Letters to the Editor – Aug. 9

Editor,

In 2009, 13 motorcyclists died on Wyoming highways. Last year, 31 motorcyclists died on Wyoming highways. With the onset of the Sturgis Rally, now is a good time to remind ourselves of some important facts.

Most of the fatalities can be attributed to drinking and riding error. Twenty-four of last year’s fatalities were not wearing a helmet. Crook County Law Enforcement would like to encourage all motorists and other road users to safely “Look Twice,” for motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure that they are visible to motorists and that they follow the rules of the road.

With more and more motorcyclist hitting the roads, all Crook County Law Enforcement Agencies would like all pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of all vehicles to be extra attentive and make sure they “Look Twice, Save a Life”. A motorcyclist is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicles blind spot. Everyone needs to diligently look for them before changing lanes or merging with traffic.

Motorcyclists have responsibilities too. Motorcyclists should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear a DOT compliant helmet and other protective gear.

Remember to “Look Twice, Save a Life!” Enjoy the motorcycle season by making it a safe one. Additional information about safe motorcycle riding can be found at www.nhtsa.gov.

Chief Todd L. Fritz, Sundance Police Department

Chief Ed Robinson, Moorcroft Police Department

Chief Steve Couch, Hulett Police Department

Sheriff Steve J. Stahla, Crook County Sheriff’s Office

As the Crook County Horsemen’s Association wraps up its 49th summer, this has been our biggest and best year yet. With our final Playdays rodeo in Hulett on Aug. 11, we will have completed four Youth Rodeos, two Ranch Rodeos, one Ranch Horse Competition, and a chili supper and dance, all with a small handful of volunteers and an army of ambitious children. Over the last three years, we have expanded many of our events and we are reaching farther outside the box to provide entertainment for everyone who enjoys rodeo, riding, and the western way of life. All of this has come with learning curves, as participation increases and the level of competition grows, but we still work to organize our events in order to provide the greatest entertainment possible. We strive to run our events in a matter that keeps the crowd interested and involved, yet not threatening the safety of our competitors as a whole. With many of our contestants being under 18 years old, safety is our prime concern. Much time is spent concerning the arena conditions, quality of the stock used, and the timing of the events. Anyone who has ever been in our shoes will understand the difficulty in satisfying all of these needs for all people. We feel that our board and arena directors have the experience to make these decisions in the best interest of all the competitors, and the knowledge to make any necessary adjustments in order to help the next event flow even better. We appreciate everyone’s input and suggestions, as this is a part of the process we use in building a better program. It is, however, only a part of the whole. Prior experience and knowledge of our future goals and plans are a key part of our operation, and cannot be overrun by knee-jerk reactions. They may appear to fix a problem, but they usually create many more down the road. While every contestant’s safety and opportunity to succeed are of concern, the welfare of all competitors is our primary goal. Remember, we only provide the opportunity to succeed, not the success itself. That comes from a lot of hard work and a little luck. We work hard to fix our problems in a prompt manner, but we also need to look at each concern and see if it needs action or if it is an isolated incident. The CCHA is taking on more adult-based rodeo events, but our key focus is still the kids. We use these events as an opportunity to help us fund our youth activities. Without everyone signing up for the Ranch Horse Competition, or entering a team in the Ranch Rodeo, we could never afford to give the kids the year end prizes they work hard to win. By buying auction items at the chili supper or writing that check for the Calcutta at the Ranch Rodeo, you make it possible for us to reward these kids for the work put in during the heat of the summer. We strive to buy these kids the best prizes possible, and your donations and participation in these events is what makes it possible. Don’t forget to come and support everyone’s kids, because they are all working for the same goal. Whether it is the four-year-old girl with a stick horse and dad’s old rope, or the high school trying to shave a second off their barrel run, what they really want is to make their mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, and everyone else proud of them. Help them all be a personal success in the arena, and they will be able to make themselves a success in the future. We appreciate everyone’s support. Help us make the 2013 50th Anniversary season of the Crook County Horsemen’s Association a big success. See you at the arena.

CCHA Board of Directors

CCHA Arena Directors