Part of the introduction of a new work and recreation vehicle is to provide media representatives with a first-hand look at its features and performance. That was the purpose of a daylong event recently hosted by Yamaha at the Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, WY. The center of attention was Yamaha’s new Viking EPS 4X4, and the highlight was a day spent driving the unit around the challenging and beautiful trails of the Red Reflet Ranch.
The Red Reflet Ranch gate welcomes visitors. The working cattle and horse ranch offers a number of amenities for guests, including a pool, gym, tennis court, climbing walls, volleyball and basketball courts, in addition to horse riding, a ranching experience, trail riding and even zip lines.
The centerpiece of the Red Reflet Ranch is the main lodge (foreground), which offers a sweeping deck with gorgeous vistas. Pictured at top is one of the guest chalets. Photo by Frank Hoppen.</p>
The husband-wife team of Bob and Laurence Kaplan own and operate the Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, WY. The pair bought the ranch in 2001 and spent five years developing the property for its current use as both a working cattle ranch and luxurious resort located on over 27,000 acres in the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains. The landscapes vary from red rimrock to rolling foot hills to aspen forests, limestone canyons, and mountain meadows. Photo by Frank Hoppen.</p>
The origin of the Red Reflet Ranch name is the French word for “reflection” or “reflet.” Co-owner Laurence Kaplan is French, and the name alludes to the red-toned reflection of the red cliffs on the ranch ponds.
The main lodge of the Red Reflet Ranch has an expansive deck with walls that open the building to the outdoors and provide dramatic sunset vistas of the copper-toned bluffs and canyons teeming with wildlife.
An excellent riding experience is one of the main reasons Red Reflet Ranch guests return to the ranch. Rides on trails, moving cattle, exploring the ranch, enjoying the beautiful wildflowers or viewing wildlife, are among the highlights for guests, no matter their equine experience. The ranch owns more than 50 horses with several “bulletproof” guest horses, as well as younger, energetic horses used frequently in the cattle operation.
Randy Zizzo of the Red Reflet Ranch staff loads fencing materials onto a trailer pulled by the Viking EPS 4X4.
Yamaha’s three-way On-Command® system, featuring 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with differential lock, is a driver-controlled system with an automotive-type rotary dial selector. This driver-controlled system gives the driver the control and confidence to lock in all four wheels based on the terrain, Yamaha says.
The Viking’s air system features a large-capacity air intake system that high-volume air intake contributes to the engine’s overall power development. Part of that system is an oversized, dual-foam, reusable air filter that can be accessed within the rider compartment without using tools. Pat Biolsi, Yamaha testing supervisor, exhibits the oversized filter.
The Viking’s steel dumping cargo bed features integrated tie-down points and a 600-lb. bed capacity. The engine is located under the cargo bed and can be easily accessed when the bed is lifted.
Livestock media editors gather on a crisp morning for the start of the hands-on experience with the Viking EPS Side-by-Side (SxS).
Van Holmes, public relations manager for the ATV & SxS Department of Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., provides a pre-ride briefing to magazine writers attending the daylong launch briefing and ride on the Red Redflet Ranch.</p>
Trail riders tear along the hundreds of miles of paths spread over 27,000 acres on the Red Reflet Ranch, which is located in the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains. Photo by Frank Hoppen.
Steve Nessl, Yamaha marketing manager, glances out over one of a Red Reflet Ranch bluffs down to the circle where irrigated alfalfa is grown for ranch feed.
An irrigation circle on the Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, WY.
Alfalfa lays drying on some of the 700 acres of farmground on the Red Reflet Ranch. Cows are hayed during winter, while heifers are fed alfalfa hay and 3 lbs. of whole oats/day in a bunk to gentle them.
The Red Reflet Ranch features nine artesian wells that provide water for 700 acres of crop ground on which feed for cattle and horses is grown.
The rugged and isolated terrain that ranges from 4,500 to more than 8,000 ft. in elevation provides habitat for much wildlife, including mountain lions and a herd of more than 300 elk.
Another view of the dramatic landscape of the Red Reflet Ranch.
The Red Reflet’s purebred Angus herd consists of 340 mother cows and 75 yearling heifers. Heifers are calved in March, and cows in April. The calves are individually identified, branded and vaccinated at 2-4 years of age. At weaning in November, they'll weigh about 550 lbs. The herd grazes high-mountain pastures from late June through September and reside on the lower ranch the rest of the year.
Clay Trollinger (left), the operation’s horse manager, keeps an eye on the mother cow as he prepares to treat a calf he noticed was sick that morning during a cattle check. After Trollinger roped the calf, other Viking riders helped restrain the calf, and Trollinger administered treatment.</p>
Along the trail ride, trail riders encountered Timie’s Cabin, a small structure ranch hands use as accomodations while working cattle in the upper reaches of the Red Reflet Ranch.