Archive for March, 2011

postheadericon LaValley making a statement

Dusty LaValley is a two-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, having finished ninth in the 2008 bareback riding world standings and 10th last year.

He’s doing all the right things early this season to finish even higher when the 2011 season ends. He won more than $7,000 at RodeoHouston, which doesn’t count toward the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings; but it does count in the confidence standings.

So far, LaValley and fellow Canadian Luke Creasy lead the average at RodeoAustin with 159 points on two rides. Both have clinched a spot in Saturday’s championship round.

LaValley is 16th in the most recent world standings issued Monday by the PRCA, but look for that to change very quickly. The way the Alberta cowboy is riding, he could be atop the leaderboard very soon.

postheadericon Keeping her day job

Jody Sheffield is the epitome of a circuit cowgirl, someone who works a full-time job and competes at events closer to home.

But she won the Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup last year and earned the right to play at some big events this winter and spring. One of those was RodeoHouston. Her husband, also a rodeo cowboy, mentioned that Sheffield could quit her day job if she won Houston.

Well, the Utah cowgirl did just that, and my first question was if she needed me to help write her resignation letter.

Unfortunately for her full-time rodeo career, Sheffield is keeping her day job. Insurance benefits are too hard to come by, even with $55,400 she earned in Houston. And that’s OK. Besides, it might be the first time in a long time that a part-time cowgirl qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

postheadericon McCoys race to first place in fifth leg of CBS reality series

With the father-daughter team of Gary and Mallory Ervin hot on their tails, brothers Jet and Cord McCoy sprinted to the “pit stop” in first place during the fifth leg of “The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business.”

It marked the first time in the 18th season of the CBS reality TV series the cowboys have met host Phil Keoghan ahead of the other teams in the race around the world for the $1 million first-place prize. The McCoys, raised on a ranch near Tupelo, Okla., finished second in Season 16, which aired 12 episodes from February-May in 2010.

Last spring the brothers won four legs of the race, earning three trips and a pair of sailboats. For their first win of this spring’s show, the McCoys earned $5,000 each. That prompted Cord to toss his cowboy hat, a regular occurrence in their world of rodeo when a winning feat is accomplished.

The teams began the leg in Li Jiang, China, and all were awaiting the same train ride to Kunming, China, on the first steps of the leg. But they didn’t let a little down time get in the way of a good time while at the Li Jiang Train Station.

“All the teams got there, and we were sitting around, and I knew ‘Flight Time’ had told me they had a basketball,” Cord said, referring to Herb Lang, one of two Globetrotters on the race. “Hey, I see a basketball goal.”

So they put together a three-on-three game pitting Jet, Flight Time and LaKisha Hoffman against Cord, Nate “Big Easy” Loften and Jennifer Hoffman, LaKisha’s sister teammate.

“Who would’ve ever thought we’d be playing basketball …” Jet said.

“Two cowboys …” Cord added.

“… With the Harlem Globetrotters, in China,” Jet said.

“Wow,” Cord said.

“It was like playing basketball with trees,” Jet said.

Once in Kumning, the teams had to find their way to the Dounan Flower Market, where they found the clue that directed them to the Golden Horse and Jade Cock Memorial Arches. The McCoys were in seventh place when they left the flower market.

But the cab the brothers used took them to a McDonald’s – a Golden Arches instead of the memorial arches. The brothers moved to last place among the nine teams by the time they reached the memorial. There the teams faced their first detour, choosing either a challenge to honor the past, watching a traditional Tibetan performance, or embracing the future, which is what the McCoys chose.

There they offloaded complete solar water heating system from a truck, then carried it up a few flights of stairs to the roof of a building to install it. The cowboys were the fourth team to arrive at the building and the second to leave, moving from last to sixth overall.

Once the teams finished their detours, the clues led them to a double “U-turn” section of the race, where two teams can slow down two other teams by forcing them to do the other side of the detour. The mother-son team of Margie and Luke Adams reached the “U-turn” first, followed by the McCoys. Neither of those teams chose to force the penalty on any other teams, but the Goth couple Kent Kaliber and Vyxsin Fiala penalized the former NFL cheerleaders Jaime Edmondson and Cara Rosenthal, who directly followed that by penalizing the Globetrotters.

The next clue took the teams to the Stone Forest, where they had to put together a life-size dinosaur. Jet handled the task for the cowboys, who arrived at the Stone Forest in fifth place.

“I went back and checked the little diagram more than anybody to make sure, as I went, I kind of had it all together,” Jet said.

The Ervins, who arrived last at the Stone Forest, opted to use the Express Pass they earned by winning the first challenge. Jet finished the dinosaur puzzle first, so the cowboys took off on the rest of the leg of the race. In fact, the McCoys passed the Ervins before leaving the Stone Forest and held the lead to the “pit stop” at Green Lake Park.

The cheerleaders, Edmondson and Rosenthal, finished last and were eliminated. The remaining eight teams will continue the race for $1 million when they’re scheduled to visit India in next week’s episode.

postheadericon Scheer makes the most of his trip to Houston

Cort Scheer

Cort Scheer

Cort Scheer made a good living during 10 days in Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where he earned a little more than $70,000

But over the last 20 days, the saddle bronc rider topped it. Scheer, of Elsmere, Neb., competed in nine go-rounds at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and earned $88,350. He won the Super Series Shootout, then became the only $50,000 prize winner to earn the Cinch Super Shootout victory, adding $25,000 – he also earned $10,350 through the Super Series.

That’s an awesome run in Houston. In fact, Scheer won the first two and last three go-rounds in which he competed.

Other Super Shootout winners were bareback rider Will Lowe, bull rider Douglas Duncan and barrel racer Sherry Cervi.

postheadericon Can a quadruple crown really happen?

In talking to Stran Smith on Friday, we got to talking a little about his friend, 14-time world champion Trevor Brazile.

This last year, he won the tie-down roping world title, the heading world title and the all-around world title, the latter a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association record eighth. In winning three gold buckles, Brazile won the elusive Triple Crown for the second time in four years; he also won the Triple Crown in 2007.

It took 24 years for someone to earn the coveted honor after Roy Cooper won the Triple Crown in 1983, then it took just three years for Brazile to match it. It’s a phenomenal feat.

“But nobody’s talked about a quadruple crown,” Smith said, noting that Brazile has earned two world championships in steer roping. “Realistically he could win the quadruple crown.”

As talented and focused as Brazile is, it could happen very soon, too.

postheadericon Welsh wins Houston

Bobby Welsh won the bull riding at Houston with the only qualified ride in the shootout.

postheadericon Sheffield earns big title

When she won the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up Rodeo last year, Jody Sheffield called it the biggest win of her career. I think she surpassed it Saturday by winning the shootout round at RodeoHouston.

postheadericon Stockton cashes in big

Stockton Graves posted a 4.6-second run in RodeoHouston’s Shootout round Saturday afternoon, then he went straight to the pay window where he collected more than $58,000 for his work Harris County, Texas.

postheadericon Ride of a different Cort

Cort Scheer’s first horse stalled at the gate, so after he secured a qualified ride, the Nebraska cowboy took his re-ride at Houston. Hey, $50,000 was on the line.

So Scheer took advantage with a $60,350 finish, $50,000 of it from winning Saturday’s saddle bronc riding shootout.

postheadericon Team roping champs reign

Cody Doescher and Tommy Edens won team roping at Houston and the $50,000 first-place prize. They qualified for Saturday’s festivities by finishing fourth in the second semifinal.


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