The Cowboys and Verses will take the stage in Manhattan on June 10 as they recite entirely original cowboy poems and compete for the 2022 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest Championship. take place at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan at 7 p.m. on June 10. There is no admission charge and the public is invited.
“The field is set for the finale,” said poetry contest chairman Ron Wilson of the Lazy T Ranch near Manhattan. “The top competitors from two regional qualifying contests will come together to compete for the coveted Governor’s Trophy Buckle and bragging rights to cowboy poetry,” he said. “We are also very pleased that our 2021 Youth Roundup finalist, Hannah Foster from Eskridge, is here to showcase her cowboy poetry,” he added.
Qualifying competitions were held in Fredonia and Hays. “We had 28 entries from four states,” Wilson said. The finalists are as follows (Kansas cities, unless otherwise noted): Serious Poem category: Betty Burlingham of Manhattan. Jerry Jones from Salina, Tim Keane from Manhattan, Colby Richard from Ellsworth, Dove Schmidt from Depew, Oklahoma and Scott Wiswell from Valley Center. Humor Poem Category: Burlingham, Jones, Keane, Kyle Lyons of Scott City, Schmidt, Depew, Oklahoma; and Scott Wiswell of Valley Center.
State Champions in each category will receive the Saddlejack Bradrick Award, the coveted Governor’s Buckle, gift certificates from major Western clothing stores, free membership in the International Western Music Association-Kansas Chapter and two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills.
The cowboy poets will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges, including former Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, Kansas Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe, Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr, and Mike Day, head of the Department of Animal Science and Industry at Kansas State University. . The honorary president of the jury is former US senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker. Musical entertainment will be provided by Jeff Davidson and Brad Hamilton.
“We are very grateful to our sponsors who make this possible,” Wilson said. “Many thanks to the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, the Kansas Farm Bureau, the Western Wordsmiths and Kansas Chapters of the International Western Music Association, the Hays Public Library, Lawton Nuss, the Ranchland Trust of Kansas, and our donors Western clothing outlets: Vanderbilts of Wamego, Roberts Cowboy Outfitters of Salina, R Bar B of Topeka, Rittel’s Western Wear of Abilene, Outpost Western Store of Manhattan, and High Call Outfitters of Great Bend.
Members of the State Competition Committee include: Orin Friesen, President, International Western Music Association – Kansas Chapter, Benton; Jeff Davidson, Eureka; Brad Hamilton, Hoyt; Martha Farrell, Towanda; and Ron Wilson, Manhattan. For more information, visit www.cowboypoetrycontest.com.