Archive for April, 2013

postheadericon Elite rise to the top in steer roping

Rocky Patterson

Rocky Patterson

GUYMON, Okla. – Since 2005, only three men have been crowned PRCA steer roping world champions: Scott Snedecor, Trevor Brazile and Rocky Patterson.

Over that seven years, Snedecor owns two gold buckles (2005-2008), while Brazile (2006, 2007 and 2011) and Patterson (2009, 2010 and 2012) own three each. They’re exceptional at what they do, and that’s why they own gold.

Trevor Brazile

Trevor Brazile

Those men also sit atop the average leaderboard at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo through the first four rounds. Patterson leads with a cumulative time of 50.1 seconds, followed by Brazile’s 52.6 and Snedecor’s 52.8.

Also among the top eight are JoJo LeMond, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in heading, and J.D. Yates, a 21-time NFR qualifier and 11-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier. Yates and Patterson are alumni from the Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo team in nearby Goodwell.

Scott Snedecor

Scott Snedecor

Steer roping in Guymon is a five-round progressive. Each entrant gets to rope in the first four rounds, and the top cowboys in the aggregate qualify for the fifth round, which will take place during the four performances, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 29-May 5
Results
Steer roping:
First round: 1. Lawson Plemons, 11.4 seconds, $1,803; 2. Scott Snedecor, 12.2, $1,568; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.3, $1,332; 4. Shandon Stalls, 12.4, $1,097; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 12.6, $862; 6. (tie) Mike Chase and K.W. Lauer, 12.8, $509 each; 8. Reo Lohse, 13.0, $157. Second round: 1. Bryce Davis, 9.8 seconds, $1,803; 2. Neal Wood, 10.6, $1,568; 3. JoJo LeMond, 11.4, $1,332; 4. Rocky Patterson, $1,097; 5. (tie) Chance Kelton and Rod Hartness, 12.4, $745 each; 7. Howdy McGinn, 12.5, $392; 8. Mark Milner, 12.9, $157. Third round: 1. (tie) Rocky Patterson and Coy Thompson, 11.6 seconds, $1,685 each; 3. Tim Abbott, 11.9, $1,332; 4. Corey Ross, 12.2, $1,097; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tony Reina, 12.4, $745; 7. Darin Suit, 12.6, $293; 8. Brent Lewis, 13.0, $157. Fourth round: 1. Tim Abbott, 10.5 seconds, $1,803; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.8, $1,568; 3. Chet Herren, 10.9, $1,332; 4. Lawson Plemons, 11.5, $1,097; 5. Trevor Brazile, 11.8, $862; 6. Dee Kyler Jr., 11.9, $627; 7. Shandon Stalls, 12.0, $392; 8. Rocky Patterson, 12.1, $157. Aggregate leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 50.1 seconds on four runs; 2. Trevor Brazile, 52.6; 3. Scott Snedecor, 52.8; 4. Jason Evans, 58.9; 5. JoJo LeMond, 61.6; 6. J.D. Yates, 62.7; 7. Riley Christophersen, 64.6; 8. Howdy McGinn, 64.7.

postheadericon Guymon steer roping, third round

Third round: 1. (tie) Rocky Patterson and Coy Thompson, 11.6 seconds, $1,685 each; 3. Tim Abbott, 11.9, $1,332; 4. Corey Ross, 12.2, $1,097; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tony Reina, 12.4, $745; 7. Darin Suit, 12.6, $293; 8. Brent Lewis, 13.0, $157.

postheadericon Rangers make the most of final rodeo

ALVA, Okla. – Ethan McDowell and Ryan Domer knew they had work to do during the final rodeo of the 2012-13 Central Plains Region season if they hoped to earn qualifications to the College National Finals Rodeo.

The labor paid off for both. McDowell won the region’s heading title after roping in a third-place finish at Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo in Guymon, Okla; Domer used points earned by finishing fifth in steer wrestling and seventh in team roping to finish second in the circuit’s all-around race to earn the automatic bid for the college finals, set for June 9-15 in Casper, Wyo.

Ethan McDowell

Ethan McDowell

“We knew it was going to be tough; it’s the last rodeo, so everybody was going to try to go out there and win first,” said McDowell, a senior from Mooreland, Okla., who has roped the spring season with Chase Johnson, a sophomore from Snyder, Texas. “It was a real tough rodeo. We drew two good steers and did what we had to with them to come out on top.”

McDowell and Johnson were two of nine Rangers team ropers who qualified for the final round in Guymon. In fact, the top four teams featured Northwestern cowboys: Hunter Munsell of Arnett, Okla., and Derrick Jantzen of Ames, Okla. won the rodeo with a two-run cumulative time of 10.9 seconds, followed by Bradley Bullock of McAlpin, Fla., and Chase Boekhaus of Rolla, Kan., who finished in 11.1.

McDowell and Johnson finished in 11.7, while heeler Dustin Searcy of Mooreland, Okla., and partner Trey Harmon of Western Oklahoma State College placed fourth in 11.9. Domer, a junior heeler from Topeka, Kan., joined his brother, header Collin Domer, in the final round, finishing seventh.

“That’s what we expected out of our team ropers all year,” coach Stockton Graves said. “They had a hard year and took some lumps, but I was sure proud of our team ropers. It was a very tough team roping. Hopefully they’ll build off that next year.”

The season certainly has been a developing one for Ryan Domer, who began competing in steer wrestling within the last couple of years. Still, by finishing second in the season all-around race, he’ll be allowed to compete in two events at the college finals, steer wrestling and tie-down roping.

“I had to turn it on a little bit and make up some ground to go,” said Domer, who finished seventh in tie-down roping, eighth in steer wrestling and 15th in heeling. “I knew what I had to do, and I knew what it was going to take to make it to the college finals. I just fought to get it done, and it worked out for me.”

Domer will join his older brother in Casper – Collin Domer earned the right to compete by being the student representative; this marks Collin’s second straight automatic qualification. They are joined by McDowell, Johnson and Searcy, the latter of whom finished fourth in the region and only earns the nod so Collin Domer has a partner.

Ryan Domer

Ryan Domer

“It’s pretty good that we have five guys who make the college finals,” said Graves, who noted that the women, by finishing runner-up in the standings, will be able to take a full team of five cowgirls to Casper. “I think both our teams are in a position to do something when we get there.”

This marks McDowell’s first qualification to the college finals, and he’s happy Johnson will be there with him – Johnson finished third among Central Plains heelers.

“He transferred from Snyder (College), so he had to sit out the first semester,” McDowell said of his springtime partner. “I roped last fall with Dakota Koehn, and he helped me get a lot of my points.

“We’ve got some real good team ropers here at Northwestern, and we roped real good out there in Guymon.”

That’s a powerful way to finish a rugged season in which the men’s team finished sixth in the region. Ryan Domer said he’s excited for his next competition, and he’s ready for the challenges he’ll face – even if it means wrestling steers for a chance to win the college championship.

Stockton Graves

Stockton Graves

“It just shows I got lucky this year,” he said. “It really was a lot of fun. Having a coach like Stockton really helps you out a lot. He can see things most people can’t, and he can help you change it.”

The women had three Rangers earn the right to compete – all-around runner-up Micah Samples of Abilene, Kan.; runner-up barrel racer Alexis Allen of Alva; and third-place breakaway roper Jessica Koppitz of Alva. The fourth member of the team will be added later.

“It was good seeing that we were able to get points throughout the season in all the events,” Graves said of barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. “I was happy to see that all-around come out in our girls.”

postheadericon Guymon steer roping, through two rounds

Guymon Pioneer Days LogoSecond round: 1. Bryce Davis, 9.8 seconds, $1,803; 2. Neal Wood, 10.6, $1,568; 3. JoJo LeMond, 11.4, $1,332; 4. Rocky Patterson, $1,097; 5. (tie) Chance Kelton and Rod Hartness, 12.4, $745 each; 7. Howdy McGinn, 12.5, $392; 8. Mark Milner, 12.9, $157. Aggregate leaders: 1. JoJo LeMond, 23.7 seconds on two; 2. Rocky Patterson, 26.4; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 26.6; 4. Jason Evans, 27.2; 5. Scott Snedecor, 27.3; 6. Howdy McGinn, 27.7; 7. Trevor Brazile, 28.4; 8. (tie) Shandon Stalls, Rod Hartness and Trey Sheets, 28.7.

postheadericon Guymon steer roping, first go-round

Guymon Pioneer Days Logo1. Lawson Plemons, 11.4 seconds, $1,803; 2. Scott Snedecor, 12.2, $1,568; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.3, $1,332; 4. Shandon Stalls, 12.4, $1,097; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 12.6, $862; 6. (tie) Mike Chase and K.W. Lauer, 12.8, $509; 8. Reo Lohse, 13.0, $157.

postheadericon Throckmorton brings history to the action

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Every sport needs historians.

Charlie Throckmorton is that for ProRodeo. For folks in north Texas, the added benefit is that Throckmorton also is the announcer for the annual Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.

Charlie Throckmorton has been one of the best announcers in ProRodeo for decades, having called some of the biggest events in the sport. He'll be on hand in Bridgeport, Texas, to announce the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, set for May 10-11.

Charlie Throckmorton has been one of the best announcers in ProRodeo for decades, having called some of the biggest events in the sport. He’ll be on hand in Bridgeport, Texas, to announce the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, set for May 10-11.

It’s a powerful combination that serves rodeo fans quite well.

“Charlie’s the best in the business,” said Loydd Williams, chairman of the committee that produces the annual rodeo. “It takes someone with the heart and passion to be involved in it. Charlie has that and a great voice that resonates with fans.

“He’s one of the best historians in the history of rodeo, and it adds a lot to our rodeo every year.”

Throckmorton has called the action in Bridgeport for all seven years it has been part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. He’s watched it grow each year and seen how cowboys have come to respect the competition in Wise County.

“Bridgeport, Texas, started through the years as a little open rodeo, a little country rodeo,” said Throckmorton, a PRCA card member since 1987 from Grandview, Texas. “They stepped up to the plate and got it sanctioned with the PRCA. Then they stepped it up another notch with high-definition big screens, which really helps the fans experience the rodeo.

“Last year, they went to Pete Carr to bring the livestock and stepped it up another big notch. It shows that over the years, the people here are willing to continue to make it better.”

Throckmorton has seen it up close and personal and continues to be a vital piece of the puzzle. It takes a quality announcer to understand the little nuances and adapt to the constant changes that come with producing an elite rodeo, like the one that happens each May in Bridgeport.

“One of the things that sold me on Charlie was that we had a situation early on where we needed him to fill a lot of time, and he did it without missing a beat,” Williams said. “He just took it and ran with it, and the show just went on even with the delay. That shows me he can handle just about any situation that comes up.”

That’s part of the job description for rodeo announcers. Almost all the competition is unpredictable, so it takes a quick mind – and oftentimes a quick wit – to tackle all the tasks.

“There are so many good people there, and that rodeo is not through growing either,” Throckmorton said. “You went from crawling to walking, and now you’re going to run. There’s so much history in Bridgeport, then you have the Butterfield Stage Days and the Butterfield Stage Coach. The stage coach lines ran 200 feet from that arena. You can visualize all that history. You have these high-def. video boards and this great production, but this rodeo still has the cowboy basics of the 1800s, and you can visualize the original Butterfield Stage running west.

“This rodeo is the real McCoy.”

He knows that as well as anyone. He’s worked some of the biggest events in the sport, from the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. He was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2007, and he’s recognized as one of the greatest voices in the game.

“I’m into rodeo because I love the sport. I tried to compete, but I couldn’t beat anybody,” he said. “I’ve grown up with it. I had an arena in my back yard, and I had world champions that schooled me. I still couldn’t do it. I know what it feels like in the arena and the crow’s nest.

“I admire what they do and what they go through. To travel down that road and be fresh and ready to compete takes something special. You can’t help but admire that.”

There are plenty who admire Throckmorton, too. He realizes his place at a rodeo is to be there for the fans and to enable the production to be better; he’s the in-arena salesman who shares his passions with those who watch the excitement.

“I’m just watching what’s happening, which is what everybody else is doing,” Throckmorton said. “I’m just the moderator. The athletes are the stars, and I want to sell the stars. Mary Walker is a great champion, and she is easy for me to sell. That’s what I’m there to do.”

postheadericon Carr packs a punch for rodeo production

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – David Petty has seen a few rodeos in his lifetime.

Petty is chairman of the ProRodeo in Claremore, Okla., runs a rodeo scoreboard business with his wife and serves on the executive council of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He grew up around the sport, and it continues to be a big part of his life.

He thought he’d seen it all, but that changed last May when he was working in Bridgeport. Petty watched the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo blossom, and he knew a key factor was the rodeo’s first-year with stock contractor Pete Carr, who owns Dallas-based firms Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo.

Pete Carr and his crew work hard to make each rodeo performance a grand production. Carr is the stock contractor at the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, which takes place May 10-11 in Bridgeport, Texas.

Pete Carr and his crew work hard to make each rodeo performance a grand production. Carr is the stock contractor at the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, which takes place May 10-11 in Bridgeport, Texas.

“It was the professionalism, the production,” Petty said. “It was a well-oiled machine. I tip my hat to the Bridgeport committee. They recognized the need for making a change and stepped up to do it.”

Carr and his crew will return to town to produce the 2013 rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena. Then two weeks later, they’ll travel to northeast Oklahoma to produce Petty’s Will Rogers Stampede.

“We saw the same kind of need Bridgeport had, and we reached out to Pete to help us with that,” Petty said. “One of the things small rodeo committees are struggling with is we have to have a product to keep people coming back, and Carr Pro Rodeo brings that product that entices people to want to see that show.

“Once people do see it, the chances of them becoming a regular at the rodeo are higher.”

Production is the key to Carr events.

“We try to have the theatrical portion of our show not interfere with the competition side,” said John Gwatney, a production supervisor for the Carr firm. “We try to run a good, fast, clean performance without interfering with the competition.

“That’s where we’re different from other rodeo companies. If we’re not ready, the cowboy has to wait. When it comes time for that cowboy to compete, we’ve done everything we can to make that animal ready for that cowboy, so all he has to do is nod his head.”

It also helps to have some of the top bucking beasts in the sport. Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo had 31 animals at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. In all, the two companies have had three animals named Bareback Horse of the Year.

“Pete Carr purchased Classic Pro Rodeo earlier this year, and that makes him the biggest and best stock contractor in rodeo right now,” said Loydd Williams, chairman of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual rodeo. “When you put those two companies together, it’s going to be tough to beat in terms of bucking stock and the overall production of rodeo.

“This is not your 1960s stock contractor. This is a great production that fans will love from start to finish. Pete Carr and his crew have made our rodeo better.”

That was the key ingredient behind the decision for the Claremore committee to hire Carr.

“People think Pete is known for having great bucking horses, but there’s a lot more to it,” Petty said. “With his crew, the timed-event end went smoother; everything went smoother. It was just a better product.”

That has Williams and others in Bridgeport excited about fans will experience this year during the two-day rodeo.

“The thing with Pete and his crew is that they put in all the work and handle everything so the production is seamless,” Williams said. “We got so much feedback after having Pete at our rodeo last year that we knew we’d made the best decision for our rodeo.”

postheadericon Idol contest a hot topic for festival

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Reality TV has made its way into the lives of everyday Americana.

In Wise County, the reality arrives the second weekend in May during Bridgeport’s Butterfield Stage Days. From the festival downtown to the rodeo at the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena, the annual celebration features family fun and world-class competition.

That includes the community’s own spinoff of one of reality TV’s most popular shows.

“This will be our ninth year for the Bridgeport Idol contest,” said Susan Miller, one of the community volunteers who helps organize Butterfield Stage Days. “The contest has grown so much, and we give away over $1,000 in cash and prizes.”

That’s big time for a fun part of the day-long festivities, which takes place from 10 a.m.-5

p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Harwood Park in Bridgeport. The festival features

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES: Stagecoach rides, petting zoo, kiddie train, face painting, stick horse rodeo, bounce houses a carnival and more.

FAMILY FUN: The inaugural rib cook-off sponsored by Mas Meat & Produce Market, a pancake eating conference, the inaugural battle of the boot pancake eating contest, food and craft booths, artisan market, the rodeo pink 5K run, gunfighters, bingo, live entertainment and more.

BARBECUE AND RIB TASTE TEST: Brisket sandwich dinner catered by Five Boys Ranch; a $10 wrist band includes a brisket sandwich dinner and the rib cook-off taste test.

“There’s a lot happening in Bridgeport that weekend, and we’re very excited about it all,” Miller said.

She should be. Butterfield Stage Days may be the perfect way for the community to gather together to celebrate the area’s history, but the word is getting around. More and more people are making Bridgeport a destination for family entertainment.

“Bridgeport Idol will take place right after the stick horse rodeo at the festival grounds,” Miller said. “Singers from all ages can compete, but it is limited to the top 10 that apply.”

Idol will begin at 12:30 p.m. Contestants are required to have two songs ready, but those songs can be karaoke style or instrumental.

“It is a lot of fun, and it’s been a hit with everybody at the festival for quite a while,” Miller said. “I’m looking forward to it again this year.”

postheadericon Butterfield Stage Days is a community affair

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Home has a special connotation to anyone who has felt that bond.

It’s not just a structure. It’s comfort, friendships and family. It’s the local flair.

Nobody realizes that more than Loydd Williams, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, a major piece of the community’s Butterfield Stage Days weekend. He wants as many people as possible to see why he loves his hometown and why the annual celebration is so important to him.

“What we strive to do is bring people to the community with the rodeo and festivals that are downtown,” said Williams, who has been involved in Butterfield Stage Days for several years. “We want to draw people to town, not just rodeo contestants. We want everyone in Wise County to come to town and see just why we love it here.”

Williams shares his passion for Bridgeport just about anywhere he goes. His work allows him the opportunity to travel, and he gladly tells anyone who will listen about home, the festival and the rodeo.

“We have a lot of good things going on here,” he said. “As far as the rodeo, we have a lot of local talent. Everybody knows who Trevor Brazile is and who Tuf and the Coopers are, but we have a lot of other great cowboys and cowgirls in our area. In my book, they’re all just as good as anybody out there.”

The rodeo – set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11 at Bridgeport Riding Club Arena – brings in contestants and fans from 30 states and two countries. Add the festival to the mix, and there are grand opportunities for visitors when they arrive the second weekend in May.

“From a commercial standpoint, Butterfield Stage Days brings many people to the community who, in turn, spend their money on fuel, hotels, shopping, the rodeo, etc.,” said Susan Miller, one of the celebration organizers. “The tax dollars raised from this event are awesome for the chamber and the city of Bridgeport.”

Those are just a few of the benefits of Butterfield Stage Days. But the community actually reaps further rewards.

“This one weekend event benefits several organizations,” Miller said. “The festival raises money for the chamber, the stick horse race raises money for Main Street, the rodeo raises money for the riding club and the chamber, the concession stand at the rodeo raises thousands for the Bridgeport Lions Club, which, in turn, buys glasses and eye exams for people of Bridgeport – women and children from the Women’s Shelter.

“The local Cross Timbers Aggie Club parks cars at the rodeo that raises money for its scholarships. They then give a scholarship in that amount to a deserving graduating senior.”

In essence, Butterfield Stage Days is more than an event, more than a celebration. It’s an important part of the fabric that is woven all across Wise County and north Texas.

postheadericon 60 NFR animals heading to Guymon

GUYMON, Okla. – The annual Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo has long been a showcase of rodeo’s brightest stars.

College champion Tanner Aus rides Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket during the 2013 Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo. Dirty Jacket has bucked at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for several years and has led cowboys to the Guymon championship in four of the last five years. The bay gelding is just one of 60 NFR animals that will buck in Guymon this year. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

College champion Tanner Aus rides Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket during the 2013 Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo. Dirty Jacket has bucked at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for several years and has led cowboys to the Guymon championship in four of the last five years. The bay gelding is just one of 60 NFR animals that will buck in Guymon this year. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Of course, Texas County is home to some of the greatest world champions in ProRodeo, where gold buckle-holders like Billy Etbauer, Robert Etbauer, Tom Reeves, Taos Muncy, Rocky Patterson and Jhett Johnson have all lived and/or were trained in the art of cowboying for a living. In all, those men own 14 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championships.

But the cowboys and cowgirls aren’t the only elite-caliber athletes making the trek to the Oklahoma Panhandle. In addition to the hundreds of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers, Pioneer Days Rodeo annually hosts some of the greatest animal athletes in the business. This year, those numbers have been upped a notch.

“We will have right at 60 NFR animals performing during the four performances in Guymon next weekend,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo, the primary stock contractor at Pioneer Days Rodeo. “Over 50 of those are horses; the bulls have a shorter life span as far as bucking, but we are bringing some of the best young bulls in the country that are just starting to be recognized nationally.”

In addition to Carr Pro Rodeo, other firms will be Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo (which Carr purchased recently), Powder River Rodeo Co. and Korkow Rodeos. All are established and elite contracting companies that provide bucking horses and bulls at rodeos all across the country.

“We’ve been recognized for years for having some of the best livestock of any rodeo in the country, and this is a great indication that we’re continuing to strive for more every year,” said Ken Stonecipher, the rodeo’s production manager. “This just adds to the great rodeo our fans know they can experience in Guymon.”

Having great bucking stock is another key reason why rodeo’s greatest champions are excited to return to the Oklahoma Panhandle every spring.

“Guymon’s one of the rodeos that everyone looks forward to going because there are so many good horses,” said Muncy, a two-time world champion who won the collegiate saddle bronc riding title as a sophomore at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, which rests just 10 miles southwest of Guymon. “You know it’s going to be a spurring contest instead of a drawing contest.

“You know that no matter what performance you’re in, you have a chance to win the rodeo.”