From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 39 - 5/25/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Ag Center's First Major Event This Weekend
Hopefully, the building will be ready
by Rob Shaul

The first major event for the Sublette County Ag Center is planned for this weekend. However, as of Wednesday, the new building was still not approved for use.


This weekend's event has been organized by Brian and Annie Espenscheid and several others of Big Piney. It is a three-day, National Cutting Horse Association sanctioned cutting event, the first held in Sublette County in several years. Mr. Espenscheid expects 200-250 people will attend. This figure includes the competitors, their families and spectators.

The event begins this Friday afternoon with a practice session, and judged shows will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Mr. Espenscheid is trailing cattle from his family's ranch west of the Fairgrounds to the event, and says he's already rented out 65 horse stalls to competitors coming in from out of town. The organizers have set up an arena inside the Ag Center and will haul in bleachers for spectators.

"All of the motels in Big Piney are full" for the event says Brian, "and quite a few people are staying in Pinedale."

Will The Building Be Ready?

The Ag Center was supposed to be completed a week to ten days ago, says Ag Center Committee Chairman Lance Koppenhafer of Pinedale, but it wasn't. As a result, some events planned for the building have been postponed, including a barrel racing event and a roping school.

Mr. Koppenhafer said the architect and contractor inspected the building last Thursday, and found several minor items that needed to be completed. Overall, he says the building "looks really good," but these minor details need to be addressed.

Yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon, the architect, contractor and state fire inspector were scheduled to inspect the building again, and hopefully approve its use for this weekend's cutting event. Mr. Koppenhafer says the architect has told him not to worry, but he can't help it. "I don't know what to do," he said. "You've got to wait until it's done before you use it. We hoped we'd left enough lead time for them to get it done but I guess we didn't."

The Show Will Go On...

Brian Espenscheid certainly hopes the Ag Center is available for his cutting this weekend, but says the show will go on regardless. If the Ag Center can't be used, the event organizers will use the rodeo arena and pray for good weather (which is forecast).

Mr. Espenscheid encourages the public to attend. Admission is free, and one of the 4-H clubs will be providing concessions. Further, Bign's Barbecue in Big Piney will serve dinner each night. Because the event is nationally sanctioned, he expects some of the best cutting horses and riders in the Rocky Mountain region to attend, including local cutting legends Steve James of Daniel and Mike Miller of Big Piney.

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Publisher/Editor: Rob Shaul