Heart of the High Plains: Boys Ranch celebrates two milestones this year

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BOYS RANCH, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “Super proud, like a proud dad,” said Mike Lowe, Boys Ranch mentor and rodeo coach.

Nothing puts a smile on the face of Lowe like watching the kids perform in the Boys Ranch annual rodeo.

Two of this year’s performers, Samantha Lowder and Jordan Gray, are pretty excited themselves to get out there and put on a great show.

This will be Lowder’s first time doing what she loves.

“I’m expecting for there to be a lot of excitement and encouragement and just love and support from the audience and just people around me,” said Lowder.

For Gray, it’s not his first rodeo. It’s actually his second and he knows what to expect.

“I was surprised with how many people came. It was way more than I expected. Adventure fest and all the activities they have going on during rodeo,” said Gray.

It’s been a passion for Gray since he first stepped foot on the property.

“I knew that when I came to the ranch that was one of the things that I wanted to do. Especially bareback riding and then I just got hooked in with all the other things,” said Gray.

It’s a special rodeo this year. This time around marks the 75th year that the ranch will hold it’s annual festivities.

Lowder says while it is indeed special, the rodeo provides something much more.

“Horses just calm me down. It makes me just feel more relaxed in life. I don’t know, it just does,” said Lowder.

Not to be overshadowed, this is also the 80th year of Boys Ranch helping at-risk kids out like Gray and Lowder, who say it’s given them a new lease on life.

“Me and my family, we’re like this now and we weren’t so before I came here,” said Gray.

“I think my house parents are really great and they just help me find myself as a person and just helping me go through life and understanding what needs to be done,” said Lowder.

As the ranch celebrates 80 years of operations, there’s one big thing that sticks out when Lowe thinks about his time here.

“Seeing some of the kids look up to you as a father figure,” said Lowe.

For more information on tickets and times, click here: https://80.calfarley.org/rodeo/

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