Many of the nation’s top buckaroos are about to descend again upon the Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden, Utah. The third annual Great Basin Buckaroo Gathering will be held this year September 10-12th.
“Every year I’m just astounded at the support we have for the event” says the event’s creator, Trevor Ellis. “Last year was no exception. The competition was fierce, it came down to the wire. This is a very difficult competition [to win] because of the way it is formatted.”
The score is cumulative across the various roping contests during the entire event. There are 25 three-man teams. All the teams compete on Friday in a cow doctoring competition. The top 12 teams from the preliminary round advance to the finals on Saturday where they again rope in a cow doctoring. The top eight teams from that round advance to a trailer loading event. Finally, the top four teams advance to the bull doctoring where the event’s winning team members are awarded the Top Hand award.
“In order to win, you must be consistent through all three rounds, then bring you’re “A game” to the finals,” Trevor says. “Last year we had some exceptional ropers and really nice horses. . This year is going to be even better. We have people coming from 12 different states. I expect it will be really competitive again.”
The number one goal of the Great Basin Buckaroo Gathering is to elevate horsemanship, Trevor says. This year to further that goal, The Gathering is putting on a clinic with renowned horsemanship clinicians, Joe Wolter and Martin Black.
“During the clinic, they’re going to take a group of riders, half of them are going to ride with Martin in the morning and the other half will go with Joe, and then they’re going to switch,” Trevor explains. “At the end of the day, they’re going to come together and the entire group is going to learn from both Martin and Joe for the last hour. It should be a lot of fun to watch. This in an opportunity where two very talented horsemen are going to be in the arena, having conversations about quality stock handling and horsemanship. .”
Also, the Gathering will have an extended vendor show this year. Some of the vendors that are attending not only will have their gear for sale, but will be teaching workshops and giving lectures on various trades.
“That’s one of the neat things about the Buckaroo Gathering is the type of vendors we attract are really high quality hand-made gear makers,” Trevor says. “The buckaroos really like fancy gear for their horses, handmade quality with lots of silver. It’s hard for some of these vendors to go to other shows because they don’t have the crowd there. We’ve got some really talented rawhide braiders, silver engravers, and a couple saddle makers. It’s will be a really neat vendor show again this year.”
In addition to the roping competition, there will be a stock horse show on Friday night after the preliminary round in the roping.
“The reason I really like the stock horse show is that it’s only open to people who are competing in the roping,” Trevor says. “So you must be on a team and use that horse in the roping in order to qualify for the stock horse show. The horses that are competing in the stock horse show are kind of the select few. These are the top ranch horses, I think, in the country—the top bridle horses that can not only go show in town, but are also put to work each and every day. Last year we had a guy who said, ‘I don’t know of another competition where you have to show your horse on Friday night and then go rope a bull on Saturday on the same horse.’ It can be really demanding for the horses , but there are some very nice horses competing because of it.”
“One of the best things about the Buckaroo Gathering is the culture there,” Trevor says. “It’s just a neat atmosphere. It really is a gathering of like-minded folks. A lot of these guys come back every year because they want to see all the guys who are there. And the vendors, the same thing—they like to get together and see what everybody’s doing. It really is a gathering in every sense of the word.”