Cowboy Poetry

(Ron) Howdy, I’m Ron Wilson, chair of the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest. This year is the fifth annual contest and I’m mighty pleased to give the results and explain a little bit about how these cowboy poets got here. In 2015 we had three regional qualifying contests in three different locations-Ellsworth, Benton, near Wichita and Strong City, at the Flint Hills Rodeo. And only the top poets in each of those contests qualified for the state finals. So at the state finals on June 12 in Volland, Kansas, those top poets came to compete for the top prize. The state champion in both the serious and humorous categories received the coveted Governor’s trophy buckle, the Saddle Jack Roderick Award and discounts and gift certificates from leading western wear stores around Kansas. And we really appreciate our sponsors. The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation was our lead sponsor and we appreciate our other partners, the Symphony in the Flint Hills, which we do the contest in conjunction with the symphony, the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association, the National Drover’s Hall of Fame and Putnam Quarter Horses. We appreciate our western wear folks who donate discounts and gift certificates, Vanderbilts, Sheplers, Robert’s Cowboy Outfitters and R Bar B Saddle Tack and Trailer. The people who qualified at the finals included: Eric Borden from Drexel, Missouri; Betty Burlingham from Manhattan; John Cannon from Fredonia; Kathryn Gardner from Topeka; Robert Lakey from Wichita; Glynn Lathrop from Wichita; and Harry Whitney of Manhattan. In the serious category third place went to Don Wagner from Bennington and second place went to Jerry Jones. In the humorous category it was Don Wagner from Bennington who got second and Don Welborn from Meriden who got third place. And the top winner in both the serious and humorous category was Floyd Beard from Punkin Center, Colorado. We congratulate Floyd for doing a great job at the Cowboy Poetry Contest and for the prizes that he will receive. In addition to the other prizes, the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest will pay his entry fees for the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, which for the first time ever will be held in Kansas. That will be in Abilene, Kansas, at the end of July, in conjunction with the Central Kansas Free Fair and the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo. So, be watching for more information. Congratulations and thank you to all our cowboy poetry sponsors and contestants. Happy Trails.

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