The Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Posse has had a strong presence in the county for many years.
Patty Kasch and Kaci Lusk, who work with the posse, were the featured speakers at the Borger Rotary Club on Tuesday.
Kasch said the sheriff’s posse has been in operation for over 58 years, and was established in 1954. The posse facility is a fully operational rodeo arena located in Borger and centrally located in the panhandle.
“As a non-profit organization, the sheriff’s posse strives to be an integral part of the community and provide activities and services related to western heritage,” she said. “The Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Posse welcomes your support in order to continue its vision of service well into the future.”
The posse was originally put together to help the county sheriff maintain order and to aid in search and rescue missions. There have been occasions within the last 10 years when mounted posse members have helped search for missing persons in Hutchinson County.
Kasch said the only original charter member of the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Posse that is still living is Pauline Sargent.
There are three things the sheriff’s posse does, one of which is summer playdays, which is a series of mini-rodeos. Anyone is welcome to attend these events, and proceeds raised go towards funding the posse’s annual Easter egg hunt. These take place every second Saturday from April to October.
In August, Kasch said the posse will ask attendees to bring school supplies as their means of admission, and canned food in September. All of these items will be given to local charities to be dispersed.
Lusk said the Easter egg hunt is also a large annual event for the posse, and there has been around 200 children in attendance over the past several years. This year over 3,000 eggs were stuffed. Items put in these eggs included candy and rodeo tickets, which she said helps involve the community.
She said the Borger News-Herald helps play a role in getting the word out for the Easter egg hunt each year. Last year, she said she asked children at her day care where they were going to hunt for Easter eggs, and she said they all said they planned to come to the sheriff’s posse event.
“We use that as an outreach to the community to really benefit kids who might not have the means for a family Easter egg hunt,” Lusk said.
This year, the posse will have its 55th annual rodeo on June 16. The rodeo will run from 10 a.m. to around 4 p.m. The arena is located at the end of Bulldog Boulevard, past the stadium and softball fields. Admission is $5.
Events include barrels, poles, goat tying, goat undecorating, flags, breakaway roping, calf roping, chute dogging, and ribbon roping.
In 1958, it was just adults that competed. At that time, there were three associations that had rodeos, one being Phillips, one being Plemons, and one being Borger.
“Every year, you had three rodeos right here in the panhandle, but over the years, they combined it to just one, the sheriff’s posse,” Kasch said.
She said this year, there will be adult and children’s divisions. Kids ages three to 18 can compete, and adults ages 19-70 can compete as well. Events for women and men will be available.
The rodeo is being restructured this year in order to draw more contestants. Kasch said around 20 years ago when she went to watch the rodeo, there were 150 contestants on Friday night and the same number on Saturday night. None of the contestants were the same. Last year, there were only seven that competed.
Kasch said the posse is trying to work on getting better prizes and advertising more, and hopes to see around 45-50 kids compete in this year’s rodeo.
A horse show is also in the works later this summer by the posse, with the proceeds to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
The mounted members of the posse have always done the grand entry at the Boys Ranch rodeo, and has plans to do it again, Kasch said. She also said they plan to do the grand entry for the upcoming rodeo in Borger.
Lusk said roping practice is taking place at the arena on Tuesday and Thursday nights for those who are interested in participating or watching. The posse was able to lease some cattle that are experienced in breakaway and tie-down roping, so that the posse and community can have some fun and fellowship.
For more information on the HCSP or the upcoming rodeo, call Kasch at 274-0444 or Lusk at 206-6340. Information can also be found by logging onto www.hutchinsoncountysheriffsposse.com .