By Woodrow Polston
The Vandalia Area Fairgrounds will be hosting the Prairie Classic Ladies Breakaway and Team Roping show on Saturday, Sept. 3, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event is being presented by ADM Animal Nutrition. The event was organized by Brady and Tessa Chasteen, who recently opened an animal feed store on their property where they also offer horse riding lessons, just outside of Vandalia.
“There will be vendors on site during the event,” said Brady Chasteen. “There will be a variety of vendors for people to check out during the show. We will also have several food vendors there for the day. The event will be free to the public. All you have to do is show up at the fairgrounds. We anticipate that the event will last all day, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending sometime around 5 p.m. or later. We will start with the Ladies Breakaway and then do the Team Roping afterward. We are hoping to have about 300 entries throughout the different events, some of them coming from out of state. We have added approximately $750 in prize money to each of the events plus a buckle for the winner,” he added.
Team roping also known as heading and heeling, is a rodeo event that features a steer and two mounted riders. The first roper is referred to as the “Header” who ropes the front of the steer, usually around the horns, but it is also legal for the rope to go around the neck, or go around one horn and the nose resulting in what they call a “half head.” Once the steer is caught by one of the three legal head catches, the header must wrap the rope around the rubber covered saddle horn and use his horse to turn the steer to the left. The second roper is the “Heeler” who ropes the steer by its hind feet after the “Header” has turned the steer, with a five-second penalty assessed to the end time if only one leg is caught. Team roping is the only rodeo event where men and women compete equally together in professionally sanctioned competition, in both single-gender or mixed-gender teams.
“Tessa and I have organized these before when we were in college,” said Chasteen. “We did them as fund-raising events and had a good response. When we purchased our home here, Frank Wallace, who is on the fair board, recommended that we give it a try here in Vandalia. We think it will go well and we are thankful for all of the sponsors and for ADM for presenting the event,” he added.
ADM Animal Nutrition is a leading manufacturing, nutrition and marketing business offering a wide range of innovative products for the animal nutrition market. Known as a global leader in amino acids, ADM Animal Nutrition also offers feed products, supplements, premixes, custom ingredient blends and specialty feed ingredients designed to enable customers to meet and optimize animal health and nutrition goals.