Archive for February, 2013

postheadericon Kansas cowboy scores well at K-State

ALVA, Okla. – The Domer family has long had strong ties to Kansas State University. Ryan Domer can go down a significant list of his family who have attended the Sunflower State’s land grant institution in Manhattan, Kan.

Maybe that’s why he was plenty excited to see some solid success during the K-State Rodeo last weekend. Domer, a junior at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, finished second in steer wrestling after grappling his animal to the ground in 4.7 seconds, just two-tenth of a second behind winner Stephen Culling of Western Oklahoma State College.

Northwestern-Logo-200“It was only the second check I’d won in bulldogging,” said Domer of Topeka, Kan. “It was for sure one of the best runs I’ve had in bulldogging; I’ve only been doing it a year and a half.”

Domer has focused primarily on tie-down roping and team roping, where he has competed most of his life as a heeler. He is in his first year of school at Northwestern after transferring from Northeastern Oklahoma, a junior college in Miami, Okla. In Alva, he joins a team made up of friends and his typical team roping partner, his brother, Collin Domer.

“My mom and dad graduated from K-State, and I have two cousins, my aunt, my uncle …” Ryan Domer said. “My grandparents did a lot up there in Manhattan. My grandpa was a vet, so he went through the vet schools at K-State.

“Our whole family, other than my brother and I, graduated from K-State. To do well at that rodeo really felt good.”

Domer wasn’t the only Ranger who fared well in Manhattan. In fact, the team roping tandem of header Travis Cowan of Highmore, S.D., and Brice Buzzard of Garnett, Kan., won the K-State rodeo, finishing the one-round rodeo in 4.9 seconds. That was six-tenths of a second faster than the field.

Other Northwestern contestants who placed were Chase Lako, who finished seventh in tie-down roping; steer wrestler Jared Thompson, who placed in a tie for eighth; barrel racers Alexis Allen (fourth), Clara Morris (fifth) and Kelsey Fanning (eighth); and goat-tiers Kodi Hansen (third) and Lauren Barnes (tied for fifth).

The men’s and women’s teams compete this weekend at the Garden City (Kan.) Community College Rodeo. The men will try to improve upon their eighth-place ranking in the Central Plains Region, while the women, now ranked second, will try to move a step closer to region leader Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

“It really helped me coming here because I knew a lot of people in Alva and the set-up we have here,” Ryan Domer said. “We have a bunch of good ropers here who are as good as anybody in the region.

“With Stockton (Graves) being the coach, I knew he could rope calves as well as rope steers, and we all know how well he can bulldog, so I knew there were a lot of opportunities.”

Now the teams need to take advantage of them.

postheadericon Top horses lead to San Antonio wins

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo offers one of the largest prize pools in the sport. For cowboys who make their living in rodeo, it’s an important stop to their season.

The brightest stars in the game make magic happen in the Alamo City each February, and this year was no different. Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers J.R. Vezain and Tyler Corrington proved that with impressive runs, culminated by wild rides to

Tyler Corrington

Tyler Corrington

claim the 2013 San Antonio championships.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Corrington, a saddle bronc rider from Hastings, Minn., who rode Classic Pro Rodeo’s Big Tex for 85 points to win the final go-round Saturday night, earning $12,445 on that ride alone – he finished the rodeo with $16,293.

More importantly, he left San Antonio with a title everyone in the sport covets.

“It’s one of the best buckles going, and it’s one of the best rodeos in the sport,” said Corrington, who pushed his 2013 earnings to $30,024, good enough for second in the world standings. “It’s one of the top rodeos for everybody to win.”

It was the first trip for Big Tex under owner Pete Carr, who purchased Classic Pro Rodeo last week. The 13-year-old bay gelding is just three years removed from being named the PRCA’s Bareback Horse of the Year and has since been bucking in saddle bronc riding most of the time since.

“He’s just always been a great horse,” said Corrington, who qualified for the 2011 NFR. “He’s one of the few bareback horses I knew before he became a bronc, because he was just so outstanding. We were all pretty excited when he got moved over to broncs. He’s done nothing but be awesome.

“I knew ahead of time that I’d drawn pretty good, but it’s a pretty good sign when you’re sitting in the hospitality are and all your buddies are jealous of you because of what you’ve drawn.”

J.R. Vezain

J.R. Vezain

Bareback riders felt the same way about Vezain, a 2012 NFR qualifier from Cowley, Wyo. Vezain matched moves with Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket for 88 points, tying two-time reigning world champion Kaycee Feild for the short-round win, yet outlasting Feild by just $1 to claim the San Antonio rodeo’s top prize.

“He had a great big rare out of the chute,” Vezain said of the 9-year-old bay gelding. “He sent my feet, and everything got rolling from there. I felt like I was eating him up.

“That is on the list of the top five bareback rides I have ever made.”

It worked pretty well. Vezain and Feild earned $10,889 each for sharing the final-round win. That was a big percentage of the earnings for Vezain, the 2012 Canadian bareback riding champion who earned an event best $17,030 inside the AT&T Center. The money moved him to No. 3 in the PRCA world standings with $20,315. He knew even before he arrived in San Antonio he had a good chance to win the title.

“The day we got the stock list for the short round, I wanted to have Dirty Jacket bad,” he said, explaining that the animals and cowboys are matched together through a random draw. “I couldn’t hardly sleep that night when I found out I’d plucked him. I knew I had a chance to be 90 points, and that’s the best feeling going into the short round.

“That was a true blessing to have that big bucking horse in the short round.”

postheadericon Panhandle home to NFR-caliber talent

GUYMON, Okla. – There’s a certain pride that roams around the Oklahoma Panhandle, a connection to the land and the personalities.

It’s a texture, like the rugged terrain that encompasses the landscape, and it revolves around the Western lifestyle. Cowboys know what it takes to survive in this climate, and they are ready to do what it takes to get the job done. That’s why seeing the Panhandle’s brightest stars on ProRodeo’s grandest stage is so important to the communities across the three counties once known as No Man’s Land.

Cort Scheer

Cort Scheer

“You’ve got a lot of good people around here, and it’s an honor to represent them when we rodeo,” said saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Guymon.

Scheer lists Elsmere, Neb., as his home, but he lives in Guymon, an alumnus of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo team. He was one of four cowboys who competed at the 2012 NFR with ties to Panhandle State, joining fellow bronc riders Cody Taton and two-time world champion Taos Muncy and bull rider Seth Glause.

They all plan to return to their old stomping grounds the first weekend of May for the annual Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, with performances set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5.

Competition begins Monday, April 29, with non-performance competition known as slack, which begins at 8 a.m. daily and lasts through Friday, May 3. Steer roping will take place Monday-Tuesday; team roping, steer wrestling and tie-down roping will be Wednesday-Thursday; and barrel racing takes place Friday.

Through the seven days of competition, hundreds of rodeo contestants will converge on Texas County, including the very best in the world. Guymon is must-see destination in ProRodeo, whether it’s 17-time world champion Trevor Brazile or many of the other gold buckle-wearing cowboys and cowgirls who make their livings on the rodeo trail.

“I think I had a shot last year to win the Guymon ProRodeo,” Scheer said. “It felt good, and I ended up winning third. I’d love to win that rodeo.

“I really want that belt they give to the winners.”

So do the others who will be in the mix for the 2013 championship, and a good percentage of them have ties to Texas County.

“To us, all these cowboys and cowgirls are still part of the Panhandle, and we’re very proud of them,” said Earl Helm, chairman of the Pioneer Days Rodeo committee. “We’re still part of them. We want them to still feel at home when they come back here.

“When they ride at the NFR, we’re very proud of them. We feel like we’re with them there, too.”

The contestants feel that support no matter where they ride.

“Just sitting around all those great people makes you want to ride better,” Scheer said. “They taught me everything I know, and I think the best way I can say thank you is to win.”

postheadericon Jimmie Cooper out of Timed Event

Jimmie Cooper

Jimmie Cooper

Jimmie Cooper is out of this year’s Timed Event Championship, marking the first time in more than two and a half decades that the world champion and ProRodeo Hall of Fame cowboy will not compete in the “Ironman” event of Pro Rodeo.

Cooper injured a shoulder while practicing Tuesday. He is a three-time winner of the Timed Event, earning the coveted title in 1988, 1992 and 1994.

He will be replaced by Clay Smith of Broken Bow, Okla.

postheadericon Timed Event Reigning Champion K.C. Jones

K.C. Jones

K.C. Jones

K.C. JONES, Burlington, Wyo.

K.C. Jones has won the Timed Event Championship just about every which way possible.

When one wins five of these prestigious titles, it helps to be creative.

A year ago, Jones didn’t lead from start to finish, but he was pretty close. He finished the opening round in third place, just a few seconds away from the leader. By the time the opening day of competition concluded, Jones had control of the 2012 Timed Event, and the Wyoming cowboy doesn’t like to let go of things, either. He also placed fourth and fifth in the fastest rounds competition, earning $57,000 last year.

The hair’s a little grayer than the first time Jones won the Timed Event; that was in 1993. He also won gold in 1996, 1999 and 2001. Is any more special than the others? Probably not. But earning the title in this unique event has got to have a different feeling at 44 than it does at 25.

Jones is a two-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, having earned his ticket to Vegas in both tie-down roping and team roping in 1991. In the two decades since, he’s handled his business in the best way possible; that means he’s been outstanding inside the Lazy E Arena each March, and why, five titles later, he remains one of the most consistent players in the Timed Event game.

Only Trevor Brazile owns more Timed Event titles, and K.C. Jones has a chance to match that this weekend. It’s going to be quite interesting watching him chase it.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Russell Cardoza

Russell Cardoza

Russell Cardoza

RUSSELL CARDOZA, Terrebonne, Ore.

Russell Cardoza watched his lead in the 2012 Timed Event Championship slip away on his seventh run.

Cardoza’s 58.6-second opening go-round set the standard for a wild run to the 27th “Ironman,” but he suffered a 60-second tie-down roping run in the second round, and the bottom dropped out. But Cardoza didn’t sit in the well. In fact, he rebounded by the time the second round was complete and kept climbing out of the hole.

When the race ended, Cardoza was the runner-up, finishing less than 16 seconds behind K.C. Jones. Cardoza also placed twice in the top six fastest rounds, finishing the three-day competition with $32,000. But let’s face it; we’ve come to expect that with this cowboy, who has competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo three times in the last four years.

From the first time he walked into these hallowed halls four years ago, Cardoza has improved every March – from 11th to sixth to second. In the progression that is the Timed Event, there’s only one more rung on the ladder, and it’s one of the most coveted gold buckles an all-around cowboy can achieve.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Josh Peek

Josh Peek

Josh Peek

JOSH PEEK, Pueblo, Colo.

There is a distinctive hunger in everything Josh Peek does these days.

For two straight seasons, the all-around hand has missed competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He doesn’t want that to happen again anytime soon. When you make your living on the rodeo trail, Las Vegas is where you need to be in December.

Besides, Peek has done well there before, winning the NFR’s all-around crown in 2009. In all, Peek has six qualifications to ProRodeo’s biggest event, three each in tie-down roping and steer wrestling. He also owns six championships in the Mountain States Circuit – three all-around (2003, ’07 and ’09), two tie-down roping (’07 and ’09) and a bulldogging crown (’09).

But Peek excels each March inside the Lazy E. He won the title in 2010, and he’s a regular fixture among the top five finishers. In all, he’s won $102,000 at the Timed Event Championship, so he knows a thing or two about this competition. He also knows how to parlay his talents into Oklahoma cash.

And when one is as talented as Josh Peek, about anything is as possible, especially when one is as hungry as is to win.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Daniel Green

Daniel Green

Daniel Green

DANIEL GREEN, Oakdale, Calif.

When Daniel Green backs his horse into the box inside this arena, you can expect magic.

The California cowboy is a two-time winner of the Timed Event Championship. In addition to his Timed Event success, Green owns two titles from the World’s Greatest Roper, Virtually every time he leaves the Lazy E Arena, it is with a fat check.

Last spring, Green scored the fastest round, posting a 54.0 in the fourth go-round, securing $10,000 in the process. In addition, he added another $10,000 by placing fourth in the average.

In all, the 40-year-old all-around hand knows what it means to be among the elite in the sport. He qualified 10 times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and has earned 12 trips to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo – of those, six have come since he quit rodeoing full time in 2004.

Even though he hasn’t played at the NFR in nearly a decade, Green remains one of the top attractions in the sport. He proves it every March inside these walls.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Jess Tierney

Jess Tierney

Jess Tierney

JESS TIERNEY, Hermosa, S.D.

Make no bones about it: Jess Tierney is quite proud of his name and the legacy he carries.

But the oldest son of ProRodeo Hall of Famer Paul Tierney is quite simply making a name for himself in the sport. This past November, he qualified for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping for the second straight season, finishing seventh in the world standings.

This weekend, he joins his dad and little brother, Paul David, in this prestigious field. The patriarch owns four Timed Event championships; a year ago, Jess and Paul David finished among the top eight in the average: Jess Tierney walked away from the Lazy E with $7,500 for placing fifth.

It was just the beginning of what turned out to be a solid 2012. Jess won the steer roping championship in San Antonio and added titles in the all-around, steer roping and team roping at eight other rodeos.

He’s planning to take a big step forward in 2013, and that should begin right here, right now. Look for big things to happen. After all, it’s in his legacy.

postheadericon Timed Event Championship: Kyle Lockett

Kyle Lockett

Kyle Lockett

KYLE LOCKETT, Visalia, Calif.

Kyle Lockett is part of an exclusive fraternity.

He was all alone in the 2005 pledge class for having won this event for the first time. His status became even more prestigious when Lockett earned his second Timed Event Championship title in 2011, joining the ranks of seven cowboys to have earned this coveted title multiple times.

In his career, Lockett has qualified seven times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Inside this arena, he’s won $211,500 in Timed Event money – $100,000 of which came from winning the average twice.

But also that proves Lockett’s shear talent. In his career, he has been named the 1997 PRCA Resistol Team Roping Rookie of the Year. He’s won a countless number of rodeo championships since turning pro, including setting an earnings record at the 2002 PRCA tour finale in Dallas with then-partner Wade Wheatley, with whom Lockett has won several rounds at the NFR.

He continues to be a major player inside this arena every March. There’s no reason for that to change this weekend.

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