Archive for February, 2012

postheadericon It’s good to see the good guys win

In January 2011, some friends of mine were heading to the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver, and their little cowboy, Cade, wanted to meet some big cowboys.

Chet Johnson

Chet Johnson

I looked at the roster of contestants who would be competing at the Denver Coliseum that performance to see if any of my friends could help this little rodeo fan live to be a lifetime rodeo fan. When I saw the name of Chet Johnson, I knew my search had ended. Chet and two of his great friends and awesome cowboys, Cort Scheer and world champion Chad Ferley, met with Cade Hemphill and his family before the rodeo that day.

On Saturday night, Johnson picked up one of the biggest wins of his career, clinching the saddle bronc riding title at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo with an 86-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Knight Rocket. In all, Johnson won $19,077, third most of all competitors. That will put him in the top 10 in the world standings.

More importantly, it’s another win for a cowboy who suffered a serious injury less than two years ago, when he was kicked in the back of the head by a bucking horse near Salt Lake City. He sustained three skull fractures, bleeding and swelling on the brain and a fractured right eardrum. He came back to rodeo less than six months later.

Chet is a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, and I look for him to return to that stage soon. He hasn’t played there since 2008, but the good guys always make a comeback.

2012 San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo champions
Bareback Riding – Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., $17,030
Steer Wrestling – Ethen Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., $17,112
Team Roping – Nick Sartain, Dover, Okla., header, $19,323
Team Roping – Kollin VonAhn, Durant, Okla., heeler, $19,323|
Saddle Bronc Riding – Chet Johnson, Sheridan, Wyo., $19,077
Tie-Down Roping – Justin Maass, Giddings, Texas, $17,358
Women’s Barrel Race – Angie Meadors, Blanchard, Okla., $18,340
Bull Riding – Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas, $16,475

postheadericon Finals set for today in San Antonio

The last semifinal of the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo was completed last night, and the finale will have a distinct NFR flair.

Team roper Kaleb Driggers has had a great couple of weeks of competition. He and Jade Corkill lead the group with $7,860 in earnings, and just a week ago, he teamed with world champion heeler Jhett Johnson to win the Mike Cervi Memorial Team Roping.

Congratulations to all the finalists.

San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo
Finals Qualifiers
Bareback Riding:
1. Luke Creasy, Brownfield, Alberta, $5,158; 2. J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo., $4,913; 3. (tie) Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., and Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., $3,930 each; 5. Caine Riddle, Vernon, Texas, $3,685.

Steer Wrestling: 1. Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, $4,913; 2. Ethen Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., $4,667; 3. Alex Robertson, Bend, Ore., $4,421; 4. Ben Shofner, Jasper, Texas, $4,176; 5. Shawn Greenfield, Lakeview, Ore., $3,930.

Team Roping: 1. Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Ga., and Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., $7,860; 2. Nick Sartain, Dover, Okla., and Kollin VonAhn, Durant, Okla., $6,878; 3. Keven Daniel, Franklin, Tenn., and Chase Tryan, Helena, Mont., $5,404; 4. Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas, and Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., $4,421; 5. Shane and John Philipp, Washington, Texas, $4,421.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1. Chet Johnson, Sheridan, Wyo., $5,532; 2. Cody Angland, New South Wales, Australia, $5,895; 3. Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., $5,158; 4. J. J. Elshere, Hereford, S.D., $4,421; 5. Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, $3,439.

Tie-Down Roping: 1. Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, $5,649; 2. Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas, $5,404; 3. Sterling Smith, Stephenville, Texas, $4,667; 4. (tie) Jeremiah Peek, Pueblo, Colo., and Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, $3,684.

Barrel Racing: 1. Savanah Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, $6,386; 2. (tie) Carlee Pierce, Woodward, Okla., and Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, $5,404; 4. (tie) Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., and Robin Montague, Bandera, Texas, $5,281.

Bull Riding: 1. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., $5,649; 2. J.W. Harris, Mullin, Texas, $4,421; 3. Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas, $3,930; 4. (tie) Clayton Savage, Cheyenne, Wyo., and Travis Atkinson, Lehi, Utah, $3,684.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Paul Tierney

Paul Tierney, Oral, S.D.

Paul Tierney

Paul Tierney

It’s been 27 years since Paul Tierney walked into the Fabulous Lazy E Arena to show off the all-around skills that had made him famous.

It’s been 25 years since he won the first of four Timed Event Championship titles. That was in March 1987, when Tierney was one of the biggest names in ProRodeo. You see, he won the Tie-Down Roping World Championship in 1979. A year later, the South Dakota cowboy ended Tom Ferguson’s six-year reign as all-around champion and became the second PRCA cowboy to surpass $100,000 in single-season earnings.

For all that, Tierney was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2008. His likeness appears in the museum with the greatest names who have ever competed in the sport.

His likeness also appears in the Lazy E Arena’s Roper’s Cantina, where champions are displayed. In addition to that magical 1987 Timed Event, Tierney won the elusive and prestigious title in 1991, 1997 and 2001, becoming the only cowboy in the event’s history to have earned the title in three decades.

Next weekend, Tierney will compete against his two sons, Jess and Paul David, both of whom excel in ProRodeo now. Jess Tierney qualified for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping last November, and Paul David Tierney was one of the top 25 all-around cowboys last season.

Now Paul Tierney will make history again. Retired from competition, he sneaks into this field as an injury replacement for Trevor Brazile, who was injured about a week before the Timed Event begins. But he gets to make history by competing with two talented sons.

That’s a great bonus.

postheadericon World champ enters pro-am roping

Cody Custer

Cody Custer

Cody Custer is a world champion bull rider, a man who won the 1992 PRCA gold buckle. He’s also an amateur team roper who is scheduled to compete at the inaugural Timed Event Championship Pro-Am Team Roping, set for 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, the day before the Timed Event Championship.

The competition will pit 20 amateur heelers and 20 amateur headers with their professional partners, cowboys who are part of the Timed Event competition.

Custer paid his $250 entry fee and will have the opportunity to rope with the greatest timed-event cowboys in the game. That means Custer can be teamed with any of the professionals, guys with whom he shared rodeo arenas for years.

That just makes it another big reason to be on hand to watch the pro-am.

postheadericon San Antonio coming to a close

The San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo is winding down to a close to its 2012 season. Just two more days remain, and the last five qualifiers to Saturday’s finale will be learned tonight.

A lot of money has been won over the last couple of weeks, and that’s just part of the excitement. I’ve been able to keep up with the goings-on thanks to Steve Kenyon with ProRodeoLive. He does an excellent broadcast, and he puts listeners right into the middle of the action.

Congratulations to the finals qualifiers, and good luck to the remaining 80 competitors ready to battle it out for the final spots for tomorrow’s championship.

San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo
Finals Qualifiers
Bareback Riding:
1. Tilden Hooper, Carthage, Texas, $6,878; 2. (tie) Morgan Wilde, McCammon, Idaho, and Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., $6,141; 4. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, $4,421; 5. Wes Stevenson, Lubbock, Texas, $4,176.

Steer Wrestling: 1. Shane Henderson, Winfield, Kan., $5,895; 2. Curtis Casssidy, Donalda, Alberta, $4,912; 3. (tie) K.C. Jones, Decatur, Texas; Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb.; and Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., $3,930.

Team Roping: 1. Justin Yost, Mount Morris, Pa., and Bucky Campbell, Benton City, Wash., $6,386; 2. Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D., and Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, $5,895; 3. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz., and Cesar de la Cruz, $3,930; 4. (tie) Caleb Mitchell, Mason, Texas, and Mickey Gomez, Holland, Texas; and Nick Rawlings, Stephenville, Texas, and Randon Adams, Logandale, Nev., $3,439 each.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1. Bradley Harter, Weatherford, Texas, $5,404; 2. (tie) Jeff Willert, Belvidere, S.D., and Jacobs Crawley, College Station, Texas, $5,158; 4. Cody Martin, Eagle, Colo., $4,421; 5. Sterling Crawley, College Station, Texas, $3,684.

Tie-Down Roping: 1. Justin Maass, Giddings, Texas, $4,913; 2. (tie) Jake Pratt, Ellensburg, Wash., and Clif Cooper, Decatur, Texas, $4,421; 4. (tie) Houston Hutto, Tomball, Texas, and Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, $3,439.

Barrel Racing: 1. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, $6,386; 2. Angie Meadors, Blanchard, Okla., $5,895; 3. (tie) Andrea Cline-Herron, San Antonio, Texas, and Jane Melby,  Backus, Minn., $4,422; 5. Kenna Squires, Fredonia, Texas, $3,930.

Bull Riding: 1. (tie) Bryan Richardson, Dallas, Texas, and Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, S.D., $5,404; 3. Kanin Asay, Powell, Wyo., $4,667; 4. (tie) Patrick Geipel, Elbert, Colo., and Beau Brooks, Strathmore, Alberta, $4,421.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Landon McClaugherty

Landon McClaugherty, Tilden, Texas

Landon McClaugherty

Landon McClaugherty

How many cowboys come to the Timed Event Championship for the first time and excel?

Not many. But Landon McClaugherty did just 12 months ago, finishing fourth in the average at the 2011 Timed Event. He scored well and finished strong, earning a 25-head cumulative time of 366.3 seconds. That’s more than respectable, especially considering the competition.

McClaugherty, a 2009 qualifier to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, is tremendously talented with a rope. If his performance at last year’s Timed Event wasn’t enough, the Texas cowboy stepped it up a notch throughout the 2011 PRCA season.

You see, McClaugherty won all-around titles at eight ProRodeos, including prestigious ones in Dodge City, Kan.; Abilene, Kan.; and Lovington, N.M. To top it off, he finished in the top 45 in three major PRCA categories: The all-around, steer roping and tie-down roping.

He knows the test involved in this weekend’s competition, and he’s ready for it.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Josh Peek

Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo.

Josh Peek

Josh Peek

Josh Peek is a proven winner, a six-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and five-time competitor in this invitation-only Timed Event Championship.

Just two years removed from the title he earned in this arena, the Colorado cowboy has earned $87,000 in his four previous trips to this majestic rodeo palace. Sure, $58,000 came with his 2010 title, but the other $29,000 proves he is a contender every time he nods his head.

Last March, he left the Lazy E Arena with a $7,500 check for finishing fifth in the average. Still, he had a solid 2011 campaign in the PRCA, where he won 13 rodeo titles, eight of which were all-around championships. But he didn’t get to play for the biggest pay in ProRodeo, the NFR. In 2009, he won the all-around title in Las Vegas, finishing fifth in the average in both tie-down roping and steer wrestling.

He’d like to return to ProRodeo’s grand finale, but he’s got some other business to tend to first. The 32-year-old cowboy would like to have his name listed among the greats in the game, whether it’s in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame or as a multiple winner of the Timed Event.

The latter can be accomplished this weekend. That’s just one of the many reasons the 25 runs made in this arena will be magical.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Russell Cardoza

Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore.

Russell Cardoza

Russell Cardoza

Russell Cardoza is starting to get the hang of this thing.

The Oregon cowboy was a Timed Event Championship rookie two seasons ago when he finished 11th in the average. Last March, he left Oklahoma with $10,000, half for finishing sixth in the average, and half for having the third fastest go-round. That’s solid improvement.

The goal, of course, is to win the title this weekend, but Cardoza surely will settle for making more Lazy E money. It is, after all, the main reason rodeo cowboys compete.

Cardoza is a two-time heeling qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (2009-10) who just missed playing on ProRodeo’s grandest stage last December – he finished 18th in the final world standings, and only the top 15 in each discipline earn the right to play in Las Vegas.

At the 2009 NFR, Cardoza and partner Charly Crawford earned more than $64,000, placing in six go-rounds and finishing third in the average. He knows what it takes to win cash in a hurry, which is a nice benefit to doing well this weekend.

postheadericon Why media relations works

Announcer Boyd Polhamus tweeted today directly to ProRodeo.com that there are great storylines at rodeos in San Angelo, Texas, and Tucson, Ariz., which are taking place.

He’s right. In fact, those stories need to be told just as much as the ones that we’ve been telling about San Antonio. Of course, it’s much easier to tell the stories if the storytellers are presented information.

The primary focus of Rodeo Media Relations is to present those storylines to the storytellers, whether they be newspapers, radio stations, TV stations or websites. Rodeos like San Angelo and Tucson would be served to have an outlet like this that reaches all levels of coverage — from local media to national rodeo outlets.

San Antonio has Susan Kanode, the 2007 winner of the PRCA Media Award for Excellence in Print Journalism. Susan is excellent at providing content and results from each performance at a rodeo like San Antonio. She personifies Excellence in the title of the award, and her program of on-site media direction is what led me to create Rodeo Media Relations.

The primary difference between the two entities is in pre-event promotion, but the reality is that Susan and I work very well together. I’m able to report the goings-on in San Antonio, Fort Worth and Denver because of what she does.

Most importantly, Susan and I care about the sport of rodeo. That’s the primary reason you want quality media relations on your team. We get those storylines to the storytellers.

Both Tucson and San Angelo have great websites, and Tucson has done an excellent job in updating the site with results. The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, however, has posted results from just two of five performances – just the second and third performances, which took place last Friday night and Saturday afternoon. There is nothing from the opening performance last Thursday or the shows that took place Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

It’s hard for the storytellers to reach out to the audiences without the proper tools. If you want the proper tools in today’s society, your best bet is to have Rodeo Media Relations on your team.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: JoJo LeMond

JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas

JoJo LeMond

JoJo LeMond

JoJo LeMond was in position to win his first Timed Event Championship title just 12 months ago.

Sitting second after the 24th run, LeMond struggled in the final run of the long weekend. Wrapping up the five rounds of competition, LeMond posted a 51.4-second steer roping run and fell all the way to seventh place. But that’s OK, because the Texas cowboy was trying to win the coveted championship; still, he earned $4,500.

LeMond is electric. If his exploits last March weren’t enough, he made a strong case for such in 2010, when he blasted an 8-year-old record for fastest heading run. LeMond’s 4.5 was more than a half second faster than the mark established by B.J. Campbell. He also owns the heeling record, a 4.9-second run accomplished in 2009.

LeMond is a three-time heading qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. While competing with Cory Petska in the 2010 NFR, LeMond roped more than $42,000; the tandem won the fifth and sixth go-rounds and placed in another.

The 1999 team roping champion in the Texas State High School Rodeo Association (with Colby Schneeman), LeMond has a way of making things happen in the arena. Of course, that’s why we watch.

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