postheadericon Cool Change perfect for Pollmiller

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Justin Pollmiller plodded through the mud not knowing much about Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, the horse he was to compete on Saturday night.

The more he learned about the athletic equine, the faster his pace got. By the second performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo began, he was quite tickled to play his game in the rain. The smile got larger after the two matched moves for 80 points to take the bareback riding lead.

“I don’t really look up anything about the horses before I get on them, but once I got here and some guys told me about her, I felt like I had a good horse,” said Pollmiller of Weatherford, Okla. “On her back, she felt outstanding.

“I thought that horse was really good, and I felt like I was really able to get back and spur on her.”

One performance remains in the 69th edition of Claremore’s rodeo, so the cowboy will have to await the results of Sunday’s show to see how he will place. Nonetheless, doing well in this damp northeast Oklahoma is crucial for Pollmiller, who competes in the Prairie Circuit, a series of rodeos and contestants primarily in the Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska region.

“I love it here,” he said. “There are great horses, and it seems like it’s really well run. It’s awesome to have one of those in your circuit that you can go to every year.”

Pollmiller is from Littleton, Colo., but moved to the Sooner State to compete in college rodeo at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He’s done pretty well at it, actually, clinching the Central Plains Region title again this past season and earning another qualification to the College National Finals Rodeo.

After the college finals is complete, he will return to Weatherford as a graduate assistant for the rodeo program.

“I really like it down here, mostly because of the weather,” Pollmiller said, mindfully ignoring the constant rain that fell throughout Saturday’s rodeo. “It’s still snowing and cold back home, but down here, we’ve actually bucked horses in November and December.

“There are a lot more rodeos, too, so this is the place to be.”

He proved it in spite of the rain and mud in Claremore.

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 22-24
Leaders through second performance
Bareback riding:
1. Justin Pollmiller, 80 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change; 2. Yance Day, 79l 3. Winn Ratliff, 78; 4. (tie) Kolt Kitaif and Wyatt Clark, 73; 6. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Bill Tutor, 72.

Steer wrestling: 1. Laine Herl, 4.1 seconds; 2. Zac Parrington, 4.3; 3. (tie) Josh Clark, Denver Berry and Tooter Silve, 4.4; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.7; 7. Josh Peek, 4.8; 8. (tie) Shane Frey and Jacob Talley, 5.0.

Tie-down roping: 1. Dillon Holder, 8.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Trent Creager and Clay Brown, 8.8; 4. Jerome Schneeberfger, 9.3; 5. Jeremy Len Kempker, 9.8; 6. Perry Dietz 9.9.

Saddle bronc riding 1. Nat Stratton, 85 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness; 2. Shade Etbauer, 79; 3. (tie) Ryan Bestol and Joe Lufkin, 78; 5. (tie) Preston Kafka and Will Smith, 76.

Team roping: 1. (tie) Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster and Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 5.7 seconds each; 3. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8; 4. Brock Demaree/Kraig Von Ahn, 6.3; 5. Ralph Williams/Darin Suit, 8.3; 6. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Jett Hillman, 9.8; 7. Jeff Schneider/Gabe Gwaltney, 10.1; 8. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 10.5.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds, $984; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.6, $815; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Rocky Patterson, 11.8, $560 each; 5. C.A. Lauer, 13.3, $306; 6. Cody Lee, 13.5, $170. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.6 seconds, $984; 2. Chet Herren, 12.0, $815; 3. Brad Mohon, 13.0, $645; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.1, $475; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tyrel Taton, 13.4, $238 each. Third round leaders: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Jess Tierney and Tom Smith, 10.5 each; 4. Guy Allen, 10.9; 5. Jason Evans, 12.0; 6. Rod Hartness, 12.5. Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 35.2 seconds on three head; 2. Bryce Davis, 41.9; 3. Jay Sellers, 43.0; 4. Jason Evans, 43.3; 5. Jess Tierney, 26.8 on two head; 6. Cody Lee, 27.0.

Barrel racing: 1. Michele McLeod, 17.41 seconds; 2. Taylor Langdon, 17.58; 3. Katelyn McLeod, 17.63; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.66; 5. Shea-Lynn Leach, 17.67; 6. Lacinda Rose, 17.72; 7. Laura Kennedy, 17.75; 8. Fallon Taylor 17.77; 9. Cassidy Kruse, 17.84; 19. Shelley Morgan, 17.86.

Bull riding: 1. Brennon Elred, 87points on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Lil Clever; 2. Tanner Bothwell, 85; 3. John Mincey, 84; 4. John Young, 83; 5. Jimy Marten, 81; 6. Jacob O’Mara, 79; 7. Chris McCombs, 78; 8. Jeff Bertus, 76.

postheadericon Patterson leads Claremore steer roping

Rocky Patterson

Rocky Patterson

First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds, $984; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.6, $815; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Rocky Patterson, 11.8, $560 each; 5. C.A. Lauer, 13.3, $306; 6. Cody Lee, 13.5, $170.

Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.6 seconds, $984; 2. Chet Herren, 12.0, $815; 3. Brad Mohon, 13.0, $645; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.1, $475; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tyrel Taton, 13.4, $238 each.

Third round leaders: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Jess Tierney and Tom Smith, 10.5 each; 4. Guy Allen, 10.9; 5. Jason Evans, 12.0; 6. Rod Hartness, 12.5.

Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 35.2 seconds on three head; 2. Bryce Davis, 41.9; 3. Jay Sellers, 43.0; 4. Jason Evans, 43.3; 5. Jess Tierney, 26.8 on two head; 6. Cody Lee, 27.0.

postheadericon Herl jumps to lead in Claremore

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Laine Herl is just 21 years old and has big dreams in the world of rodeo.

He took a pretty solid leap toward that Friday night during the first performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo. Herl, of Goodland, Kan., posted a 4.1-second run to take the early lead in steer wrestling with two performances remaining.

“I’d really like to win the rookie of the year,” said Herl, the No. 2 cowboy in the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings. “I drew a good steer and had a good start. That makes a big difference.”

Herl just finished the 2014-15 college rodeo season in fourth place in the steer wrestling standings while competing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, about three hours west of Claremore. Unfortunately only the top three earn the right to compete at the College National Finals Rodeo that will take place next month in Casper, Wyo.

“I missed the college finals by just five points,” he said, noting that the region was filled with talented steer wrestlers. “We had about half the top 15 guys from Northwestern. Practice was tough, but everybody was there to help everybody else.”

That came in handy as he takes his place among the top players in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the premier sanctioning body for the sport. He’s traveling with veteran Jule Hazen, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Ashland, Kan.

“Jule’s helped me a lot,” Herl said. “My horse got hurt, so he allowed me to get on his. I’ve just learned a lot from him. It helps with the little things that nobody would really notice. They do all the fine-tuning things that nobody really sees but that makes a big difference.”

Herl was a multi-sport star at Goodland High School and had scholarship opportunities in both wrestling and football. He chose rodeo instead.

“My dad bulldogged for a long time,” he said. “He was still going when I was growing up, and it made me want to do it. For me, rodeo’s a better sport because everybody’s willing to help everybody else.”

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 22-24
Leaders through first performance
Bareback riding:
1. Winn Ratliff, 78 points on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Red Ryder; 2. Kolt Kitaif, 73; 3. Tim O’Connell, 72; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. Laine Herl, 4.1 seconds; 2. Zac Parrington, 4.3; 3. (tie) Josh Clark, Denver Berry and Tooter Silver; 6.

Tie-down roping: 1. Tylen Layton, 10.6 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 11.1; Bart Brunson, 12.6; 4. Jack Hewett, 12.9; 5. Ryan Jarrett, 13.2; 6. Cole Bailey, 16.9.

Saddle bronc riding 1. Shade Etbauer, 79 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly; 2. Ryan Bestol, 78; 3. Prestan Kafka, 76; 4. Weston Pierschbacher, 75; 5; Wyatt Casper, 74; 6. Wyatt Barstow, 73.

Team roping: 1. (tie) Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster and Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 5.7 seconds each; 3. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8; 4. Brock Demaree/Kraig Von Ahn, 6.3; 5. Ralph Williams/Darin Suit, 8.3; 6. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Jett Hillman, 9.8.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds; 2. C.A. Lauer, 13.3; 3. Cody Lee, 13.5; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.7; 5. Jess Tierney, 16.3; 6. Luke Bland, 18.1.

Barrel racing: 1. Michele McLeod, 17.41 seconds; 2. Taylor Langdon, 17.58; 3. Katelyn McLeod, 17.63; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.66; 5. Shea-Lynn Leach, 17.67; 6. Lacinda Rose, 17.72.

Bull riding: 1. John Mincey, 84 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Justin Boots; 2. John Young, 83; 3. Jimy Marten, 81; 4. Jacob O’Mara, 79; 5. Chris McCombs, 78; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Claremore is ready for rodeo

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country are preparing to converge on Claremore this week.

The Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo – the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2014 Small Rodeo of the Year – will feature nearly 600 entries for the upcoming event, set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena. Discounted tickets can be found on the rodeo’s website, www.WillRogersStampede.com; fans can also follow the rodeo on Facebook.

David Petty

David Petty

But there’s so much more to the Memorial Day Weekend festivities in Rogers County.

“We’ve worked really hard this year to put together the best experience possible for people who want to come to a professional rodeo and have a good time,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We’ve got a lot for the fans to enjoy with Miss Rodeo America Lauren Heaton along with our great acts, Tomas Garcilazo and John Harrison.”

Heaton is the first Miss Rodeo Oklahoma to win the national crown. Gracilazo is a charro who earned the PRCA’s Dress Act of the Year in 2012 and ’13. Harrison, of Soper, Okla., won the 2014 PRCA Comedy Act of the Year and the Coors Man in the Can.

Together, they bring the pomp and circumstance and valuable entertainment to the event, but the action comes in the competition. A big reason why so many contestants make their way to Claremore every May is because of the bucking stock from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, a Dallas-based livestock firm that has been one of the top five in the PRCA each of the past two seasons.

“Having Pete Carr and his crew at our rodeo is one of the reasons our rodeo has seen recent success,” Petty said. “He has amazing bucking stock and produces an incredible rodeo.”

Trevor Brazile

Trevor Brazile

That’s key to the biggest and best names in the game, including world champions like Rocky Patterson, Guy Allen, Mary Walker, Ryan Jarrett, Will Lowe, Trevor Brazile and Sage Kimzey. Brazile and Kimzey are reigning champions – Brazile in steer roping and the all-around and Kimzey in bull riding.

Kimzey also is the reigning Will Rogers Stampede champion. That win was a key reason he ran through the 2014 season in dominating fashion.

He will be joined in Claremore this week by several other Wrangler National Finals Rodeo or Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping qualifiers who come from the area: Tie down ropers Jerome Schneeberger of Ponca City, Okla., and Mike Johnson of Henryetta, Okla.; steer wrestler Tom Duvall of Hichita, Okla.; team ropers Coleman Proctor of Pryor, Okla., and Jake Long of Coffeyville, Kan.; barrel racer Tana Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla.; bull rider Tate Stratton of Kellyville, Okla.; and steer ropers Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin and Brady Garten of Claremore.

“It’s a very exciting week for us, and we’re ready to put on the kind of show that has people talking,” Petty said. “It takes a lot of work to put on an event like this, but we do this because we love it and we love this community. It’s an amazing experience.”

postheadericon Miss Rodeo America to appear at Drysdales

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Miss Rodeo America Lauren Heaton will have a meet-and-greet with rodeo fans beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, May 22, at Drysdales Western Wear on 71st Street in Tulsa.

Lauren Heaton

Lauren Heaton

Heaton, the first Miss Rodeo Oklahoma to win the title of Miss Rodeo America, grew up in Alva, Okla., and graduated from Oklahoma State University. This marks the second straight year she is part of the festivities at the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo, which will have three action-packed performances set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena.

As Miss Rodeo Oklahoma in 2014, Heaton was a major part of last year’s Will Rogers Stampede. She has included Claremore in her schedule that includes national rodeo appearances as the primary ambassador for the sport.

Claremore’s rodeo was recognized as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2014 Small Rodeo of the Year, an honor voted on by the members of the organization. The rodeo also will feature several other award-winning entities: 2012 and 2013 Dress Act of the Year Tomas Garcilazo; 2014 Comedy Act of the Year John Harrison, who also won the 2014 Coors Man in the Can for his work as a funnyman/barrelman; and Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, one of the top five stock contractors in the PRCA and the 2014 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s Stock Contractor of the Year.

Discounted tickets will be available at Drysdales during the meet-and-greet and also can be found on the rodeo’s website, www.WillRogersStampede.com; fans can follow the rodeo on Facebook and Twitter.

postheadericon Harrison returns to Claremore rodeo

John Harrison, the 2014 Coors Man in the Can and PRCA Comedy Act of the Year, returns to Claremore for the award-winning Will Rogers Stampede. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN HARRISON)

John Harrison, the 2014 Coors Man in the Can and PRCA Comedy Act of the Year, returns to Claremore for the award-winning Will Rogers Stampede. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN HARRISON)

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo organizers aren’t settled on the past.

Sure, being named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2014 Small Rodeo of the Year is quite an honor; now it’s time to look ahead.

“We didn’t want to rest on our past accomplishments, no matter how proud we are of them,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We wanted to step it up a little more because our fans deserve it. We want to give them the best show, the best rodeo they’re going to find anywhere.”

John Harrison

John Harrison

That’s one of the reasons why the committee is bringing back John Harrison, one of the top entertainers in ProRodeo. In 2014, the Soper, Okla., man was honored as the Coors Man in the Can for his exploits as a rodeo barrelman and funnyman. He also won the PRCA’s Comedy Act of the Year.

“I love packing the barrel and being there for the cowboys,” Harrison said, pointing to his role as an in-arena protection for fallen bull riders.

But there’s so much more to Harrison’s tasks at each rodeo performance. He is one of many award-winning pieces to the Claremore rodeo’s puzzle. The rodeo is set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena. Discounted tickets can be found on the rodeo’s website, www.WillRogersStampede.com; fans can also follow the rodeo on Facebook.

He will be joined by charro Tomas Garcilazo, a two-time winner of the PRCA’s Dress Act of the Year, and the championship livestock from Dallas-based Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. The Carr firm has been nominated as PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year each of the past two seasons; in 2014, it was named the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s Stock Contractor of the Year.

Harrison, though, adds the comedy to the event, helping add to the family friendly atmosphere that is the sport of rodeo.

“John is a true entertainer, and I love the fact that he’s from Oklahoma,” Petty said. “There aren’t many rodeos in Oklahoma that can boast of two great acts, but we can.

In addition to hysterical acts that showcase Harrison’s talent, the Oklahoma man serves as a valuable piece of the puzzle that helps make for a near-flawless performance each time he speaks.

“John is good, clean family fun,” said John Gwatney, Carr’s production supervisor. “It’s his rodeo background, because he grew up in this sport. For us, he helps us with the timing of our production. When you know what needs to be done and have someone that doesn’t have a big ego, then he’s willing to do work and willing to do that for the production.”

That’s the key reaching fans with a variety of entertaining items. Whether it’s a trick riding display that will leave fans in awe or his parody of rodeo queens, Harrison has a lot of ammunition.

“I do this for the love of the sport,” he said. “Growing up with it, you enjoy it. Now I can actually make a living at it, so that helps.”

postheadericon Jacksonville ready for rodeo

JACKSONVILLE, Texas – Rodeo fans in this east Texas community of nearly 15,000 know they can expect world-class action every May.

Jacksonville-signThe Tops in Texas Rodeo is a showcase of the sport’s brightest stars, including the animal athletes from Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo. This year’s event is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14-Saturday, May 16, at Lons Morris College Arena, the closest venue of the season to the Carr ranch near Athens.

It’s the perfect place for great athletes to shine. Take Evan Jayne, a bareback rider from France now living in Texas. He won the Jacksonville rodeo a year ago with a ride on Black Coffee, a quick mare that has been selected six times to buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This season Jayne is the third-ranked bareback rider in the world standings.

Rising star Wacey Hathcock earned the saddle bronc riding victory on Trail Dust, a strong bay mare that has bucked three times at the NFR.

The list goes on and on. The leaderboard at the Tops in Texas Rodeo is a combination of up-and-coming superstars mixed with established champions.

It’s what fans have come to expect when the rodeo hits Jacksonville.

postheadericon Heaton is rodeo’s ambassador

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Growing up on the family farm just east of Alva, Okla., Lauren Heaton was raised around rodeo.

Now she is the sport’s primary ambassador, the first Miss Rodeo Oklahoma ever crowned as Miss Rodeo America. She carries the torch for the Western lifestyle to events all across North America, including the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo, set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena.

Lauren Heaton

Lauren Heaton

“This is an industry I grew up in and is what shaped me into who I am,” said Heaton, a 2013 Oklahoma State University graduate. “Now I get to see rodeo on a major scale.

“It’s been phenomenal. It’s been what every little girl dreams of.”

Her travel schedule is hectic but manageable. She lives in different states at a time, commuting through airports and highways. So far this year, she’s represented professional rodeo on the grandest scale imaginable at some of the biggest events.

Maybe that’s why her return to Oklahoma soil is such a critical step in Heaton’s 2015 agenda.

“I grew up going to these rodeos, so to go back as Miss Rodeo Oklahoma then back as Miss Rodeo America is so great,” she said. “I can’t explain enough that this title of Miss Rodeo America is so much more than me; this is something I share with everyone from Oklahoma.”

She’ll share that throughout the week leading up to Claremore’s rodeo. She’s been to major stops on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association trail, like Denver, San Antonio and the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo near Walt Disney World in Florida, Heaton realizes that events like the Will Rogers Stampede are foundation for the sport.

“The small rodeos are great,” Heaton said. “Out of the 5,000 or so PRCA cowboys, the vast majority of them are the ones who can only travel to the smaller rodeos like Claremore. You can still get a phenomenally ran rodeo. Claremore just won the 2014 Small Outdoor Rodeo of the Year, so you can see all the big names mixed with the ones who just go around this circuit.

“Fans are getting a great rodeo for their money; they’re getting to see as good a rodeo as any large rodeo you can go to.”

She should know. She and her brothers , Lance and Landon, are the fifth generation of her family that’s been farming and ranching in northern Oklahoma. Her ancestors got their property in the land run, and they were raised by Trent and Melissa Heaton with a strong work ethic and a love for the land.

“I had two older brothers, so I’ve always been a tomboy,” Lauren Heaton said. “I got tied up with their pigging strings, so I’m really good at getting out of knots. We’re a close-knit family, and we don’t have much extended family, so we’re even closer.”

That background has played quite well into her role as Miss Rodeo America. As the sport’s ambassador, she has carries the flag for the entire Western lifestyle while sharing the latest news and trends about the industry. She must be knowledgeable and answer any questions that arise.

“It’s hard work but it encompasses all that I love, so it doesn’t feel like work,” she said. “We’re beating down the road because we love it. I like being the face for all the cowboys and cowgirls across the country. I’m doing what they’d love to be doing as well.

“It’s such a humbling honor. Every time I go to a rodeo, I look around and see all that I’m representing. I’m excited to be part of it.”

It shows in a vibrant smile and a caring nature that has been engrained in the young Oklahoma woman since birth. She knows a lot more goes into being a rodeo queen than a pretty face and trademark wave, and she’s always excited to meet the young girls whose eyes light up as she walks in the room.

“When I see those girls, I just try to think back to what it was like for me when I first met Miss Rodeo America,” Heaton said. “That was Michelle Green (now Mackey) in 1994, and she actually lives in my hometown now. I like to have the same light and the same energy they show me. Every time I go somewhere, it’s their first time seeing and meeting Miss Rodeo America. I like to match their energy.”

Now she holds all that energy in a job she loves. She is part of a group of women who have earned the title in the association’s 60 years.

“You only get one chance at this title,” Heaton said. “To win it and to be a part of that elite group of women is phenomenal. It’s an amazing feeling.”

postheadericon Important branding

Tate Branch, Ted Harbin and Joby Houghtaling pose with Ted Harbin and his Rodeo Media Relations/TwisTed Rodeo Dodge Durango at the Hobbs, N.M., dealership. (LYNETTE HARBIN PHOTO)

Tate Branch, Ted Harbin and Joby Houghtaling pose with Ted Harbin and his Rodeo Media Relations/TwisTed Rodeo Dodge Durango at the Hobbs, N.M., dealership. (LYNETTE HARBIN PHOTO)

When I developed Rodeo Media Relations, I had been covering the sport for the largest newspaper in Oklahoma.

I had purchased a new SUV in 2002, and it quickly became my rodeo wagon. I drove many miles across the red dirt-lined highways to tell cowboy tales to the periodical’s readers. That vehicle became an identifiable piece of me more than a decade ago.

Ted Harbin TwisTED Rodeo

Ted Harbin
TwisTED Rodeo

Enter Tate Branch Auto Group of southeastern New Mexico, which has dealerships in Artesia, Carlsbad and Hobbs. Rodeo Media Relations and TwisTed Rodeo have a new rodeo wagon, and it’s even more identifiable to what we do in promoting the sport of rodeo and its people.

The 2014 Dodge Durango is outfitted with an amazing wrap that proudly displays all the great things Tate Branch Auto Group has to offer. For instance, any rodeo association member should check out the savings possible through any of the Tate Branch dealerships. On top of that is Warranty Forever, a Tate Branch Auto Group exclusive warranty that covers the drive train of any vehicle purchased at one of our dealerships that has less than 75,000 miles.

The Tate Branch Auto Group “Riding for the Brand” team includes some of the greatest cowboys in the game, most of whom have New Mexico ties – two-time world champion saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy; tie-down roping brothers Clint and Clif Cooper; their father, eight-time world champ Roy Cooper; steer roper Marty Jones; and team roping twins Jake and Jim Ross Cooper.

That’s a boatload of talent, and I’m proud to be part of the “Riding for the Brand” team. I’m excited to have them tag along the rodeo trail with me as I continue to tell cowboy tales.

Tate Branch-logo

postheadericon Charro will be part of Stampede action

Charro Tomas Garcilazo will be one of the featured performers at the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Okla. Garcilazo will bring his traditional Mexican horsemanship and put it on display for the fans in Claremore. (COURTESY TOMAS GARCILAZO)

Charro Tomas Garcilazo will be one of the featured performers at the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Okla. Garcilazo will bring his traditional Mexican horsemanship and put it on display for the fans in Claremore. (COURTESY TOMAS GARCILAZO)

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Tomas Garcilazo is quite proud of who he is, from his upbringing in Mexico City to being a citizen of the United States.

He combines it all in one of the greatest acts in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In fact, Garcilazo was recognized as the PRCA’s Dress Act of the Year in 2012 and ’13, and he will be part of the action at the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo, set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena.

Tomas Garcilazo

Tomas Garcilazo

Garcilazo is a charro and carries on the family heritage of La Charreria, a skill performed through the generations only by the Mexican charro. As did his elders, Garcilazo takes pride in his horsemanship and roping skills, which will be on display during each of the three Stampede performances.

“We want to celebrate rodeo with the best acts in rodeo,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We thought this year, coming off being named the Rodeo of the Year award, that we needed to have another award-winning act at our rodeo.

“Tomas fits that very well. His act is phenomenal, and I know the people who come to our rodeo will love what they see.”

Garcilazo is one of two featured entertainers that will be a big part of this year’s Claremore rodeo, joining funnyman John Harrison who, in 2014, won the Coors Man in the Can and the Comedy Act of the Year awards.

“When you bring someone to provide a treat, it’s nice because you contribute something to the community,” Garcilazo said. “It’s going to bring more people together.”

Rodeo is more than a competition. The stampede will feature the very best in the sport, from numerous world champions in every event to the very best animal athletes in the game. But it’s also an action-packed couple of hours of entertainment. To help make a rodeo even more entertaining, specialty acts provide theatrics to the competition. Garcilazo is the best at what he does.

“It’s an honor because specialty acts are so competitive,” he said. “I’m very flattered that what I do as a charro and representing my culture and my tradition with my horses and myself has been recognized with those contractors, committees and contestants that are part of the PRCA.

“I emphasize the tradition a lot. The heritage is very strong. For me, it is big that those are being carried on in modern day and that it is a privilege for me to keep up with this way of life. Cattle, horses and roping were all involved in my childhood.”

Those lessons learned decades ago are still vibrant in his mind. That’s why he continues to entertain and show the world his talents.

“On my mother’s side, they are all churros,” Garcilazo said. “I grew up competing all my life. I picked my skill with a rope and had a vision to develop this with the horses.

“It’s a way of developing my dream. My rope, as a child, was a toy. Now I develop the artistry with a rope in such an extensive way. It takes time, effort, patience and the (willingness to) develop all the desires to succeed in horse and roping skills.”

It is Garcilazo’s passion to share his talent – and his heritage – with the world.

“Being in the entertainment business, you get to see the different traditions and different people from different personalities,” he said. “When you develop something with passion with your heart and express this on stage, it shows. When I see a performer, when they do these with their heart, it shows right away. I have a lot of passion for what I do, and I hope everyone sees that.”