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Rodeo gets a boost from Jess Ford

 

Garrett Jess, left, hands a big check to George Kohout to cover the cost of the new Priefert calf chute behind them. - Scott Hunter photo

The Ridge Riders Saddle Club and their annual rodeos got a boost Monday as Jess Ford principal Garrett Jess handed a check to Ridge Rider President George Kohout to cover the cost of a new piece of equipment.

The $2,400 will pay for a new chute for the team-roping event at the Colorama Rodeo.

"I kind of have a soft spot for rodeo in my heart," said Jess, who also competes in team roping on the rodeo circuit.

That's something he "can't remember not doing," he said, but he only recognized as an adult the tremendous amount of effort that goes into putting on a rodeo behind the scenes.

"George has turned this into one of the best rodeos in the Pro-West," he said, noting it's the only one that is televised.

"It can't be done without our sponsors," Kohout said, crediting the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union with funding to get the TV crews here, which promotes the area on two cable networks multiple times.

Jess Ford, in fact, basically forced the Ridge Riders into inventing the corporate sponsorship category when Wade Jess, Garrett's father, gave them a $1,000 check about eight years ago.

The enterprise has grown steadily since, and last month nine National Finals Rodeo cowboys competed at Colorama.

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