Archive for September, 2012

postheadericon Top-caliber cowboys shine

Muncy, Maier earn big money at American Royal on final day of the 2012 season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Taos Muncy knows what it takes to compete in ProRodeo’s elite class.

Taos Muncy

Taos Muncy

He’s a two-time and reigning world champion saddle bronc rider from Corona, N.M., and in two months will be competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the fifth time in his seven-year career.

On Sunday afternoon during the final performance of the American Royal Rodeo, Muncy spurred Three Hills Rodeo’s Rockin Baby for 85 points to finish in a tie for second place, earning $2,041 in the process.

“You always want to place at a rodeo, and to end the season with a good check in Kansas City couldn’t be any better,” said Muncy, who earned $10,784 over the last four days of competition, the lion’s share of which came while competing at the Justin Boots Championships in Omaha. “It seemed to have taken me a little bit to get started this season, but since the Fourth (of July), it’s been real good.”

Yes, it has. The Midwest run moved Muncy’s season earnings past the $100,000 mark. He is fourth in the world standings heading to ProRodeo’s championship event, which takes place Dec. 6-15 in Las Vegas.

“I just try to ride every horse the same, no matter if it’s in the practice pen in my back yard or at the NFR,” he said. “I just try to stay calm and keep the same routine. Every time I get on, I’m trying to win a round and trying to win the world title.”

Ardie Maier

Ardie Maier

Bull rider Ardie Maier of Timber Lake, S.D., doesn’t own a world champion’s gold buckle just yet, but he knows how special qualifying for the NFR is – he earned a trip two seasons ago and is firmly in the top 10. On Sunday, he posted an 87-point ride on Smith Harper and Morgan’s Smilin Bob to move into third place, just behind co-winners McKennon Wimberly of Cool, Texas, and John Young of Orient, Iowa.

“It’s a great feeling,” Maier said. “It’s been a long season, and to come in here on the last day and finish strong means a lot. Now I’ll take a little break, do some hunting and get ready for the finals.”

Maier suffered a knee injury in 2010 but still played in Vegas. Last year, an injury kept him from finishing the regular season among the top 15 in the world standings.

“This is the best year I’ve had as far as being healthy,” he said. “The last time I went, I had knee surgery, and I hadn’t been on a bull in three months.

“I’m looking forward to it. Now it’s time to go down there and let the dice fly.

American Royal Rodeo
Kansas City, Mo.
Final results
Bareback riding:
1. Heath Ford, on Brookman & Hyland Rodeo’s Smiling Bob, and Ryan Gray, on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s R.D. Mercer, $3,097 each; 3. (tie) Jared Keylon and Clint Cannon, 82, $1,636 each; 5. (tie) Justin McDaniel, Josi Young, Tim O’Connell, Logan Corbett and Kyle Brennecke, 81, $444 each.
Steer wrestling:
1. (tie) Bray Armes and Todd Suhn, 3.6 seconds, $2,326 each; 3. Trell Etbauer, $1,938; 4. Travis Carnine, $1,680; 5. Riley Duvall, 4.1, $1,421; 6. Jeff Miller, 4.2, $$1,163; 8. (tie) Brad Johnson, Justin Smith and Chance Carlson, 4.4, $388 each.
Team roping: 1. Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 4.4 seconds, $3,159 each; 2. Chad Masters/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.5, $2,826; 3. Quista Lopez/Buddy Hawkins, 4.6, $2,494; 4. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 4.8, $2,161; 5. David Key/Bucky Campbell, 4.9, $1,829; 6. (tie) Brant Spugin/J.W. Beck and Adam Newcomb/Chad Harper, 5.0, $1,330 each; 9. Logan Olson/Matt Kasner, 5.2, $831; 7. (tie) Dustin Chohon/DustinHarris and Adam Rose/Gabe Gwaltney, 5.5, $333 each.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Brad Rudolf, 86 points on Smith Harper and Morgan’s Rattle Snake Shake, $3,061; 2. (tie)  Ty Atchison, 85, $2,041; 4. Jake Wright, $1,122; 5. (tie) Will Smith and Luke Butterfield, 82, $612; 7. Jesse Wright, Cole Elshere and Cody Rud, 81, $238 each.
Tie-down roping:
1. Tyson Durfey, 7.4 seconds, $2,622; 2. Justin Maass, 7.6, $2,280; 3. Trent Creager, 7.8, $1,938; 4. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0, $1,596; 5. Jeremy Kempker, 8.3, $1,254; 6. (tie) Tuf Cooper, Clint Kindred and Cody McCartney, 8.4, $570.
Barrel racing: 1. Kenna Squires, 14.43, $2,512; 2. Trula Churchill, 14.50, $2,135; 3. Lindsay Sears, 14.54, $1,758; 4. (tie) Brittany Pozzi and Kaley Bass, 14.56, $1,381; 6. Benette Little, 14.61, $879; 7. Angie Meadors, 14.64, $628; 8. Shada Brazile, 14.65, $502; 9. Robyn Herring, 14.67, $440; 10. Natalie Foutch, 14.70, $377; 11. Carolyn Uhler, 14.74, $314; 12. (tie) Christina Richman and Lisa Lockhart, 14.75, $126.
Bull riding: 1. (tie) McKennon Wimberly, ono Wild Card Rodeo’s King Pen, and John Young, on Brookman & Hyland Rodeo’s Canadian Club, 88 points, $2,971; 3. Ardie Meier, 87, $1,906; 4. Tim Bingham, 85, $1,233; 5. Cody Whitney, $785; 6. (tie) Tyler Stoltz, Bobby Welsh, Chris Roundy and Lucas Guilbeau, 82, $336.

postheadericon Durfey does well in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s about time.

Tyson Durfey has been to the American Royal Rodeo almost every year since he was born nearly 28 years ago. He’s been in the field of Kansas City’s rodeo virtually every season since he turned pro in 2003.

Tyson Durfey

Tyson Durfey

“This is the best luck I’ve ever had at the hometown rodeo,” said Durfey, a tie-down roper raised near Savannah, Mo., just 65 miles straight north of the West Bottoms. “You always put more pressure on yourself than you need to, because you see all the people you grew up with, and they expect you to do well.”

With plenty of family and friends packed into Hale Arena on Saturday night, Durfey roped and tied his calf in 7.4 seconds to take the lead in his event. Now he’ll await the results of tomorrow’s final performance to see if his time holds up for the top spot; the event kicks off at 2 p.m.

“I actually have never won a lot here, so this is going to mean a lot,” said Durfey, a five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier who has won three Canadian Professional Rodeo Association titles.

But Durfey failed to qualify for the NFR and the Canadian finals this year; it’s the first time he hasn’t made the field in ProRodeo’s championship event in Las Vegas since 2007.

“It was a rough year, but I’m going to finish it off well,” Durfey said. “Typically in a year, a guy gets seven or eight chances to win big money. This year, I had two chances, and I didn’t capitalize on them.”

That’s part of the equation in rodeo.

“I was at one in Texas yesterday,” he said. “I’ll be at one tomorrow, then I’ve got five next week. I rodeo for a living. It’s what I do; it’s what I love, and it’s what I’m going to do whether I make the finals or not.”

Bareback rider Ryan Gray is on the outside looking in at qualifying for this year’s NFR, but he’s doing everything he can in order to change it on the final weekend of the 2012 season. Gray, a seven-time NFR qualifier from Cheney, Wash., rode Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s horse R.D. Mercer for 84 points on Saturday to own a share of the lead with Heath Ford of Slocum, Texas, who rode Friday.

“I think, mathematically, I still have a shot to make it,” said Gray, who rode in Poway, Calif., on Friday and will ride in San Bernadino, Calif., on Sunday. “I’m winning Poway right now, but I knew I needed to win about $5,000-$6,000 to get in to the finals.”

He, too, has had his share of struggles this year.

“I just didn’t bring home the big checks when I need them,” he said. “It’s just one of those years.”

But earning a nice check at a rodeo like the American Royal is a good way to wrap up a tough season.

American Royal Rodeo
Kansas City, Mo.
Leaders through Saturday
Bareback riding:
1. Heath Ford, on Brookman & Hyland Rodeo’s Smiling Bob, and Ryan Gray, on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s R.D. Mercer; 3. (tie) Jared Keylon and Clint Cannon, 82; 5. (tie) Justin McDaniel and Kyle Brennecke, 81; 7. Joe Gunderson, 79; 8. (tie) Chase Erickson and Tanner Aus, 78.
Steer wrestling:
1. Bray Armes, 3.6 seconds; 2. Riley Duvall, 4.1; 3. Jeff Miller, 4.2; 4. (tie)Brad Johnson, Justin Smith and Chance Carlson, 4.4; 7. Beau Clark, 4.7; 8. (tie) Tait Kvistad, Kody Woodward and Brent Sutton, 4.8.
Team roping: 1. Quista Lopez/Buddy Hawkins, 4.6 seconds; 2. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 4.8; 3. David Key/Bucky Campbell, 4.9; 4. (tie) Brant Spugin/J.W. Beck and Adam Newcomb/Chad Harper, 5.0; 6. Logan Olson/Matt Kasner, 5.2; 7. (tie) Dustin Chohon/DustinHarris and Adam Rose/Gabe Gwaltney, 5.5; 9. Chace Thompson/Chad Williams, 9.6; 10. Charly Crawford/Jim Ross Cooper, 9.9.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Brad Rudolf, 86 points on Smith Harper and Morgan’s Rattle Snake Shake; 2. Ty Atchison, 85; 3. Will Smith, 82; 4. Cody Rud, 81; 5. (tie) Louie Brunson and Chuck Schmidt, 80; 7. Jacobs Crawley, 79; 8. Logan Allen, 76.
Tie-down roping:
1. Tyson Durfey, 7.4 seconds; 2. Justin Maass, 7.6; 3. Trent Creager, 7.8; 4. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0; 5. (tie) Clint Kindred and Cody McCartney, 8.4; 7. Justin Scofield, 8.6; 8. Bradley Bynum, 8.8.
Barrel racing: 1. Kenna Squires, 14.43; 2. Trula Churchill, 14.50; 3. Brittany Pozzi, 14.56; 4. Benette Little, 14.61; 5. Angie Meadors, 14.64; 6. Shada Brazile, 14.65; 7. Robyn Herring, 14.67; 8. Natalie Foutch, 14.70; 9. Carolyn Uhler, 14.74; 10. Christina Richman, 14.75; 11. Lee Ann Rust, 14.80; 12. Aimee Kay, 14.81.
Bull riding: 1. (tie) McKennon Wimberly, on Wild Card Rodeo’s King Pen, and John Young, on Brookman & Hyland Rodeo’s Canadian Club, 88 points; 3. (tie) Tyler Stoltz and Lucas Guilbeau, 82; 5. Jessie Michael Fischer, 71; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Armes moves closer to the NFR

Texas steer wrestler hoping his run Friday at American Royal qualifies him for Vegas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For Bray Armes, the fate of his 2012 season came down to one run at the American Royal Rodeo.

Armes is the 18th-ranked steer wrestler in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings. He needs to move up three spots to be among the elite 15 men to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. To do that, he needs to win money. His 3.6-second run on Friday night moved him to the lead in Kansas City with two performances remaining in Hale Arena.

“God’s great, and I’ve had a lot of amazing stuff happen this year,” said Armes, 30, of Gruver, Texas. “I’m very blessed to be in this situation.”

Armes knew the task at hand before he arrived at the American Royal Complex: He needed to win the rodeo and hope for a little luck. Armes has earned $43,526 and is $2,271 behind the No. 15 man, Jason Miller of Lance Creek, Wyo. There are two other cowboys ahead of Armes in the standings, Jake Rinehart (17) of Highmore, S.D., and Nick Guy (16) of Sparta, Wis.

But Armes did all he could. He’ll wait out the final two performances – set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

“A couple years ago I went pretty hard and finished in the top 30,” he said. “That’s the closest I’ve ever been.”

Now he travels like all the other contestants who make their living on the rodeo trail, hauling from one rodeo to another with two-time world champion Dean Gorsuch of Gering, Neb.

“The hardest part about it is being away from my wife and kids,” Armes said. “Other than that, I’m rodeoing with a great friend who is pretty much like my brother now.”

Now he’s hoping for a last-chance miracle to earn that coveted spot in the NFR field when it kicks off Dec. 6-15 in Las Vegas.

“That would mean everything in the world,” he said. “I’ve always dreamed about it.”

It’s the goal of every contestant who has tried their hand in the rodeo arena. The NFR is ProRodeo’s grand finale. Saddle bronc rider Ty Atchison of Jackson, Mo., earned his first trip to the Nevada desert last year. Even though he won’t be there this December, he knows what it is going to take to get back.

“This rodeo has always been cool for me,” said Atchison, who suffered an injury in July and never got back to his top form. “I’ve got a lot of support up here from when I high school rodeoed and college rodeo, so it’s always good to come up and see all those people. To do well here is even better.”

Atchison took the lead after posting an 85-point ride on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Resistol’s Top Hat.

“Anytime that a guy gets old Top Hat, you know you’ve just got to do your part and she’ll take care of the rest,” Atchison said of the paint mare that has been selected to buck at the NFR.

Even though the 2012 campaign didn’t turn out as great as he had hoped, Atchison sees nothing but the positives in what he does.

“Everybody dreams of being something when they’re a kid, and my dreams have come true,” he said.

American Royal Rodeo
Kansas City, Mo.
Leaders through Friday
Bareback riding:
1. Heath Ford, 84 points on Brookman & Hyland Rodeo’s Smiling Bob; 2. (tie) Jared Keylon and Clint Cannon, 82; 4. Kyle Brennecke, 81; 5. Austin Foss, 77; Evan Jayne, 73.
Steer wrestling:
1. Bray Armes, 3.6 seconds; 2. Riley Duvall, 4.1; 3. Jeff Miller, 4.2; 4. (tie) Justin Smith and Chance Carlson, 4.4; 6. Beau Clark, 4.7; 7. (tie) Tait Kvistad, Kody Woodward and Brent Sutton, 4.8.
Team roping: 1. Quista Lopez/Buddy Hawkins, 4.6 seconds; 2. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 4.8; 3. David Key/Bucky Campbell, 4.9; 4. Adam Newcomb/Chad Harper, 5.0; 5. (tie) Dustin Chohon/DustinHarris and Adam Rose/Gabe Gwaltney, 5.5; 7. Chace Thompson/Chad Williams, 9.6; 8. Charly Crawford/Jim Ross Cooper, 9.9.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Ty Atchison, 85 points on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Resistol’s Top Hat; 2. Will Smith, 82; 3. Logan Allen, 76; 4. (tie) J.T. Hitch and Lucas Wilson, 74; 6. Byron Gilliland, 69.
Tie-down roping:
1. Justin Maass, 7.6 seconds; 2. Trent Creager, 7.8; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0; 4. (tie) Clint Kindred and Cody McCartney, 8.4; 6. Justin Scofield, 8.6; 7. Bradley Bynum, 8.8; 8. Shane Slack, 9.6.
Barrel racing: 1. Trula Churchill, 14.50 seconds; 2. Brittany Pozzi, 14.56; 3. Benette Little, 14.61; 4. Angie Meadors, 14.64; 5. Shada Brazile, 14.65; 6. Robyn Herring, 14.67; 7. Natalie Foutch, 14.70; 8. Carolyn Uhler, 14.74; 9. Christina Richman, 14.75; 10. Lee Ann Rust, 14.80; 11. Kellie Hill, 14.84; 12. Whitney Baker, 14.84.
Bull riding: 1. Tyler Stoltz, 82 points on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Pawn Star; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Paving the rodeo road to Las Vegas

The first performance of the renewed and refined American Royal Rodeo begins at 7:30 tonight, and it promises to kick-start a fantastic finish to the 2012 ProRodeo season.

Of the 13 rodeos this weekend that count for Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications, the Kansas City, Mo., event features the second largest purse – only the Justin Boots Championships during the River City Rodeo in Omaha, Neb., is bigger, and the 12 contestants in each event had to qualify to be part of that field.

I’ve been working for several weeks in promoting the American Royal and telling stories about this fantastic event. The people putting it on are outstanding, hard-working and caring. Whether they are staff members or the volunteers who donate their time, talent and/or financial resources, they take pride in the rodeo and the American Royal brand, which helps raise money for children’s charities.

I visited with two writers from the Kansas City Star yesterday. They will be covering the rodeo this weekend. Zachary Spain put together THIS story, which ran in this morning’s editions of The Star. Spain will cover the final two performances, set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Dawn Bormann will be at the American Royal tonight, so look for her story in tomorrow’s publication or on the newspaper’s website.

I know there has been coverage on TV this week, and I’ve tried to get even more. I believe all the reporters would have tremendous storylines to share with their readers, viewers and listeners if they’d take the time to visit rodeo folks. That’s the goal, here, and that’s what I want to see happening with our sport.

The tour finale is taking place just three hours north of Kansas City, and it’s huge for rodeo. But on this weekend with so much at stake, I firmly believe the bigger storylines will take place inside Hale Arena.


Most of the 96 competitors in the field in Omaha are locked in to the NFR; there will be dozens of cowboys and cowgirls hoping to secure big checks at the American Royal in order to qualify for Las Vegas.

Three days in Omaha can be quite lucrative for many contestants, but one run or one ride in Kansas City can pave a major highway to the Nevada desert for several excellent competitors. This is their chance to shine.

postheadericon Rumford is a barrel of fun for circuit finals

DUNCAN, Okla. – Do you remember that guy that could make you laugh no matter what?

Whether it was in the classroom or work site or just hanging out, he was always funny. Actions. Antics. Personality. It all came together in one package.

Welcome to the world of Justin Rumford of Ponca City, Okla., who will serve as the barrelman/funnyman and add his flavor of fun to the overall entertainment package that is the 2012 Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18-Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Stephens County Expo Center in Duncan.

Justin Rumford

Justin Rumford

“People want to laugh at each other more than they want to laugh at something,” said Rumford, who worked the Chisholm Trail PRCA Rodeo this past May. “When I’m in the arena, I’m saying the same stuff I’d say if I wasn’t clowning. It’s just me being me.”

Rumford grew up in Abbyville, Kan., and is the third generation of his family in the rodeo business. His grandfather, Floyd, established Rumford Rodeo Co., and his father, Bronc, continues to be an integral part of rodeo; in fact, he’s the chairman of the Prairie Circuit board.

Justin Rumford has done just about everything a person can in rodeo, but he seems to have found a home in the barrel. In fact, in just his second year at it, Rumford has been nominated for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Clown of the Year.

“I t means a lot because I’ve been involved in rodeo my whole life,” Rumford said. “I’ve never done anything else, and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I’ve always wanted to be successful. A couple of years ago when I started this venture, I knew if I worked really hard and tried really hard that I could get to the top in the hurry.”

It helps to do something you love.

“This clowning deal is the best thing I’ve ever had,” said Rumford, who competed in college rodeo at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. “It’s something in rodeo that I can have longevity in. There’s not just a ton of risk, and it’s something I enjoy so much.”

In his lifetime, Rumford has been a contestant, a stock contractor, a bullfighter, a flankman, a pickup man, a truck driver; you name it, he’s done it. In fact, this isn’t his first Prairie Circuit Finals. He worked the finale last year when it took place in Weatherford, Okla. More importantly, he was a three-time qualifier in steer wrestling.

“I don’t think I’ve ever missed a Prairie Circuit Finals,” he said. “It’s just something I’ve always done. I’ve flanked bucking horses there, been the chute boss, flanked calves, untied calves. I’ve made the full circle.

So has his family. His sister, Haley Schneeberger, has been named the PRCA’s Secretary of the Year each of the past five seasons; she’s nominated again this year. She has worked with her brother in an orchestrated opening, and she’s served as the finale’s secretary. Schneeberger has been named the PRCA’s Secretary of the Year each of the past five seasons; she’s nominated again this year.

The rodeo lifestyle is that of a gypsy – there’s no staying in one place for long. For contestants, the bulk of the rodeo season is spent traveling from one event to another. That means lots of miles. Contract personnel – announcers, stock contractors, clowns, bullfighters, secretaries, etc. – don’t travel nearly as much, but they’re on the road plenty. Most work in a different locale every week.

“I don’t mind it, and I get to do it with Ashley,” Rumford said of his wife, who is a PRCA timer. “We bought a fifth-wheel, and we rodeo nine moths solid throughout the year. This year we’ve only had two weekends where we haven’t been at a rodeo.

“It never gets old. When one rodeo’s over, one committee is disappointed that the rodeo is over, so you drive to the next place. It starts all over again, and everybody’s excited again.”

There are many things that come with the rodeo lifestyle, and Rumford seems to enjoy them all. From meeting new people daily to hanging out with friends, family and friends who seem like family, there are many reasons he loves what he does.

“My main goal is to work the NFR, whether it’s flanking or bulldogging or being in the barrel,” Rumford said. “I just feel blessed to do something I love this much.”

postheadericon Rodeo’s best coming to American Royal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American Royal Rodeo begins its three performances tomorrow night, and the annual event is a showcase of the richest talent in the sport.

This is where world champion’s come to play. Already this week, the some of the biggest names in the sport roped, raced and wrestled during Wednesday’s specialized competition to accommodate the high number of contestants who are part of the American Royal.

But there are plenty of other great champions and regular qualifiers to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo who are scheduled to compete this weekend, with performances set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Hale Arena on the American Royal Complex.


Will Lowe, a three-time world champion who grew up near Olathe
Clint Cannon, a three-time NFR qualifier
Heath Ford, a three-time NFR qualifier
Justin McDaniel, a four-time NFR qualifier, two-time NFR average winner and 2008 world champion
Brian Bain, a 2011 NFR qualifier
Ryan Gray, a seven-time NFR qualifier
Jason Havens, a five-time NFR qualifier
Joe Gunderson, a 2010 NFR qualifier
Chris Harris, a six-time NFR qualifier

            Jarrod Ford, a two-time NFR qualifier
Trevor Kastner, a 2011 NFR qualifier
Corey Navarre, a four-time NFR qualifier
Chandler Bownds, a 2011 NFR qualifier
Cody Whitney, a three-time NFR qualifier
Seth Glause, a three-time NFR qualifier
Ardie Maier, a 2010 NFR qualifier
Kanin Asay, a four-time NFR qualifier and two-time Xtreme Bulls champion

            Clint Cooper, a four-time NFR qualifier and son of champion Roy Cooper
Jerrod Hoffstetter, a three-time NFR qualifier
Ryan Jarrett, the 2005 all-around world champion
Josh Peek, a seven-time NFR qualifier in tie-down roping and steer roping
Tyson Durfey, a five-time NFR qualifier and three-time Canadian champ originally from Savannah, Mo.
Houston Hutto, a three-time NFR qualifier
Cody Ohl, a six-time world champion
Tuf Cooper, the 20111 world champion
Blair Burk, a 14-time NFR qualifier

            June Holeman, an NFR qualifier
Jeanne Anderson, a two-time NFR qualifier who grew up in Kansas City, Mo.
Lisa Lockhart, a five-time NFR qualifier and two-time Canadian champion.
Lindsay Sears, a two-time and the reigning world champion

            Jesse Kruse, the 2009 world champion
Ty Atchison, a 2011 NFR qualifier from Jackson, Mo.
Jacobs Crawley, a 2011 NFR qualifier
Jesse Bail, a 12-time NFR qualifier in bronc riding and bull riding
Bradley Harter, a six-time NFR qualifier
Cody Martin, a two-time NFR qualifier
Isaac Diaz, a three-time NFR qualifier
Taos Muncy, a two-time and the reigning world champion
Cort Scheer, a 2010 NFR qualifier
Heith DeMoss, a four-time NFR qualifier
Cody DeMoss, an eight-time NFR qualifier
Chet Johnson, a three-time NFR qualifier

            Dru Melvin, a 2006 NFR qualifier
Casey Martin, a 2011 NFR qualifier
Todd Suhn, a 15-time NFR qualifier
Jason Miller, the 2007 world champion
K.C. Jones, a five-time NFR qualifier
Sean Mulligan, a four-time NFR qualifier

Luke Brown, a four-time NFR qualifier
Martin Lucero, a 14-time NFR qualifier
Nick Sartain, the 2009 world champion header
Kollin VonAhn, the 2009 world champion heeler
Clay Tryan, the 2005 world champion header
Travis Graves, a three-time NFR qualifier
Keven Daniel, a three-time NFR qualifier
Logan Olson, a 2005 NFR qualifier
Chad Masters, the 2007 world champion header
Clay O’Brien Cooper, a seven-time NFR qualifier who also played in two John Wayne movies, “The Cowboys” and “Cahill U.S. Marshall.”
Kaleb Driggers, a 2011 NFR qualifier
Jade Corkill, a four-time NFR qualifier
Ty Blasingame, a 2010 NFR qualifier
Rich Skelton, an eight-time world champion heeler
Brad Culpepper, a seven-time NFR qualifier
Ryan Motes, a 2007 NFR qualifier
Travis Tryan, a 10-time NFR qualifier
Jake Long, a two-time NFR qualifier

postheadericon It’s a busy rodeo news weekend

If you can’t tell by the variety of stories I’ve posted lately, my schedule’s been rather full.

It is an awesome blessing. It’s also nice that as I write, I can watch my 3-year-old daughter play – not many dads get that opportunity. Fortunately for us both, she goes to preschool three days a week; she needs that interaction with other children, and Daddy needs the time to work.

In addition to reading the stories I’ve been producing for the American Royal and the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo in Stephenville, Texas, which take place this weekend, I also put together stories for the Omaha World-Herald in its coverage of this weekend’s Justin Boots Championships. You can read the lead piece on those stories HERE, then just scour around the World-Herald’.

I’ve also been putting together stories for the Waller County Fair and Rodeo, scheduled for next week in Hempstead, Texas, and the Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for Oct. 18-20 in Duncan, Okla. I’m about to get busy helping friends and other contract personnel with their promotional pieces to take to the PRCA convention in Las Vegas.

See why I’m so blessed? Not only do I have an abundant of opportunities, but I’ve got a ton of good friends and an awesome family.

postheadericon Maass stays hot in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Justin Maass has been one of the hottest cowboys in the business much of this season.

Justin Maass

Justin Maass

He leads the tie-down roping world standings with more than $138,000 in season earnings, heading to his seventh appearance at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. On Wednesday evening during competition at the American Royal Rodeo, Maass took the steps needed to pad his lead on the final weekend of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association season.

The Giddings, Texas, cowboy roped and tied his calf in 7.6 seconds to take the early lead at the American Royal. He holds a two-tenths-of-a-second lead over the No. 2 roper, Trent Creager of Stillwater, Okla. Now he’ll have to wait out the three performances of Kansas City’s rodeo to see if his score holds up; the performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Hale Arena at the American Royal complex.

Maass is one of four contestants who took the early leads in their respective events during Wednesday’s competition; the others were steer wrestler Riley Duvall of Checotah, Okla., 4.1 seconds; team ropers Quista Lopez of Beeville, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins of Columbus, Kan., 4.6 seconds; and barrel racer Trula Churchill of Valentine, Neb., 14.50 seconds.

American Royal Rodeo
Kansas City, Mo.
Leaders through Wednesday
Steer wrestling:
1. Riley Duvall, 4.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Justin Smith and Chance Carlson, 4.4; 4. (tie) Kody Woodward and Brent Sutton, 4.8; 6. Chancey Larson, 5.6; 7. Nick Guy, 5.9; 8. Shane Henderson, 8.3.
Team roping: 1. Quista Lopez/Buddy Hawkins, 4.6 seconds; 2. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 4.8; 3. David Key/Bucky Campbell, 4.9; 4. Adam Newcomb/Chad Harper, 5.0; 5. Adam Rose/Gabe Gwaltney, 5.5; 6. Chace Thompson/Chad Williams, 9.6; 7. Charly Crawford/Jim Ross Cooper, 9.9; 8. A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 10.2.
Tie-down roping: 1. Justin Maass, 7.6 seconds; 2. Trent Creager, 7.8; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0; 4. (tie) Clint Kindred/Cody McCartney, 8.4; 6. Justin Scofield, 8.6; 7. Bradley Bynum, 8.8; 8. Shane Slack, 9.6.
Barrel racing: 1. Trula Churchill, 14.50 seconds; 2. Brittany Pozzi, 14.56; 3. Benette Little, 14.61; 4. Shada Brazile, 14.65; 5. Robyn Herring, 14.67; 6. Christina Richman, 14.75; 7. Lee Ann Rust, 14.80; 8. Julie Erkamaa, 14.87; 9. Fallon Taylor, 14.91; 10. Jordon Talbot, 14.94; 11. Jeannie McKee, 14.98; 12. Hailey Sheldon, 15.00.

postheadericon Carr bringing quality livestock to Hempstead

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – When fair officials in Waller County wanted to take it’s rodeo to the next level, they had a short list of top stock contractors to consider.

Atop that list was Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo. Pete Carr and his crew are in their second year of preparing a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event that’s part of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4-Saturday, Oct. 6, in Hempstead.

Clint Cannon

Clint Cannon

“I love Pete Carr rodeos, and that’s one of the reasons his name came up first on my list,” said bareback rider Clint Cannon, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from Waller, Texas. “He always brings good horses to rodeos. He runs a good show.”

That’s important to guys who ride bucking horses for a living. In saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and bull riding, half the score is given to the athletic animals. Bronc busters know it takes quality mounts if they want to earn the lion’s share of the prize money.

“We know that when we go to one of Pete’s rodeos that you don’t have to get on a piece of junk,” Cannon said. “You know you’re going to have a chance to draw a good horse, and it’s going to come down to who rides best to decide who wins.”

Cowboys seem to get a little more excited when they know Carr Pro Rodeo is going to be the livestock producer at a rodeo.

“Anytime I draw a Pete Carr horse, I know I will probably win money,” said bareback rider Cody DeMers, a four-time NFR qualifier from Kimberly, Idaho. “That’s why I go to his rodeos.”

It doesn’t matter in what event they compete, the contestants know what to expect with Carr animals.

“Pete’s got an eye for good horses and is always trying to make his stock better,” said saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz, a two-time NFR qualifier from Desdemona, Texas. “Pete’s constantly worried about whether we’re happy, which is good. There are a lot of contractors out there who could care less if we’re happy. Pete’s the opposite. He does what he can to keep us happy.

“At most of the smaller rodeos we go to, you don’t have a chance to draw good. At least at Pete’s rodeos, you know you have a good shot of getting on something you can win on. Then it’s just up to you to ride well enough to do it.”

Pete Carr has made his name with bucking horses – Real Deal was named the 2005 Bareback of the Year, and River Boat Annie was selected as the reserve world champion bareback horse in 2007 – but Carr takes great pride in having high quality animals for every event, whether for ropers, steer wrestlers or roughstock cowboys.

“I’ve always tried to get the best animals I can get, whether they’re bulls, horses, calves or steers,” said Carr, owner of the livestock company. “Everybody thinks I’m a horse guy, and I am; but I want to be known as a bull guy, too.”

The contestants see that.

“The bulls are awesome,” said Chandler Bownds, the 2011 rookie of the year from Lubbock, Texas. “Pete brought in some great subcontractors to juice up his great pen of bulls, and there were a bunch of bulls that bucked really hard.”

postheadericon Waller County gearing up for Vegas-type show

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – When Clint Sciba went to Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to watch the sports spectacle, he knew that’s what he wanted to see in his hometown.

“My main basis on that deal was that if we were going to spend that much on a PRCA rodeo, I really wanted to make it the best in the Southeast, whether it’s southeast Texas or the Southeastern United States,” said Sciba, the rodeo co-chairman with Paul Schroeder on the Waller County Fair board. “We wanted to produce the most non-stop, action-filled rodeo within the constraints of our finances, so that’s what we set out to do.”

The early results have been fantastic, which is good reason why the Waller County Fair and Rodeo is preparing for its second straight year of Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association action beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4-Saturday, Oct. 6. The top names in ProRodeo will be on hand, which is an enticing addition to a community that is already loaded with great rodeo talent.

“I’d gone to Vegas, in part, to watch Clint Cannon ride there at the finals,” Sciba said, referring to the three-time NFR qualifier from Waller, Texas. “Clint had already come in and talked to the board about making our rodeo a PRCA rodeo and gave us the three stock contractors he wanted us to consider bringing in.

“He really wanted us to look at Pete Carr and what he does, so when I went to Vegas, and when I’d gone to RodeoHouston that year, I really paid attention to how much stock was Pete Carr’s. He had the animals that we were looking for, and he understands the Vegas-type of entertainment we wanted. He has the stock to get the cowboys there, and that’s the one thing we learned: If you don’t have the stock, the cowboys aren’t going to be there.”

Carr owns Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo, and he’s become one of the most sought-after livestock producers in the sport.

“It’s really special for us to be involved in an event that wants to grow and be part of professional rodeo.” Carr said. “Clint Sciba took a chance on us and we will continue to try and exceed his and everyone’s expectation in Waller County. The entire fair and rodeo team are excited about what all is going on in Hempstead. They want to continue to grow the whole fair and rodeo, and I think they’ve got the community support and enthusiasm to make it happen.”

It helps considerably that Waller County is becoming known for its elite ProRodeo contestants. Not only does Cannon live nearby, but so do tie-down ropers Cory Solomon, a two-time NFR qualifier from Prairie View, Texas, and Fred Whitfield, an eight-time world champion from Hockley, Texas – Whitfield is closing in on his 20th qualification to ProRodeo’s championship event. With that type of high-caliber firepower in the rodeo’s back yard, it makes for an easy transition to producing an NFR-quality event.

“We’re flooded with a ton of great ropers in our area, and the competition so tough,” Sciba said. “Not only do we have great guys like Fred and Cory, who are at the top of the game this year, but we’ve got a lot of other ropers in this area. Now you bring in Clint Cannon, and you have someone who has pushed the bucking horse riding and the importance of having a good overall rodeo.

“We’re quickly becoming a rodeo community, not just at our fair, but throughout our region. It’s a natural fit for us to step up to the PRCA ranks. The PRCA brings us a lot of publicity, not just local, but regional and national.”

Cannon will be unable to compete at the NFR this December after sitting out some time with a groin injury, but he will be a big part of his hometown rodeo. Still Solomon and Whitfield will be in the grand entry along with dozens of other Texans that will ride in behind the Lone Star flag as the state’s representatives are introduced to the crowd of nearly 18,000 each of the 10 nights in Las Vegas.

“You get chills when you see 16-time world champion Trevor Brazile as he flies into that arena carrying the Texas flag and they introduce all those Texans,” Sciba said. “It’s even cooler to know you have a chance to see three guys who are part of that introduction that are from right here in our area. Just seeing all those Texans is cool; that’s even cooler to know how well we’re represented here in Waller County.”

That same sentiment goes into every run and every ride that takes place in the Waller County Fairgrounds Arena. It’s no wonder why Sciba is so excited.

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