After two marvelous weeks in Las Vegas for ProRodeo’s grand finale, I returned home a week ago.
Home is where my family is, which is why it’s such a big deal to me to be here. I’m gone from my girls enough throughout the year, so I cherish the time spent with them – and, yes, that means cherishing the little things that come up in any given moment when encountering a pre-teen and a pre-K.
But just because I’m “hanging” with the girls doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I spent two days finishing the story on Sherry Cervi’s fourth world title for Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the official publication of the WPRA. I’ve also completed some of the other work I had to conclude from my contracts during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
I was blessed to have worked with 15 NFR contestants and the livestock firms of Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo. It made for some very hectic moments in the Nevada desert, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m thankful for the opportunities provided me by Pete Carr, Jared Smith, Casey Colletti, Caleb Bennett, Jule Hazen, Bray Armes, Hunter Cure, Jim Ross Cooper, Cole Elshere, Chet Johnson, Cort Scheer, Tyler Corrington, Tyson Durfey, Ryan Jarrett, Jean Winters and Tyler Willis.
For some, the 10 rounds inside the Thomas & Mack Center turned out to be the longest week and a half of their competitive lives. They were disappointed and discouraged, but they had earned the right to be there. They should take pride in being one of the top 119 contestants in ProRodeo for the 2013 season.
Others, though, were ecstatic. For the second time in three years, I worked with an eventual world champion in Cure, who had a sensational NFR to clinch the steer wrestling gold buckle – another friend, heeler Jhett Johnson, earned the title in his discipline two seasons ago. Armes won the bulldogging average championship, which is pretty magical, too.
Scheer was one of two cowboys to have ridden all 10 broncs, and he finished second in the average race. Colletti scored three round victories and placed in another round; not a bad finish for a cowboy who limped through most of the NFR with a torn and sprained MCL in his right knee and who suffered four no-scores. Bennett placed in six rounds and was the last cowboy ever to ride Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Wise guy inside the Thomas & Mack.
As I prepare to celebrate Christmas with my family, I reflect on an amazing 2013. I hope you have enjoyed all that we have produced for you over the last 12 months, and I hope you look as forward as I do to what’s before us in 2014.
Merry Christmas to you. May you have a safe and incredible holiday and that God’s blessings for you and your family are bountiful.