Congratulations to the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest winners!

Pictured left to right:  Tim Keane and Danny McCurry

Pictured left to right:  Tim Keane and Danny McCurry

Tim Keane of rural Manhattan and Danny McCurry of Ash Grove, Missouri took home the coveted Governor’s Buckle and other prizes as champions of the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest.  Keane won first in the humorous poem category and McCurry won first in the serious poem category.  The finals of the contest were held at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan on June 9.

Final results were as follows:  Serious – 1st, Danny McCurry, Ash Grove, Missouri; 2nd, Tim Keane, Manhattan; and 3rd Dennis Russell, Cimarron, New Mexico.  Humorous - 1st, Tim Keane, Manhattan; 2nd, Dennis Russell, Cimarron, New Mexico; and 3rd, Danny McCurry, Ash Grove, Missouri.

Only those who finished in the top tier of the regional qualifying contests could compete at the state finals.  Others who qualified for the state finals included (towns in Kansas unless listed otherwise)  Terry Arnwine, Cherryvale; Betty Burlingham, Manhattan; John J. Cannon, Fredonia; Barbara Lilyhorn, Hutchinson; DanaMoodie, Neodesha; Donna Penley, Haysville; and Carl Stueve, Olpe.

“Many thanks to our lead donor, the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, and our other sponsors:  The Symphony in the Flint Hills, the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association; Drovers National Hall of Fame, Putnam Quarter Horses; and Vanderbilts, Boot Barn, Roberts Cowboy Outfitters and R Bar B Saddle Tack and Trailer who are donating prizes for the winners,” Wilson said.  “We also appreciate the support of the Manhattan Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Manhattan Broadcasting.”

“We are thankful for our excellent celebrity judges:  Chief Justice Lawton Nuss of the Kansas Supreme Court,  Marie Martin from the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, K-State Provost April Mason, Kansas Farm Bureau President Richard Felts, Manhattan Mayor Usha Reddi, and Kasey Huston, morning co-host on B104.7 FM,” Wilson said.

As Kansas state champions, McCurry and Keane received the coveted Governor’s Buckle, the Saddlejack Bradrick Award, discounts and gift certificates from leading western wear stores, two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills, and the opportunity to present their poems at the Ranchland Trust luncheon and at the story circle following the symphony.  Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer presented the buckles to the winners during story circle time.  In addition, the state winners will be invited to compete in the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo.  It is not necessary to go through the state contest to enter the national rodeo because anyone can enter the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo directly, but the Kansas winners will have their entry fees paid by the Kansas contest. 

 Other state contest committee members include: Brad Hamilton, western entertainer; Geff Dawson, National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo; Orin Friesen, President, Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association; and Jeff Davidson, Past President, Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association