Cowboy Cason Britt tipped his cowboy hat and folded his arms across the horn of his saddle as he waited atop his horse, Jack, for rodeo action to begin at a dirt arena at the Sarasota Polo Club.
On Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, local cowboys and polo players competed in five events — fishing, skeet shooting, roping and penning, polo and horseback racing — during Schroeder-Manatee Ranch’s annual SMR Cup matchup.
“It’s all just a blast,” Britt said, adding it’s fun to watch polo players try to rope a steer.
This year, the event earned national attention, as well.
Film crews from NBC’s “Today Show” filmed several of the events and even clipped cameras on select riders.
Producer Dan Shepherd said the learned about the SMR Cup from correspondent Kristen Dahlgren, and the program expects to air the SMR Cup segment sometime after the Olympics, although no date has been set.
Cowboys from SMR’s cattle operation drove 100 cattle across University Parkway Feb. 7, so film crews could capture the cowboys in action.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka defeated Hillcroft/Ten Oaks 11-7 to win the annual SMR Cup Feb. 9, at the Sarasota Polo Club.
Tito’s took a 4-1 lead in the first chukker and never looked back, as it took an 8-5 halftime lead and eventually held off Hillcroft/Ten Oaks down the stretch.
Joe Wayne Barry was named the Most Valuable Player. Steve Krueger received the Best Playing Pony award for his horse Sapphire’s performance.
Teams return to action at 1 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Cup.
Jen Blanco, Sports Editor
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected]