Richard Duane Jarrard was raised in Kaycee, Wyoming at the family ranch. The 3rd oldest of 9 children, his early education was at Sussex, Kaycee and Midwest. He regularly walked or rode colts to and from school from an early age. Dick and his brothers started and trained horses while helping in the family operation.
This was a time of many challenges and long hard days, Dick managed to build a small herd of sheep of his own. He left home at 17 by riding his favorite horse Cowboy, which was the horse his dad had given him, to the highway, tied him to the fence and hitched a ride to Buffalo where he recruited his brother Sonny to go back and get Cowboy. Dick then lived with the Shepperson family in Midwest and finished high school while helping them with their cattle operation and continuing to train horses to earn money.
Dick competed in every event in the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association and won the Saddle Bronc Riding State Championship in 1960. He then attended the University of Wyoming on a rodeo scholarship and was on the Rodeo Team in 1961 & 1962. Working multiple events again, he won the Saddle Bronc Riding title at Chadron State and U.W. rodeos that year. He also won a Saddle Bronc Riding go-round at the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals in 1962. Dick worked construction building major highways across the state at this time.
Dick Jarrard and Sharron Ann Sanford were married Nov. 26th, 1963 where they worked for the large Sanford Ranch outside of Alcova, Wyoming. Dick worked in all phases of ranch work in the 250,000-acre, open range operation running 5,000 mother cows, where they held over the calves to yearlings and raised their own horses with 5 stud bunches. Dick and Sharron started their own cow herd while working on the ranch, they lived and worked the Sanford ranch for 10 years.
Dick was committed to being self-employed and doing things his way, always looking for new ways to make money and grow his skills. He was an accomplished horseshoer, mechanic, horse trainer, rodeo hand and first and foremost COWBOY his entire life.
Dick continued to rodeo at the amateur level, helping to start the Wyoming Rodeo Association and competing when time allowed. He was extremely competitive at both ends of the arena, still doing all events at most WRA rodeos and won the All Around two times, Saddle Bronc Riding title two times and multiple local event wins.
Sanford’s sold the ranch in 1973, at which time Dick and his growing family leased a large ranch at Garrett, Wyoming and ran his cow herd and outside pasture cattle for 5 years. In 1978, they moved to Wheatland and bought, calved and sold first and second calf heifers while leasing feedlots and pastures in the area for this large venture, all the while, keeping a cow herd of his own. During this time, Dick was always looking to improve his horsemanship skills, so he attended his first Ray Hunt clinic. Latching on to this softer way of training horses, Dick continued to advance his skills to the point of helping others do the same. He took extreme pride in becoming the best horseman he could possibly be.
Dick and Sharron bought their first ranch north of Wheatland in 1985 and leased the Wheatland Irrigation District Ranch in McFadden, Wyoming for 3 years to pasture outside grass cattle in the summertime. This operation was between 6,000 & 10,000 steers and heifers on grass while maintaining his 250-500 head of black Angus mother cows. In 1988, he purchased his dream ranch in Medicine Bow, WY and worked his cow herd up to 1,000 cows.
Dick and Sharron took up the sport of Team Penning in 1995, they traveled across the United States competing together. They thoroughly enjoyed meeting new friends and having great success. Dick accumulated too many wins and awards to count, including the World Team Penning Championship in 2005. He put on team penning clinics to help others hone their skills in the event and was widely known as one of the best.
In 2003, the husband/wife pair bought a farm on Chug Creek in Wheatland and built there first house together. Dick put in 3 pivot sprinklers and put up lots of alfalfa/grass hay. Dick also leased the Lumas Ranch on the Laramie River to winter his cows in milder weather from 2004-2008. At this time, Dick started having trouble breathing and was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Dick and Sharron then sold the ranch and all their cows at Medicine Bow. Dick traveled to Phoenix, where he received a lifesaving double lung transplant in March of 2010. Once again, beating all the odds, Dick was the poster child for St. Joseph’s Hospital Lung Transplant Unit, giving talks to the doctors and residents about his ordeal.
Living in AZ for Dick to be closer to his doctors, he continued to team rope and ride his horses for another 7 years. He never gave up and won multiple checks right up to the months before his death at the age of 75.