Archive for January, 2013

postheadericon Timed Event Championship Hosts Top Stars

The Biggest Names in Professional Rodeo Ready for This Year’s ‘Ironman’ Competition

The Lazy E Arena has been a showcase of rodeo’s greatest stars for nearly three decades.

The arena – which the late Clem McSpadden dubbed the Taj Mahal of the rodeo business – just gets better with age, and the 2013 Timed Event Championship is proof. This year’s field includes some of the greatest cowboys to have ever competed in ProRodeo, including 10 men who own a combined 47 gold buckles.

From first-timers like 2012 heeling champ Jade Corkill to veterans like 1980 all-around champ Paul Tierney, who owns four Timed Event titles, this year’s championship is chalk full of overwhelming rodeo talent. It’s a who’s who of the sport’s greatest stars, including 17-time world champion Trevor Brazile, who owns a record 10 all-around titles.

What makes the Timed Event Championship so special? It features today’s brightest stars, most of whom focus on one rodeo discipline; inside the Lazy E, though, they must tackle all five timed events: team roping-heading, team roping-heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping. None of the entrants competes in all five disciplines regularly throughout the season, which makes the three-day affair such talked-about festival.

The Timed Event Championship is a testament of a true cowboy. It takes a true hand to rope this well, this fast. It takes a true hand to grapple steers, much less the ones that will be featured inside the Lazy E. It takes a true hand to combine all the skills necessary to compete at the elite level.

“Everybody that was entered here knows it was the ‘Ironman’ here,” said K.C. Jones, the reigning and five-time champion from Burlington, Wyo.

This is where two-time world champion steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch will rope steers alongside two-time world champion header Chad Masters, who also will try to bulldog steers. This is more than stepping outside one’s comfort zone; the Timed Event Championship is about crushing that perspective in the most cowboy of ways.

If that weren’t enough, the men in the field will tackle all five disciplines five times in three days. It’s a rugged test for Pro Rodeo’s greatest players, who pay the $3,000 entry fee to compete in this invitation-only challenge.

From top timed-event cowboys like Josh Peek and Russell Cardoza to a World’s Greatest Roper like Daniel Green to multitaskers like Mike Outhier and Trell Etbauer – both of whom have won awards for excelling in timed events and riding broncs – the 2013 Timed Event Championship promises to be one of the best ever.

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 2013 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.

Invited Timed Event Championship of the World Contestants

Current Listing as of January 28, 2013, and Subject to Change

  1. K.C. Jones, Burlington, Wyoming
  2. Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Oregon
  3. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colorado
  4. Daniel Green, Oakdale, California
  5. Jess Tierney, Hermosa, South Dakota
  6. Kyle Lockett, Visalia, California
  7. Paul David Tierney, Oral, South Dakota.
  8. Clayton Hass, Terrell, Texas
  9. Chad Masters, Clarksville, Tennessee
  10. Paul Tierney, Oral, South Dakota
  11. Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Nebraska
  12. Jimmie Cooper, Monument, New Mexico
  13. Jo Jo LeMond, Andrews, Texas
  14. Landon McClaugherty, Tilden, Texas
  15. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas
  16. Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nevada
  17. Mike Outhier, Utopia, Texas
  18. Spencer Mitchell, Colusa, California
  19. Trell Etbauer, Gruver, Texas
  20. Dustin Bird, Cut Bank, Montana

postheadericon Saying another goodbye

EDITOR’S NOTE: This morning, I had the honor of speaking at the funeral of Jacob Marriott, a young cowboy who died last week just a couple weeks shy of his 27th birthday. I didn’t know Jake, but because of his mother, Dee, I knew his heart. Dee asked me to be part of this amazing service, and I hope I captured Jake’s personality and of those who love him. This is what I read this morning:

 

As I look around this room today, a common theme is deep in my heart. This is a place for family, for love, but this also is a place for cowboys.

Jake Marriott

Jake Marriott

Being a cowboy is much more than a title, much more than a job, much more than a hat. Cowboy is a lifestyle, a breed. It’s a personality, one that is born and engrained in everything we do.

Cowboy is a way of life, whether it’s riding horseback through the grasslands … or working cattle in a muddy pen … or praying to our Lord and Savior. We wear the brand proudly, because we know that it is a tribute not only to our heritage, but also to our hearts.

It’s more than ranch work and more than rodeo, because this lifestyle, OUR lifestyle, is about caring for others, sharing passions and overcoming challenges. Whether it’s a feisty horse that needs a little extra attention or a grieving family that needs a lot of extra love and support, cowboys are there.

Cowboys know the meaning of effort. They don’t always ride for eight and the loop doesn’t always fit, but there’s always determination, there’s always try. If one word could ever describe a cowboy, that’s it: TRY.

Jake Marriott lived the life of a cowboy, and I, for one, am thankful he did.

postheadericon Rodeo book reveals a few problems

I love rodeo stories. I especially love good rodeo stories, so I enjoy the times when I’m able to read a book about the sport.

My wife found a copy of Biting the Dust; The Wild and Dark Romance of the Rodeo Cowboy and the American West, authored by Dirk Johnson. It was published in 1994, and it focuses on bull rider Joe Wimberly and bronc riders Bud Longbrake and Craig Latham.

Book Review

Book Review

I was particularly interested in Latham’s stories – he and his family have been friends for a number of years, and Craig Latham is one of the greatest men I’ve ever met.

At the time of publishing, Johnson, the author, was the Denver Bureau Chief of The New York Times. His journalistic credentials made me more interested in the book – oftentimes, I find a journalist’s novels easier to read; maybe it’s that I prefer it after so many years of being associated with the industry.

While Johnson’s writing was “comfortable” to read, his style of frequent breaks and changes in flow made the book difficult to read in general. Just when a storyline was starting to flow well, a hiccup would come in the form of nonsensical background for several paragraphs, then return to the storyline.

But that wasn’t the biggest problem with Johnson’s work. For a man who worked for many years for one of the most prestigious newspapers in the United States – and who as recently as a year ago was working for Newsweek magazine – I am quite disappointed that he misspelled the name of an important character in the non-fiction book.

Craig and Lori Latham were just a few years into their marriage when Johnson wrote the book. Unfortunately, Johnson misspelled Lori’s name throughout the book. It’s one of the most basic tasks a reporter can perform, but Johnson failed.

It’s an inexcusable mistake, and it was just another black mark in what I had hoped to be a great book on rodeo.

postheadericon Dreams really do come true

Mary Walker rounds the second barrel during one of her Wrangler National Finals Rodeo runs on Latte – the 2012 AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year. Walker won her first world title in her first NFR, earning an event best $146,941. (PRORODEO PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN)

Mary Walker rounds the second barrel during one of her Wrangler National Finals Rodeo runs on Latte – the 2012 AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year. Walker won her first world title in her first NFR, earning an event best $146,941. (PRORODEO PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final story I wrote in 2012. It has been published in the January edition of Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the official publication of the WPRA. During the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, I wrote the nightly WPRA.com updates from Las Vegas, so I visited with Mary Walker several times over that 10-day stretch. In each post about Walker, I worked hard to focus on her run at the NFR, not the challenges she’d suffered leading up to her first qualification. For the magazine piece, I let it all hang out. The interview we did less than 24 hours after she earned gold was touching, emotional and, at points, a little overwhelming. I am truly inspired, and I hope the story reflects that.

 

When a child dies, life can become unimaginable. The grief is overwhelming, and living each day is a challenge.

To make it through, it takes the mind of a champion, the willingness to maneuver through this world through the heartache, the despair, the roller coasters this life has delivered. Mary Walker knows every step of that process, from the days of not wanting to get out of bed because her heart hurt just too much to the days of finding the will to saddle a horse and ride in the grassland.

She has the mind of a champion. She has the heart of a world champion.

“Last year was the heartbreak of my life,” said Walker, who combined a fantastic regular season with a dominating performance at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to win the barrel racing gold buckle. “To go through what I went through last year and to fight your head, you have to get up and do something, anything. You have to be willing to do the things you have to do.”

Reagon Walker died in April 2011, the victim of a car wreck. He was 21 years old – just old enough to begin living his adult life and way too young to die. But young people die each day, and Byron and Mary Walker know that all too well. They said goodbye to their baby boy when the rest of us can only imagine the what-ifs, the pain.

That was just the first – and most painful – situation in the most challenging of her 53 years. Less than two months later, she and her great horse, Perculatin, went down during a barrel race. She shattered her pelvis, broke her hip in three places, had two fractured vertebrae and suffered two broken toes. She had surgery, where doctors used eight plates and 11 pins to stabilize her hip, and she was in a wheelchair for about four months.

Every inch rolled in that chair turned into motivation, but that’s what happens inside the hearts of world champions.

“People have accidents, and they still drive,” said Walker of Ennis, Texas. “I thought, ‘I have that nice horse in the barn. I either need to get up and try him, or sell him.’ ”

A horse to race

That horse is an 8-year-old black gelding she calls Latte, out of Curiocity Corners by Dash for Perks.

“Byron purchased him for me on May 17, 2011,” Walker said. “I had actually been riding him six months prior to that. The girl who owned him wanted him finished out for a rodeo horse. I got my hands on him, and I had to teach him how to run. I knew there was something in him that I needed to get out.

“Finally Byron decided he was the one we needed to buy. I didn’t own him but about a month before I got hurt. He got six months off after that.”

It took a little time for Walker to rehabilitate her injuries. In the interim, Byron Walker mounted Latte three or four days a week, but they didn’t run the pattern together. When Mary Walker was cleared to ride again, she and Latte went to work.

“I bet he was glad to get that heavy saddle off him,” she said.

He must have been quite happy. He responded to everything that happened afterward, from running at small rodeos in Texas to winning the “Daddy of ’em All,” Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days. In all, Walker and Latte won more than a dozen rodeo titles, from Ada, Okla., to Window Rock, Ariz., to the All-American ProRodeo Finals.

Oh, and Latte was named WPRA/AQHA Horse of the Year.

“That meant everything,” said Mary Walker, who had planned to use 2012 to just season Latte on the rodeo trail; the gold buckle seems to fit OK anyway. “It was just like it was meant to be. Everything that happened this year just fell into place.”

Knowing what it takes to win gold

Byron Walker is the 1981 world champion steer wrestler who competed at the NFR 16 times. His gold buckle win came 31 years ago, and it was directly after he led the world standings in earnings in a previous year.

The only reason he didn’t win gold earlier was because the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association had changed the rules to rewarding the highest NFR money earners with the world titles. That’s how Chris LeDoux won his world tile, even though Joe Alexander had earned $19,000 more than the No. 2 man on the money list.

Byron Walker finished atop the money list in 1978 and was runner-up in 1979. And after 16 times in the sport’s grand finale, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to compete at a high level.

“At my age, at our age, it means a whole lot more,” he said. “When you’re plus 50, you wrote off a world title 10 plus years ago, and you didn’t think there would be any more. If it did happen, it would be Reagon’s.”

Unfortunately, fate had other plans.

Mary Walker and Tuf Cooper hold their gold buckles after the 10th go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in the alleyway that leads out of the Thomas & Mack Center. The Walkers and Cooper shared another set of world titles in 2012, just 31 years after Byron Walker and Roy Cooper did. (PHOTO BORROWED FROM FACEBOOK)

Mary Walker and Tuf Cooper hold their gold buckles after the 10th go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in the alleyway that leads out of the Thomas & Mack Center. The Walkers and Cooper shared another set of world titles in 2012, just 31 years after Byron Walker and Roy Cooper did. (PHOTO BORROWED FROM FACEBOOK)

This was a Tuf ride

About 40 years ago, Byron Walker and Roy Cooper stood side by side for a photo showing off their championship saddles.

That was 1973. The young men vowed then to take a photo together when they had won ProRodeo’s gold. They did just eight years later.

Fast forward a few decades. Tuf Cooper and Reagon Walker had won the Texas High School Rodeo Association in their respective events – Tuf in tie-down roping; Reagon in bulldogging. The next photo to come was to be in Las Vegas after they’d clinched their Montana Silversmiths gold buckles.

When Reagon Walker died in 2011, those dreams died with him. But nights reveal blissful rest and wondrous dreams. They come true in the rarest of fashions.

“That was the year I won my first world title,” Cooper wrote on a Facebook post. “Reagon and I never got the chance to get our picture taken. This year his mom, Mary, won her first world title on a horse that Byron bought for her after Reagon passed, and we got to live out Reagon and I’s dream together.”

A run for gold

Mary Walker had a lot of great moments in 2012. Her greatest?

“Winning the first round,” she said. “I got to bring the family up onto the stage and introduce them and talk about my family and my friends that were out there supporting me.”

That happened during the first Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentation at the South Point Hotel & Casino, which took place each night of the Wrangler NFR. It was in Las Vegas where Walker excelled. She won the first three go-rounds, then again in the seventh. She also placed on four other nights.

In all, she won $146,941 in 10 nights in the City of Lights, earning more money inside the Thomas & Mack Center than anyone else. For that, she earned a pickup for winning the Ram Trucks Top Gun Award. She finished the season with $274,233, about $70,000 ahead of the No. 2 cowgirl in the land, Carlee Pierce of Stephenville, Texas.

“With Mary’s story, you can be nothing but happy for her,” said Brenda Mays, a Terrebonne, Ore., cowgirl who won the Wrangler NFR average with a cumulative time of 141.70 seconds on 10 rides. “It was her first year here, and she breaks out. A year ago, she was in a wheelchair. I’m speechless for her.”

A run to the finish

Many people were speechless for the Walkers. Few could imagine what it’s like to lose a child; more could never understand how someone could dream of competing at an elite level after such pain and sacrifice.

Mary Walker qualified for her first Wrangler NFR third in the world standings, chasing a couple of two-time world champions, Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas, and Lindsay Sears of Nanton, Alberta. She’d been to the finals every year since 1977, but she had no idea what to expect as a competitor.

“Mary got upset with me trying to get organized,” Byron Walker said. “I tried to explain to her what happens when you win a go-round at the finals. It’s real easy when you don’t win the round, because nobody wants to talk to you. But if you win the round, you’re going to be with the media at least an hour before you see anybody you came to the rodeo with.”

That’s why the Walkers had plenty of help, and she realized on the first night the importance of a solid team, but there was much for Mary to figure out on her own.

“Watching Byron participate at the finals, you knew it was a small arena,” she said. “But I never got into the arena sitting in the stands. That first morning they let us work, we walked in there, and I could not believe it. The timer’s right at the alleyway. It was a lot different, then you have the camera pit, which is right over there by the first barrel. You don’t realize how close you come to the camera pit every night.”

Apparently, she got it all figured out.

“Everybody was pretty excited for her,” Byron Walker said. “There are very few times when someone wins a world championship that everyone’s happy, but I think she was the favorite of all the girls.”

Mary Walker was the fan favorite for many reasons. Her brilliant smile was the fuse that lit the City of Lights during those 10 nights; her passion and compassion were the honored guests of the Nevada desert. She handled every step along the rocky and challenging path with the grace of a champion.

A world champion.

postheadericon Rodeo’s change is proof of positives

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Change is often the most difficult thing to accomplish.

Sometimes, though, it’s the most important thing to accomplish. That was the consensus of the volunteers who produce the Will Rogers Stampede, which will conduct its 67th edition of Claremore’s rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 24-Sunday, May 26.

“Our biggest move this year is to bring in Carr Pro Rodeo as our stock contractor and producer,” said David Petty, the committee’s chairman. “Pete Carr has some of the best animals going in rodeo, and he and his crew put on a great show. Fans who have been regulars to our rodeo for decades are going to be very impressed by what they see this year.

“For people who haven’t been to our rodeo, or who haven’t been in several years, they’re going to be amazed at the overall production. This is going to be more than a rodeo; Pete Carr puts on a great show.”

Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo is one of the premier stock contracting firms in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, well known for having the top stock in the sport. Just last season, the top bareback riders in the game selected Carr’s MGM Deuces Night as the top bucking horse in the game; Carr’s Dirty Jacket placed third in the voting for Bareback Horse of the Year.

They were two of 11 Carr animals that bucked at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Others included Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback of the Year, and River Boat Annie, the 2007 reserve champion. Cowboys who make their livings on the rodeo trail know what to expect when they compete at a Carr-produced rodeo, no matter in what event they compete.

“Pete’s got an eye for good horses and is always trying to make his stock better,” said saddle bronc Isaac Diaz, a three-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.”

That seems to be a common report among the elite cowboys in the game.

“To me, Pete Carr is one of the new wave of stock contractors who cares as much about one end of the arena as he does the other,” said Trevor Brazile, a 10-time all-around world champion who has added three tie-down roping and three steer roping titles and a team roping-heading championship. “There have been stock contractors that don’t really have a complete rodeo. In my opinion, Pete puts on a complete rodeo.”

Brazile knows as well as anyone what makes a great rodeo. He has competed in Claremore numerous times in his career, winning recent titles in steer roping and the all-around at the Will Rogers Round Up Arena. Winning titles in Rogers County is a big deal for those who know the history and lore of this part of the country.

“I’ve always wanted a chance to win this rodeo, because it’s close to my hometown and close to Fort Scott; it’s right between the best of two worlds for me,” said 2012 NFR bareback riding qualifier Jared Keylon, who grew up in the northwestern Arkansas community of Hagarville and now lives just 15 miles west of Fort Scott. “This is also the first ProRodeo I took my son to, and that just tickled me that he got to watch Dad win.”

The arena isn’t far from major ranches that make up a big part of what used to be known as the Oklahoma Territory. The rangeland is a perfect place to raise livestock, and area cowboys know what it takes to be a hand, whether in the pasture or in the rodeo arena.

“I love Claremore,” said saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley, a two-time NFR qualifier from College Station, Texas. “I’m from Texas, so Oklahoma’s not a far drive, and it’s dang sure cowboy country up here. And they sure appreciate bronc riders.

“Anytime you can get around here where some of those old ranchers can come out and watch you at the rodeo, they get excited about rodeo, and we get excited about that.”

As the puzzle pieces are configured, the revelation is a powerful portrait of what fans want in choosing how to spend their entertainment dollars.

“I think a lot of cowboys from around here are going to love the show we put on this year,” Petty said. “For those who might live in Tulsa, it doesn’t get any better than a fun time at the rodeo, getting back in touch with their Western roots and enjoying a great piece of entertainment.”

Having a high quality rodeo is attractive all the way around. The contestants know they’ll have a great opportunity on quality livestock to earn a prestigious title.

“Pete really strives to have the best stock he can get,” said Heath Ford, a three-time NFR qualifier who also serves as the bareback riding representative. “He spends money on them and also has one of the best breeding programs in the industry. He has one of the most solid pens going down the road.”

postheadericon Carr animals showcased at circuit finals

WACO, Texas – Dirty Jacket has been considered one of the greatest bareback horses in the world.

Now he’s been honored as the best bucking horse in the Lone Star State, recognized at such Jan. 3-5 during the Ram Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. The 9-year-old bay gelding was just one of a number of the Carr Pro Rodeo bucking animals that guided the top cowboys in the region to top paychecks during the three-day championship.

Pete Carr

Pete Carr

“He had a pretty good year,” said Pete Carr, owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm. “They won a lot of rodeos on Dirty Jacket in 2012, and a lot of those were Texas rodeos.”

That’s true. Two-time and reigning world champion Kaycee Feild won the bareback riding title in Fort Worth, led by his 89-point ride on Dirty Jacket in the final go-round; eight-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Wes Stevenson won San Angelo with an 87 in San Angelo; Jeremy Mouton’s 87 won in Bridgeport; and Matthew Smith was 87 in winning in Hempstead.

Dirty Jacket held true to form in Waco, guiding Steven Anding of Athens, Texas, to a first-place tie in the third go-round of the circuit finals. The pair matched moves for 87 points to tie Chris Harris of Itasca, Texas, who posted an 87 on Carr’s Collins Pride.

“If every one of them were like that, everyone would keep rodeoing,” said Anding, who had ridden Dirty Jacket to a second-place finish in the same arena 15 months before during the All American ProRodeo Finals. “He just bucks. He’s good to ride. He’s flashy, and the judges like him. He’s just a good one to draw.”

In all, cowboys earned $11,920 on Carr Pro Rodeo animals at the circuit finals, including round victories five times – the first and third rounds of bareback riding, the first and second rounds of saddle bronc riding and the third round of bull riding.

“The Texas Circuit has a lot of great contestants in every event, so we had some good match-ups all weekend long,” Carr said.

That’s true. In addition to regular finalists, the Waco competition was home to several NFR qualifiers in every event; they were just a few weeks removed from competing for the world championship in Las Vegas. That’s just one reason why the circuit finale is so competitive annually.

There’s no better proof than the final round, where Chandler Bownds of Lubbock, Texas, posted an 87-point ride on Carr’s Private Eyes to win the round and the $1,452 first-place prize. Bownds qualified for the NFR in 2011 and has shown the promise of returning there several times in his career, while Private Eyes is already in the mix for making his first trip to Vegas. In addition, rising star Cody Rostockyj of Hillsboro, Texas, finished second in the round with an 85 on Carr’s Synergy, an animal that has guided many cowboys to pay windows at Texas rodeos over the last few years.

The biggest earnings on Carr animals came in bareback riding, where six cowboys earned checks on the backs of Rafter C horses. Evan Jayne won the opening round with an 82 on Carr’s Island Girl, an 11-year-old bay mare that bucked at the NFR for the first time a month ago. Stevenson finished in a tie for second with an 81 on Carr’s Miss Hollywood.

Chad Rutherford finished as runner-up in the second round after an 82-point ride on Carr’s Cool Change. In addition to Anding and Harris sharing the third-round win, Richie Champion of The Woodlands, Texas, finished in a tie for fourth on Carr’s Outa Sight, an 8-year-old paint mare that has been selected to the NFR twice.

Seven-time NFR qualifier Bradley Harter of Weatherford, Texas, put on a classic saddle bronc ride to outlast three NFR veterans to finish in the top spot in the opening go-round; he matched moves with Carr’s Couch Jumper for 83 points to win the $1,452. That was a salty way to kick-start the three days of competition.

Australian Travis Edwards won the second round with an 82-point ride on Carr’s Sweet Emotion, a horse that’s been selected to buck at the NFR. Two-time NFR qualifier Jacobs Crawley of College Station, Texas, posted 79 points on Carr’s Empty Pockets on the final night of the competition to pick up the fourth-place check.

“I was pretty pleased with the way things went,” Carr said. “It’s a good way to start our new year.”

postheadericon Happy new year

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted, but the ol’ brainbox needed a breather.

Now that it’s been recharged, it’s time to get back at it. Work has begun on several jobs already, and I’m so very blessed by these tremendous opportunities. We’re hot and heavy with the new year, and my first writing assignment is for the WPRA’s magazine, Women’s Pro Rodeo News. It’s the same publication that received my final story of 2012, so it’s only fitting.

It’s a great way to kick start the new season. But so is working on the Timed Event Championship, which will take place the first weekend in March at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie, Okla. The very best in the business earn the right to compete in this unique event, and this year the list of invitees includes Linderman Award winners Trell Etbauer and Mike Outhier, the latter of which has competed in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in saddle bronc riding; the former, by the way, is the son of two-time bronc riding world champion Robert Etbauer and nephew of five-time titlist Billy Etbauer.

What a phenomenal way to open things up. I’m looking forward to many big-time events, from promoting the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo to handling more duties for the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo to being able to see the transition of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo to the outstanding production from Carr Pro Rodeo, one of the top stock contracting firms in the game right now. This is the first year for the Carr crew to work the Claremore rodeo, but the show should be fantastic.

I hope you enjoy the next 12 months of rodeo information on TwisTED Rodeo. I’m really looking forward to it.

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