Community rallies to support family

Patti Carpenter

A benefit “muley” team roping event is planned to help a family in need at the Cowley Rodeo grounds on April 27. The full day event, starting at around 10 a.m. is a fundraiser for Billy Slabbert, a 4-year-old Cowley boy, who suffers from cerebral palsy (see related story).  The funds will pay for much needed and very specialized medical based physical therapy that Slabbert, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at three months old, desperately needs.

A muley roping uses hornless cattle that were not raised for rodeo events. 

“It’s a little bit harder than regular roping,” said organizer Shana Klassen, “since the cows don’t have horns, and they’re not bred to run like the ones you normally see in team roping.”

The roping is a team event, with an entry fee of $25 per person on the team. Entries are unlimited, but entrants must swap partners. The top contenders will be called back for a short go (final round). Entries are due by 9 p.m. on April 22. Check-in for participants is at 9 a.m., roping events begin at 10 a.m.

A dummy roping event will also take place for young cowboys and cowgirls on the same day. The entry fee is $5 per child. Klassen said there will be buckle prizes for the winners.

There will also be a bounce house available to occupy the little ones and a silent auction. A Montana Silversmith jewelry basket and an Airbnb voucher are among the many donated prizes at the auction. A 30 x 50 tent donated by the town of Meeteetse will house the auction items.

A family dinner provided by the Wyoming 310 restaurant in Deaver will follow the event, starting at around 5:30 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. The dinner will feature brisket and sloppy Joe sandwiches. The cost of the meal is $10 per person. Concessions will also be available throughout the day offering lunch and snack items. Slushies and coffee drinks will be available to purchase by the Plush Pony.

Levi Klemm and the Pretty Punchy Band is providing live country music following the roping. Klassen said the music will be suitable for dancing and “kicking up some dirt” rodeo style.

“Literally everything has been donated for this event,” said Klassen “That includes all the food and drinks and concessions, so every bit of the money will go to the Slabbert family to help with Billy.”

For more information about the roping itself, contact Lane Clement at 405-420-4852. To donate items for the silent auction and prize sponsors call or text Shana Klassen at 307-254-8088.

“This is a non-alcoholic family-friendly event,” said Klassen “It should be a lot of fun.”