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The words of Ted Harbin, winner of the 2010 PRCA Media Award for Excellence in Print Journalism
Updated: 54 min 3 sec ago

Stewart bringing voice to KC

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 11:33

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Andy Stewart looks at his job from many angles.

He is a researcher, a statistician and an entertainer. He has the unique ability to put it all together as one of the top emcees in professional rodeo, a six-time nominee for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Announcer of the Year.

He will bring his talents to Kansas City as the voice of the American Royal PRCA Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Hale Arena inside the American Royal Complex.

Andy Stewart

Andy Stewart

“I feel that production is extremely important in the world of rodeo,” said Stewart, now in his 20th year in the PRCA. “If people get a $20 ticket, then we need to give them $40 worth of entertainment and get the most bang for their buck.”

It’s something fans have come to expect with the American Royal Rodeo over the years.

“Anytime you can be part of rodeo history – and every great cowboy, every legend that has been associated with our sport has been to the American Royal – it’s pretty special,” he said. “There are not a whole lot of rodeos in our industry that can make that kind of statement.

“For those guys to put enough trust in me to bring me in there to be part of that rodeo is a thrill.”

The American Royal Rodeo takes place on the final weekend of the 2015 regular season. It is a major stop for contestants who are scrambling to finish the campaign in a position to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale that features the top 15 cowboys and cowgirls in each event.

That just adds to the excitement that is Kansas City’s ProRodeo.

“It’s almost like being a wildcard game in the NFL or Major League Baseball,” Stewart said. “These guys might have one shot left to make it. It’s so important, because I’ve seen guys that go to rodeos like Kansas City with that much money in the pot at the end of the season, and they can win enough money to get them to the NFR or winning a world title.

“When you talk about the extensive travel these guys have to do, the money they have to spend to get up and down the road, a rodeo like the American Royal becomes extremely crucial because they make their money at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – that’s where they put money in the bank for the winter and hold them over for the next year.”

That just adds to the atmosphere in Kansas City.

“It turns up the level of competition as well,” he said. “Hunger is a major motivator; it’s a financial motivation for these guys. They’ve got families, they’ve got bills, they’ve got things that they’ve got to pay. When it comes crunch time like that at a great rodeo, you see the intensity level and the competition level step up another notch.”

Stewart knows what it takes to work at an elite level. He works many of the biggest rodeos in the country, including the legendary Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo. One reason is because of his energetic, booming voice. Another is the extra work he puts ahead of each rodeo performance so that he can be the perfect voice of the fans.

For every hour he’s on the microphone, Stewart spends many more going through biographies and background and looking over all the important statistics of each competitor in the show. He understands what it takes to compete at an elite level, and he wants fans to realize it, too. It is, after all, the perfect mix of world-class competition and true family-friendly entertainment.

“Rodeos like the American Royal are special to the best of the best, the world champions,” Stewart said. “It’s not necessarily for the money, but it’s an honor and a privilege to enter Kansas City. It’s another notch on your belt to win a rodeo like the American Royal.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

ERA plans its first finale in Dallas

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 17:14

There seems to a buzz centered on the newly founded Elite Rodeo Athletes organization.

In fact, there was so much interest in tuning in online for a rebroadcast of Wednesday’s news conference at the American Airlines Center in Dallas that association’s website was overwhelmed, and the news conference was not available for more than two hours.

Much of the news was about the ERA’s first championship event, which will take place Nov. 9-13, 2015, at the American Airlines Center. In fact, the same information was shared by the Dallas Morning News in a story that was published Tuesday. You can read it HERE. To watch the news conference, click HERE.

ERA-Rodeo-logo-NEWThe ERA and the Dallas Sports Commission have entered into a five-year partnership for Dallas to host the finale, which will feature a $3 million purse.

“Dallas is no stranger to hosting world-class events,” said Tony Garritano, president and CEO of the organization. “Through the process, it became pretty evident they wanted the home to be here.”

Garritano discussed a 15-event regular season, but no schedule has been released on when and where those events will occur. According to the news conference, the ERA will focus its events on the top contestants in the game. Of those mentioned in the sizzle piece that accompanied the conference, 29 are world champions; the 21 others have been to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at least once, most multiple times.

“There is a more efficient and better way to showcase rodeo’s best,” Garritano said. “This is the first time in history that these folks here will compete the same night every event throughout the regular-season tour and be nationally televised from start to finish.”

He also indicated there will be a qualifying system to allow for rising stars the opportunity to compete with others at the ERA. Information on the qualifying system should be available to the public in October.

“You will have the same opportunity,” he said, pointing to contestants that are not part of the ERA at this time. “It is wide open for anyone who has the ability to make it to that level.”

Trevor Brazile

Trevor Brazile

The tour is scheduled to be aired on Fox Sports. Many who were part of the news conference pointed to that media relationship as a big step.

“I think the fans are going to be the biggest winners,” said Trevor Brazile, a 21-time world champion in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. “The sport is underdelivered to the fans; we’ve got such great fans, and they deserve more and they’re going to get more.

“There are a lot of story lines in rodeo that our fans miss out on. This is bringing rodeo to a modern day sports property, and that’s where it needs to be.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Graves inching toward another title

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 11:24

DUNCAN, Okla. – For a man who competes part-time, Stockton Graves is making a pretty good living on the ProRodeo trail.

Graves, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in steer wrestling from Alva, Okla., has earned nearly $40,000 this season. He’s moved to No. 20 in this week’s world standings and needs to advance just five more spots on the money list by the end of the regular season to secure his eighth trip to the finale.

Stockton Graves

Stockton Graves

“The NFR is definitely on the back of our minds,” he said, referring to his traveling partner, J.D. Struxness of Appleton, Minn., who is 25th. “We’re not going to chase it to the point we’re going to break ourselves doing it. I’ve got it planned out to where we can go and make enough money to make it.”

A good portion of Graves’ earning came in the first couple weeks of August, where he pocketed just shy of $15,000. That was not only beneficial for his place in the world standings, but it cemented the Oklahoma cowboy’s spot at this year’s Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15-Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Stephens County Arena in Duncan.

In fact, Graves has pocketed $14,909 in the Prairie Circuit, a series of rodeos in the Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska region. That includes a big victory at the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo, the largest event in the circuit in terms of overall purse. He also collected cash in Lawton, Okla., Phillipsburg, Kan., and Coffeyville, Kan.; he also won the title Sidney, Iowa, but that $4,003 didn’t count toward the circuit standings.

“It’s definitely been good for a circuit rodeo cowboy,” said Graves, who also serves as the rodeo coach at his alma mater, Northwestern Oklahoma State University. “I’ve had a really good run the last few weeks. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

The biggest payday was in Dodge City the first weekend in August. Graves won the championship round and the three-run aggregate to pocket $5,704.

“I’ve always wanted to win Dodge since I started rodeoing,” said Graves, who has now earned titles at all the major events in the Prairie Circuit; he has won four year-end circuit titles, including the last two. “It just took me 20 years, but I got it won.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to win all the major rodeos in our circuit. This will dang sure boost me up there to contend for another circuit title.”

It’s provided an incredible streak of momentum. Graves holds a $4,735 over the No. 2 cowboy in the regional standings, Riley Duvall of Checotah, Okla. In addition to finishing among the top 12 in the region in order to qualify for the regional finale, moving on to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo is a major part of being in the circuit system; only the year-end champs and the winners of each circuit finals rodeo in each event advance to the RNCFR, which takes place in Kissimmee, Fla.

“We had two goals when we set out: To make the All American Finals and to win our circuits and go to Kissimmee,” Graves said. “Last year it was phenomenal down there and something you want to go back to every year.”

It all starts with doing well through the season, and he has that part already covered.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Injuries sideline NFR hopes

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 13:28

The last week of rodeos was tough on a couple of bareback riders who were battling for qualifications to the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Canadian Luke Creasy suffered a broken left forearm that required surgery Tuesday, while Texan Matt Bright had a rib injury. It’s not the first bout with injuries this season for the two cowboys.

Luke Creasy

Luke Creasy

A few weeks ago, the right-handed riding Creasy broke the fifth metecarpal bone in his right hand and had surgery to repair the ailment. Sitting inside the top 20 all season, the cowboy – now living in Lovington, N.M. – knew he needed to keep riding if he wanted to earn his first trip to the NFR.

So he went back to work and tried to make a living riding bareback horses with his left hand. His plan was to do so until his injured finger was heeled enough so that he could begin riding with his primary hand wedged into the rigging. His return lasted just one event on the ProRodeo trail. Creasy broke his left arm in Douglas, Wyo., but not before earning an $85 check for finishing in a tie for sixth.

As of this week, he is 19th in the world standings. He still plans to make a run for the finals once his hand injury is ready.

Matt Bright

Matt Bright

Bright, of Fort Worth, Texas, had spent a considerable amount of time on the sidelines this season because of groin injuries. He returned with a vengeance in July and had rapidly moved up the money list. He finished second in Cheyenne, Wyo., and won the average championship in Dodge City, Kan. He suffered either a separated or cracked rib this past weekend in Hermiston, Ore.

With a little more than a month left in the regular season, Bright has realized that his chances at the NFR are minimal. He has returned home to heal. If things go better than expected, he may make a late-season run at this year’s NFR.

For now, though, he sits 26th in the world standings and knows he can start the 2016 campaign in good standings while also allowing himself the time it takes to heal completely.

As with any athlete, cowboys rely on their bodies. With no guaranteed income, dealing with injuries comes down to making important business decisions.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Good Man Friday

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 16:24

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story appears in the August issue of Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the official publication of the WPRA. It is reproduced with the approval of the WPRA.

Paige Willis considered selling Good Frenchman Friday, a horse she had spent much of the winter and spring seasoning.

It’s a good thing she didn’t.

The 8-year-old sorrel gelding became the firepower she needed for one of the top money-winners through the WPRA’s Fourth of July run. Willis and Friday raced through six rodeos over the course of the lucrative series of rodeos, earning money in five.

WPRA-logoAll told, the duo pocketed $11,849 with solid finishes in Killdeer, N.D.; Belle Fourche, S.D.; Oakley City, Utah; Livingston, Mont; and Cody, Wyo.

“It’s pretty awesome considering it was all on my backup horse,” said Willis, the No. 1 rookie in the WPRA from Goshen, Ala. “We definitely were not expecting that.

Her good horse, Miss Gay Bar Abby, was sore, so Willis opted for Friday over the Fourth. It paid great dividends, moving her to No. 16 in the WPRA ProRodeo world standings. As of June 10, she had pocketed $35,594.

“We had talked about selling him before we came out on the road, but I’m glad we didn’t at this point,” she said, pointing to discussions she had with her boyfriend, Darren Scholl. “We knew we had the horsepower with her and with him coming along to be able to accomplish some things.”

So far, they are. Not bad for a young lady that was a kindergarten teacher for six months before deciding to chase her rodeo dreams.

The goal for the ProRodeo newcomer was to finish the 2015 campaign among the top 30 in the world standings so she would be eligible to compete at the big-money rodeos through the winter of the 2016 season. She’s making that happen in a big way, thanks to the gelding.

“My good mare was sore and wasn’t clocking, so we decided to give him a shot and see what would happen,” Willis said. “I never dreamed he would come out and work like he did.”

Her biggest paycheck came in Livingston, where she and Friday posted a 17.45-second run to finish second to Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Taylor Jacob; Willis pocketed $4,288. She finished third in Belle Fourche to earn $2,528, then had solid finishes at the other three rodeos: sixth in Killdeer for $921, seventh in Oakley City for $1,257 and sixth in Cody for $2,855.

Knowing she has something special in Abby, Willis kicked off her 2015 campaign with Friday on the road, allowing him the opportunity to learn the rodeo trail and gain confidence. In fact, through the Fourth of July run, she had competed in more than 60 WPRA-sanctioned events

“The reason we have such a high rodeo count is because we took him out to get him seasoned, and he was not clocking like he is now,” she said.

With Friday having solid goes, he has officially moved out of his role as backup.

“He’s officially the A team until Abby decides she feels good and is ready to get back to work,” Willis said. “Winning that much money over the Fourth still doesn’t seem real.”

It’s almost like a dream come true for the Alabama cowgirl, who received her college education in Florida. She grew up riding horses and is carrying on a tradition that began before she entered elementary school.

“I’ve ridden horses since I was 4 years old,” she said. “I’ve always dreamed to come out on the road. It’s a hard thing to accomplish. My boyfriend is the support and the backbone behind it all. Without him, there’s no way I’d be out here right now.”

She began running barrels at an early age, too, and competed through all the levels of youth and junior rodeo, including testing her mettle at amateur rodeos in the Southeast.

Now, though, she is trying to test her own skills and those of her powerful horses against some of the greatest to have ever ridden in the WPRA. With Friday playing a key role in her success, she knows she has something special.

“He’s really a big baby,” she said of the sorrel speedster. “Sometimes he just lopes through, and sometimes he runs. His personally has changed drastically over the last two months.”

Maybe the young gelding has learned just how good he can be.

“I think he enjoys being on the road,” Willis said. “He eats better on the road than he does at home. I think he likes thinking he’s on the A team.”

Though a qualification to the Wrangler NFR is within reach, Willis and her team plan to keep their approach to ProRodeo quite simple.

“I’m not going to chase any of it,” she said. “We’re just going to see how it goes. We’ve accomplished our goals and exceeded what we thought we could accomplish. It’s been great so far.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Champs crowned in Lovington

Sun, 08/09/2015 - 00:22

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Even at 19, Clayton Jon Biglow has long dreamed of having a long and storied rodeo career.

At 38, Cody Wright is still living his dream.

On the final night of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo on Saturday, the two cowboys were mixed in among a world-class field of 2015 champions during the exposition’s 80th anniversary.

Biglow matched moves with Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet’s Web for 87 points to share the bareback riding victory with Jake Brown. Wright, a two-time world champion and a 12-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, posted an 86 on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria for 86 points to share saddle bronc riding victory with Cort Scheer; both Scheer and Brown competed Thursday night.

Cody Wright

Cody Wright

“I like this rodeo, because Pete has a bunch of good horses,” Wright said of the Dallas-based stock contractor. “That’s where you like to come. It looked like there were a lot of chances to win tonight; apparently there was a lot of chances every night.

“That’s good, especially when I’ve got four people enter that I want to see win. I want to go where we all have a chance to win, and Pete’s rodeos are usually them. It seems to me the horses want to buck here in Lovington. It’s a good rodeo.”

He should know. Over the last five years, Wright has earned a good living in Lovington. Two seasons ago, he shared the victory with his younger brother, Jake, also an NFR qualifier.

Biglow is at the other end of the spectrum. He isn’t even a rookie in ProRodeo. He’s a permit-holder, which, in essence, means he’s trying out for the big leagues. Apparently he’s got a pretty good hang of it, even though he plans to remain on his permit a while longer.

“I’m not going to get my PRCA card until I think I’m ready,” said Biglow of Clements, Calif. “I’m still in college, so I won’t do it for the next couple of years when I’m done with school. When I buy my card, I want to rodeo hard and try to make the finals my rookie year.”

If he keeps riding like he did Saturday night, he stands a great chance to do just that. Of course, it helps to draw one of the greatest horses in ProRodeo in Scarlet’s Web, which has been selected to perform at the NFR nine times.

“It was a little intimidating, especially for a guy like me,” Biglow said. “When you see your name next to one of those really good horses, it gets your motor running. She felt amazing, exactly how I was hoping she’d feel.

“Pete Carr’s got a hell of a string of horses.”

He does, but the Lea County Fair and Rodeo has proven to be a great stop for the top cowboys and cowgirls in the game. The rodeo has been recognized the last two years as one of the top five large outdoor rodeos in the country.

“It’s a combination of great stock, good money and great fans,” Wright said. “There are great people putting it on and making it good. Nobody wants to go to a sorry-run rodeo. You go to a few of them, so it’s nice to go to one that’s run well. It’s not boring. I’m sure it’s not sitting as a fan, because it’s not boring back here, and I’m just catching a glimpse of what’s going on in the arena.”

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 5-8
All-around champion:
JoJo LeMond, $4,855 in team roping and steer roping.
Bareback riding:
1. (tie) Jake Brown, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sadie’s Gal, and Clayton Jon Biglow, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet’s Web, $4,683 each; 3. Kaycee Feild, 86, $3,004; 4. Evan Gray, 85, $1,944; 5. (tie) Ryan Gray and Clint Laye, 83, $1,060 each; 7. (tie) Tyler Scales and Caleb Bennett, 82, $619 each.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Tyler Pearson, 3.3 seconds, $1,930; 2. Dean Gorsuch, 3.6, $1,679; 3. Stockton Graves, 3.7, $1,427; 4. (tie) Wade Sumpter, Cooper Shofner and Christian Pettigrew, 3.9, $923 each; 7. Monty Eakin, 4.0, $420; 8. Seth Brockman, 4.1 $168. Second round: 1. Nick Guy, 3.2 seconds, $1,930; 2. Jacob Shofner, 3.5, $1,679; 3. (tie) Cole Edge and Casey Martin, 3.6, $1,301 each; 5. (tie) Tyke Kipp and Cooper Shofner, 3.7, $793; 7. Tyler Waguespack, 3.8, $420; 8. (tie) Cody Kroul and Bray Armes, 3.9, $84. Average: 1. Cooper Shofner, 7.6 seconds on two runs, $2,896; 2. Tyler Pearson, 8.1, $2,518; 3. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Bray Armes, 8.2, $1,951; 5. Dean Gorsuch, 8.3, $1,385; 6. (tie) Seth Brockman and Trevor Knowles, 8.6, $818; 8. Dakota Eldridge, 8.7, $252.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Marty Yates, 7.9 second, $2,539; 2. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Ryan Jarrett, 8.2, $2,042 each; 4. Shane Hanchey, 8.5, $1,545;5. Sterling Smith, 8.6, $1,214; 6. Tuf Cooper, 8.9, $883; 8. (tie) J.D. Kibbe and Monty Lewis, 9.1, $110 each. Second round: 1. Stran Smith, 7.6 seconds, $2,539; 2. Cory Solomon, 7.8, $2,208; 3. Cade Swor, 8.3, $1,877; 4. Blaine Cox, 8.6, $1,545; 5. Ace Slone, 8.7, $1,214; 6. Tuf Cooper, 8.8, $883; 7. Marcos Costa, 9.0, $552; 8. Jesse Clark, 9.2, $221. Average: 1. Tuf Cooper, 17.7 seconds on two runs, $3,808; 2. Marcos Costa, 18.5, $3,312; 3. (tie) Blaine Cox and Sterling Smith, 19.0, $2,566; 5. Bradley Bynum, 19.2, $1,821; 6. Adam Gray, 20.0, $1,325; 7. Stran Smith, 20.2, $828; 8. Riley Pruitt, 20.3, $331.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Cort Scheer, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Showgirl, and Cody Wright, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria, 86 points, $4,235 each; 3. Sam Spreadborough, 84, $2,717; 4. Isaac Diaz, 83, $1,758; 5. (tie) Allen Boore and Jesse James Kirby, 82, $959; 7. (tie) Tyrel Larsen and Spencer Wright, 81, $559.

Steer roping: Third round: 1. Shay Good, 10.1 seconds, $1,969; 2. Chet Herren, 12.1, $1,629; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.5, $1,390; 4. (tie) Neal Wood, Brent Lewis and Guy Allen, 12.6, $634.. Average: 1. Cody Lee, 41.5 seconds on three runs, $2,953; 2. Brodie Poppino, 41.7, $2,444; 3. Guy Allen, 42.0, $1,935; 4. Troy Tillard, 43.1, $1,426; 5. Chet Herren, 44.3, $917; 6. Corey Ross, 57.3, $509.

Team roping: First round: 1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 5.1 seconds, $1,842; 2. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2, $1,602; 3. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.4, $1,362; 4. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.6, $1,121; 5. (tie) Nate Singletary/Tom Bill Johnson and Jake Barnes/Junior Nogueira, 5.8, $761 each; 7. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9, $401; 8. Nathan McWhorter/Wesley Thorp, 6.0, $160. Second round: 1. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds, $1,842; 2. (tie) JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, Chad Masters/Travis Graves, Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper, Aaron Macy/Chad Williams and Bubba Buckaloo/Russell Cardoza, 4.8, $1,121; 7. Cale Markham/Buddy Hawkins Jr. 5.0, $401; 8. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 5.0, $160. Average: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 10.2 seconds on two runs, $2,764; 2. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 10.4, $2,403; 3. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.7, $2,043; 4. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman,11.3, $1,682; 5. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 11.8, $1,322; 6. Jake Barnes/Junior Nogueira, 11.9, $961; 7. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 13.1, $601; 8. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 14.0, $240.

Barrel racing: 1. Carley Richardson, 17.70 seconds, $4,330; 2. Jessica Frost, 17.74, $3,464; 3. (tie) Janet Staton and Hailey Kinsel, 17.83, $2,490 each; 5. Alicia Stockton, 17.84, $1,732; 6. Michelle Lummus, 17.87, $1,299; 7. Shy-Anne Jarrett, 17.89, $1,082; 8. Paige Conrado, 17.91, $974; 9. Meghan Johnson, 17.92, $866; 10. Kenna Squires, 17.95, $758; 11. Dawn Lewis, 17.97, $649; 12. Christine Laughlin, 18.0, $541; 13. Jackie Ganter, 18.04, $433; 14. (tie) Ivy Conrado and Jill Wilson, 18.12, $271.

Bull riding: 1. Cody Teel, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Lonestar, $5,048; 2. (tie) Sage Kimzey and Bryce Barrios, 84, $3,365; 4. (tie) Bayle Worden and Casey Huckabee, 82, $1,514; 6. Corey Granger, 78, $841; 7. Tanner Learmont, 75, $673; 8. Dallee Mason, 73, $505.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

First round results from Lovington

Sat, 08/08/2015 - 16:56
Tyler Pearson stops his steer en route to a first-round winning 3.3-second steer wrestling run Saturday afternoon at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

Tyler Pearson stops his steer en route to a first-round winning 3.3-second steer wrestling run Saturday afternoon at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Tyler Pearson, 3.3 seconds, $1,930; 2. Dean Gorsuch, 3.6, $1,679; 3. Stockton Graves, 3.7, $1,427; 4. (tie) Wade Sumpter, Cooper Shofner and Christian Pettigrew, 3.9, $923 each; 7. Monty Eakin, 4.0, $420; 8. Seth Brockman, 4.1 $168.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Marty Yates, 7.9 second, $2,539; 2. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Ryan Jarrett, 8.2, $2,042 each; 4. Shane Hanchey, 8.5, $1,54;5. Sterling Smith, 8.6, $1,214; 6. Tuf Cooper, 8.9, $883; 8. (tie) J.D. Kibbe and Monty Lewis, 9.1, $110 each.

Team roping: First round: 1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 5.1 seconds, $1,842; 2. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2, $1,602; 3. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.4, $1,362; 4. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.6, $1,121; 5. (tie) Nate Singletary/Tom Bill Johnson and Jake Barnes/Junior Nogueira, 5.8, $761 each; 7. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9, $401; 8. Nathan McWhorter/Wesley Thorp, 6.0, $160.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Tryan takes care of business

Sat, 08/08/2015 - 00:35

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Travis Tryan was in a hurry.

Minutes after making his second team roping run of the day on Friday, Tryan stopped for a few moments, then made his way to his trailer; there, he unsaddled a big bay, got the horse ready to load and ventured north to Colorado Springs.

“My head horse that I had for 10 years gets inducted tomorrow morning at 10,” he said, referring to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductions. “I have to drive 540 miles by myself, but I’m jacked, I’m ready.”

Travis Tryan

Travis Tryan

Before the eight-hour-plus drive, the Billings, Mont., cowboy tended to business at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. He and partner Jett Hillman of Purcell, Okla., posted a 5.2-second run in the afternoon to take the first-round lead. They followed with a 6.1-second run during the performance and sit third overall with a two-run cumulative time of 11.3 seconds.

“It’s one of the (Wrangler Million Dollar) Tour rodeos,” said Tryan, an 11-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “Anytime there’s a tour rodeo, they add equal money in team roping, and it always pays good. It’s that time of year that you need to turn it on.”

In the world standings, Tryan is 25th in heading and Hillman is 31st in heeling. Only the top 15 on the money list at the end of the regular season advance to the NFR.

“We’re a little behind, so any amount of money we can win is good, so it feels good to do well in Lovington,” Tryan said.

This is the first year the tandem has roped together, and it’s gone pretty well.

“It’s been a good partnership,” he said. “We’ve been doing it on the fly, because we don’t get to practice much. We’ve maybe practiced once together, but it seems like everything’s coming together.”

For now, though, Tryan is focused honoring his longtime equine partner. Precious Spec, a bay gelding known as Walt, was named AQHA/PRCA Team Roping Heading Horse of the Year four times. He also was among the top three horses two other times.

Walt died in 2010 at the age of 20.

“This is like a family member going into the Hall of Fame,” Tryan told the PRCA in the spring. “When you have a horse for 10 years and he’s a huge part of your career, to see him go into the hall is one of the coolest things that can happen.

“He was so good that all I had to do was go out and rope, and he took care of the best.”

When the inductions are over, Tryan and Hillman will return to the busy schedule that is the rodeo trail. They have less than two months left in the regular season and a lot of ground to make up if they want to play for the biggest pay in the game at the NFR in Las Vegas.

Big checks in Lovington are a welcome sight.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 5-8
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Jake Brown, 87 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sadie’s Gal; 2. Kaycee Feild, 86; 3. (tie) Ryan Gray and Clint Laye, 83; 5. (tie) Tyler Scales and Caleb Bennett, 82; 7. (tie) Anthony Thomas, Ty Taypotat and Joel Schlegel, 77.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. 2. Dean Gorsuch, 3.6 seconds; 2. Stockton Graves, 3.7; 3. (tie) Wade Sumpter, Cooper Shofner and Christian Pettigrew, 3.9; 6. Monty Eakin, 4.0; 7. Seth Brockman, 4.1; 8. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Tyler McCormick, 4.2. Second round leaders: 1. Jacob Shofner, 3.5 seconds; 2. Cole Edge, 3.6; 3. (tie) Tyke Kipp and Cooper Shofner, 3.7; 5. Dakota Eldridge, 4.0; 6. Stan Branco, 4.1; 7. Trell Etbauer, 4.2; 8. (tie) Billy Bugenig and Tim Robinson, 4.3. Average leaders: 1. Cooper Shofner, 7.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Dean Gorsuch, 8.3; 3. (tie) Seth Brockman and Trevor Knowles, 8.6; 5. Dakota Eldridge, 8.7; 6. (tie) Billy Bugenig, Jacob Shofner and Stockton Graves, 8.8.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Marty Yates, 7.9 seconds; 2. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Ryan Jarrett, 8.2; 4. Sterling Smith, 8.6; 5. Tuf Cooper, 8.9; 6. J.D. Kibbe, 9.1; 7. Tyler Thiel, 9.3; 8. Tyler Prcin, 9.5. Second round leaders: 1. Blaine Cox, 8.6 seconds; 2. Ace Slone, 8.7; 3. Tuf Cooper, 8.8; 4. Jesse Clarak, 9.2; 5. Jordan Ketscher, 9.3; 6. Kooper Saiz, 9.4; 7. (tie) Timber Moore and Bradley Bynum, 9.6. Average leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 17.7 seconds; 2. (tie) Blaine Cox and Sterling Smith, 19.0; 4. Bradley Bynum, 19.2; 5. Adam Gray, 20.0; 6. Riley Pruitt, 20.3; 7. Ryle Smith, 20.8; Cody McCartney, 22.1.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. 2. Cort Scheer, 86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Showgirl; 2. Sam Spreadborough, 84; 3. Isaac Diaz, 83; 4. (tie) Allen Boore and Jesse James Kirby, 82; 6. Tyrel Larsen, 81; 7. (tie) Taygen Schuelke and Joe Lufkin, 80.

Steer roping: Third round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 10.1 seconds; 2. Chet Herren, 12.1; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.5; 4. (tie) Neal Wood and Guy Allen, 12.6; 6. Corey Ross, 13.5. Average leaders: 1. Cody Lee, 41.5 seconds on three runs; 2. Brodie Poppino, 41.7; 3. Guy Allen, 42.0; 4. Troy Tillard, 43.1; 5. Chet Herren, 44.3; 6. Corey Ross, 57.3.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2 seconds; 2. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.4; 3. Nate Singletary/Tom Bill Johnson, 5.8; 4. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9; 5.Nathan McWhorter/Wesley Thorp, 6.0; 6. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 6.3; 7. (tie) Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo and Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 6.8. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds; 2. (tie) JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, Chad Masters/Travis Graves, Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper and Aaron Macy/Chad Williams, 4.8; 6. Cale Markham/Buddy Hawkins Jr. 5.0; 7. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 5.0; 8. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 5.1. Average leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 10.2 seconds on two runs; 2. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.7; 3. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman,11.3; 4. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 11.8; 5. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 13.1; 6. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 14.0; 7. (tie) Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn and Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper, 15.9.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Carley Richardson, 17.70 seconds; 2. Jessica Frost, 17.74; 3. (tie) Janet Staton and Hailey Kinsel, 17.83; 5. Michelle Lummus, 17.87; 6. Shy-Anne Jarrett, 17.89; 7. Paige Conrado, 17.91; 8. Meghan Johnson, 17.92; 9. Kenna Squires, 17.95; 10. Dawn Lewis, 17.97; 11. Christine Laughlin, 18.0; 12. Jackie Ganter, 18.04; 13. Ivy Conrado, 18.12; 14. Alexa Lake, 18.17; 15. Taylor Langdon, 18.19.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Sage Kimzey, 84 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Fireball; 2. (tie) Bayle Worden and Casey Huckabee, 82; 4. Corey Granger, 78; 5. Tanner Learmont, 75; 6. Dallee Mason, 73; 7. McKennon Wimberly, 69; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Shofner wrestles away the lead

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 00:28

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Every great angler knows the value of a good honey hole.

The Shofner brothers of southeast Texas have one in the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Cooper Shofner of Jasper, Texas, took advantage of the familiarity of Jake McClure Arena on Thursday to move into the overall steer wrestling lead, while brother Jacob Shofner of Huntsville, Texas, scored the fastest time of the week so far.

Cooper Shofner

Cooper Shofner

“This has been one of those rodeos we have a lot of confidence in,” Cooper Shofner said. “Jacob has placed here every year he’s been here, and I’ve placed most every year. It’s really good to do well here, because we’re heading to the Northwest, and it gives you a lot of confidence as you get ready to head there.”

He should have plenty. During the afternoon session, Cooper Shofner posted a 3.9-second run and is tied for second in the opening round. He then followed that with a 3.7 in the performance, making his 7.6-second cumulative time on two runs the fastest with two days of competition remaining in this year’s rodeo.

“We drove all night to get here, then slept in this morning and got ready,” he said. “I had a good steer on the first one. He was supposed to leave, run and stop, so I just took a good start and got him snared. Tonight I had another good one and had a good start. I tried to finish the steer a little better than I did the first one, and it worked out good.”

Jacob Shofner leads the second round with a 3.5-second run; he is tied for fifth in the average with a two-run time of 8.8 seconds. Neither brother is among the top 50 in the world standings, but they know there is still plenty of time to cash in. Doing well in Lovington would be a good start to the final two months of the season.

“It’s important to do well everywhere,” Cooper Shofner said. “The start of the season last fall went really well, but when the winter came, I had one of those down times. In the spring, it picked up a little bit. This summer I’ve been catching money, and here the last couple of weeks it’s been going really good. I thank God He always is faithful to provide.”

Leaning on faith is important, but so is relying on one’s own talent.

“The most important thing we talk about is being consistent,” he said. “If you consistently score good, consistently ride good and consistently make good runs, you’re going to consistently win when you run a good steer.”

That philosophy is working quite well in Lovington.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 5-8
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Jake Brown, 87 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sadie’s Gal; 2. Kaycee Feild, 86; 3. Ryan Gray, 83; 4. Tyler Scales, 82; 5. Anthony Thomas, 77; 6. David Peebles, 76; 7. Richmond Champion, 75; 8. Wyatt Denny, 74.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. 2. Dean Gorsuch, 3.6 seconds; 2. (tie) Wade Sumpter and Cooper Shofner, 3.9, 3.9; 4. Monty Eakin, 4.0; 5. Seth Brockman, 4.1; 6. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Tyler McCormick, 4.2; 8. Clayton Hass, 4.4. Second round leaders: 1. Jacob Shofner, 3.5 seconds; 2. Cole Edge, 3.6; 3. (tie) Tyke Kipp and Cooper Shofner, 3.7; 5. Dakota Eldridge, 4.0; 6. Stan Branco, 4.1; 7. Trell Etbauer, 4.2; 8. (tie) Billy Bugenig and Tim Robinson, 4.3. Average leaders: 1. Cooper Shofner, 7.6 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Seth Brockman and Trevor Knowles, 8.6; 4. Dakota Eldridge, 8.7; 5. (tie) Billy Bugenig and Jacob Shofner, 8.8; 7. Cole Fulton, 9.1; 8. Wade Sumpter.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Ryan Jarrett, 8.2 seconds; 3. Tuf Cooper, 8.9; 4. J.D. Kibbe, 9.1; 5. Bradley Bynum, 9.6; 6. Connor Brice Hall, 9.8; 7. (tie) Trell Etbauer and Cody McCartney, 10.0. Second round leaders: 1. Blaine Cox, 8.6 seconds; 2. Jordan Ketscher, 9.3; 3. Kooper Saiz, 9.4; 4. Timber Moore, 9.6; 5. Travis Lewis, 10.1; 6. Ryle Smith, 10.2; 7. Wacey Walraven, 11.0; 8. Riley Pruitt, 12.1. Average leaders: 1. Blaine Cox, 19.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Riley Pruitt, 20.3; 3. Ryle Smith, 20.8; 4. Rowdy Haferkamp, 23.3; 5. Travis Lewis, 23.3; 6. Trell Etbauer, 25.5; 7. Timber Moore, 26.6; 8. Clint Cooper, 30.7.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. 2. Cort Scheer, 86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Showgirl; 2. Isaac Diaz, 83; 3. (tie) Allen Boore and Jesse James Kirby, 82; 5. Tyrel Larsen, 81; 6. Tyler Corrington, 79; 7. (tie) Clay Elliott, Zeke Thurston, Brandon Biebelle and Layton Green, 75.

Steer roping: Third round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 10.1 seconds; 2. Chet Herren, 12.1; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.5; 4. (tie) Neal Wood and Guy Allen, 12.6; 6. Corey Ross, 13.5. Average leaders: 1. Cody Lee, 41.5 seconds on three runs; 2. Brodie Poppino, 41.7; 3. Guy Allen, 42.0; 4. Troy Tillard, 43.1; 5. Chet Herren, 44.3; 6. Corey Ross, 57.3.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.4 seconds; 2. Nate Singletary/Tom Bill Johnson, 5.8; 3. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9; 4. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 6.3; 5. (tie) Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo and Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 6.8; 7. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 7.2; 8. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Garrett Jess and Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 10.8. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds; 2. (tie) JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, Chad Masters/Travis Graves, Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper and Aaron Macy/Chad Williams, 4.8; 6. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 5.0; 7. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 5.1; 8. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.3. Average leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 10.2 seconds on two runs; 2. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.7; 3. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 11.8; 4. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 13.1; 5. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 14.0; 6. (tie) Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn and Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper, 15.9; 8. Matt Sherwood, 17.9.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Jessica Frost, 17.74 seconds; 2. Michelle Lummus, 17.87; 3. Paige Conrado, 17.91; 4. Shy-Anne Jarrett, 17.89; 5. Kenna Squires, 17.95; 6. Ivy Conrado, 18.12; 7. Dawn Lewis, 17.97; 8. Calyssa Thomas, 18.63; 9. Fonda Galbreath, 20.37; 10. Sydni Blanchard, 23.16.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Sage Kimzey, 84 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Fireball; 2. (tie) Bayle Worden and Casey Huckabee, 82; 4. Corey Granger, 78; 5. Tanner Learmont, 75; 6. McKennon Wimberly, 69; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Feild sets gold standard in Lovington

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 00:03

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Gold rests deep in the mountains of Utah and seems to flow through the blood of the Feild family from the central part of the state.

Kaycee Feild is carrying on a family tradition first established by his father, Lewis, three decades ago. Together they own nine world championship gold buckles – Lewis is a three-time all-around and two-time bareback riding champ, and Kaycee is the reigning four-time world champion bareback rider.

On Wednesday night, Kaycee Feild rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Night Bells for 86 points to take the early bareback riding lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

Kaycee Feild

Kaycee Feild

“That horse is awesome,” said Feild, who has earned more than $1.6 million in his storied career. “I’ve seen him a handful of times the last couple of years, and he’s the kind you just dream about getting on.”

It’s true. Night Bells has been selected to buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo each of the last six years, often in what’s known as the TV pen – the fifth and 10th rounds, which feature the 15 most dynamic horses in the sport.

“He’s very electric, a lot like Dirty Jacket,” Feild said, referring to the reigning Bareback Horse of the Year that is also part of the Pete Carr firm and a half-brother to Night Bells. “They both start the same with a big rare and hop out of (the chute) and land on all fours. Once you set your feet (above the horse’s shoulders), I’ve never felt anything like those two horses. They’re pretty unreal and athletic to do that right there.

“Those two horses are a breed of their own. Cowboys love to get on those two dang horses. You get done and you wonder if he even bucked, and then you see the video, and he’s three feet off the ground on the front end and kicking over his head. He’s just a dream horse.”

That kind of animal athlete allows bareback riders to show their spurring style, and Feild is well known for his. Rides like the one he put on Wednesday night showcased his ability.

“He’s the kind of horse that’s not real rank where they yank on you and cross your eyes or whack you in the back of the head,” the cowboy said. “He gets in the air and lets you show off.”

The ride marked the second time in a year and a half that Feild and Night Bells have been matched; the previous outing in Fort Worth, Texas, resulted in an 89-point ride. The ride in southeastern New Mexico might be just as important for Feild.

“I like to get on good horses and bucking horses that test my skills all the time,” he said. “When Pete Carr puts these good horses out at a rodeo of this caliber, it’s pretty dumb as a professional rodeo cowboy to not enter and come to this one.”

Feild sits ninth in the world standings with nearly $58,000 in earnings – in rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants in each discipline who finish the season with the most money are crowned world champions.

“It’s real important to do well here,” he said. “It’s a tour rodeo, and you can get a big bonus at the end. It’s important to rodeo smart and hit tour rodeos like this one. This year I had a surgery and had to take a few months off. To come here and do good with the money that’s added here and the horses that are here, I’m as excited as could be.”

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 5-8
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Kaycee Feild, 86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Night Bells; 2. Tyler Scales, 82; 3. Richmond Champion, 75; 4. Wyatt Denny, 74; 5. Kenny Haworth, 70; 6. (tie) Kyle Charley and Mason Clements, 68; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Wade Sumpter, 3.9 seconds; 2. Seth Brockman, 4.1; 3. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Tyler McCormick, 4.2; 5. Clayton Hass, 4.4; 6. (tie) Cole Fulton and Billy Bugenig, 4.5; 8. Dakota Eldridge, 4.7. Second round leaders: 1. Dakota Eldridge, 4.0 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 4.2; 3. Billy Bugenig, 4.3; 4. Trevor Knowles, 4.4; 5. Seth Brockman, 4.5; 6. Blake Knowles, 5.2; 7. Wade Supter, 5.9; Sterling Lambert, 14.0. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Seth Brockman and Trevor Knowles, 8.6 seconds on two runs; 3. Dakota Eldridge, 8.7; 4. Billy Bugenig, 8.8; 5. Wade Suptmer, 9.8; 6. Sterling Lambert, 19.4; 7. Trell Etbauer, 20.0; 8. Tyler McCormick, 4.2.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Riley Pruitt, 8.2 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 10.0; 3. Trevor Brazile, 10.3; 4. Jerrad Hofstetter, 10.4; 5. Quay Howard, 10.7; 6. Todd Saulsberry, 11.2; 7. Joeseph Gernentz, 11.5; 8. Chase Williams, 11.7. Second round leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 9.6 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 15.5; 3. Clint Cooper, 17.3; 4. Cliff Kirkpatrick, 21.1; 5. Joseph Gernentz, 21.3; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Trell Etbauer, 25.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Timber Moore, 26.6; 3. Clint Cooper, 30.7; 4. Joseph Gernentz, 32.8; 5. Cliff Kirkpatrick, 33.2; 6. Riley Pruitt, 8.2 seconds on one run; 7. Trevor Brazile, 10.3; 8. Jerrad Hofstetter, 10.4.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Isaac Diaz, 83 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Yatahee; 2. Allen Boore, 92; 3. Tyrel Larsen, 81; 4. (tie) Clay Elliott and Zeke Thurston, 75; 6. Dawson Byrne, 73; 7. Taos Muncy, 71; 8. Travis Sheets, 65.

Steer roping: Third round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 10.1 seconds; 2. Chet Herren, 12.1; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.5; 4. (tie) Neal Wood and Guy Allen, 12.6; 6. Brodie Poppino, 14.6. Average leaders: 1. Chet Herren, 44.3 seconds on three runs; 2. Kim Ziegelgruber, 47.9; 3. Ralph Williams, 53; 4. J.P. Wickett, 25.2 seconds on two runs; 5. Bryce Davis, 25.3; 6. Chance Kelton, 26.6; 7. Trey Wallace, 29.2; 8. Trevor Brazile, 29.6.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9 seconds; 2. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo and Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 6.8; 4. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 7.2; 5. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Garrett Jess and Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 10.8; 7. Kory Bramwell/Cole Jackson, 15.5; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds; 2. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.8; 3. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 5.1; 4. Miles Baker/Austin Rogers, 9.9; 5. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 11.1; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 15.9; 3. Matt Sherwood, 17.9; 4. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds on one run; 5. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 6.8; 6. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 7.2; no other qualified times.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Jessica Frost, 17.74 seconds; 2. Michelle Lummus, 17.87; 3. Paige Conrado, 17.91; 4. Kenna Squires, 17.95; 5. Ivy Conrado, 18.12; 6. Calyssa Thomas, 18.63; 7. Fonda Galbreath, 20.37; 8. Sydni Blanchard, 23.16.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Sage Kimzey, 84 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Fireball; 2. Casey Huckabee, 82; 3. Corey Granger, 78; 4. Tanner Learmont, 75; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

First-round leaders so far in Lovington

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 18:07
Wade Sumpter

Wade Sumpter

Steer wrestling: 1. Wade Sumpter, 3.9 seconds; 2. Seth Brockman, 4.1; 3. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Tyler McCormick, 4.2; 5. Clayton Hass, 4.4; 6. (tie) Cole Fulton and Billy Bugenig, 4.5; 8. Dakota Eldridge, 4.7.

Tie-down roping: 1. Riley Pruitt, 8.2 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 10.0; 3. Trevor Brazile, 10.3; 4. Jerrad Hofstetter, 10.4; 5. Quay Howard, 10.7; 6. Todd Saulsberry, 11.2; 7. Joeseph Gements, 11.5; 8. Chase Williams, 11.7.

Team roping: 1. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9 seconds; 2. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo and Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 6.8; 4. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 7.2; 5. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Garrett Jess and Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 10.8; 7. Kory Bramwell/Cole Jackson, 15.5; no other qualified times

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Win moves Eldred to No. 1 spot

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 00:23

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Brennon Eldred knew the Lea County Xtreme Bulls was a good event.

He had no idea that his victory on Tuesday night would push him to the No. 1 spot in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings.

Brennon Eldred

Brennon Eldred

Eldred, of Sulphur, Okla., rode two bulls for a cumulative score of 175.5 points, pocketing $10,102. That padded his season earnings to $100,464. He now owns a $5,000 lead over reigning world champion Sage Kimzey in the bull riding world standings.

“This is my first DI win,” he said, referring to the top level of the Xtreme Bulls Tour. “I’ve been waiting for a long time to get one, and I finally got it here in Lovington.

“It’s one of the greatest bull ridings of the year. Everybody looks forward to it, and everybody comes here ready to ride. Praise God it worked out tonight, and I’m walking out healthy.”

Well, somewhat healthy. Eldred limped out of the arena with a strained groin muscle, an injury he’s dealt with for a few weeks. But the victory is a major plus for the Oklahoma cowboy.

Eldred finished third in the opening round with an 87-point ride on Lancaster & Pickett’s Blowing Smoke. Brett Stall of Detroit Lakes, Mich., won the first round with a 90-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tobasco.

The championship round is where Eldred took the title. He matched moves with Salt River Rodeo’s Good Cop for 87 points. He added style points to his ride by spurring with his left leg.

“It’s kind of how I ride, but I got a little behind,” he said. “When you get behind, you’ve got to kick loose instead of clamping up; you’ve got to keep moving. I knew I needed to kick loose if I wanted to stay on.”

He was one of just two cowboys to ride two bulls – Guthrie Murray of Miami, Okla., scored 76.5 points to finish second in the final round and the two-ride aggregate.

“The committee’s great, and they work their tails off to take care of us,” Eldred said. “It always makes it fun to come to New Mexico for an event, and to get my first DI event win here is awesome.”

Lea County Xtreme Bulls
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 4
First round:
1. Brett Stall, 90 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tobasco, $3,405; 2. Aaron Pass, 87.5, $2,611; 3. Brennon Eldred, 87, $1,930; 4. Chandler Bownds, 85.5, $1,249; 5. Guthrie Murray, 83.5, $795; 6. Steve Woolsey, 83, $568; 7. Joe Frost, 82.5, $454; 8. (tie) Bart Miller and Trevor Kastner, 81.5, $170 each. Final round: 1. Brennon Eldred, 88.5 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Good Cop, $2,497; 2. Guthrie Murray, 76.5, $1,892; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Brennon Eldred, 175,5 points on two rides, $5,675; 2. Guthrie Murray, 150, $4,351; 3. Brett Stall, 90 points on one ride, $3,216; 4. Aaron Pass, 87.5, $2,081; 5. Chandler Bownds, 85.5, $1,324; 6. Steve Woolsey, 83, $946; 7. Joe Frost, 82.5, $757; 8. (tie) 81.5, $284.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Wickett, Brazile win early in Lovington

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 19:19
J.P. Wickett

J.P. Wickett

J.P. Wickett won the first round and Trevor Brazile the second round on Tuesday morning at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

First round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 13.1 seconds, $1,869; 2. Bryce Davis, 13.3, $1,625; 3. Rod Hartness, 13.5, $1,381; 4. Chet Herren, 13.7, $1,138; 5. Will Gasperson, 14.0, $894; 6. Trey Wallace, 14.1, $650; 7. Roger Branch, 14.5, $406; 8. (tie) Shay Good and Casey Sisk, 14.7, $81 each. Second round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 11.3 seconds, $1,869; 2. Bryce Davis, 12.0, $1,625; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 13.0, $1,381; 4. Chet Herren, 13.5, $1,138; 5. Jarrett Blessing, 13.6, $894; 6. Walter Priestly, 13.8, $650; 7. Ty Herd, 13.9, $406; 8. Jason Evans, 14.2, $163. Third round leaders: 1. (tie) Chance Kelton and Tom Smith, 11.3; 3. Scott Snedecor, 12.0; 4. J.P. Wickett, 12.1; 5. Mike Outhier, 12.2; 6. Jess Tierney, 12.5; 7. Martin Poindexter, 12.6; 8. Dane Noyce, 13.2. Average leaders: 1. Chet Herren, 44.3 seconds on three runs; 2. Kim Ziegelgruber, 47.9; 3. Ralph Williams, 53; 4. J.P. Wickett, 25.2 seconds on two runs; 5. Bryce Davis, 25.3; 6. Chance Kelton, 26.6; 7. Trey Wallace, 29.2; 8. Trevor Brazile, 29.6.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Diaz finds the right Medicine

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 00:35

DODGE CITY, Kan. – It’s safe to say that the Frontier Rodeo Co. bronc Medicine Woman likes Roundup Arena.

The great bay mare, a two-time Saddle Bronc Riding Horse of the Year, has helped cowboys to Dodge City Roundup Rodeo records each of the past two seasons. After helping Wade Sundell to a 92 a season ago, Medicine Woman matched moves with Isaac Diaz for 93 points on Sunday night.

Isaac Diaz

Isaac Diaz

That propelled Diaz – a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Desdemona, Texas – to his first Roundup title and the prestigious trophy belt that was awarded to the champions.

“It means the world to win this rodeo, because I’ve come real close two other times,” said Diaz, who scored 87 points on the same horse to share the victory earlier this year in Corpus Christi, Texas. “Just to be able to draw a horse like that twice in a year is amazing; it’s strictly God. I’ve been praying for my draws all year long, and this is the best I’ve ever drawn. It’s all Him.”

Cowboys are matched with their animals by a random draw, and things have been going the right way for the Florida-born bronc rider.

“When you draw good, it forces you to ride better,” he said. “I guess my focus is better than it has been I the past. I hope this is the start of how it’s going to be from here on out.”

He finished in a four-way tie for fourth place in the first round, then won the short go-round and the two-ride aggregate. In all, he pocketed $4,684. Not only was it a Roundup Arena record, it also was a personal best for Diaz.

“I felt like I rode her better this time than I did earlier this year,” he said. “I felt like she bucked harder today. She was definitely better today than she was at Corpus, and she was all I wanted then.”

Diaz is ninth in the world standings, but his run in southwest Kansas should move him up the money list. That’s important.

“Making the NFR is important, and it’s just as important this year as it is any other year,” Diaz said. “It’s a way we make our living. When we get there, that’s where we make our profit. All that other stuff helps, but that’s where everything comes to play.

“I feel like I’m riding better than I ever have. I feel more confident. My focus is in a different place right now, and I’m excited about that.”

Diaz was one of nine champions crowned Sunday night. Others were bareback Matt Bright, steer wrestler Stockton Graves, team ropers David Key and Martin Lucero, barrel racer Tillar Murray, bull rider Aaron Pass and tie-down roper Caleb Smidt, who has had a lot of success in Dodge City.

“I love this rodeo,” said Smidt, a 2013 NFR qualifier. “I’ve been here three times, and I made the short round three times. I won the all-around two years ago. I won Nampa (Idaho) and Sheridan (Wyo.), but by far, this is my favorite one.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 29-Aug. 2
All Around Cowboy:
J.D. Yates, $1,648 in steer roping and team roping.

Bareback riding: 1. Brian Bain, 86 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Hypnotic, $2,777; 2. Jake Brown, 85, $2,129; 3. Matt Bright and Richmond Champion, 83, $1,296 each; 5. Bill Tutor, 82, $647; 6. R.C. Landingham, 81, $463; 7. (tie) Kash Wilson and Marvin Alderman Jr., 80, $324 each. Final round: 1. Seth Harwick, 84 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Sun Glow, $1,650; 2. Matt Bright, 81, $1,250; 3. Bill Tutor, 80, $900; 4. Tanner Aus, 79, $600; 5. Frank Morton, 68, $350; 6. Brian Bain, 67, $250. Average: 1. Matt Bright, 164 points on two rides, $2,777; 2. (tie) Seth Hardwick and Bill Tutor, 162, $1,851 each; 4. Tanner Aus, 157, $1,018; 5. Brian Bain, 157, $648; 6. Frank Morton, 144, $463; 7. Jake Brown, 85 points on one ride, $370; 8. Richmond Champion, 83, $278.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Colt Stearns, 3.4 seconds, $2,865; 2. Ryan Swayze, 3.8, $2,491; 3. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Ricky Riley, 3.9, $1,931 each; 5. Clayton Hass, 4.0, $1,370; 6. Kyle Irwin, 4.1, $996; 7. (tie) Logan Rudd and Ryan Bothum, 4.3, $436 each. Second round: 1. Kyle Whitaker, 3.3 seconds, $2,865; 2. Jason Lahr, 3.5, $2,491; 3. (tie) Levi Rudd, Tyler Waguespack and Wade Sumpter, 3.6, $1,744 each; 6. (tie) Matt Reeves and Josh Clark, 3.8, $810 each; 8. (tie) Aaron Vosler and Jacob Shofner, 3.9, $125 each. Final round: 1. Stockton Graves, 3.3 seconds, $1,407; 2. Bray Armes, 3.7, $1,164; 3. J.D. Struxness, 4.0, $922; 4. (tie) Seth Brockman and Cooper Shofner, 4.2, $558 each; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.7, $243. Average: 1. Stockton Graves, 12.0 seconds on three runs, $4,297; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 12.9, $3,737; 3. J.D. Struxness, 13.0, $3,176; 4. Cooper Shofner, 13.1, $2,616; 5. Bray Armes, 13.2, $2,055; 6. Seth Brockman, 13.5, $1,495; 7. Kyle Irwin, 21.7, $934; 8. Colt Stearns, 7.9, $374.

Team roping: First round: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.4 seconds, $2,297 each; 2. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 4.7, $1,997; 3. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.9, $1,698; 4. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 5.1, $1,398; 5. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2, $1,098; 6. Monty Wood/Boogie Ray, 5.3, $799; 7. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.5, $499; 8. David Key/Martin Lucero, 5.6, $200. Second round: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds, $2,297; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 5.1, $1,997; 3. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.3, $1,698; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 5.4, $$1,398; 5. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 5.5, $1,098; 6. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 5.8, $799; 7. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 5.9, $499l 8. (tie) David Key/Martin Lucero and Zac Small/Tyler Worley, 6.0, $100 each. Final round: 1.David Key/Martin Lucero, 4.9 seconds, $1,130; 2. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, $5.9, $848; 3. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 6.2, $565; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 6.3, $283. Average: 1. David Key/Martin Lucero, 16.5 seconds on three runs, $3,556; 2. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 17.0, $2,996; 3. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 17.4, $2,546; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 17.0, $2,097; 5. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 19.3, $1,648; 6. Miles Baker/Austin Rogers, 20.9, $1,198; 7. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 21.9, $749; 8. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 11.0 on two runs, $300.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Steven Dent, 82 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Pine Cone, $2,477; 2. Rusty Wright and Allen Boore, 81, $1,651 each; 2. (tie) Jesse James Kirby, Isaac Diaz, Cody Wright and Chad Ferley, 80, $557 each; 8. Will Smith, 79, $248. Final round: 1. Isaac Diaz, 93 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine Woman, $1,650; 2. Chad Ferley, 87, $1,250; 3. Rusty Wright, 86, $900; 4. Steven Dent, 84, $600; 5. Will Smith, 81, $350; 6. Allen Boore, 80, $250. Average: 1. Isaac Diaz, 173 points on two rides, $2,477; 2. (tie) Chad Ferley and Rusty Wright, 167, $1,651 each; 4. Steven Dent, 166, $908; 5. Allen Boore, 161, $578; 6. Will Smith, 160, $413; 7. Taos Muncy, 156, $330; 8. Tyrel Larsen, 154, $248.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Stran Smith, 8.2 seconds, $2,737; 2. (tie) J.D. Kibbe and Cody Quaney, 8.6, $2,201 each; 4. Caleb Smidt, 8.8, $1,666; 5. (tie) Landyn Duncan and Blair Burk, 8.9, $1,130 each; 7. (tie) Monty Lewis and Justin Maass, 9.0, $416 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Cody Ohl and Caddo Lewallen, 7.7 seconds, $2,558 each; 3. (tie) Tyson Durfey and L.D. Meier, 8.0, $1,844; 5. Cole Bailey, 8.1, $1,309; 6. Adam Gray, 8.4, $952; 7. Tyler Milligan, 8.5, $595; 8. (tie) Trent Creager, Dennis Luetge and Stran Smith, 8.6, $79 each. Final round: 1. Sterling Smith, 8.0 seconds, $1,305; 2. Caleb Smidt, 9.2, $1,080; 3. (tie) Justin Maass and Ace Slone, 9.6, $743 each; 5. Stran Smith, 10.5, $405; 6. Timber Moore, 11.5, $225. Average: 1. Caleb Smidt, 27.0 seconds on three runs, $4,105; 2. Stran Smith, 27.3, $3,569; 3. Ace Slone, 28.1, $3,034; 4. Justin Maass, 28.3, $2,499; 5. Sterling Smith, 29.2, $1,963; 6. Timber Moore, 30.3, $1,428; 7. Blair Burk, 32.1, $892; 8. GlenJackson Glasper, 39.8, $357.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.09 seconds, $2,420; 2. Jackie Ganter, 17.10, $2,074; 3. Sidney Forrest, 17.15, $1,729; 4. Abby Searcy, 17.20, $1,498; 5. Megan Swint, 17.21, $1,152; 6. Shelley Morgan, 17.22, $922; 7. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.23, $691; 8. Tillar Murray, 17.26, $461; 9. (tie) Meghan Johnson, Mary Burger and Laura Lambert, 17.28, $192 each. Second round: 1. Tillar Murray, 17.02 seconds, $2,420; 2. (tie) Sarah Rose McDonald and Carley Richardson, 17.06, $1,902 each; 4. Laura Kennedy, 17.07, $1,498; 5. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.11, $1,152; 6. Bailee Snow, 17.15, $922; 7. Stevi Hillman, 17.16, $691; 8. Calyssa Thomas, 17.17, $461; 9. Christy Loflin, 17.18, $346; 10. Megan Swint, 17.21, $230. Final round: 1. Tillar Murray, 17.06 seconds, $1,793; 2. Kim Couch, 17.15, $1,345; 3. Jackie Ganter, 17.17, $896; 4. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.19, $448. Average: 1. Tillar Murray, 51.34 seconds on three runs, $3,630; 2. Kelley Schnaufer, 51.39, $3,112; 3. Jackie Ganter, 51.68, $2,563; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 51.76, $2,247; 5. Kim Couch, 51.77, $1,728; 6. Meghan Johnson, 51.81, $1,383; 7. Carley Richardson, 51.86, $1,037; 8. Paige Willis, 51.98, $691; 9. Abby Searcy, 52.09, $519; 10. Mary Burger, 52.13, $346.

Bull riding: 1. Scottie Knapp, 89 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Spanish Moss, $2,787; 2. Aaron Pass, 88, $2,137; 3. (tie) Rocky McDonald and John Young, 86, $1,301 each; 5. Trevor Kastner, 85, $650; 6. Tanner Bothwell, 84, $465; 7. (tie) Hondo Flores and Dalton Votaw, 83, $325 each. Final round: 1. Aaron Pass, 88 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Sandi’s Dream, $2,700; 2. Rocky McDonald, 86, $2,300; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Aaron Pass, 176 points on two rides, $2,787; 2. Rocky McDonald, 172, $2,137; 3. Scottie Knapp, 89 points on one ride, $1,580; 4. John Young, 86, $1,022; 5. Trevor Kastner, $650; 6. Tanner Bothwell, 84, $465; 7. Hondo Flores, 83, $372; 8. Zeb Lanham, 82, $279.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Crossett rodeo a big event for Carr

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 14:32

CROSSETT, Ark. – The Crossett Riding Club PRCA Rodeo is one of the hottest Pro Rodeo’s in the country, and it has nothing to do with the temperature.

Sure, southern Arkansas has its fair share of steamy nights, but the first full week of August will showcase on a different type of heat during the annual rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5-Saturday, Aug. 8, at Cap Gates Arena in Crossett.

Crossett-LOGO“I think we’ve been doing a good job of trying to make our rodeo better,” said Bill Stephens, a longtime member of the volunteer committee that organizes the rodeo. “We’ve been trying to add more money each year.

“Of course, with Pete Carr, you can’t do any better as far as stock in my book. Having that kind of stock helps us in getting the top-name cowboys.”

In fact, the Crossett committee has been recognized as one of the best rodeos in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for events its size. That says quite a bit about the locals that work so hard to make the rodeo successful.

“There are three things that stand out to me on why that rodeo’s so great,” said Scott Grover, now in his seventh year calling the action. “There is a very hard-working committee that’s not afraid to change and that always wants to do something every year to make the rodeo better, whether it’s hiring the best acts or adding more money. They take this rodeo very seriously and the nomination very seriously.

“The committee is striving to win the rodeo of the year title, and having Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo is a big reason to that. Pete Carr is one of the premier stock contractors in the PRCA, and he always brings great stock. The third thing is that they care about hospitality, which is very important. The churches get involved and feed everyone at least twice a day.”

Carr has been honored as one of the top five stock contractors in the PRCA each of the past two years. He also has had more animals selected to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo over that same stretch; 27 Carr animals have been chosen to perform at ProRodeo’s grand finale in each the 2013-14 seasons, a record for bucking horses and bulls from one contractor.

“He just has a professional crew to go along with the top stock,” said Stephens, who in 2014 was named the John Justin Committeeperson of the Year. “Everybody from his crew that’s been to our rodeo takes a lot of pride in what they do. To me, he has one of the best crews at rodeo you can go to.”

Carr, too, takes great pride in being part of such a top-flight event.

“Crossett is an outstanding rodeo, and we are excited to be part of it,” Carr said. “The fact that the rodeo has been nominated shows how much work they put into it.”

A core group of 15 works year-round to make sure the rodeo is a true showcase for fans.

“There is a lot of tradition for our rodeo in our community,” Stephens said. “We take a lot of pride in that.”

It shows.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Stearns has his Wit and his way

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 23:56

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Colt Stearns makes no bones about how he acquired his steer wrestling horse.

“I got married to get it,” he said of Wit, a 17-year-old bay gelding. “My wife had him in high school as a roping horse, and I liked him. I started dating her, and I got married to get the horse.”

His wife certainly knows as well as anyone what a good animal he is. On Saturday, Stearns rode Wit to take the steer wrestling leading heading into Sunday’s championship round.

DodgeCityRoundupThe Freedom, Okla., cowboy won the opening go-round during the morning session with a 3.4-second run, pocketing $2,865. He followed that up with a solid run Saturday night for a two-run cumulative time of 7.9 seconds, a three-tenths-of-a-second lead over Tyler Waguespack and Clayton Hass.

“He’s outstanding in the field,” Stearns said, noting that the horse can be a handful just before the run begins. “I can get by with him. When I nod my head for my steer, he’s doing his job.”

The main function of a bulldogging horse is to leave the chute with perfect timing, allowing the steer the appropriate head start while giving the cowboy and opportunity to be fast. It helps that most animals have great speed. Witt has been the guiding force behind Stearns’ two qualifications to the Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo (2012-13).

“This is our top circuit rodeo,” he said. “I’ve had success here in the past, so it’s always been really good to me.”

That’s important to the Nebraska-born cowboy, who focuses on competing in the Prairie Circuit, a group of rodeos and contestants primarily from Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

“I’m a long ways from winning the circuit,” Stearns said. “I missed it last year by $600. It would be great to come back and get a good check again (Sunday) and maybe win it. It’d give me a boost back in the standings. I’m just trying to get at least that 12th spot in the standings so I can make the circuit finals.”

Jesse James Kirby

Jesse James Kirby

The circuit standings has always been a priority for saddle bronc rider Jesse James Kirby of Dodge City. He is a three-time year-end champion and won the circuit finals last October. This year, though, he’s making a serious run at his first qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Any money won at Roundup Rodeo helps both causes. Kirby has won about $24,000 so far this season and sits 26th in the world standings. Of that, $7,000 has come within the Prairie Circuit; he leads the region.

On Saturday night, he matched moves with Harry Vold Rodeo’s Erica Kane for 80 points. He finished in a four-way tie for fourth place in the first round, but he’s just two points away from leader Steven Dent heading into Sunday’s finale.

“Tonight meant a lot to do really well in front of everybody,” said Kirby, who added $557 to his season total. “This is my best year of my career. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to (four-time NFR qualifier) Bob Griswold. He was a great traveling partner and a great mentor. He showed me how to stay positive all the time.”

It shows. Now Kirby has the opportunity to show off in front of his hometown crowd for the second night in a row.

“It’s very tough to win this rodeo, especially in your hometown,” Kirby said. “All your support is here.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 29-Aug. 2
Includes short-round qualifiers
Bareback riding:
1. Brian Bain, 86 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Hypnotic, $2,777; 2. Jake Brown, 85, $2,129; 3. Matt Bright and Richmond Champion, 83, $1,296 each; 5. Bill Tutor, 82, $647; 6. R.C. Landingham, 81, $463; 7. (tie) Kash Wilson and Marvin Alderman Jr., 80, $324 each; 9. (tie) Tanner Aus and Seth Hardwick, 78; 11. (tie) Colt Kitaif and Frank Morton, 76.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Colt Stearns, 3.4 seconds, $2,865; 2. Ryan Swayze, 3.8, $2,491; 3. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Ricky Riley, 3.9, $1,931 each; 5. Clayton Hass, 4.0, $1,370; 6. Kyle Irwin, 4.1, $996; 7. (tie) Logan Rudd and Ryan Bothum, 4.3, $436 each. Second round leaders: 1. Kyle Whitaker, 3.3 seconds, $2,865; 2. Jason Lahr, 3.5, $2,491; 3. (tie) Levi Rudd, Tyler Waguespack and Wade Sumpter, 3.6, $1,744 each; 6. (tie) Matt Reeves and Josh Clark, 3.8, $810 each; 8. (tie) Aaron Vosler and Jacob Shofner, 3.9, $125 each. Average leaders: 1. Colt Stearns, 7.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Waguespack and Clayton Hass, 8.2; 4. Rowdy Parrott, 8.3; 5. Kyle Irwin, 8.4; 6. Stockton Graves, 8.7; 7. Ryan Swayze, 8.8; 8. Copper Shofner, 8.9; 9. J.D. Struxness, 9.0; 10. Orrin Fontenot, 9.2; 11. Seth Brockman, 9.3; 12. Bray Armes, 9.5.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.4 seconds, $2,297 each; 2. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 4.7, $1,997; 3. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.9, $1,698; 4. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 5.1, $1,398; 5. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2, $1,098; 6. Monty Wood/Boogie Ray, 5.3, $799; 7. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.5, $499; 8. David Key/Martin Lucero, 5.6, $200. Second round leaders: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds, $2,297; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 5.1, $1,997; 3. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.3, $1,698; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 5.4, $$1,398; 5. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 5.5, $1,098; 6. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 5.8, $799; 7. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 5.9, $499l 8. (tie) David Key/Martin Lucero and Zac Small/Tyler Worley, 6.0, $100 each. Average leaders: 1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 10.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Charly Crawford/Shay Carroll, 11.0; 3. (tie) Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes and Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 11.5; 5. David Key/Martin Lucero, 11.6; 6. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 11.7; 7. (tie) Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper and Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 11.8; 9. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 12.6; 10. Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster, 12.9; 11. (tie) Nick Becker/Toby Mentzer and Miles Baker/Austin Rogers, 13.9.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Steven Dent, 82 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Pine Cone, $2,477; 2. Rusty Wright and Allen Boore, 81, $1,651 each; 2. (tie) Jesse James Kirby, Isaac Diaz, Cody Wright and Chad Ferley, 80, $557 each; 8. Will Smith, 79, $248; 9. Tyrel Larsen, 78; 10. (tie) Taos Muncy, Andy Clarys and Nick Laduke, 77.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 8.2 seconds, $2,737; 2. (tie) J.D. Kibbe and Cody Quaney, 8.6, $2,201 each; 4. Caleb Smidt, 8.8, $1,666; 5. (tie) Landyn Duncan and Blair Burk, 8.9, $1,130 each; 7. (tie) Monty Lewis and Justin Maass, 9.0, $416 each. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Cody Ohl and Caddo Lewallen, 7.7 seconds, $2,558 each; 3. (tie) Tyson Durfey and L.D. Meier, 8.0, $1,844; 5. Cole Bailey, 8.1, $1,309; 6. Adam Gray, 8.4, $952; 7. Tyler Milligan, 8.5, $595; 8. (tie) Trent Creager, Dennis Luetge and Stran Smith, 8.6, $79 each. Average leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 16.8 seconds on two runs; 2. J.D. Kibbe, 17.5; 3. Caleb Smidt, 17.8; 4. Ace Sloan, 18.5; 5. Blair Burk, 18.6; 6. Justin Maass, 18.7; 7. Timber Moore, 18.8; 8. GlennJackson Glasper, 19.6; 9. Landyn Duncan, 19.9; 10. Trent Creager, 20.3; 11. Tanner Stec, 20.7; 12. Sterling Smith, 21.2.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.09 seconds, $2,420; 2. Jackie Ganter, 17.10, $2,074; 3. Sidney Forrest, 17.15, $1,729; 4. Abby Searcy, 17.20, $1,498; 5. Megan Swint, 17.21, $1,152; 6. Shelley Morgan, 17.22, $922; 7. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.23, $691; 8. Tillar Murray, 17.26, $461; 9. (tie) Meghan Johnson, Mary Burger and Laura Lambert, 17.28, $192 each. Second round leaders: 1. Tillar Murray, 17.02 seconds, $2,420; 2. (tie) Sarah Rose McDonald and Carley Richardson, 17.06, $1,902 each; 4. Laura Kennedy, 17.07, $1,498; 5. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.11, $1,152; 6. Bailee Snow, 17.15, $922; 7. Stevi Hillman, 17.16, $691; 8. Calyssa Thomas, 17.17, $461; 9. Christy Loflin, 17.18, $346; 10. Megan Swint, 17.21, $230. Average leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 34.20 seconds on two runs; 2. Tillar Murray, 34.28; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 34.29; 4. (tie) Abby Searcy and Megan Swint, 34.42; 6. Jackie Ganter, 34.51; 7. Meghan Johnson, 34.52; 8. Carley Richardson, 34.53; 9. Mary Burger, 34.57; 10. Stevi Hillman, 34.61; 11. Kim Couch, 34.62; 12. Paige Willis, 34.65.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Scottie Knapp, 89 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Spanish Moss, $2,787; 2. Aaron Pass, 88, $2,137; 3. (tie) Rocky McDonald and John Young, 86, $1,301 each; 5. Trevor Kastner, 85, $650; 6. Tanner Bothwell, 84, $465; 7. (tie) Hondo Flores and Dalton Votaw, 83, $325 each; 8. Zeb Lanham, 82; 10. (tie) Trenton Montero and Caleb Sanderson, 81. (Because of ties, only 11 bull riders qualified for the final round.)

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Roundup broadcast set for Wrangler Network

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 11:13

The Saturday and Sunday performances of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo have become a must-see event for folks in southwest Kansas.

DodgeCityRoundupIt’s incredible seeing the men, women and children that align the fence in the standing-room-only section on Saturday night as we close out the final preliminary go-round of this year’s championship. Vendors are busy as people make their ways to view a major stop on the ProRodeo tour.

For those that can’t make it to witness this magical experience, there is an outlet. The Wrangler Network will broadcast both performances online. It’s a great way to keep up with the action. Tonight you can follow and see who will return for tomorrow’s championship round. On Sunday, you’ll get to see who wins this prestigious rodeo and the coveted Roundup buckle made by Montana Silversmiths.

The Wrangler Network has helped increase interest in our sport. It’s become a valuable tool for fans and contestants alike.

Still, there’s nothing like experiencing Roundup Rodeo in person. It’s truly a marvelous show. But if you can’t make it to this community of about 30,000, then take in the Wrangler Network’s broadcast. It’ll be worth it.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Cowboys to return to Lea County

Sat, 08/01/2015 - 10:27

LOVINGTON, N.M. – There’s nothing in the world better than coming home.

That’s especially true for the Tate Branch Auto Group “Riding for the Brand” team of cowboys that make their living on the ProRodeo trail. For those that call southeastern New Mexico home, next week’s stop at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo is vital.

Jake Cooper

Jake Cooper

“For us, it’s seeing family and a bunch of friends and having a couple days off,” said Jake Cooper, the sixth-ranked header in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings from Monument. “More importantly, it’s getting some good home cooking. It’s been a long four weeks out here rodeoing.”

He is one of seven top cowboys who are part of the “Riding for the Brand” team, joining his twin brother, heeler Jim Ross Cooper; tie-down ropers Clint Cooper, Clif Cooper and their father, legend Roy Cooper; steer roper Marty Jones; and two-time saddle bronc riding world champion Taos Muncy. All are scheduled to be part of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

For Jim, Jake, Clint and Jones, the rodeo in Lovington is about coming home. Clint Cooper grew up in Lovington and still loves the opportunity to return to his stomping grounds. The other three still claim their Lea County residences.

Marty Jones

Marty Jones

“For me, it’s just getting to go home every night after the rodeo,” said Jones, a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping qualifier from Hobbs. “That’s enjoyable. I love the Jake McClure Arena and always have.

“I’ve roped a lot of them in there. Maybe it’ll be good for me.”

It’s definitely been good for Clint Cooper, a five-time NFR qualifier. He’s won the tie-down roping twice and seen great success in Lovington, but that’s not the most important part of the week for him.

“It’s home, and that rodeo means going home and seeing all my family and friends and my grandma,” he said. “There’s so much family there that it’s important for me.”

He also knows the importance of tending to business. He sits 35th in the world standings, 20 spots away from that magical top 15 he needs in order to return to Las Vegas in December.

Clint Cooper

Clint Cooper

“It’s probably been one of the slowest years of my career so far,” Clint Cooper said. “I’ve got 40 rodeos left, so I’m going to still go to every one of them and see what happens.”

Though not so far down the list, Jim Cooper sits 22nd in the heeling standings and needs to have a solid final two months of the season if he is going to return to ProRodeo’s grand championship for the sixth time.

“My year started off slow, but things can snowball on you good and bad,” he said. “Right there in June, it got pretty good and snowballed the right way. You just do what you can do and see what happens.”

He’d like for the snowball to continue in Lea County.

“All these rodeos are important, but a guy has to look at the standpoint of one at a time,” Jim Cooper said. “But if anyone tells you that your hometown rodeo – that’s as good as Lovington – isn’t further up there on the list, then they’re crazy.

Jim Ross Cooper

Jim Ross Cooper

“When you’re that close to home and have that many people there that support you, you like to do well.”

Many of those supporters are involved with the Tate Branch Auto Group, which also is the presenting sponsor of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

“Tate’s just a great guy,” Jim Cooper said. “He’s done wonderful at business, and he’s passed a few of those blessings to a few of us rodeo cowboys. Anytime you can have a person in your corner that can help you out in as many different ways as Mr. Tate – and just being a friend is important – you know you have something pretty special.

“We’re looking forward to an ongoing relationship with Tate and really appreciate all parts of it.”

That’s a sentiment shared by all the other “Riding for the Brand” cowboys.

“I appreciate Tate so much,” Jones said. “To have the opportunity to drive a pickup like that and him take care of us like that, it’s a very special deal.”

“Tate and I met in 2010,” Clint Cooper said. “He not only has been a great family friend, but how he’s helped me get up and down the road transportation-wise is amazing. Just what he’s done for our sport of rodeo is amazing. I’ve noticed a bunch of other junior rodeos and high school rodeos and others that he’s associated with, so it shows he supports rodeo.”

That support is paying off for the cowboys.

“It’s been a good season so far,” Jake Cooper said. “Part of us doing well is knowing your rig is reliable. We’ve gotten to all the rodeos safely and been able to compete. Financially, it’s a load off your mind, but so is having a reliable vehicle.”

Reliability is important in all aspects of life. For rodeo cowboys, having a reliable horse and relying on one’s own abilities helps pay the way and guide them to championships. It’s all part of the package for the Tate Branch Auto Group team.

——

The “Riding for the Brand” cowboys will be at the second annual Tate Branch Auto Group All RAM No Bull sale throughout the week in Lovington at the old Gibson building on the Hobbs Highway. They will be available for pictures and autographs, and will be interviewed on the 94.9 Country Giant morning radio show. The Country Giant will be doing its morning show Tuesday through Friday on site and the cowboys will be there for the show throughout the week to meet and greet their fans. 

Tate Branch-logo

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Skelton recovering with fast times

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 23:26

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Nick Sartain and Rich Skelton had a solid winter and were enjoying a nice spring.

As of the second week of May, they were both fifth in their respective team roping world standings, having earned $26,000. Things changed in a hurry.

Rich Skelton

Rich Skelton

Skelton, an eight-time world champion, suffered serious injuries May 15 when he was on the wrong end of a chain-reaction wreck near his Llano, Texas, home. A pickup pulling a livestock trailer slammed into a passenger vehicle, which crashed into the eight-time world champion’s tractor. Skelton and the driver of the passenger vehicle were airlifted to an Austin, Texas, hospital.

He returned to rodeo action in late June. On Friday night, he and Sartain stopped the clock in 5.3 seconds during the third performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Combined with their 5.5-second first-round run, they lead the two-run aggregate heading into the final two days of Kansas’ richest rodeo.

“When I got hurt, I’d only been to 12 rodeos,” said Skelton, who, with Sartain, has pocketed more than $16,000 in a few weeks to move back up into the top 20 in the world standings. “We get to go to 75, so we’re playing catch-up.”

Nick Sartain

Nick Sartain

They’re doing it quite well in western Kansas. They are placing in both go-rounds with one day remaining in the preliminary rounds and will return for Sunday’s championship round. Skelton has claimed the coveted Roundup buckle two other times with world champion ropers Tee Woolman and Speed Williams; he’d like to add a third with Sartain.

“It’s been a good partnership,” Skelton said of heeling behind Sartain, the 2009 heading world champ. “We’ve struggled the past couple of weeks.

“Everything’s good, but we’re hoping this will get us kick-started and get us rolling.”

Just two months remain in ProRodeo’s regular season. Only the top 15 contestants in each event qualify for the year-end championship, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which takes place each December in Las Vegas. Doing well in Dodge City will be a great momentum boost. He’d love to return to the Nevada desert for the 22nd time in his storied career.

“I’m pretty fortunate to rope with Nick,” said Skelton, who won all of his gold buckles roping with Williams from 1997-2004. “When I was roping with Speedy, Nick used to come down and practice with us. He knows how I like steers handled, and he’s worked at handling steers like Speed.

“That’s one of the reasons we wanted to rope together.”

It’s working in Dodge City.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 29-Aug. 2
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Matt Bright, 83 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Showdown; 2. Kash Wilson, 80; 3. (tie) Tanner Aus and Seth Hardwick, 78; 5. (tie) Colt Kitaif and Frank Morton, 76; 7. Clint Cannon, 75; 8. Kyle Charley, 74; 9. (tie) Clayton Jon Biglow, Trenton Montero and Will Lowe, 71 each; 12. Casey Breuer, 66.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Ryan Swayze, 3.8; 2. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Ricky Riley, 3.9 seconds; 4. Kyle Irwin, 4.1; 5. (tie) Logan Rudd and Ryan Bothum, 4.3; 7. (tie) Orrin Fontenot, Jule Hazen, Stockton Graves, Cody Pratt and Stewart Gullager, 4.4. Second round leaders: 1. Kyle Whitaker, 3.3 seconds; 2. Jason Lahr, 3.5; 3. (tie) Levi Rudd, Tyler Waguespack and Wade Suptmer, 3.6; 6. (tie) Matt Reeves and Josh Clark, 3.8; 8. (tie) Matt Uttermark and J.D. Struxness, 4.0. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Rowdy Parrott, 8.3; 3. Kyle Irwin, 8.4; 4. Stockton Graves, 8.7; 5. Ryan Swayze, 8.8; 6. J.D. Struxness, 9.0; 7. Orrin Fontenot, 9.2; 8. Seth Brockman, 9.3; 9. Bray Armes, 9.5; 10. Ryan Bothum, 9.8; 11. Clay Mindemann, 9.9; Wade Sumpter, 10.1.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.4 seconds; 2. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 4.7; 3. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.9; 4. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2; 5. Monty Wood/Boogie Ray, 5.3; 6. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.5; 7. David Key/Martin Lucero, 5.6; 8. Dylan Gordon/Gage Williams, 5.9. Second round leaders: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 5.1; 3. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.3; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 5.4; 5. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 5.8; 6. David Key/Martin Lucero, 6.0; 7. (tie) J.D. Yates/Trey Yates and Nick Becker/Toby Mentzer, 6.3. Average leaders: 1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 10.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 11.5; 3. David Key/Martin Lucero, 11.6; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 11.7; 5. (tie) Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper and Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 11.8; 7. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 12.6; 8. Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster, 12.9; 8. Nick Becker/Toby Mentzer, 13.9; 10. Jered Hunter/Trew Cates, 15.1; 11. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 15.5; 12. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 15.5.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Rusty Wright, 81 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Jerry’s Delight; 2. (tie) Isaac Diaz, Cody Wright and Chad Ferley, 80; 5. Will Smith, 79; 6. Tyrel Larsen, 78; 7. Taos Muncy, 77; 8. (tie) Spencer Wright and Dalton Davis, 76; 10. (tie) Doug Aldridge, Taygen Schuelke and Dawson Jandreau, 75.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 8.2 seconds; 2. Caleb Smidt, 8.8; 3. (tie) Blair Burk and Landyn Duncan, 8.9; 5. (tie) Justin Maass and Monty Lewis, 9.0; 7. Tanner Stec and Rhett Ridling, 9.3. Second round leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 7.7 seconds; 2. Tyson Durfey, 8.0; 3. 3. Cole Bailey, 8.1; 4. Tyler Milligan, 8.5 seconds; 5. (tie) Trent Creager, Dennis Luetge and Stran Smith, 8.6; 8. Caleb Smidt, 9.0. Average leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 16.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Caleb Smidt, 17.8; 3. Blair Burk, 18.6; 4. Justin Maass, 18.7; 5. Timber Moore, 18.8; 6. GlennJackson Glasper, 19.6; 7. Landyn Duncan, 19.9; 8. Trent Creager, 20.3; 9. Tanner Stec, 20.7; 10. Quay Howard, 21.3; 11. Jesse Clark, 21.5; 12. Dennis Luetge, 24.1.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.09 seconds; 2. Jackie Ganter, 17.10; 3. Abby Searcy, 17.20; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.23; 5. Tillar Murray, 17.26; 6. (tie) Laura Lambert, Mary Burger and Meghan Johnson, 17.28, 17.28; 9. Christine Laughlin, 17.34; 10. Catherine Asmussen, 17.35. Second round leaders: 1. Tillar Murray, 17.02 seconds; 2. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.06; 3. Carley Richardson, 17.06; 4. Laura Kennedy, 17.07; 5. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.11; 6. Bailee Snow, 17.15; 7. Stevi Hillman, 17.16; 8. Calyssa Thomas, 17.17; 9. Christy Loflin, 17.18; 10. Abby Searcy, 17.22. Average leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 34.20 seconds on two runs; 2. Tillar Murray, 34.28; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 34.29; 4. Abby Searcy, 34.42; 5. Jackie Ganter, 34.51; 6. Meghan Johnson, 34.52; 7. Carley Richaardson, 34.53; 8. Mary Burger, 34.57; 9. Stevi Hillman, 34.61; 10. Kim Couch, 34.62; 11. Victoria Williams, 34.67; 12. Ivy Hurtst, 34.73.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Scottie Knapp, 89 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Spanish Moss; 2. Aaron Pass, 88; 3. Rocky McDonald, 86; 4. Trevor Kastner, 85; 5. Tanner Bothwell, 84; 6. Hondo Flores, 83; 8. Zeb Lanham, 82; 8. (tie) Trenton Montero and Caleb Sanderson, 81; 10. Cole Echols, 80; 11. Sage Kimzey, 77; 12. Joe Frost, 76.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo
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