When local roper and cowboy Gordon Rutherford died suddenly a few years ago, his friends and family wanted to do something so everyone could remember him.
On Saturday, the event that bears his name will celebrate its fourth year as the annual Gordon Rutherford Memorial Roping competition will take place at Crow Ranch in Maypearl.
“We wanted to keep his name going,” friend Buster Buie said. “It’s a good time for everyone to come together and remember him and all the funny things he did.”
The roping competition was an easy decision for Rutherford’s friends and family as they thought about ways to remember him.
“He was real good with a horse,” Buie said. “He bought horses, traded them — he was a real good cowboy.”
In the event’s first three years, roping teams have come from around the area as well as the state.
Buie said the parking lot typically fills up pretty quickly.
“We usually have about 250 teams show up,” he said. “We’ll rope, sit, visit and have some free barbecue. It’s always a good time.”
Last year’s winners were Chris Wolf and Ben Winters, and each received Gist belt buckles.
Wolf and Winters battled through mud last year after rains came through the area the week before. Rain has also been a factor this year. Stormy weather that came through the area in May postponed the event until this weekend.
“It rained a little bit, but we got after it,” Buie said of last year’s competition. “It ended up working out great.”
Buie and other friends and family of Rutherford thought it was important to have an event that the entire family could attend. The family atmosphere begins with the free admission and barbecue.
“It’s just a time for a bunch of friends to come together,” Buie said. “Gordon loved his family and we wanted to make sure other families could come and enjoy this event that is named after him.”
The books open at 8 a.m. and close at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The actual roping competition starts at 10 a.m at the Crow Ranch between Maypearl and Grandview.