Parker County Today November 2016 - Page 24

NOVEMBER 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Bob Kingsley & Bree people and local associations.” “She’s [Sheri] has been instrumental to the whole thing. Because we’re in the cutting horse business, rallying the troops, getting connections to Jerry of Jerry’s Cadillac and the local level,” Jeffrey Matthews said about his wife. “Merle and Sandi don’t know anyone around here and they stayed at our ranch for about a year and a half when they moved from Red Bluff looking for property. Sheri’s been in the horse business, we both have all our lives, and she’s been instrumental in the process.” “One of the reasons we believe in this so much as cutters is because we use our dogs. We use our border collies and they’re all trained to be used on the ranch. We use them to bring in the cattle, sort them out. They’re working dogs and the reason this event is so unique from other cowdog events or stock-dog trials is that 22 the handlers are on horseback. Even in some other competitions where the handler is on horseback, it’s very limited how much they are allowed to use their horse; but with the Rodear you’re allowed to use your horse as much as you want,” Sheri explained. “The reason we’ve gravitated to that so much is because that’s exactly how we work on the ranch. We’re out there working our dogs. We’re not out there on foot; we’re on a horse and when we’re working our dogs we’re not making our dogs do all the work. We’re actually getting out there and working the cattle with them. That’s two really important distinctions between Rodear competition and other stock-dog competitions. It’s really important though, because the Rodear simulates using your dog in a ranch setting and that’s the thing I really want to stress. That’s the point of difference for this event.” Those differences have drawn the interest of more Parker County residents. Having only participated for the first time in September, Rosemary Atwood won the beginner class and is already looking forward to the next event coming up at the end of October. “I got started in Rodear after a cousin of mine had given me a dog that was a trained cow dog. So when Sheri told me about it she said it would be like a fun social gathering to do. I’d never seen it in action before and Sheri and Bob and Nan were telling me how good Sandi and Merle were. So I sent my dog there for a few months and they were teaching me how to do it,” Atwood said. Atwood practically has cutting in her blood, having grown up on a ranch, and has been involved in cutting since the ’90s. “I’ve had horses all my Continued on page 31