. By “partnered up” I mean that she agreed to head for me and I agreed to heel for her. The four of us girls had to break off into partners and each go after one of the two steers that were turned out at the end of the arena.  Here we are lined up and ready to take off!


Next came running the steers down and getting them roped! Please excuse the blurry photographs…..but we were going FAST!! 🙂


Rhonda headed our steer and I finally got in there and got him heeled……by 2 feet even….WOW!!


Took me a bit to get my dally…..I’m a bit rusty….roping the Time Machine is different than roping a live critter! I did finally get my dally and still had both feet….I waited till Rhonda got off her horse and got to the steer…..I started to pull the steer to assist her as she tailed the steer over…..and man did she ever!


Then Denise and Jamie got there to help. By then, I let go of my dally…tossed my rope, and got over there to help them tie the steer.


Tying a steer isn’t as hard as it looks, but there is a method to it (and you want to watch those legs….they like to kick). My method differs a bit from theirs (but I’m open-minded and open to change). Rhonda and I discussed their method later on….made a lot of sense to me…..had never had it explained to me that way before. Anyway, we finally got the steer tied…..it seriously seemed like it took 5 minutes to get him tied. The deal is….the steer has to stay tied for 6 seconds after you signal for time and stand clear of him. He needs to be tied….tight….for it to hold. Different strings tie and hold differently…..the string we used wasn’t the kind I use, but we got the job done….even if I felt like I was going in turtle speed! Most importantly, he stayed tied! We took over the lead at 1:09…..later on another team got it done faster than we did, but we ended up in 2nd place. We were happy!! Here is a video link to our run if you’d like to watch it!


It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to do it again!

The second team I entered with included:  Kate Moen, Angela Harris, and Kate Helgeson.

Here we are: 20140131_16

This time I partnered up with Kate Helgeson. Things didn’t go as well this time….Kate headed our steer really well……I missed….


and I missed…..and I missed


…..and I missed again…..UGH!!! After my last toss (and I say that with a smirk on my face) I became aware that our teammates had their steer caught and Kate Moen was on the ground after him. I ran down there and jumped in….we all did.


We got him down….


after a bit of a struggle….we almost had him tied when the 2 minute buzzer sounded.


We finished the tie anyway…..cuz you just don’t quit. We may have gotten a no-time, but we didn’t give up. And that’s what’s most important….try hard, have fun, and never give up!! Speaking of never giving up…..kudos goes out to another team who had a bugger (and I say that loosely) of a steer! The team consisted of:  Rhonda Matt, Jessica Holmes, Kate Moen, and Abby Olson. Click here to watch a  video of their run….it’s a must watch……they rock!!!

Awards were given….some great ones too!


First Place Winners:  Ashlee Jaeger, Tasha Welling, Alesa Jones & Jamie Kirkpatrick. Breastcollars donated by:  Triple R Tack


Second Place Winners:  Jamie Kirkpatrick, Denise Nelson, Rhonda Matt & Cheyenne Wilson. Satchel/Purses donated by:  K Bar J Leather


3rd Place Winners:  Tasha Welling, Aimee Janvrin, Jenny Walker and Tami Dyer. Caps donated by:  Cowgirl Swank

I didn’t get a picture of the 4th place winners, but they were:  Heidi Cuny, Tami Dyer, Abby Olson & Deanna Steele. Gift Certificates donated by:  Bucking H Designs

Congratulations goes out to all the gals who competed….It was such fun! A huge Thank You to Ashlee Jaeger for coordinating the All Girl Stray Gathering……it was well run and organized. Way to go!!

The guys entered the Stray Gathering in pairs. My husband was teamed up with our friend and neighbor, Shawn White. The entered with two other teams (the max amount of times they could enter). The first team they were with was Jeff Lien and Travis Nitsch, both from Chadron, NE. They had some tough luck as I was told. I didn’t get to see their run as I was with my teammates getting our awards and getting pictures taken. Their second run with Tyler Minor and Sage Haythorn, from Hyannis & Arthur, NE, didn’t go well either. I honestly didn’t keep my eyes on Tyler and Sage so I can’t speak as to what happened for them, but Shane and Shawn had trouble. They caught their steer…..


but he wouldn’t go down…..and I mean HE WOULD NOT GO DOWN!!


It’s really rare for my former steer wrestler – 250 lb – 6 ft. 2 husband to not be able to dog down a steer. I think this steer may have been on steroids….that and I think he was a bit ticked off by the time they got him as Team #35.

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All this time, Shane had a lariat wrapped around the upper part of his head…under his nose and by his eyes (no idea how it got there)….he said every time the steer would jump the rope would tighten and rub his face raw….yikes! I couldn’t see it from where I was and I can’t see it in these fuzzy pictures, but he told me all about it later and showed me the rope burns…..guess the steer won out this time. They got a no time. Tough luck……

Overall, we had a super time! No money was won (in the All Girl the winners took all the prize money)…..I did win a super cute satchell/purse donated by K Bar J Leather that is really cute!


I’m super proud because this was the first bonafide “Stray Gathering” I have entered…..and I won something! I’ve been in mugging/tie down events in ranch rodeos, but I’ve never gone off and entered a Stray Gathering. It’s a big thrill and one of my favorite events! I will be searching for more of these…..and may even consider putting on a series this summer. I see this event spreading and gaining popularity quickly!

We got home about 1 am this morning….the horses were warm in their blankets and trailer….boy, were they glad to get home! We had a great time…..saw some friends…..met some new ones….and made memories along the way. What more can we ask for?! That’s what life is all about!! ~Cheyenne

Cheyenne’s French Toast & Stray Gathering

It’s finally here…..the Black Hills Stock Show Stray Gathering!! I’ve talked about Stray Gathering in a previous post and just typing it makes me giddy! I’m absolutely thrilled that they have added a permanent “All Girl” portion to it reserved for the fairer sex. There are 10 teams of 4 gals competing tonight and yours truly is on 2 of those teams…..EXCITED doesn’t even describe it! I’ve been exercising my horse…..and practicing in anticipation for this great event! My husband and some of his buddies are entered too. I’m hoping to blog again tomorrow about all the happenings so stay tuned!!

Practice:  image (29)

Tie Down Dummy:  image (30)

Me….happy to be practicing in an indoor arena with my best horse, Doc. Color me glamorous….Life is good! 🙂image (31)

In preparation of tonight, I decided to make Shane’s favorite breakfast food for brunch. He’s been getting up early to go feed so it makes more sense to have breakfast around 10 o’clock when he is in between bunches of cattle. I surprised him with French Toast and Bacon……surely this will fuel us for some success tonight….if not, it’s yummy no matter what! There are a million recipes for French Toast out in the world. I stumbled upon the recipe that I made my own about 15 years ago and I’ve used it ever since. When I say that I made it my own I mean that I tried the original recipe, but toyed with it until I got it just like I want it (thus, totally redoing it)…..I do this a lot with recipes…..and life in general! 🙂

Cheyenne’s French Toast

  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1-2 tsp. Vanilla
  • Pinch of Salt
  • ½ to 1 tsp. of Cinnamon
  • ½ to 1 tsp. of Nutmeg
  • Dash of Cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup of Milk (or Half & Half)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk (leaving the milk till last).


I mix everything up then add the milk as it seems to mix up better.



Slice up a loaf of French Bread or Cinnamon Swirl Bread and dip it into batter (both sides).




Cook on preheated griddle until brown on both sides.


Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar. Add butter and syrup then devour it! 🙂


I usually always serve a breakfast meat of some kind (you know….Shane HAS TO HAVE meat at every meal). Today, it was bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?! There are various cooking methods (we love to grill it on our Traeger), but today I baked it. I put the slices on a jelly roll pan. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of grease….I blot each piece of bacon to get rid of any excess…..see why…..


That looks like a grease swimming pool….heart attack city!! Blotting is necessary for sure! What you choose to do with the excess grease is up to you. I usually fill an empty old pickle jar and discard it. Some gals feed it to their dogs……some older ranch gals reuse it (back when that’s what they did with most everything). Like I said….it’s up to you! No judgment here! 🙂

Well, it’s about time to go load up the trailer and head north. Mother Nature isn’t cooperating as it’s cold, windy, and it’s starting to snow a tiny bit. Why do I feel like she is always trying to ruin my plans? Maybe it’s not just me who feels this way? Who knows…..I’m bound and determined to go……here’s to a fun event with lots of great folks! Time to go gather those strays……YeeHaw (can’t believe I just typed that)……haha! ~Cheyenne

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Cheyenne’s Version) & Stray Gathering

Holy cow….the wind is howling again today! It makes me wonder how it can just continue to do this for days on end. One good thing about the wind…..the gumbo is dried out! Hooray….happy dance! Oh yeah….and my migraine is finally over…another reason to celebrate!

Yesterday, I was on day 2 of a migraine, but life had to go on. I did some cooking (Sweet & Sour Chicken for supper) and before that I rode my best boy, Doc. I am committed to riding him every day until the 30th as we are getting ready for the Black Hills Stock Show Stray Gathering. Time to get us both in a little better shape. I explained the Stray Gathering a bit before, but I’ll do it again.

There is a 2 minute time limit. 4 cowboys/cowgirls gather at one end of the arena. 2 critters (steers or heifers) are let out of a pen at the other end. The 4 riders break off into pairs and each goes after their own critter. The steer must be headed (roped by the horns, head, or half of a head) and heeled (roped by one or two legs)…..then it must be tied up (3 legs crossed) and the rope must be off the head before time is called.  Here is my husband, Shane, and his partner Andy Selle roping their steer last summer at the Cowgirl Swank Classic Open Stray Gathering:

CSC Stray Gathering 2

Sometimes even though the steer is headed and heeled….they get up. Before they get away you have to “dog” them down again. Here is Shane doing just that. I have to laugh at this picture…..you sure can see the action….and that mud….well, I don’t know if any of our clothes came completely clean after two days of that mud!

CSC Stray Gathering

They were victorious and their team won first! Here they are….all smiles….and mud!

CSC Stray Gathering Winners

From left to right:  Jeff Lien, Travis Nitsch, Shane Wilson & Andy Selle.

Anyway, the critters must stay tied for 6 seconds. It is a really fun event to watch and it’s even more fun to be in it! I’m so excited as this year the ladies have their own division (all girl). I helped to get some prizes rounded up for this event (Cowgirl Swank even donated 4 caps) with hopes that it would fill up and bring more awareness to ladies doing this event. I’m happy to say that it is full! There will be 10 teams of women competing. The only difference is that the gals only have to tie down one critter. They still have to head and heel both, but then all 4 gals can help each other get the job done. Tying a steer down is not for the weak of heart…..I know. I get a grin on my face as I’m typing this because this is seriously my favorite event. Anything that involves tying down a steer is at the top of the list for me! I am woman….here me ROAR!!! 🙂

Here’s the Cowgirl Swank team in the tie down/mugging (same thing as the stray gathering pretty much) last summer at the Cowgirl Swank Classic…..yes, that steer got dogged down….here that roar, now?! 🙂

CSC Tie Down

Our team members were:  Heidi Cuny, Jessica Cuny, Randi, Selle & Me

To say the least, I’m excited about the upcoming BHSS Stray Gathering on the 30th. I’m going to try to have a friend take lots of pictures so I can report on how it went. Stay tuned for that!

So, last night I decided on making Sweet & Sour Chicken. This recipe has been around our family for a LONG time…..like, when I was a kid LONG time ago. My mom started out making it and I continued the tradition. I think my mom originally got the recipe from a magazine, but I have no idea which one. Here is the original photo copy I have of my mom’s recipe:


It has been changed significantly and has morphed into something absolutely to die for (in my opinion).  You can use chicken or pork (whatever suits you). This isn’t like the stuff you get at a Chinese restaurant….it’s entirely different. And guess what…..my cowboy doesn’t turn his nose up at it! 🙂 So, here goes:

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Cheyenne’s Version)

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, Diced
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Green Peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Purple Onions, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 16 oz. can of Tomato Sauce
  • ½ cup packed Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 20-oz. can of Pineapple Chunks in its own juice
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tablespoons KAF’s Signature Secrets or 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 3 Cups of Water (to boil Rice in)
  • 3 Cups of Rice

Cut up Chicken and brown it in a skillet with the olive oil. 20140124_7

As it is browning, cut up vegetables. After the chicken is about half done add the vegetables. 20140124_11

Stir well and cook over medium heat. Once vegetables are cooked, add pineapple chunks in their own juice 20140124_12

and then the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, water, and salt/pepper to your liking.


I also taste test this to see if it is sweet enough. If not, I add a bit more brown sugar. Let simmer.

Boil water in a covered pot and add the rice (I use Minute Rice). Remove from heat. After everything has cooked together in the skillet, add the Signature Secrets or cornstarch. 20140124_14

Stir well, lower heat and let sit. It will thicken upon standing. 20140124_15

The rice should be done after about 5 minutes of sitting. Serve rice and top with the Sweet & Sour Chicken. 20140124_16

Enjoy!! This is delicious….even more so left over….in fact, we are having the leftovers for lunch today. I always try to put these leftovers in an oven-safe dish so that I can warm it slowly in the oven. Microwaving chicken tends to make it rubbery (and my cowboy detests that)…..so I appease him by doing it in the oven…..Yum! Yum!!


*Concerning the KAF’s Signature Secrets……this is truly a “secret” that I fell into. I began getting King Arthur Flour catalogs 5 or 6 years ago. I was intrigued and I eventually began ordering from them. KAF is one of the best baker catalogs out there in my opinion. Anyway, I stumbled upon Signature Secrets….what is it? It’s a thickener….the beauty of it is that it’s a powder that when added to hot or cold liquids thickens them. And it thickens them easily without a lot of whisking and no lumps or bumps!! It is an amazing product……which I use a lot! Here is the link to find it online: KAF’s Signature Secrets. It is not expensive at all and very worthwhile to have in your kitchen. I believe in sharing secret finds….not keeping them to myself. KAF has no idea that I’m posting this…..would be nice if they saw this and gave me a year’s supply of it though…wink, wink!

Enjoy your day! I certainly plan too…..I have leftovers and riding Doc to look forward to! ~Cheyenne