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The words of Ted Harbin, winner of the 2010 PRCA Media Award for Excellence in Print Journalism
Updated: 55 min 37 sec ago

InVinci-Bull setting the standard

4 hours 15 min ago

PARTNERSHIP WITH SHOCKBOX PRESENTS NEEDED DATA ABOUT BULL RIDING HELMETS

The image is clear and stunning.

A cowboy lies motionless in the arena dirt as a 1,600-pound bull continues to leap, kick and twist near him. Athletic men move in to protect the cowboy and entice the beast away. Fear and a sense of panic are natural, from fellow bull riders to announcers to fans.

It’s that vivid image that has led to the partnership between Impakt Protective and InVinci-Bull in the creation of the Shockbox helmet sensors for bull riding. The relationship allows not only for better protection for the cowboys, but also a way many others to keep track of the types of forces that a bull rider faces during a ride.

InVinci-Bull-Helmet“We are in this to better protect the bull riders,” said Cody McGee, the executive vice president of sales and marketing for InVinci-Bull. “This sensor is going to change bull riding. With the sensor in the helmet and the signal it sends the app, we’re going to know the exact spot a cowboy takes a blow and the G-forces that impact has. Sports medicine can go in and pinpoint exactly where the impact was and what type of treatment they need to make.”

The Shockbox sensors weigh less than an ounce, but they provide great data that is transmitted via Bluetooth technology to any mobile device that has the appropriate application. For medical teams, the sensors will submit detailed information about the G-forces, points of impact and Head Injury Criteria.

The non-medical app – for announcers, television commentators and any fan who wants to follow specific bull riders – will feature a less detailed report that is still fascinating.

“The match of the two leading brands in bull riding helmets and helmet sensors was evident,” said Matt Owen, founder of InVinci-Bull Riding Equipment. “We are excited to bring the unique technology to the bull riding market and make an impact on head safety.”

The Shockbox sensors are made by Impakt Protective, a developer of smart sensors. It’s CEO, Danny Crossman, created the first helmet sensors for the military to record roadside bomb blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006. The sensors also have been used in other sports: hockey, football, lacrosse and snow sports.

The InVinci-Bull helmets were developed three years ago and were first tested at a Professional Bull Riders event in New York City. Since then, the company has worked with Simpson Racing, the primary safety products company in auto racing, to develop a lighter, yet stronger, product.

“What we learned from Bill Simpson, who was the godfather for NASCAR and drag racing safety equipment, is they use carbon fiber for their helmets,” McGee said. “We decreased the weight by 30 percent, but we saw a 40 percent increase in structure strength.

“We have met certification standings and have exceeded the certification criteria by 60 percent. We also have partnered with researchers at Iowa State and the University of Calgary, and that’s where we came down with the weave pattern. We can take the shocks and disperse them across the helmet so there isn’t so much pressure on the impact point.”

The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, which is the sanctioning body for college rodeo, has listed InVinci-Bull as its official helmet. The company also has reached endorsement agreements with PBR Australia champion David Kennedy, announcers Scott Grover and Matt West, and Richard Jones, a professional announcer and sound technician.

“We know how superior the InVinci-Bull helmets are having them tested in our labs with Shockbox helmet sensors fitted,” Crossman said. “Providing access to data and immediate impact alerts to parents, riders and coaches is a key part of the concussion and head-trauma system.”

The technology is incredible. More importantly, it’s a great tool for sports medicine personnel to use in their treatment of potential head injuries.

“It has given us some accountability to our bull riding helmets,” McGee said. “It shows that we are not only putting a little bit of clout into them, but it also is about safety.”

That’s the most important message of all.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Bucking horse finals set for Rapid City

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 16:41

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Much has happened in the inaugural season of the United Bucking Horse Association.

“We had 11 events this year all across the country and in Canada,” said Guy French, the UBHA’s executive director. “It’s been an amazing year for us, and it’s just getting better.”

UBHA-logo1That’s true.

In fact, now members of the organization are gearing up for the UBHA World Finals, set for 5 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time) Friday, Nov. 14, at the Central States Fairgrounds in Rapid City.

“Having this world finals in our first year of existence is huge for the UBHA,” French said. “The UBHA grew faster than we anticipated, but this is a great thing for us.”

The UBHA was created as a way to showcase younger bucking horses and to allow for anyone who is interested to be a horse owner. The colts do not have riders but are bucked with a mechanical dummy to allow the horses the opportunity to develop with age. The idea is catching on quite well.

“I feel the UBHA is the right director for breeders, especially the small breeders, because they can get their horses out there and compete against each other,” said Darcy Hollingsworth, a UBHA shareholder and board member who has raised several top horses that have performed at some of the top events in the country, including the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“We’re not relying on anybody else to show our animals.”

Now those owners will get to showcase their horses during an event specifically designed to be the marquee event in the association. At each event, the 2- and 3-year-old horses accumulate points by how well they placed. The top 25 in each age division who have earned the right through the season-long qualifying will buck during the UBHA World Finals.

“To be in the first year and to be able to have that kind of money to compete for is incredible,” said Kenny Andrews, a former rodeo cowboy who owns several horses with his wife, Keri. “Can you imagine what the next couple of years are going to be like? To have that much interest in the first year is pretty exciting.

“I’m glad we got in on the ground floor. I hope this isn’t the last year we get to qualify. You know that each year the competition is just going to keep getting tougher.”

That’s OK for the Andrewses. With a bit of interest, they took in the Simon Bucking Stock Sale in Guthrie, Okla., this past January and quickly found a passion for raising bucking horses.

“It’s addicting,” said Kenny Andrews, who raised his colts near Vernal, Utah. “I was going to start with two horses. It hasn’t even been a year since Simon’s Sale, and I’ve got probably 20 head.”

It’s that type of momentum that has helped the UBHA grow.

“The whole thing is due to Guy French’s vision,” said Hollingsworth of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. “Guy has worked very hard for this, and there have been a lot of good things happen. That’s how the finals came about. The board of directors is an upbeat, positive bunch of guys. Everybody’s working in the same direction, so it makes it easy to have a finals.”

The proof comes to Rapid City in just a few weeks.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Rocky ready for finale

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:51

KANSAS CHAMP EARNS 20th QUALIFICATION TO THE CLEM McSPADDEN NFSR

MULVANE, Kan. – Rocky Patterson is one of the most decorated Kansas cowboys in professional rodeo history.

He is a three-time world champion who has qualified 19 times for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping. Still, he was on the verge of missing his 20th trip to the grand finale until some late-season heroics.

Rocky Patterson

Rocky Patterson

“I kind of had some horse trouble this year,” said Patterson, 48, of Pratt, Kan. “I gave a little thought to not rodeoing so much this year and trying to get some horses going for next year. Naturally that doesn’t work. You start going to rodeos, then you’re behind. It was working on me.”

Enter the prestigious Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup, which took place just a few weeks before the regular season came to a close. Using a borrowed horse from fellow NFSR qualifier Chet Herren of Pawhuska, Okla., Patterson roped about $10,000 and moved into the top 15 on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s money list.

Only the top 15 in the world standings qualify for the championship, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, and Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane.

J.P. Wickett

J.P. Wickett

“We’re glad to go to the Kansas Star,” said J.P. Wickett, a 15-time NFSR qualifier from Sallisaw, Okla. “We’re glad to have that contract up there and increase the added money a little bit.”

The ropers will battle for their share of the $210,000 purse. When the competition ends, it will mark the first time in rodeo history that a PRCA world champion will be crowned in Kansas. That’s the draw of the Kansas Star Arena, the premier facility for Western sports and entertainment in the country.

“The facility is fabulous,” Wickett said. “Everything will be right there, and I think the steer ropers will just eat it up.”

That is especially true for Patterson, who was raised near Anthony, Kan., just 60 miles from the Kansas Star Arena. His home in Pratt is about 100 miles from the complex.

“I’m sure there will be some family and friends there being that close to home,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve had a National Finals of any kind in Kansas. It was really going to bother me if I had to buy a ticket to go to it.”

Instead, Patterson is 12th in the world standings and returning to the championship event at the Kansas Star Arena. Of course, it’s just like home to him.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Irwin wraps up circuit average title

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 00:13

DUNCAN, Okla. – Steer wrestler Kyle Irwin has had a season to remember in ProRodeo.

On Saturday night, he added a strong statement to his 2014 campaign, winning the final round of the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo and securing the coveted average championship. Now he’ll add that perfect exclamation point in seven weeks with his first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Kyle Irwin

Kyle Irwin

“Last year when I knew I’d made the Ram National Circuit Finals, that just kind of kicked it all off,” said Irwin, 24, of Robertsdale, Ala. “Once I got to the Ram Circuit Finals, I told myself that if I do good, I’ll rodeo the rest of the year; if not, I’m just going to work this year.”

That self-proclamation came this past April, and he lived up to his promise. Irwin won the steer wrestling championship, pocketing about $10,000 and adding a $20,000 voucher toward the purchase of a Ram pickup. He’s been rodeoing ever since.

On his final run of the circuit season, Irwin turfed his steer in 4.0 seconds to win the round. His three-run cumulative time of 14.0 seconds was half a second better than the average runner-up, Jeff Miller of Blue Mound, Kan. The only thing that he missed was the year-end championship.

But he didn’t miss it by much. In a sport where dollars equal championship points, Stockton Graves of Alva, Okla., won the year-end title by just $76 over Irwin. By being the circuit champions, they will represent the region at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which will take place next spring in Kissimmee, Fla.

Stockton Graves

Stockton Graves

“It’s super important,” Irwin said. “I knew I had to be fast tonight. The guys that were in the running for the title all bulldog great. I just needed to do my part and not mess up. This is a pretty big accomplishment; this is my fourth time making it to the Prairie Circuit finals. Last year I made the national circuit finals because Stockton won the average and the year-end and I got to go because I was second. This year I got there on my own.”

It’s really no coincidence that Graves and Irwin qualify together. Irwin competes in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region because he was part of the rodeo program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and Graves is the rodeo coach.

“It was an exciting race and came down to the last day, and that makes it a lot of fun,” said Graves, a seven-time NFR qualifier. “I just feel fortunate to place in the average so I can go to Florida.”

That’s just another prize at the end of the rainbow for the Prairie Circuit champions.

Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Oct. 16-18,
Duncan, Okla.
Bareback riding:
First round: 1. Caine Riddle, 82 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Sinner, $1,130; 2. (tie) Justin Pollmiller and Brian Leddy, 72, $706 each; 4. Wyatt Clark, 71, $282. Second round: 1. Caine Riddle, 83 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Sure Motion, $1,130; 2. Jared Keylon, 76, $847; 3. Yance Day, 75, $565; 4. Justin Pollmiller, 73, $282. Third round: 1. Yance Day, 77 points on Beutler & Son’s Pop-A-Top, $1,130; 2. Brian Leddy, 75, $847; 3. Wesley Cole, 74, $565; 4. Wyatt Clar, 73, $282. Average: 1. Caine Riddle, 233 points on three rides, $1,694; 2. (tie) Justin Pollmiller and Brian Leddy, 210, $1,059 each; 4. Wyatt Clark, 209, $424 Year-end champion: Caine Riddle.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Stockton Graves, 3.8 seconds, $1,130; 2. Shane Frey, 4.4, $847; 3. Kyle Irwin, 5.1, $565; 4. Jeff Miller, 5.3, $282. Second round: 1. Jacob Edler, 3.9 seconds, $1,130; 2. (tie) Cole Edge and Trell Etbauer, 4.7, $706; 4. (tie) Brandon Volker and Kyle Irwin, 4.9, $141. Third round: 1. Kyle Irwin, 4.0 seconds, $1,130; 2. Jeff Miller, 4.2, $847; 3. Chancey Larson, 4.4, $565; 4. Jacob Edler, 4.8, $282. Average: 1.Kyle Irwin, 14.0 seconds on three runs, $1,964; 2. Jeff Miller, 14.5, $1,271; 3. Stockton Graves, 15.1, $847; 4. Jacob Edler, 16.8, $424. Year-end champion: Stockton Graves.

Team roping: First round: 1. Cale Markham/Tyler Worley, 4.9 seconds, $1,130; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Saebens, 5.7, $847; 3. Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster, 6.9, $565; 4. Zac Small/Nick Simmons, 7.0, $282. Second round: 1. A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 5.2 seconds, $1,130; 2. Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers, 5.5, $847; 3. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 5.7, $565; 4. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 282. Third round: 1. (tie) Zac Small/Nick Simmons and A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 4.8 seconds, $988 each; 3. Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 5.6, $565; 4. Jake Pentcost/Austin Rogers, 5.8, $282. Average: 1. Coleman Proctor/Billie Saebens, 17.9 seconds on three runs, $1,695; 2. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 19.4, $1,271; 3. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 19.8, $847; 4. Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster, 20.1, $424. Year-end champions: Header Andrew Ward and heeler Billie Saebens.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Dalton Davis, 82 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Satin Sheets, $1,130; 2. Ryan Bestol, 73; 3. (tie) Nick Shenold, Andrew Harris and Jesse James Kirby, 72, $282 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Dalton Davis, on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Painted Desert, and Hardy Braden, on Beutler’s Crossfire, 79 points, $988; 3. Wade Sundell, 78, $565; 4. Jesse James Kirby, 76, $282.

Third round: 1. Wade Sundell, 84 points on Frontier Rodeo’s The Griz, $1,130; 2. Ty Atchison, 80, $847; 3. Jesse James Kirby, 78, $565; 4. Wes Bailey, 77, $282. Average: 1. Jesse James Kirby, 226 points on three rides, $1,694; 2. Ryan Bestol, 213, $1,271; 3. Wade Sundell, 162 points on two rides, $847; 4. Dalton Davis, 161, $424. Year-end champion: Wade Sundell.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Ryan Jarrett, 7.5 seconds, $1,130; 2. Cody Quaney, 8.6, $847; 3. Perry Dietz, 10.7, $565; 4. Luke Blanton, 11.0, $282. Second round: 1. Ryan Jarrett, 7.5 seconds, $1,130; 2. Cody Quaney, 8.6, $847; 3. Perry Dietz, 10.7, $565; 4. Luke Blanton, 11.0, $282. Third round: 1. Cody Quaney, 8.3 seconds, $1,130; 2. Cole Wilson, 8.8, $847; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 9.0, $565; 4. Ben Madsen, 9.1, $282. Average: 1. Ryan Jarrett, 24.3 seconds on three runs, $1,694; 2. (tie) Cody Quaney and Luke Blanton, 29.0, $1,059; 4. Caddo Lewallen, 30.8, $424. Year-end champion: Jerome Schneeberger.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Gretchen Benbenek, 16.00 seconds, $1,152; 2. Emily Miller, 16.17, $864; 3. Mary Burger, 16.21, $576; 4. Kyra Stierwalt, 16.22, $288. Second round: 1. Mary Burger, 15.94 seconds, $1,152; 2. Jeanne Anderson, 15.97, $864; 3. Cindy Gillespie, 15.98, $576; 4. Kyra Stierwalt, 16.10, $288. Third round: 1. Kyra Stierwalt, 15.82 seconds, $1,152; 2. Mary Burger, 15.95, $864; 3. Cindy Gillespie, 16.03, $576; 4. Shelby Janssen, 16.04, $288. Average: 1. Mary Burger, 48.10 seconds on three runs, $1,728; 2. Kyra Stierwalt, 48.14, $1,296; 3. Gretchen Benbenek, 48.30, $864; 4. Cindy Gillespie, 48.53, $432. Year-end champion: Gretchen Benbenek.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Mike Chase, 12.0 seconds, $976; 2. Brodie Poppino, 12.4, $732; 3. Shorty Garten, 13.4, $488; 4. J.P. Wickett, 14.5, $244. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.2 seconds, $976; 2. Roger Branch, 11.8, $732; 3. Mike Chase, 11.9, $488; 4. Brodie Poppino, 12.4, $244. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.4 seconds, $976; 2. Jay Sellers, 10.6, $732; 3. Rod Hartness, 11.2, $488; 4. Chet Herren, 11.7, $244. Average: 1. Brodie Poppino, 42.8 seconds on three head, $1,463; 2. Rod Hartness, 23.7, $1,098; 3. Mike Chase, 23.9, $732; 4. J.P. Wickett, 24.9, $366. Year-end champion: Chet Herren.

Bull riding: First round: 1. Sage Kimzey, 85 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Night Rider, $1,130; 2. (tie) Sam Wyatt and Lane Wilhelm, 78, $706 each; 4. Chris McCombs, 77, $282. Second round: 1. Ty Viers, 77 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Boom-Boom, $1,130; 2. Chris McCombs, 74, $874; no other qualified rides. Third round: 1. No qualified rides. Average: 1. Chris McCombs, 151 points on two rides, $1,694; 2. Lane Wilhelm, 78 points on one ride, $1,271; 3. Ty Viers, 77, $847; 4. Triston Eugene Boor, 73, $424. Year-end champion: Sage Kimzey.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Dirty Jacket is horse of the year

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 15:37

DALLAS – Dirty Jacket is one of the most decorated bucking horses in rodeo.

This year, his accolades got a little brighter.

Three-time world champion Kaycee Feild scored 92.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Dirty Jacket in February. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Three-time world champion Kaycee Feild scored 92.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket in February. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

The 10-year-old bay gelding from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo has been voted as the 2014 Bareback Horse of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The award is based on a vote of the top bareback riders in the sport, and this is the third time Dirty Jacket has been named one of the top horses in the game – he was the Runner-Up Reserve World Champion Bareback horse in 2012, then finished as the Reserve World Champion in 2013.

“I’m not surprised that he won it,” said Steven Dent, a nine-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Mullen, Neb. “That is a really great horse. There are not very many of them like him that do it every time, that are that electric, jump that high in the air and that you can be that many points on.”

Dent knows that feeling very well. On Saturday, Sept. 27, the Nebraskan rodeo Dirty Jacket for 91 points to win the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo in Stephenville, Texas. Dent was on the bubble to qualify for the NFR and needed solid paychecks over that final weekend of the PRCA season to ensure he will be riding for his share of the biggest purse of the year in Las Vegas.

Richmond Champion and Dirty Jacket burst out of the chute in Cheyenne en route to a 91-point ride in July. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

Richmond Champion and Dirty Jacket burst out of the chute in Cheyenne en route to a 91-point ride in July. (RIC ANDERSEN PHOTO)

“Any time you can draw one that everybody wants, you’re happy with it whether you’re in that situation or it’s a regular-season rodeo,” he said. “You don’t have the opportunity to get on a horse that you can be that many points on and that’s that fun to get on very often in your life, much less the last week of the year when you’re trying to make the NFR.”

This marks another step up for Dirty Jacket, who will buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the sixth straight year this coming December. He joins four other Carr horses that have earned the Bareback of the Year honor: Real Deal, Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night.

“I’ve been on big horses that look big and feel big,” said Richmond Champion, a first-time NFR qualifier who rode Dirty Jacket for 91 points to win the championship at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days. “He has a huge frame, but he’s so athletic from nose to tail. He just looks like an athlete. If you could pick a horse out of a herd that could jump nine feet in the air, he’s that horse.

“If you’re going to win a big rodeo, that’s the horse you want.”

Dirty Jacket was sired by the great Night Jacket, one of the most storied stallions in the game. Both Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night sired by the stallion.

But Dirty Jacket wasn’t the only Carr superstar to earn end-of-the-year honors. He is joined by Poker Face, which is the 2014 Runner-Up Reserve World Champion bull. The 7-year-old white bull with black spots has yet to be ridden.

“The reason he’s unridden because he’s bucking from the time the gate opens until he bucks you off,” said Cody Whitney, a retired bull rider who serves as a an adviser for Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “He gives 100 percent from the time he starts until you hit the ground.”

Those are the animals cowboys love, which is why those Carr animals were honored in 2014.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Momentum is key to circuit success

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 00:18
Tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett of Comanche, Okla., won his second straight go-round Friday night at the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in Duncan, Okla., after posting a 7.2-second run. He leads the average race with a two-rum cumulative time of 14.7 seconds. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett of Comanche, Okla., won his second straight go-round Friday night at the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in Duncan, Okla., after posting a 7.2-second run. He leads the average race with a two-rum cumulative time of 14.7 seconds. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

DUNCAN, Okla. – There’s not a tie-down roper in ProRodeo any hotter this time of year than Ryan Jarrett.

On Friday night, Jarrett roped and tied his calf in 7.2 seconds to win the second round at the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo. He also won the first round with a 7.5-second run, so in just two days, the Comanche, Okla., has pocketed $2,260.

Ryan Jarrett

Ryan Jarrett

“I’ve had two really good calves so far, so I just got close to the barrier and just focused on my roping,” said Jarrett, the 2005 all-around world champion who has qualified eight times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “I try not to put a lot of pressure on myself and just enjoy it.”

It’s working. Over the last three weeks, Jarrett has won all four rounds in which he’s competed, including two go-rounds in Omaha, Neb., which took place the final weekend of the regular season. He won more than $13,000 on two runs that weekend and finished 18th in the final world standings. The trouble is, only the top 15 earn the right to compete at the NFR.

“Not making the finals will sure humble a man a little more,” said Jarrett, whose wife, Shy-Anne, qualified for the circuit finals in barrel racing. “It makes you want to do things a little different through the regular season for next year.”

Now he’s carrying a ton of confidence into the 2015 rodeo season.

“It’s always helpful coming off a win like Omaha,” he said. “I know I’ve got to be close to the barrier. Guys can be late or way to early and not have any luck. If you can get close to the barrier, you can tie any of these calves in seven seconds.”

Jarrett has proven that. He leads the all-important average race with one performance remaining – it begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. If he holds on for the average championship, he will join year-end champion Jerome Schneeberger of Ponca City, Okla., as the two qualifiers from the Prairie Circuit at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which takes place next spring in Ocala, Fla.

“I need to be in Florida,” Jarrett said. “We’ll see how it pans out. Maybe 2015 will be double and make up for my 2014.”

While he failed to qualify for the NFR, steer roper Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla., has secured his first qualification to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, which takes place in three weeks. On Friday, he also clinched his first Prairie Circuit Finals steer roping title, roping and tying three steers in a cumulative time of 42.8 seconds. In all, Poppino earned $2,419.

“It means a lot to win this, because you’ve got some of the best steer ropers in the world right here in our circuit,” he said, noting that he is one of six Prairie Circuit Finals qualifiers who will rope at the steer roping finale. “You’ve got to draw well and rope well. I don’t know that I roped that well, but I outlasted them.”

Now the 23-year-old cowboy will take his momentum into the world championship event.

“It helps to have done well this year because there are a lot of guys that rope well,” said Poppino, the 2013 steer roping rookie of the year. “You know you’re competition is going to be strong, so you have to stay strong.”

Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Oct. 16-18,
Duncan, Okla.
Second round
Bareback riding:
1. Caine Riddle, 83 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Sure Motion, $1,130; 2. Jared Keylon, 76, $847; 3. Yance Day, 75, $565; 4. Justin Pollmiller, 73, $282.

Steer wrestling: 1. Jacob Edler, 3.9 seconds, $1,130; 2. (tie) Cole Edge and Trell Etbauer, 4.7, $706; 4. (tie) Brandon Volker and Kyle Irwin, 4.9, $141.

Team roping: 1. A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 5.2 seconds, $1,130; 2. Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers, 5.5, $847; 3. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 5.7, $565; 4. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 282.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Dalton Davis, on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Painted Desert, and Hardy Braden, on Beutler’s Crossfire, 79 points, $988; 3. Wade Sundell, 78, $565; 4. Jesse James Kirby, 76, $282.

Tie-down roping: 1. Ryan Jarrett, 7.2 seconds, $1,130; 2. Trell Etbauer, 7.8, $847; 3. Trent Creager, 8.6, $565; 4. Luke Blanton, 8.8, $282.

Barrel racing: 1. Mary Burger, 15.94 seconds, $1,152; 2. Jeanne Anderson, 15.97, $864; 3. Cindy Gillespie, 15.98, $576; 4. Kyra Stierwalt, 16.10, $288.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Mike Chase, 12.0 seconds, $976; 2. Brodie Poppino, 12.4, $732; 3. Shorty Garten, 13.4, $488; 4. J.P. Wickett, 14.5, $244. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.2 seconds, $976; 2. Roger Branch, 11.8, $732; 3. Mike Chase, 11.9, $488; 4. Brodie Poppino, 12.4, $244. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.4 seconds, $976; 2. Jay Sellers, 10.6, $732; 3. Rod Hartness, 11.2, $488; 4. Chet Herren, 11.7, $244. Average: 1. Brodie Poppino, 42.8 seconds on three head, $1,463; 2. Rod Hartness, 23.7, $1,098; 3. Mike Chase, 23.9, $732; 4. J.P. Wickett, 24.9, $366. Year-end champion: Chet Herren.

Bull riding: 1. Ty Viers, 77 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Boom-Boom, $1,130; 2. Chris McCombs, 74, $874; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

A family in need of prayer

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:15
Ted Harbin TwisTED Rodeo

Ted Harbin
TwisTED Rodeo

Family is special and loving. It’s what makes us who we are, through the good and the bad.

Family is in our hearts.

Today our rodeo family is hurting. We’ve lost one of our own, a precious little life that had shared her vibrant personality with us for just a few months. Her momma and daddy, big brother and big sister will forever have a void, and no words will provide them comfort – they just need our love and prayers.

They need family, and ours in rodeo is quite large. As word spread across this great land this morning, thousands upon thousands of prayers were launched. Tears are being shed and hearts are breaking; virtual hugs are shared between friends who are hundreds of miles apart.

That’s family. In the best of times, family is your greatest cheerleader. In the worst, it is your support system. That’s where the rodeo family excels.

I ask you to join us in praying for our rodeo family, and this family in particular. We’re not supposed to bury our children, no matter their age.

This family needs our love now more than ever.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Davis wins bronc riding’s 1st round

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 00:05
Dalton Davis of Holcomb, Kan., rides New Frontier Rodeo's Satin Sheets for 82 points to win the first round of saddle bronc riding Thursday night at the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

Dalton Davis of Holcomb, Kan., rides New Frontier Rodeo’s Satin Sheets for 82 points to win the first round of saddle bronc riding Thursday night at the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

DUNCAN, Okla. – Robert Etbauer had more influence on a young Dalton Davis than he may have ever known.

“Robert Etbauer got me to riding broncs,” Davis said of the two-time world champion from Goodwell, Okla. “I was down at his house roping calves, and he convinced me to get on some steers. I really didn’t want to. I was scared of it.”

That fear didn’t last long, and it’s paying off quite well for Davis, a 22-year-old cowboy from Holcomb, Kan. On Thursday night, he posted an 82-point ride on New Frontier Rodeo’s Satin Sheets to win the first round of the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center.

“I got on some and just fell in love immediately,” he said.

That love affair has worked out pretty well. As a permit-holder who utilized his 2014 season as a try-out period for a career in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Davis earned enough money in the circuit to qualify for this week’s finale, which features the top 12 contestants in each event from the region made up primarily of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

“Winning the round means a whole lot to me,” said Davis, who earned $1,130. “This is the peak of our year and gives us a chance to win some money.”

It also opens the door to win the average championship, the honor given to the contestants in each event who finish the three-round event with the best cumulative time or score. Davis has a lead in the average race but will have to maintain that advantage through the final two performances, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“This just skyrockets your confidence,” said Davis, a senior at Southwestern Oklahoma State University who leads the college standings in the Central Plains Region. “You’re riding against Wade Sundell, whose always at the National Finals and a big threat to win it all; Ty Atchison, whose been to the finals; and Jesse Kirby and Hardy Braden. All those guys ride very well, so to be able to get the round win and have a good start really helps.”

Other first-round winners were bareback rider Caine Riddle, 82 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Elvis; steer wrestler Stockton Graves (3.8 seconds); team ropers Cole Markham and Tyler Worley (4.9 seconds); tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett (7.5 seconds); barrel racer Gretchen Benbenek (16.00 seconds); and bull rider Sage Kimzey (85 points on New Frontier’s Night Rider).

Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Oct. 16-18
Duncan, Okla.
Bareback riding:
1. Caine Riddle, 82 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Sinner, $1,130; 2. (tie) Justin Pollmiller and Brian Leddy, 72, $706 each; 4. Wyatt Clark, 71, $282.

Steer wrestling: 1. Stockton Graves, 3.8 seconds, $1,130; 2. Shane Frey, 4.4, $847; 3. Kyle Irwin, 5.1, $565; 4. Jeff Miller, 5.3, $282.

Team roping: 1. Cale Markham/Tyler Worley, 4.9 seconds, $1,130; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Saebens, 5.7, $847; 3. Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster, 6.9, $565; 4. Zac Small/Nick Simmons, 7.0, $282.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Dalton Davis, 82 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Satin Sheets, $1,130; 2. Ryan Bestol, 73; 3. (tie) Nick Shenold, Andrew Harris and Jesse James Kirby, 72, $282 each.

Tie-down roping: 1. Ryan Jarrett, 7.5 seconds, $1,130; 2. Cody Quaney, 8.6, $847; 3. Perry Dietz, 10.7, $565; 4. Luke Blanton, 11.0, $282.

Barrel racing: 1. Gretchen Benbenek, 16.00 seconds, $1,152; 2. Emily Miller, 16.17, $864; 3. Mary Burger, 16.21, $576; 4. Kyra Stierwalt, 16.22, $288.

Bull riding: 1. Sage Kimzey, 85 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Night Rider, $1,130; 2. (tie) Sam Wyatt and Lane Wilhelm, 78, $706 each; 4. Chris McCombs, 77, $282.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Timed Event will pay $100,000 to winner

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 16:45

One of the most unique and lucrative events in rodeo history has upped the ante beginning in 2015.

For the first time in its 30-year history, the Timed Event Championship of the World will feature a $100,000 prize to its champion, increasing winner’s payout by $50,000.

“As owners of the Lazy E, the McKinney family has stepped up its support of not only the Lazy E as a whole but also our longest-running championship,” said Robert Simpson, director of events for the Lazy E. “This brings the TEC payout in line with other specialized events like RodeoHouston, the Calgary Stampede and The American.

“The Timed Event Championship was the first of its kind to offer a $50,000 prize to the winner, and the time has come to make the move and push our overall purse to $200,000.”

Daniel Green

Daniel Green

The Timed Event features the top 20 all-around cowboys in the world competing in each of the five timed-event disciplines in rodeo: heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping. They battle through five rugged go-rounds in order to decide the winner. The fastest cumulative time through the 25-run championship will win $100,000.

“Any time a cowboy can win more money, it’s good,” said Daniel Green, a three-time champion from Oakdale, Calif. “The Timed Event is not an easy deal to win; it’s really difficult. It takes so much that has to go right.

“My hat’s off to the owners for boosting financial support for the event. Being as tough as it is and a World Championship event, it should pay in that range.”

Paul David Tierney

Paul David Tierney

This past March, Paul David Tierney of Oral, S.D., became just the 12th cowboy to earn the coveted championship, joining his father, Paul Tierney, and a list of rodeo legends in the process. The younger Tierney realizes he will have a big target on his back when next season’s event takes place March 6-8.

“I bet there will be guys that will work on their other events to see if they can get into the Timed Event and chase that money,” he said. “That $100,000 is a pretty nice enticement to go after.”

Decades ago, many cowboys competed in multiple events, giving themselves every opportunity to win. As rodeo has evolved, most athletes focus on one discipline. That makes this unique championship even more of a draw for fans from across the country and for multi-talented contestants.

“I love being able to show my talent in multiple events, and then you have a chance at the huge prize money there – that’s just tremendous,” said Clayton Hass, who will compete for a fourth straight year in 2015. “It can be life-changing for people to win that much money. With $100,000, it might pull some other guys in there that are dang sure tough and might make it a little tougher. That’s awesome.

Clayton Hass

Clayton Hass

“They want the best guys there; they want it to be a show. It dang sure showcases a guy’s stamina, focus and being able to compete at a high level.”

That’s the key to Timed Event success. It is a grueling marathon that not only wears out the body but also the mind.

“It’s probably the hardest thing in rodeo to accomplish,” Green said. “This added money will hopefully make sure that these guys take the time and effort to get ready for the Timed Event Championship.”

Rest assured; they will be ready. There’s prestige, history and a huge payout on the line.

The Timed Event Championship is one of the most prestigious events in Western sports, and it was developed 31 years ago as a way to decide the greatest all-around timed-event cowboy. Its list of champions is a who’s who of rodeo’s greatest stars. The tradition continues March 6-8 and the fabulous Lazy E Arena. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Dec. 1.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Rangers benefit from team approach

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:12

ALVA, Okla. – Rodeo is known as an individualized sport, whereby contestants battle one another for the fastest times or the best scores.

But there is a strong team presence, especially in college rodeo. Not only do cowboys and cowgirls battle for individual glory, they use it in a team race that helps decide which program is best, from one rodeo to another to the final season standings.

“If I go do my part, it helps the team out,” said Dalton Richards, a senior header at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. “We are still a team, but individually you still have to go do your own job.”

Dalton Richards

Dalton Richards

Richards did, winning the team roping title at the Oklahoma State University rodeo while competing with a longtime friend, Ben Whitton, who competes for Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Richards’ win was one of the key ingredients for the Northwestern men’s second-place finish this past weekend in Stillwater.

“We didn’t have the best of luck in the long round, but we got by that steer,” Richards said, who pointed to a 7.2-second run, which earned them a ninth-place finish in the first round. “We came back to the short round and drew a little better; we ended up fortunate enough to win the short round and the average, which you don’t hear about very often.”

Richards and Whitton were considerably faster in the championship round, posting a 5.3-second run. They finished the two-run rodeo 1.6 seconds quicker than the second-place team. Richards got help from Turbo, an 8-year-old blue roan gelding he borrowed from teammate Trisha Price of Faith, S.D.

“I don’t have a head horse here, but I’m fortunate enough that Trisha lets me borrow him,” Richards said. “I’ve rode many good horses, but I’ve never rode a horse that’s so easy to get along with. Any set up I’ve given him, he’s adapted real well and always gives me a chance to win.”

Turbo was the 2013-14 women’s horse of the year in the Central Plains Region. He’s just another fine example of the type of teamwork that comes in rodeo.

“Turbo and Dalton get along so good,” Price said. “I have four or five guys ride him every weekend. Everybody can get on him and rope. He’s easy to ride.”

Richards, meanwhile, was one of four Rangers in the final round, joining a trio of steer wrestlers who all finished quite strong in Stillwater. Michael McGinn, a junior from Haines, Ore., led the way by winning the event, downing two steers in 9.0 seconds. He was joined by Grayson Allred, who posted a 9.3-second run for second place, and Brock White, who finished fourth in 10.0 seconds.

While the men finished second in the team standings, the Northwestern women’s team has won all three rodeos that have taken place so far this season, including a dominating performance at Oklahoma State. Six Rangers were part of the short go-round, with goat-tier Shayna Miller of Faith, S.D., winning the title. Fellow goat-tier Lauren Barnes, a senior from Buckeye, Ariz., finished third.

Barrel racer Sara Bynum placed third in Stillwater, while a trio of breakaway ropers – Sage Allen, Taige Trent and Samantha Corzine – earned vital points to secure Northwestern’s perfect season so far.

Can they maintain that streak? They will find out quickly enough when the Rangers host the rest of the teams from the Central Plains Region next week for the Northwestern rodeo.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

2014 fair breaks many records

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 15:43

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – To call the 2014 Waller County Fair and Rodeo a success might be a bit of an understatement.

“This year’s fair broke more records over the eight-day event than any other in the 69-year history,” said Clint Sciba, president of the Waller County Fair Board. “It was an outstanding year, from great attendance to outstanding shows to an awesome rodeo.”

The single-day attendance record was shattered on the opening weekend, people packed the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead for a busy day capped off buy a packed-house performance by Texas Music artist Cody Johnson.

WallerLogo“That was an awesome way to start our fair,” said Dustin Standley, the fair board’s vice president.

The momentum continued through the remaining days of the exposition. With the help of two newly formed exhibitions – The Eliminator, which was a tie-down roping match featuring top cowboys in the game, and the 8 Second Bareback Shootout, a head-to-head match with veteran Clint Cannon of Waller, Texas, and Richie Champion of The Woodlands, Texas – attendance records continued to fall.

“With The Eliminator, we had another record at the gate with people wanting to watch some of these great guys, including the 2013 world champion Shane Hanchey and a couple of other guys heading to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Timber Moore and Tyson Durfey,” said Paul Shollar, co-chairman of the rodeo committee. “Reno Gonzalez and another NFR veteran, Houston Hutto, put up a good fight, but Timber Moore eliminated them all one by one to pick up the championship buckle and check.

“Also on Tuesday night, another local guy, Cory Solomon, beat out all the others from the PRCA by winning the open tie down roping. He was two seconds better than the second-place guy when everybody was done roping three calves. It was an incredible night of calf roping.”

The 8 Second Bareback Shootout during Friday’s rodeo performance exhibited the highest marked rides of the week, when Cannon rode Pete Carr’s River Blast for 90 points to edge Champion, who scored 88 points on Carr’s Little Sister. Cannon then returned to the arena Saturday night, where he posted an 87-point ride on Carr’s Night Bells to win the bareback riding at his hometown rodeo for the first time in his career.

“I’ve been coming to the Waller County rodeo since I was little,” said Cannon, who earned more than $2,100 and a Montana Silversmiths championship buckle. “We got it to be a ProRodeo four years ago, and I never even placed this year. To win in front of everybody – I’m getting toward the end of my career – feels good to let everybody come out and see in person that I can ride.

“A lot of people in my hometown never get to see me win, they just get to see me on TV.”

While the rodeo arena featured its share of excitement, there was plenty to be found all across the fairgrounds. On Saturday afternoon, Atlas Foundation broke a five-year-old record by purchasing the grand champion steer for $35,500. It was just one of nine livestock exhibit records that were broken in 2014.

With the help of Don and Donna Gregg, Anthony and Shauda Edmonds and Chuck and Rita Scianna, a new record of $75,000 for the scholarship lot was established, bettering the four-year-old mark of $25,000 by the Sciannas.

“It’s almost overwhelming when you think of all the great things that happened to us during the fair this year,” Sciba said. “We had a lot of outstanding volunteers who had the support from sponsors and the community to make this the best fair in southeast Texas, and I think we pulled it off.

“We’re ready to build off this success. We have a lot of ideas of things we want to do with our fair and rodeo in the future. We want to just keep getting better, and with the support we’ve received, I have no doubts we can make it.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Vet student flourishes in K.C.

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:15

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Lillie Raasch and her three brothers grew up in a hybrid family.

She was equal parts city girl and farm girl, raised on a farm just outside Liberty, Mo., northeast of downtown Kansas City. She was active, involved in sports and other community activities along with her dedication to the family farm and the heritage passed along to here.

AmericanRoyal“My dad grew up on a hog farm about an hour east of Kansas City,” said Raasch, 24, a soon-to-be graduate from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. “We had row crops and always had a few animals. I did a little bit of everything on the farm, so I always took care of the animals.”

She will graduate next May, then hopes to return to the Kansas City metro area to practice veterinary medicine. This fall, she’s serving as a vet student intern during the two-and-a-half-month-long American Royal, where she has the opportunity to care for all the animals that are part of the various activities.

“I always knew I wanted to be some kind of doctor,” said Raasch, the daughter of Buddy and Carolyn Raasch. “I was in my first year of undergrad, and I kind of missed the farm and missed the animals.”

That has opened a new door for the 2008 Liberty High School graduate.

“I plan to practice in the Kansas City area, hopefully a mixed animal practice and also help on the family farm,” she said.

Farm life is embedded deep into the roots of everything Lillie Raasch does. She showed animals when she was younger and still has horses she keeps while tending to her studies in Columbia, Mo. Family support is vital, but that is just another excellent piece of holding true agrarian values.

“To be part of the American Royal is a huge honor for me,” said Raasch, who has three brothers: Errie, 33; Bernie, 32; and Charlie, 19. “We’ve been to many American Royal events having grown up in this area. It is such a huge part of Kansas City because it’s one of the things that’s been in Kansas City for so long.

“To be involved with the American Royal is a way for me to be part of the community and to be connected with the community even before I move back and become a vet. The American Royal provides me an educational opportunity for learning how to be part of livestock and keeping the integrity of a livestock show.”

Integrity also is a good word for the work Raasch is doing. She is one of many vet students that are part of the American Royal this fall.

“With our family’s pumpkin patch, I find that people are uneducated about farms, about livestock and about where our food comes from,” she said. “I find the American Royal to be a huge part of our educational process. Younger kids and adults can show their animals and have pride in what they’ve raised and have pride in their jobs.

“For a lot of them, this is their livelihood. They raise for consumption. It’s a great educational opportunity for the public and for Kansas City in general. It’s such a big part of our history.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Carr crew key to Henderson rodeo

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 10:16

HENDERSON, Texas – Why is the Rusk County PRCA Rodeo such a popular event for folks in east Texas?

Primarily it’s because of the work put in by the volunteer committee that organizes the annual event, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16-Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Rusk County Expo Center in Henderson.

“This is a small town in a small county,” said Ron Yandle, the committee’s chairman. “We have a covered arena and a really nice arena for this size market rodeo that we do.”

PeteCarrsClassicLogoStill, it’s the action inside the arena that is the big attraction. For that, the committee leans on ProRodeo contestants and the staff of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, which produces the three-day event.

“To be able to have someone like Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, everyone knows he’s got the good livestock and people know the name and recognize the name,” Yandle said. “They know they’re going to get a good rodeo when they come to the Rusk County Rodeo.”

The Carr name is well established in the sport. A season ago, 27 animals were selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale that takes place each December in Las Vegas. That’s a record number of animals from one livestock contractor.

In addition, several Carr animals have been selected as the very best in the game, from world champion bucking horses Real Deal, Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night to Dirty Jacket, which has been selected as one of the top three bareback horses in the world each of the past two seasons.

“We’re really happy to have Pete Carr,” Yandle said. “He puts on more rodeos than anybody in the United States. Everything that he and his crew do is professional and top of the line.

“Pete is more laid back than any other stock contractor we’ve had, and he has the people who know how to run a rodeo. They know what they’re doing. If we throw a glitch in there on them, they work around it. He and his staff don’t stress out over anything we’ve ever thrown at them. They’re just really easy to work with.”

It makes a difference in the type of competition that takes place inside the arena. More importantly, it makes for a better show for the fans.

That’s what the Carr crew is all about.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Core group brings finale to Duncan

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 17:15

DUNCAN, Okla. – It takes dedicated group and a resounding community effort to pull off a championship-caliber event.

Enter the organizers for the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16-Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center in Duncan.

“The core idea that we all had was that we wanted the circuit finals to be a bigger, better, more productive event than what we had ever had here or what the circuit finials has ever been,” said Joe Henderson, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual event. “That’s still our goal.”

This year marks the third straight fall that Stephens County has hosted ProRodeo’s biggest stars from the Prairie Circuit, the rodeo region made up of contestants and events primarily from Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. In order to compete in Duncan, the top 12 cowboys and cowgirls from each event qualify based on how well they performed through the rigors of the 2014 ProRodeo season.

It is the year-end championship for the contestants. The Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo is one of the major driving forces to those cowboys and cowgirls – from full-time rodeo hands to those who have full-time jobs and compete at events closer to home when time allows.

Tana Poppino

Tana Poppino

“The circuit finals are a big deal, especially in our circuit,” said barrel racer Tana Poppino, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier and an 11-time circuit finals qualifier from Big Cabin, Okla. “You’ve got the best horses and the best girls out of our area.

“Our circuit is always tough, because we’ve got so many former world champions and NFR qualifiers there.”

The same can be said in every other event that is part of the three-day competition.

“I think we firmly believe we have something special here,” Henderson said. “From a production standpoint, this rodeo means to those contestants as much for most of them that the National Finals would for some of the NFR competitors. This would be like an NCAA regional tournament as compared to a Final Four.

“From a local businessman’s point of view, you have a captive audience for three to eight days. For other rodeos that are in town, you have a captive audience for maybe 12 hours. I think this is a good opportunity for our community and also for the contestants. There is a lot on the table for them all.”

Locals who work hard all year to plan the annual championship see it as a two-fold opportunity: To bring many of ProRodeo’s biggest stars to Stephens County and to provide regional contestants with the perfect home to conduct their annual finale.

“For me, I think it’s important for the contestants to know that they’ve got a place that they’re going to come every year, that they’re familiar with the goings-on and what the committee is doing,” said Sandy Bowden, who, with her husband, Billy Bob, was instrumental in developing the committee. “I think that eases some of the contestants’ minds. They don’t have to worry about it.

“To us, we thought it would be a good idea to bring to the community and, for those who don’t get to go to the NFR, have a premium rodeo for them to watch. The Prairie Circuit is blessed because there are so many guys and girls from our circuit that are the top contestants in the country and go to the NFR every year.”

They know. The Bowdens’ daughter, Shy-Anne Jarrett, has qualified for this year’s circuit finals; her husband, Ryan, is the 2005 all-around world champion and an eight-time NFR qualifier who also has qualified for the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo several times. With attention to the details that are important to both community members and rodeo contestants, the committee puts on a full-court press to impress.

“The committee in Duncan is awesome,” said Poppino, whose son, Brodie, is a steer roping qualifier to both circuit finals and the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping. “That group of people has been on our side of the fence. They know how much it means to the contestants, and they have gone out and made it their top priority to make the circuit finals something that the contestants wanted to get to because they got treated so well.

“It was set up to be the best for the contestants, and I think they have done that.”

It helps to have an amazing facility in the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center.

“It’s an awesome place,” Poppino said. “I don’t believe anybody else is going to get it set up for the contestants like those people have with RV hookups, stalls, a warm-up area and amazing hospitality.

“There are so many events there that it takes a while to build up a big event, but I think the community is learning that this is a big finals. We have a lot of NFR people right here in Duncan.”

The work to make the experience special for everyone involved is done by a small group of people who volunteer to accomplish every task. That selflessness is contagious.

“This committee is so unselfish,” Henderson said. “They won’t take any credit for it, but they deserve all the credit for it. I have the blessing of getting to take credit for all the work that others have done.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Northwestern women win title in Pratt

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 13:45

ALVA, Okla. – The Northwestern Oklahoma State University women’s rodeo team has continued on its hot streak to start the Central Plains Region season.

In the opening two events of the 2014-15 campaign, the Rangers have two outright victories, earning the titles at the Cherokee Rodeo hosted by NWOSU three week ago and the Pratt (Kan.) Community College Rodeo this past weekend.

Stockton Graves

Stockton Graves

“The women’s team is doing really well, and I’m real proud of them,” said Stockton Graves, the program’s coach. “We haven’t blown anybody out yet, but we’ve got the victories. The whole women’s deal is pretty fun watching. We dang sure have some good girls, and it’s going to be exciting this season. There are two or three teams that are sure stacked up.”

That’s true. The Northwestern women lead the region standings with 650 points, just 35 points ahead of runner-up Garden City (Kan.) Community College.

A key, Graves said, is that the fall schedule of four rodeos places the Rangers at events that are all close to home. In addition to Cherokee (a 22-mile drive), Pratt is just an hour north of Alva, while the Oklahoma State University Rodeo this coming weekend is just two hours southeast in Stillwater. The final event of the season, the Northwestern Rodeo, will take place Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

“We’ve been able to keep everybody home and drive back and forth,” he said. “We don’t have to stay out there and camp out. They can keep their horses at home. It’s really nice having them this close.”

It’s working quite well. Several Rangers qualified for the championship round in Pratt, with steer wrestler Grayson Allred winning his discipline and Michael Edgmon placing fourth, based on results posted by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Other men who placed at Pratt were tie-down roper Hayden Pearce, heeler Dustin Searcy and headers Dalton Richards and Layne Harold. The men finished the team standings fourth in Pratt, while the women edged Garden City by just five points.

“It’s a tough region, especially in the men’s division,” Graves said. “Being more of a timed-event school, we’re just going to have to have all six guys on the team to do well to be competitive. That’s hard to do. It can be done, and we’ve done it before.

“The difference between the timed and the roughstock events are the numbers of competitors.”

There are a lot more wrestlers and ropers at the collegiate level than those cowboys who ride bucking bulls and horses. With more contestants, it’s tougher for timed-eventers to make the final round.

“The men did better, and we had three bulldoggers make the short round,” Graves said.

The women’s contestants have just three events in which they compete: barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat-tying. Four Rangers placed in Pratt, with goat-tiers Lauren Barnes (second), Shayna Miller (third) and Elli Price (sixth) placing; barrel racer Kylee Cahoy also placed.

“We’ve got a good set of goat-tiers this year and have for a little while,” Graves said. “This women’s team is dang tough all the way around.

“I don’t really stress the all-around standings or the team stuff. I just say to do good in your individual events and let the all-around and team stuff fall into place; that’s all just a bonus for us.”

As long as they keep winning, the bonuses will continue to come.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

McKee a key voice in circuit finals

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:30

DUNCAN, Okla. – Justin McKee is the most recognized voice in rodeo.

Over the past two decades, the Oklahoma announcer has called the action at some of the biggest events in the game. He also has been the television commentator for numerous rodeo-related events, which makes him recognizable to so many fans.

He returns to southern Oklahoma for the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16-18 at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center in Duncan.

Justin McKee

Justin McKee

“It’s always very flattering and very exciting to me,” said McKee, who announced the 2012 circuit finals in its inaugural year in Duncan. “It’s one of the highlights of the year for me. I never take it for granted, and I just hope I can do justice to the contestants who qualified.”

The finale features the top contestants from the 2014 season in the Prairie Circuit, the ProRodeo region made up of contestants and events primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. In order to play the game, contestants had to finish the campaign among the top 12 on the money list.

It’s a championship that is cherished, especially in the Prairie Circuit – the region is home to numerous world champions and qualifiers to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. That’s why it’s such an honor for McKee to be part of the three performances.

“I think I understand it so well because I am a competitor,” said McKee, who has won numerous steer roping titles. “I think it’s most of who I am as an announcer. I was fortunate enough to have experienced every event. I think it’s important to know the event as a competitor.”

That translates well into his post as the main voice of the rodeo, relaying the action to the fans. He’s quite comfortable with a microphone in his hand.

“I grew up in the livestock auction business, and I’ve always been mesmerized by the auctioneer,” he said. “I’ve been behind the microphone since I was 3 years old. I started selling when I was 7. I’ve been competing in rodeo all my life. It was a pretty natural migration to the announcer’s booth for me.”

He announced rodeos while still a teenager, then started doing it for pay a short time later. He became a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1993 and worked his first circuit finals rodeo a year later. In 1995, he began working as an announcer for the Professional Bull Riders.

“I announced live events for seven years and did 10 years of TV for the PBR,” McKee said. “At first, it was quite an adjustment because there was no crowd to feed off of. I didn’t realize how much I fed off the energy of a live crowd.”

While television was his primary focus for a long time, McKee still competed and called rodeos. He’s been doing more of that while still doing some TV work throughout the year. He loves the opportunity to share his experiences with a crowd.

“As far as my career, 80 percent or 90 percent of what I’ve got is because I take everything I’ve ever done in the arena with me,” he said. “I think that helps me so much.”

It helps the fans in Duncan, too.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Cannon wins hometown rodeo

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 00:04
http://twistedrodeo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/1007.mp3

Listen to Clint Cannon’s interview with Rob Matthews

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – In his career, Clint Cannon has earned many significant titles.

Eleven years ago, he was the Resistol Bareback Rookie of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Since then, he’s followed that with wins at RodeoHouston, the Calgary (Alberta) Stampede and numerous other ProRodeo events. He’s a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Waller, Texas.

Clint Cannon

Clint Cannon

He had never won the championship at the Waller County Fair and Rodeo … until Saturday night. He rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Night Bells for 87 points to win the championship, pocketing $2,121 in the process.

“I’ve been coming to the Waller County rodeo since I was little,” Cannon said. “We got it to be a ProRodeo four years ago, and I never even placed this year. To win in front of everybody – I’m getting toward the end of my career – feels good to let everybody come out and see in person that I can ride.

“A lot of people in my hometown never get to see me win, they just get to see me on TV.”

It marked the second time in two nights that Cannon won in Hempstead; on Friday night, he was part of the 8 Second Bareback Shootout, a head-to-head match against rising star Richie Champion of The Woodlands, Texas. In all, Cannon pocketed more than $3,600 at his hometown rodeo, and he topped it off on the final night on Night Bells, a horse that’s been to the NFR for several years.

“That was my first time on that horse, and he’s awesome,” he said. “He blows out of the chute hard and comes across the arena. I’ve wanted to get on that horse for a while.”

Casey Huckabee had been Pete Carr’s Line Man before, so he knew a little about the big spotted bull. On Saturday, he posted a 90-point ride on the bull that’s been to the NFR each of the past two seasons.

“Winning this rodeo means a lot, because I came down here and didn’t have anything,” said Huckabee, 25, of Grand Saline, Texas, indicating he had little to no money in his rodeo bank account. “I thought I forgot how to ride.”

Apparently he figured it out just in time, earning $1,433 for the victory. For every buck, jump and twist Line Man threw at him, Huckabee responded well.

“It was touch-and-go from the time I nodded my head,” he said. “I thought he was going to get me any second, but I kept going.”

Other winners were all-around champion Landon McClaugherty, steer wrestler Darrell Petry, team ropers Tyler Wade and Kinney Harrell, saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley, tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa, barrel racer Kelly Tovar and steer roper Trevor Brazile.

Waller County Fair and Rodeo
Oct. 2-4
Hempstead, Texas
All-Around:
Landon McClaugherty, $1,179 in team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping

Bareback riding: 1. Clint Cannon, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Night Bells, $2,121; 2. Winn Ratliff, 86, $1,623; 2. Kyle Brennecke, 84, $1,202; 4. Wyatt Denny, 82, $778; 5. (tie) Evan Jayne and Scotty NeSmith, 81, $424 each; 7. Matt Bright, 80, $283; 8. (tie) Will Lowe and Anthony Thomas, 79, $106 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. Darrell Petry, 4.0 seconds, $1,411; 2. (tie) Bill Pace and Cooper Shofner, 4.4, $1,046 each; 4. (tie) Aaron Vosler and Tommy Cook, 4.6, $559 each; 6. Ted Gollaher, 4.7, $243.

Team roping: 1. Tyler Wade/Kinney Harrell, 4.4 seconds, $2,562; 2. Lane Ivy/Tommy Zuniga, 5.0, $2,228; 3. Kenton Woodson, 5.5, $1,894; 4. (tie) Logan Olson/Travis Woodard, Tyler Waters/Kory Koontz, Jake Cooper.Tyler McKnight and David Key/Martin Lucero, 5.8, $1,058 each; 8. Justin Davis/Colby Lovell, 5.9, $223-.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 80 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Icycle, $1,284; 2. Bradley Harter, 79, $973; 3. (tie) Dean Wadsworth, Justin Caylor, Kobyn Williams and Tab Hildreth, 78, $409.

Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Matt Shiozawa, 7.9 seconds, $1,963; 2. Houston Hutto, 8.9, $1,624; 3. Ross Tucker,9.0, $1,286; 4. Ace Slone, 9.2, $948; 5. Timber Moore, 9.3, $609; 6. Marty Yates, 9.6, $338.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Kelly Tovar, 14.52 seconds, $2,051; 2. Amanda Davenport, 14.64, $1,743; 3. Mary Walker, 14.75, $1,436; 4. Sydni Blanchard, 14.82, $1,231; 5. Lisa Thornton, 14.85, $1,026; 6. Morgan Breaux, 14.89, $718; 7. Brittany Grant, 14.90, $513; 8. Christy Loflin, 14.91, $410; 9. Courtney Sokol, 14.92, $359; 10. Taylor Jacob, 14.93, $308; 11. Stephanie Jacks, 15.01, $256; 12. Brittany Kelly, 15.02, $205

Steer roping: First round: 1. Scott Snedecor, 9.8 seconds, $963; 2. Trevor Brazile, 10.4, $797; 3. Roger Branch, 11.2, $631; 4. Rocky Patterson, 11.5, $465; 5. (tie) Vin Fisher Jr. and JB Whatley, 12.0, $232 each. Second round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.0 seconds, $963; 2. Mike Chase, 10.9, $797; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 11.3, $631; 4. Cody Lee, 11.7, $465; 5. Guy Allen, 12.4, $299; 6. Tony Reina, 12.7, $166. Third round: 1. Joe O’Rourke, 11.0 seconds, $963; 2. Trevor Brazile, 11.2, $797; 3. (tie) Rocky Patterson and Landon McClaugherty, 11.3, $548 each; 5. Cody Lee, 11.4, $299; 6. Mike Outhier, 11.5, $166. Average: 1. Trevor Brazile, 36.4 seconds on three head, $1,445; 2. Scott Snedecor, 37.4, $1,196; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 38.4, $947; 4. Tony Reina, 39.4, $697; 5. Will Gasperson, 39.6, $448; 6. Paul Patton, 43.7, $249.

Bull riding: 1. Casey Huckabee, 90 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Line Man, $1,433 2. (tie) Zeb Lanham and Chad German, 85, $934 each; 4. Jay Turner, 83, $521; 5. Nile Lebaron, 81, $304; 6. Caleb Sanderson, 76, $217.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Dirty Jacket is a champion horse

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 14:47
Richie Champion rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Dirty Jacket for 91 points to win the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo in July. It's one of many key wins for Champion this season and one of many outstanding bucking trips for the 10-year-old bay gelding. (RIC ANDERSON PHOTO)

Richie Champion rides Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket for 91 points to win the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo in July. It’s one of many key wins for Champion this season and one of many outstanding bucking trips for the 10-year-old bay gelding. (RIC ANDERSON PHOTO)

DALLAS – Dirty Jacket was an exceptional bucking horse the first time he bucked.

The bay gelding was just 4 years old at the time. He’s grown up a lot since then, and he’s just gotten better.

“He’s the perfect bucking horse, because he loves what he does and he’s excited when it’s time to buck,” said Pete Carr, owner of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “He ready when he gets to the chute, and he stands there until the gate opens; then he has a big leap in the air and bucks hard every time.

“When the whistle blows, he lines out with the pickup man and allows the guys to get off without any problem. He’s the kind of horse all the bareback riders want to draw, because they know that as long as they don’t stub their toe, they’re going to win.”

Richie Champion

Richie Champion

Ask any bareback rider, they agree with Carr. Over the past three years, bareback riders have selected the 10-year-old as one of the top three horses in the game. This year should mark the sixth straight year the powerful and athletic gelding performs at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale that takes place in Las Vegas each December.

“I’ve been on big horses that look big and feel big,” said Richmond Champion, who rode Dirty Jacket for 91 points to win the championship at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days. “He has a huge frame, but he’s so athletic from nose to tail. He just looks like an athlete. If you could pick a horse out of a herd that could jump nine feet in the air, he’s that horse.

“If you’re going to win a big rodeo, that’s the horse you want.”

That’s true. In 2012, Dirty Jacket finished the season as the runner-up Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse. Last year, he was the Reserve World Champion. Can he be the No. 1 bareback horse in 2014?

“I think Dirty Jacket should’ve gotten the halter a long time ago,” Champion said of the Bareback Horse of the Year title. “I think he deserves one.”

Three pasture mates from the Pete Carr Pro Rodeo herd have earned that title: Real Deal, Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night. So far this year on Dirty Jacket, three-time world champion Kaycee Feild posted a 92.5-point ride on the big bay during the Fort Worth (Texas) Super Shootout; Champion was 91 in Cheyenne; Bill Tutor was 88 points in Lovington, N.M.; and Steven Dent won the final rodeo of the season with a 91-point ride in Stephenville, Texas.

Bill Tutor

Bill Tutor

“It’s an awesome feeling when you draw him, because he’s absolutely the one you want to draw,” said Tutor, of Huntsville, Texas, who has been on Dirty Jacket four times in his young career, winning in Claremore, Okla., and Stephenville, Texas, in 2013. “But you get worked up about it, and your heart’s pounding all week. I don’t want to mess up a horse that great.”

Not many do. In 2013, cowboys earned rodeo wins in 12 of 13 rodeos in which Dirty Jacket bucked. The scores in 2014 are proving he’s been better.

“When I saw the draw for the short round in Cheyenne, I knew I wanted him,” Champion said. “There were a bunch of good horses in the short round, but I wanted Dirty Jacket. When I found out I had him, there was no chance I was going to sleep good. I was super excited. When I got to the arena and got behind the bucking chutes, everybody was congratulating me on the draw. I was pretty nervous, because I didn’t want to waste the opportunity.”

He didn’t. In fact, he took in all the atmosphere of one of the biggest rodeos of the season.

“I wanted to take in every bit of that experience to get on him,” he said. “He looked healthy, probably the best I’d ever seen him was that day. Pete Carr and his crew do a phenomenal job taking care of their horses.

“I went and hung out with him for a while. That was probably the most excited I’ve ever been to get on a bareback horse that day. I was a kid in a candy store.”

He got his fix. Dirty Jacket burst out of the chute like no other horse had ever done. The images of that first move out of the chute were magic on social media.

“It felt like he wound himself up, and the next thing I know, I’m just looking vertical,” said Champion, whose only appearance on the photograph was his right boot. “I’ve never felt anything like that. From the rare out to about the fourth jump, it was just phenomenal. There are about two jumps I don’t remember happening. Once he lined out and was stacked up underneath me, that’s where I really started to have fun. I didn’t want the whistle to blow; I was having way too much fun.”

A lot of cowboys have had that experience over the last six years. They talk about tremendous athleticism. They talk about explosiveness. They talk about an animal’s love for what he does.

They talk about Dirty Jacket.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Ratliff hoping to defend title

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 23:14

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – Winn Ratliff won a share of the bareback riding championship at last year’s Waller County Fair and Rodeo.

He’d like to win it all this year. On Friday night during the rodeo’s second performance, the Louisiana cowboy rode Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Cimmaron for 86 points to take the lead. He’ll await Saturday’s final show to see how he finishes the weekend.

Winn Ratliff

Winn Ratliff

“My first horse was a Pete Carr horse called Blue Smoke,” said Ratliff, who will compete at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this coming December for the second time in three years. “Every once in a while, he’ll throw a little fit, and tonight he decided he didn’t want to perform, so we decided to give him a break and give me a reride.

“I had some history with Cimmaron and knew him real well. He’s a real nice horse and just circled around to the left. He’s real showy, and I just tried to do my part by making a strong ride.”

It worked. Ratliff may have been assisted by the 8 Second Bareback Shootout, a head-to-head match between Clint Cannon of Waller, Texas, and Richie Champion of The Woodlands, Texas, both of whom are NFR qualifiers. It was a historical special event for the Waller County rodeo. Though it wasn’t part of the ProRodeo, it was a highlighted event in which both cowboys put on exceptional rides – Cannon won the match with a 90-point ride on Pete Carr’s River Blast, two points better than Champion’s ride on Carr’s Little Sister.

“It definitely helps when you see two of the top guys make jam-up rides,” said Ratliff of Leesville, La. “It makes you want to show out. I’m thankful I could see that. It definitely got my riding juices flowing.”

The 25-year-old cowboy finished the 2014 regular season ninth in the world standings, having earned $73,000. With this being the first week of the 2015 season, he was excited to get off to a good start.

“September was a tough month because I wasn’t drawing good and just wasn’t riding good,” Ratliff said. “Toward the end and to now, my confidence has shot back really high. My year’s been a blessing; I just tried to keep my priorities in line and not take anything for granted, because we’re never promised tomorrow.”

He is in great shape to collect a nice payday in Hempstead.

“Last night I was at my hometown rodeo, and I kind of choked,” he said. “I came over here and knew I needed to redeem myself.”

Mission accomplished.

Waller County Fair and Rodeo
Oct. 2-4
Hempstead, Texas
Bareback riding:
1. Winn Ratliff, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Cimmaron; 2. Kyle Brennecke, 84; 3. Wyatt Denny, 82; 4. (tie) Will Lowe and Anthony Thomas, 79; 6. Bee Jay Scott, 78; 7. Kash Wilson, 77; 8. Ethan Assmann, 75.

Steer wrestling: 1. Darrell Petry, 4.0 seconds; 2. Bill Pace 4.4; 3. (tie) Aaron Vosler and Tommy Cook, 4.6; 5. Jarret New, 4.9; 3. Matt Cupp, 8.4; 6. (tie) Adam Strahan and Donelle Goodman, 5.9.

Team roping: 1. Lane Ivy/Tommy Zuniga, 5.0 seconds; 2. Kenton Woodson, 5.5; 3. (tie) Logan Olson/Travis Woodard, Tyler Waters/Kory Koontz, Jake Cooper, Tyler McKnight and David Key/Martin Lucero, 5.8; 7. Justin Davis/Colby Lovell, 5.9; 8. Nathan McWhorter/Cole Davison, 6.0.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 80 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Icycle; 2. Bradley Harter, 79; 3. (tie) Dean Wadsworth, Justin Caylor and Kobyn Williams, 78; 6. Isaac Diaz, 77.

Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Matt Shiozawa, 7.9 seconds; 2. Houston Hutto, 8.9; 3. Ross Tucker,9.0; 4. Ace Slone, 9.2; 5. Timber Moore, 9.3; 6. Marty Yates, 9.6.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Kelly Tovar, 14.52 seconds; 2. Amanda Davenport, 14.64; 3. Mary Walker, 14.75; 4. Sydni Blanchard, 14.82; 5. Lisa Thornton, 14.85; 6. Morgan Breaux, 14.89; 7. Brittany Grant, 14.90; 8. Christy Loflin, 14.91; 9. Taylor Jacob, 14.93; 10. Brittany Kelly, 15.02; 11. Kelly Allen, 15.05; 12. Tiffani Sonnier, 15.06.

Bull riding: 1. (tie) Zeb Lanham, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Rainbow, and Chad German, on Lancaster & Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Kubota, 85 points; 3. Jay Turner, 83; 4. Nile Lebaron, 81; 5. Toby Collins, 71; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Bareback riding match tonight in Hempstead

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 13:54

This is going to be a must-see event for rodeo fans in southeast Texas.

Clint Cannon

Clint Cannon

The 8 Second Bareback Shootout takes place during tonight’s second performance of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo, featuring veteran Clint Cannon of Waller, Texas, in a head-to-head match vs. newcomer Richie Champion of The Woodlands, Texas.

Richie Champion

Richie Champion

It’s protégé vs. mentor. It’s a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier vs. a 21-year-old cowboy about to make his first appearance at ProRodeo’s grand finale this coming December.

Champion learned the tools of the trade at the Southeast Texas Bareback Riding School, which is organized by Cannon and his family and takes place every November at the Waller County Fairgrounds. This season, the young cowboy has expounded upon those lessons like others before him: Austin Foss of Terrebonne, Ore., and J.R. Vezain of Cowley, Wyo. They will join Champion on those golden bucking chutes in Las Vegas.

The shootout is scheduled to be the third event during tonight’s performance. It’s just another explosive feature for fans who love the excitement that is the Waller County Fair and Rodeo.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

 

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