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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, September 9, 2007

A rodeo where wahine rule

Photo galleryPhoto gallery: 15th annual Zip Memorial All-Girls Rodeo at Kualoa Ranch

By Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Re'al Pocock, of Waimanalo, competes in the All-Girls Rodeo's breakaway roping event. Pocock won the steer undecorating contest.

JOAQUIN SIOPACK | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Lorrie Ann Smith, 10, waits her turn in the mixed barrels contest, a crowd favorite and the only event that also featured males.

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The 15th annual All-Girls Rodeo at Kualoa Ranch gave aficionados a chance to watch the state's top cowgirls in action, as well as witness contests not commonly associated with the sport.

"The type of events we do here are not just your regular barrels and poles, which are your speed-time events, but we do some livestock events, and you'll see roping which is dominated by the men, but here the ladies get a chance," said Lu Faborito, Hawaii Women's Rodeo Association president.

The group sanctioned the event that handed out more than $14,000 in prize money, in addition to championship buckles and a $1,500 saddle to the All-Around Cowgirl.

In addition to barrel racing, team roping, and goat tying contests, Faborito said a special exhibition mixed barrel racing event has become such a crowd pleaser that it alone commanded $1,600 in added prize money. This was the only contest that involved males who teamed with women to do the barrel run. Each male and female on a team did a barrel run, and their times were averaged for the team score.

"The best part about it is that the men 'think' that they can ride," Faborito said. "But barrel racing is a wahine sport. So when you watch it, a lot of times it's the men who end up knocking the barrels. And because it's a teamed event sometimes it's husband and wife, sometimes it's brother and sister the drive home can be a long one."

Among the unusual mixed barrel race last-minute match-ups was Betty Cox a 61-year-old phenomenon from Pupukea who started rodeo only three years ago and Stoney Boy Joseph, 6. Although the team's time wasn't quick enough to put them in the money, the two proved to be crowd favorites.

Earlier, Stoney Boy had been in the stands, loudly cheering on his mom, Brandy Joseph, during the 4-D pole bending contest.

"Go, Mom! ... Go, Mom!," the boy shouted as the rider and her horse glided in and out of the six poles lined up across the arena, making it in a fast 23.329 seconds. That time momentarily put Joseph in first place.

In the end Brandy Joseph won the 2nd D Championship buckle in the pole event. Meanwhile, the 1st and 3rd D Championship buckles went to Krystal Canario, 16, and her mom, Lani Nascimento, respectively.

"Uncle Tammy look, we both won buckles!" Nascimento said to Tammy Medeiros, who beamed as he hugged the two.

"These girls come down and practice so hard at my place, the DK Ranch in Waimanalo," Medeiros said. "They're stoked. It's good to see them both win buckles."

One of the more popular livestock contests was the steer undecorating competition in which the rider had to remove a ribbon from the back of a steer that has just charged out of the chute. Jumping the gun adds 10 seconds to a rider's time; hesitate even a fraction of a second and she risks eating up her 15-second time limit during the chase.

Re'al Pocock, 23, who took home the championship buckle in that event, gave much of the credit to her horse, Sanman.

"You've got to time that barrier," said Pocock, of Waimanalo, after beating out more than two dozen other top riders plus nine finalists to score a greased-lighting total time of 4.54 seconds to undecorate two steers.

"That's pretty much the whole trick. And then, you've got to have a fast horse."

This year's All-Girls Rodeo drew more than 120 contestants from across the state each competing for the All-Around Cowgirl trophy saddle. That went to none other than Stoney Boy Joseph's mom, Brandy.

Yesterday's rodeo was also dedicated to Zip, a 9-year-old stallion who had won many buckles and titles for HWRA members over the years. The popular quarter horse, also known as Diamond Jim, had to be euthanized May 12 after suffering an internal injury.

Reach Will Hoover at whoover@honoluluadvertiser.com.