Local ranch in running for honors

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(Photo credit: SELKIRK RIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY) Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is in the running for USA Today's "Best Dude Ranch" in America and voting ends May 22.

SANDPOINT — Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is in the running for USA Today's "Best Dude Ranch" in the country, and as the deadline to vote draws near, owners Roley and Janice Schoonover hope to keep the momentum going.

"Thanks to our amazing guests and from the support of many fellow Idahoans, we have managed to be pretty consistent in the number-one spot, but we need to finish strong," said Ranch owner Janice Schoonover in an email to the Daily Bee.

Schoonover said Western Pleasure has gone back and forth between first and second place. Throughout the contest until Tuesday, voters could see who was in the lead. On Wednesday, for one reason or another, those results could no longer be viewed. But as of Tuesday, Western Pleasure was in first place. 

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch sits on more than 1,000 acres north of Sandpoint and includes lodging, horseback rides, gourmet meals, evening entertainment and access to ranch amenities in the summer. In the fall, winter and spring, the ranch continues to operate with guided horseback rides in the fall and spring, and sleigh rides in the winter.

Group retreats, family reunions, dinner parties and holiday gatherings are also available for large or small groups.

The ranch has been named the number-one western vacation ranch in America by World Property Journal and Roley and Janice Schoonover recently received the award of "Favorite Dude Ranch Hosts" by Duderanch.com.

"Guest ranching gives us the opportunity to share with our guests our north Idaho history and western heritage." Schoonover said. "Through this contest we are excited to represent Idaho and the Sandpoint area as an outstanding vacation destination"

Voting ends May 22 and does not require any sign-in, so it only takes one click of the mouse. To vote, go to 10best.com/awards/travel/best-dude-ranch/western-pleasure-guest-ranch-sandpoint-idaho.

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