Archive for February, 2012

postheadericon No. 999

This is the 999th post on TwisTED Rodeo. There are a lot of things going on right now between RodeoHouston, Iron Cowboy III and the Timed Event Championship.

If you are going to be at the Lazy E for the 28th annual Timed Event Championship, be sure to follow the Lazy E Arena (@LazyEArena) on Twitter or be a friend of the Lazy E on Facebook so you can keep track of news and information from the “Ironman Event of ProRodeo.” There will be trivia questions posted on Twitter and Facebook, and you’ll have a chance to win prizes.

You might event have a chance to win some tickets to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for March 29-April 1 in Oklahoma City.

The Timed Event Championship has been the playground for some of the greatest all-around timed-event cowboys in the history of ProRodeo. The unique event is a showcase of tremendous talent, and the challenge will feature five go-rounds spread over three days. It’s rugged, and it’s a test for even the best in the game.

postheadericon Meadors, VonAhn fueled for the long haul

Angie Meadors and Kollin VonAhn are dating.

She’s a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, and he’s the 2009 world champion heeler. Oh, and this past weekend, they both laid claim to their respective titles at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo. VonAhn won $19,323, and Meadors collected about $1,000 less.

Not a bad haul for the end of February. Meadors moved up to fifth in the world standings — it was her first paycheck of the 2012 season — while VonAhn is the top-ranked heeler. Those paydays can go a long ways in helping them back to Las Vegas in December.

But one of the cool prizes they received, Meadors said, were $5,000 fuel cards. Since the two often travel the ProRodeo trail together, they have, essentially, $10,000 to use to get down the road.

That’s the kind of perk one can win on.

postheadericon Helm proud of the volunteers on rodeo committee

GUYMON, Okla. – When Earl Helm first signed up on the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo committee, he thought he was just doing a little favor.

In the eight years since, Helm has learned a lot more about it.

“At first, they were asking for someone to help finding hay,” said Helm, in his first year as chairman of the volunteer committee. “The further I got into it, I saw how important it was for the community, for what the community was getting out of this rodeo.

“Now it’s trying to get it to be the best show it can be. Every dollar that comes in to town for the rodeo gets turned over seven times approximately. That’s important for Guymon, for our community. That’s why I do this.”

This is the 80th year for the annual celebration, with performances scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 6. The competition begins with non-performance competition – known as slack in rodeo terms – taking place each day beginning Monday, April 30.

Helm is just one of many community members who donate their time and talent to produce the annual event. A core group of directors works year-round, from raising money to produce one of the top ProRodeo events in the country. It’s all a reflection of what makes the rodeo such a special event in the community.

“This year we were invited to Denver, because Guymon, Oklahoma, was picked to be one of the rodeos that was part of a new event called Colorado vs. The World,” Helm said of the competition held during the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo that featured winners from Colorado rodeos pitted in a competition with winners from other prestigious events, including Guymon, Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, Dodge City (Kan.) Round-Up, etc.

“I felt like that was very honorable, and I’m thankful we were chosen to represent our community at an event like that.”

The key ingredient is producing a high quality event, which is what happens in the Oklahoma Panhandle every May. But the week of rodeo is just the end result of a year of preparation.

“Our work starts for the next year about a month after the rodeo is over,” Helm said. “It’s about 11 months of work, and that’s something I’ve seen over the years. When you first start out volunteering, it’s just that week of the rodeo. You help with get everything set up or help with slack, but that’s pretty much all you see.

“The longer you’re in it and the more involved you get, the more you learn about what it takes. There’s a lot going on in the background that people don’t know about. When it gets closer to the end, then you’re meeting once a week to make sure everything is getting done.”

It’s that kind of work ethic that helps make the Pioneer Days Rodeo one of the most successful annual events in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

“You’re always looking for ways to improve, to find ways to make it better, the things you can change to do that,” he said. “This year we’re going to have a special deal on Wednesday night where we’ll serve calf fries and hamburgers to say thank you to our sponsors and to the timed-event contestants who will be here. This will take place after slack we have for all the calf ropers, steer wrestlers and team ropers.

“We’ve been pretty blessed to have so many great sponsors who help us bring this to town. This doesn’t happen without them on our side.”

Gathering sponsorships is one of the most important aspects of being a volunteer, primarily because it takes money to hire the contractors, pay bills and put up a big portion of the purse to draw the top contestants in the game. But all committee roles come into play by the time the first animal bucks on opening night, whether it’s handing concessions, sorting livestock or any of the other hundreds of tasks that come along.

“Everybody’s got their own little thing they excel in and that they like to do, so that’s what makes it good for all of us, and, hopefully for the fans that come to the rodeo,” Helm said.

Now it’s Helms turn to oversee all the activities involved.

“It’s definitely an honor to be the chairman,” he said. “I think the honor of it is how much you grow personally through this time. You get humbled pretty quick, and there’s never anything wrong with that.

“Through the years, we’ve had some great chairmen, and I believe I’m the one that’s blessed by that deal because of them. Through the years, we’ve had a fantastic group of people involved.”

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Kyle Lockett

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final biography of the 20 contestants who will be part of the 2012 Timed Event Championship, which takes place at noon and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif.

Kyle Lockett

Kyle Lockett

When Kyle Lockett backs his horse into the chute, he knows the task at hand. In the Fabulous Lazy E Arena this weekend, it means being able to tackle a variety of tasks.

He does it pretty well, too, and proved his excellence last March when he won the Timed Event Championship for the second. More importantly, Lockett handled the pressure that comes with battling for the title of this unique event, securing the buckle and the $50,000 first-place prize.

Lockett, who has earned $206,500 in Timed Event money in his outstanding career, finished his three-day, 25-head run with 308.8 seconds to win the average. Everyone in the field knew he had it in him. Not only was he a regular fixture at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo when he traveled the trail as hard as anyone, he’s proven his talent by top finishes inside this arena year after year.

The first time Lockett left the Lazy E with the coveted title in 2005, he pulled off late-game heroics to upset Trevor Brazile, a six-time winner of this event and a 16-time PRCA World Champion. Lockett secured the coveted buckle on the final run of the weekend.

But it was just one moment in a long list of great things he’s done inside the Lazy E, where Lockett has proven his mettle each year. This weekend marks a dozen trips to the Timed Event for Lockett, and he’s returned to California with Oklahoma cash most of the time.

That’s as much of a testament to his talent as his two championships.

postheadericon They have the Wright stuff

Cody and Jesse Wright take sibling rivalry to great heights in bronc riding

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a story for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for March 29-April 1 in Oklahoma City. For more information, go HERE.

OKLAHOMA CITYFor the bronc riding Wright brothers from Utah, there’s much more to family than the world of rodeo.

Cody Wright

Cody Wright

That just happens to be the avenue by which they are best known. It’s also the arena by which they excel the most.

Cody Wright is a two-time world champion (2008 and 2010) who won the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo average two Decembers ago. Jesse Wright is a two-time national finalist who shattered the saddle bronc riding average record this past December. They’re just two of the siblings who are part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

They’re also two of the 24 qualifiers to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for March 29-April 1 at Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. This is ProRodeo’s National Championship, where the very best competitors in the sport earn the right to play for one of the largest purses in the sport, more than $525,000.

“There’s a lot of money added, and they usually bring great horses to that event,” Cody Wright said. “They have a lot of money added there, and you have a chance to win that. It’s just as tough as any rodeo you go to. You just hope you draw right.”

The event provides another prestigious championship event for rodeo-savvy Oklahoma City, the longtime host of the NFR and the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping. The 2012 event marks the second straight year the RNCFR is part of Oklahoma’s storied rodeo legacy, a place that knows what makes a true champion.

The event pits the top cowboys and cowgirls from the 12 regional ProRodeo circuits against one another for the prestigious national title. Contestants will compete in seven traditional rodeo events: bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.

Jesse Wright

Jesse Wright

Both Cody and Jesse Wright know a lot about the event. Cody is a seven-time qualifier, and Jesse has won the last two saddle bronc riding national championships. Even though big brother owns two Montana Silversmiths gold buckles, Jesse Wright is the man to in Oklahoma City.

“I’ve had good luck, I guess,” Jesse Wright said. “I’ve drawn the right horses.”

So what’s it going to take to win the coveted title for a third straight year?

“I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing, staying positive, keeping in shape and practicing,” he said. “It’s panning out pretty good.”

Yes, it is. In 2009, he was named the PRCA Resistol Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year. In 2010, he finished the regular season 16th in the world standings, then advanced to the NFR as an injury replacement. In Las Vegas that December, Jesse Wright won a go-round and placed in seven others, moving up fifth in the final world standings.

This past December, he stepped it up a notch … or more. He won four go-rounds and placed in three others, earning $161,000 during his 10-night performance in the Nevada desert. It’s a distinct sign of great athletic talent, but Jesse Wright knows he can’t discount the lessons learned by his big brother.

Cody Wright was 12 years old when his mother gave birth to his twin brothers, Jesse and Jake. Actually, Cody is the oldest of seven brothers – all but the youngest, Stuart, are saddle bronc riders in the PRCA. Now most of them travel the rodeo circuit together. It all adds up to a winning legacy.

“It’s always good to go with family,” Jesse Wright said. “It makes it easier.”

It helps, too, that Big Brother has qualified for the NFR each of the past nine seasons. Cody also has been a fixture at the RNCFR over the course of his career.

“It’s always been a good rodeo, but last year in Oklahoma City I thought it was a real good rodeo,” Cody Wright said. “Any time you can qualify for the finals, it’s an honor. I feel lucky and blessed that I get to be one of them.”

postheadericon Strong tie-down roping field set for RNCFR

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of the stories presented as a blog for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. All the stories can be found HERE.

Like every event, tie-down roping at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo will feature many of the greatest contestants in the discipline.

From regular qualifiers like Bill Huber to world champions like Tuf Cooper, nine of the 24 cowboys have qualified to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Of those, three are from Oklahoma – Prairie Circuit winners Jerome Schneeberger and Hunter Herrin and Columbia River Circuit winner Blair Burk – and they’ll be competing in their home state from March 29-April 1 at Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.

Other NFR qualifiers include Cooper, Joseph Parsons, Matt Shiozawa, Nate Baldwin, K.C. Jones and Shane Hanchey. Jones has been a fixture at the Lazy E-produced Timed Event Championship, where he’s a four-time winner of that prestigious title.


RNCFR tie-down roping qualifiers
This list is subject to change

Boe Brown
Justin Scofield
Blake Hirdes
Ryle Smith
Blair Burk
Roger Nonella
Carmine Nastri
Tim Naylor
Jared Kempker
Bill Huber
J.C. Crowley
Dustin Bird
K.C. Jones
Jace Johnson
Jerome Schneeberger
Hunter Herrin
Brad Hartt
Shane Hanchey
Tuf Cooper
E.J. Roberts
Matt Shiozawa
Nate Baldwin
Joseph Parsons
Seth Hall

postheadericon Gorsuch excited about 2012 Timed Event

World champion bulldogger eager to test his skills in ‘Ironman Event of ProRodeo’

You can’t blame Dean Gorsuch for being a little anxious this week as he prepares to compete in the Timed Event Championship.

Dean Gorsuch

Dean Gorsuch

You see, it’s the first time the 32-year-old cowboy is part of the elite field for the unique event, which features some of the greatest timed-event contestants in ProRodeo as they battle through the challenges of all five disciplines: tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping-heading, team roping-heeling and steer roping.

“I’m really, really excited about it,” said Gorsuch, a two-time world champion steer wrestler from Gearing, Neb. “I’ve watched it for a long time, and ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be part of it.”

The five rugged performances of the 2012 Timed Event Championship set for noon and 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2; noon and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3; and 1 p.m. Sunday, March 4. The field consists of 20 outstanding all-around cowboys in the invitation-only championship that features a purse of $150,000, one-third of which will go to the man who has the best cumulative time at the conclusion of the three-day, five-round event.

“They asked me last year to be a part of it, but I just wasn’t very prepared,” said Gorsuch, who will be joined by a who’s who of rodeo greats: Kyle Lockett, Landon McClaugherty, Josh Peek, Russell Cardoza, JoJo LeMond, Bryce Davis, Scott Snedecor, Chance Kelton, Clayton Hass, K.C. Jones, Daniel Green, Jimmie Cooper, Jim Ross Cooper, Steve Duhon, Chad Masters, Broc Cresta, Paul Tierney, Jess Tierney and Paul David Teirney.

Those cowboys represent 11 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championships and 16 Timed Event titles.

“I like to rope and do the other events, but like everybody, we all kind of specialize in something,” Gorsuch said. “I’m not trying to prove anything. I just like doing the other events. I love the bulldogging, and I feel like it’s the event for me.

“I’m honest with myself to know that there’s a reason I don’t enter the rodeos in the other events, but I think I can compete. You don’t enter to lose.”

The unique championship will pay out the top eight in the average and the top six in the fastest-round competition. Each round consists of contestants clocking times in each of the five events. That’s why it’s called the “Ironman Event of ProRodeo.”

“I’ve practiced at it, especially lately,” Gorsuch said. “I roped calves in high school, and I’ve team roped some, plus I’m excited about the people that are helping me.

“It’ll be fun, and it’ll definitely be a learning experience.”

Families will enjoy all of the activities planned for the performances. Ticket prices are $37 for VIP, box seats $30, reserved bleachers $25 and general admission $20. Children 12 and under are free in general admission and VIP area. Group and multiple performance discounts are also available. Call (800) 595-RIDE for complete details. A portion of the proceeds from the 2012 Timed Event Championship will be donated to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Lazy E is proud to support this institution for western preservation! Tickets are available at all ticketmaster outlets, www.lazye.com, calling Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000 or by calling the Lazy E Arena directly at (800) 595-RIDE. 

The 2012 Timed Event Championship is sponsored by Priefert Ranch & Rodeo Equipment, Pendleton Whisky, Wrangler, American Farmers and Ranchers Insurance, Cross Bar Gallery, Ram Trucks, John Vance Motors, Energy Force, R.K. Black Inc., Gist Silversmiths, Spin to Win Magazine, National Saddlery, Hot Heels, The Oklahoman, Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, CSI Saddlepads, the Best Western Edmond, and the Fairfield Inn & Suites – Edmond.

The 2012 Timed Event Championship is a Lazy E Production.  For more information on the Timed Event Championship or other Lazy E events, contact the Lazy E Arena, 9600 Lazy E Drive, Guthrie, OK  73044, (405) 282-RIDE, (800) 595-RIDE or visit www.lazye.com.

postheadericon Two OPSU cowboys claim titles at Kansas State

By Chaney Latham
Oklahoma Panhandle State University

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Josh Griggs outscored every other roughstock cowboy at the Kansas State University rodeo on Sunday, Feb. 19.

The sophomore from Frazier, Colo., posted an 86-point ride during the short go-round to clinch the bull riding title in Manhattan and joined senior saddle bronc rider Justin Hegwer as Panhandle State event champions. Hegwer, an industrial technology major from Rifle, Colo., scored 79 points in the short round to seal the first-place finish.

Many OPSU vests colored the arena on short round, including bareback rider Ryan McIntyre, who qualified for the championship round with a 76 on his first-round horse. In the saddle bronc riding, five of the top 10 cowboys to qualify for Sunday’s round were Aggies.

Joe Harper was the runner-up in the first go with a 79 and finished fourth in the two-ride aggregate. Preston Kafka finished fourth in the first round with a score of 74, and Whit Peterson and Kafka took fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the cumulative. Daniel Kraft also made it back to the championship round.

Eight of 10 bull riders hit the dirt, but Griggs and teammate Wyatt Gregg made it through with qualified rides. Gregg posted a 77 to finish just behind Griggs in the aggregate. Panhandle State’s Dixon Winn qualified for the short round but failed to in the final round. He also qualified for the short-go in tie-down roping; he and teammate Joe Frost finished in the fifth and sixth spots overall. Dixon roped his first calf in 10.3 seconds, and then roped and tied his second calf in 11.9. Frost posted a 10.6 in the first round and a 14.1 in the championship round.

Weston Taylor was the only steer wrestling qualifier for the Aggies. While he tied with Bacone College’s Austin Mason for the long-round win, Taylor had a little tough luck in the final round; still he managed to finish in 7.9 seconds and gather some points.

Team roper Cody Larsen partnered with Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Casey Warnock to earn a spot in the final round. The tandem finished fourth place in the two-run aggregate. Frost and Tad Bryant also qualified for the short round.

Kaylee Moyer earned a spot in the finals in both goat-tying and breakaway roping. She had a 6.4-second goat-tying run in the long round, but the goat got up in the short round, resulting in a no-time. She had a 2.9-second run in the opening round, then posted a 3.0 to finish fifth in the aggregate.

The Aggies have their shortest road trip of the season this coming weekend at the Garden City (Kan.) Community College Rodeo. The season wraps April 26-28 as OPSU hosts the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo.

For results and more collegiate rodeo information, visit collegerodeo.com.

postheadericon Queen brings Oklahoma pride to the Panhandle

GUYMON, Okla. – The Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo celebrated good fortune this past weekend with Jetti Lorenz’s coronation as Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen 2012.

Jetti Lorenz

Jetti Lorenz

Lorenz, 17, of Texhoma, Okla., was crowned the 2011 Miss Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo last May. She will now represent the state as she travels the rodeo circuit.

“Growing up on a ranch and with a mother involved with rodeo, it was only a matter of time before I would be given the opportunity to get into the business,” Lorenz said on the Miss Rodeo Oklahoma website.

Lorenz, the daughter of Lana Lorenz, competed in the Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen Pageant last June in Oklahoma City.

“I think it’s a big deal to us to see someone from around here win this kind of award,” said Earl Helm, chairman of the Pioneer Days Rodeo committee. “We’ve learned a lot, and I think we’ve learned a lot recently that can really help us with our queen program.

“We’re awfully proud to have a great young person from here in Texas County represent our state like this.”

Lorenz will also be on hand during the 2012 Pioneer Days Rodeo, which is celebrating its 80th year in operation. Rodeo competition will take place daily beginning Monday, April 30. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.

“God gave me a loud voice to tell people about Him, and He also blessed me with the ability and good horses,” Lorenz said. “So I put the two together and, as long as I’m alive, people will hear from me at one rodeo or another.”

postheadericon Stevenson extends his lead

Wes Stevenson

Wes Stevenson

Steven Dent made a big move in the bareback riding world standings with his win in San Antonio, all while winning $17,030.

But he won’t catch the standings leader, Wes Stevenson, who also added another rodeo victory to his resume this weekend. Stevenson rode Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket for 87 points to win the short go-round and average titles at the San Angelo (Texas) Rodeo. Stevenson added $7,000 and moved his season earnings past $34,000.

He joins steer wrestler Olin Hannum, team ropers Tate and Dakota Kirchenschlager, saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, tie-down roper Cory Solomon, barrel racer Brittany Pozzi and bull rider Nevada Newman as winners in San Angelo.

The short round in Tucson, Ariz., takes place today.