Stephen Bauman won the first ever Western States Rodeo championship on Aug. 27, driving away with the 2011 Ford F-250 pickup truck grand prize and earning the title of best heavy equipment operator in the territories Western States Equipment serves. Bauman also won a Cat 226B3 skid steer for his sponsoring company — Pipe of Washington Inc.
"It was great to compete against the very best operators in the area and to be part of the first-ever Western States Heavy Equipment Rodeo," said Bauman, project manager, Pipe of Washington. "I want to thank Tom Harris, my local CAT rep Jim Holland and the hard-working team at Western States and everyone involved in making this such a fun event, especially Dan Wiebold and his crew – driving away in a new Ford pickup was a thrill I'll always remember.”
A heavy equipment veteran of 15 years, Bauman was signed up for the Western States Rodeo by his CAT salesman. Though he doesn’t use heavy equipment as frequently as some of the other finalists, Bauman proved his expertise as an operator and walked away with nearly $60,000 in prizes including the 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck, a Knapheide truck box, a DDS300 Spectra / Trimble dual slope laser, a DeWalt 9-piece toolkit and miter saw and a trip for two to the tenth round of the National Rodeo Finals. Pipe of Washington, Bauman’s sponsoring company, will be awarded nearly $30,000 in prizes including a 2011 Cat 226B3 skid steer and a $6,500 credit toward a Spectra / Trimble grade control system — totaling nearly $100,000 in prizes. A total of $150,000 in prizes was awarded to contestants throughout the rodeo series.
The championship event concluded a heavy equipment rodeo tour held throughout the summer at 12 locations across Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington where Western States has a local branch location. The rodeo series kicked off in late May and featured 767 competitors.
During the championship 12 finalists competed for the grand prize in skill-focused contests using a variety of equipment, each with a new twist or substantial change from the regional events to provide additional challenges. A fifth mystery round was not unveiled until the final event, which ultimately determined Bauman as the winner.
As part of its commitment to giving back to the communities where its employees live and serve customers, Western States Cat donated more than $7,000 to local charities at every rodeo location throughout the series.
For more photos and final results, visit www.westernstatesrodeo.com.Western States Equipment is headquartered in Meridian, Idaho.