Archive for March, 2014

postheadericon Tough love pays off for Price, Rangers

ALVA, Okla. – There are times in each person’s life when a little tough love is needed to help him or her along the right path.

Trisha Price got a taste of it during practice last week, and it led her to the breakaway roping winner’s circle this past weekend at the Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College rodeo. It was the first time in her two-and-a-half years of Central Plains Region rodeo that the Faith, S.D., cowgirl earned a breakaway title.

Trisha Price

Trisha Price

“I was really struggling, and I cried three days in practice last week,” said Price, who received a little motivation from former Ranger, Perry Dietz. “Perry made me get off the horse and run. I was throwing a fit, so I had to run down the arena and back and help bring the calves back.

“It definitely gave me the mental toughness I needed.”

Dietz also helped in other ways. Price dismounted her own horse and borrowed Dietz’s palomino mare, Trudy. It paid off in southeastern Kansas, where Price scored a 2.8-second run in the first round to finish in a tie for fifth place; she followed that up with a 3.1-second run to win the short round and the two-run aggregate.

“That was a good little boost of confidence,” she said.

Yes, it was. Her poise came from many outlets, including Trudy.

“Switching horses was another variable,” Price said. “She’s a nice little mare. It was hard to get on a different horse, because they’re two completely different horses, but I was blessed that he was willing to let me ride her.”

It paid off quite well. Price moved from out of the running to ninth in the breakaway roping standings in the region with 145. She trails the leader by 143.3 points. She could, in one fell swoop, move up to the top spot in the Central Plains with another strong weekend – the next opportunity will be at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University rodeo, set for April 3-4 in Durant, Okla.

“With the amount of points that separate ninth to first, a lot can happen,” Price said.

Price led the way for a strong showing by the Northwestern women, which finished third in Fort Scott with 165 points. Lauren Barnes of Buckeye, Ariz., finished second in breakaway and eighth in goat tying to place second in the all-around standings, while Kelsey Pontius of Watsontown, Pa., finished sixth in breakaway.

In the men’s race, Stephen Culling of Fort St. John, British Columbia, won the steer wrestling title with a two-run cumulative time of 11.0 seconds. The men finished with 215 points, good enough for fifth place in the team race. They also held on to fourth place in the region standings. Other short-round qualifiers were tie-down roper Jess Woodward (second) of Dupree, S.D.; bulldogger Jimmy Hoke (seventh) of Connellsville, Pa.; and team ropers Trey Young of Dupree and Chase Lako of Hunter, N.D., who finished fourth roping together.

“The matches we’ve been having in practice really help,” Price said. “For us to compete against each other – and to beat each other and still be able to get along and support each other – helps us every time we get to a rodeo.”

That’s a good thing.

postheadericon Isley’s comedy coming to RNCFR

GUTHRIE, Okla. – Keith Isley is one of the most decorated clowns in rodeo.

Now Isley will bring his brand of funny to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12.

RNCFR_2014wCities-NEWEST-smaller“I thoroughly enjoy watching people have a good time and enjoy what I do or what I say,” said Isley, 55, now in his 21st year in ProRodeo. “Just seeing people enjoy it and have a good time. Sometimes later in the year, you’ll get home and have some letters for you and have some pictures of you that kids have drawn.

“It’s the little things that really make me feel like I’m accomplishing something.”

He has accomplished much. He’s been named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Clown of the Year six times, the Coors Man in the Can five times, the PRCA Comedy Act of the Year six times and PRCA Specialty Act of the Year three times. For three straight years, from 2009-11, he won the funnyman’s trifecta: Clown of the Year, Coors Man in the Can and Comedy Act of the Year.

In addition to being one of the best funny men in the business, he also has some of the top acts in rodeo. He’ll bring it all with him when he arrives at the Lazy E.

“I enjoy what I do, and it’s a lot of fun when you’ve got a good crowd and a good announcer,” Isley said. “When you see people with smiles on their faces, and then people come up to you and appreciate what you do, that makes what we do a lot more worthwhile.”

Isley sees a lot of smiles and has for much of his professional life. Though he was considered a class clown, being a comedian didn’t come easily.

“Oh, it was natural if I knew you, but if I didn’t know you, it was really hard,” he said. “When I started the comedy, that was really hard for me to get used to because I didn’t know those people watching me.”

He has since overcome his stage fright to become one of the most sought-after entertainers in the game. There’s good reason for it, too. Part of a good clown’s job is to fill any down time that could some during the event. If there’s a pause in the action, Isley knows it’s his turn to step up to the plate.

“I like to play on the crowd,” he said. “I like to have fun with people that like to have fun.”

It works, but Isley has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. He loves working with animals and allowing them to steal the show. When it’s all put together, it’s an award-winning showcase that reaches so many people.

“Back in 1999, I worked a rodeo in Belle Foursche (S.D.); during the trick riding act, I was talking to the announcer and was just looking around,” he said. “That’s when I saw the contestants standing all around the arena just watching.”

When Isley left town, he reflected on that image and still considers it one of his greatest honors. Later that year, he earned was named the Specialty Act of the Year for the first time.

“Since then, I’ve won it a few times,” Isley said. “I’ve undoubtedly been the most blessed man who’s ever bought a PRCA membership.”

The fans are pretty blessed, too.

postheadericon Ingenuity keeps McCoys in race

At the Detour Decision Point, Cowboy brothers Jet , left, and Cord must build a bamboo raft then choose between "River Delivery" and "Run Through the Jungle" on the the All-Star edition "The Amazing Race." (PHOTO BY ROBERT VOETS/CBS)

At the Detour Decision Point, Cowboy brothers Jet , left, and Cord must build a bamboo raft then choose between “River Delivery” and “Run Through the Jungle” on the the All-Star edition “The Amazing Race.” (PHOTO BY ROBERT VOETS/CBS)

Ranch work is equal parts animal care, land management and jack-of-all-trades Western engineering.

That experience came in handy for the McCoy brothers during the third episode of Season 24 of “The Amazing Race,” the CBS-TV reality series. The brothers put their ingenuity to work during the Sunday, March 9, telecast that featured the teams racing around Subah, Malaysia Borneo.

Jet and Cord McCoy began the show in sixth place as the teams began from Guangzhou, China, leaving six minutes behind second-leg winners Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly. That was important, since only the first six teams to the airport were to be boarded on the first flight, which provided a three-hour head start to two-thirds of the nine teams remaining in the race.

Of course, The Cowboys hold the valuable Express Pass, their prize for winning the opening leg that enables them to skip a challenge along the race around the world for $1 million.

“We’re glad we’re the only ones to have an Express Pass,” Jet said.

The McCoys were awarded two Express Passes, but one was to be given to another team. They passed it along to The Country Singers, Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth, who used it in Leg 2.

Though Villegas and Reilly held the lead to begin the race, they weren’t among the first six teams to arrive at the Guangzhou airport and were forced to wait. That put them behind the eight-ball early, and the rest of the pack took advantage.

“Jet and I have been in that same position,” Cord said. You can be the “first ones to leave the mat, and the next thing you know, you’re standing there, and you’re last. That’s the kind of deal that you’ve got to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and catch back off.”

The Cowboys have done that during their three chances on “The Amazing Race.” On Sunday night’s episode, they maneuvered their way to the Kionsom Waterfall, where Cord, as the assigned teammate, had to find a gnome, then work his way through the rainforest and down the waterfall to obtain the next clue.

“Those cotton jeans are going to weigh 50 pounds by the time he gets done with this,” Jet said. “He’s going to be soaking wet.”

Cord was. In fact, he attracted a little more water than the other teams because he was forced to do the task twice; the clues were along the path down the waterfall.

“The clues were on my left, and I was looking over my right,” Cord said. “I skidded all the way down the rocks, and the next think I know is I’m in a pool of water and realize I don’t have the clue.”

The delay could’ve been troublesome for some, but the McCoys took it in stride.

“Cord having to redo this and having to go all the way back to the top … it cost us some time, but that’s alright,” Jet said. “We’ll make up some time somewhere.”

They did. In fact, it happened on the next challenge, where teams were to build a bamboo raft at the Kampung Tempinahaton to tackle one of two assignments on the Detour. The brothers from the southeastern Oklahoma community of Tupelo were fourth at the river, but they scooted past the mother-son tandem of Margie O’Donnell and Luke Adams by utilizing jack-of-all-trades engineering to create the raft.

“Jet and I are kind of handymen around the ranch,” Cord said.

The other teams have noticed.

“Once the cowboys get on task, they are so fast,” O’Donnell said. “They blew us out of the water.”

Third in the water, the cowboys utilized the help of The Afghanamals, Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran, to complete the Detour. Several of the teams, like The Afghanamals and The Cowboys, opted to deliver goods, while others took part in a faux hunting task. For The McCoys, they guided their raft to a make-shift port to deliver food to a village chief, and Temory and Zadran helped the brothers to their destination, though The Afghanamals were ahead of the brothers at that point.

The father-son tandem of Dave and Connor O’Leary were the first to arrive at all locations along the third leg of the race, but they passed their exit point off the river. They ended up hiking back to the village chief while carrying the groceries. They hiked back and beat the other teams to the end of the Detour.

That changed shortly after the teams returned to the river with their rafts. Temory and Zadran had trouble in the river, and their raft came apart in rough rapids. The McCoys, though, passed The Afghanamals on the water.

That made the difference in the outcome of the second leg. The O’Learys won the leg, while the McCoys placed second. They were followed by Temory and Zadran. O’Donnell and Adams placed fourth.

YouTube hosts Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena were the last to finish and were eliminated.

postheadericon Changing of the guard

Paul David Tierney becomes 12th Timed Event champ

Paul David Tierney closes out his 2014 Timed Event Championship of the World title with a solid run in steer roping during the fifth round on Sunday afternoon at the Lazy E Arena. Tierney, a second-generation Timed Event champion, earned $60,000. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Paul David Tierney closes out his 2014 Timed Event Championship of the World title with a solid run in steer roping during the fifth round on Sunday afternoon at the Lazy E Arena. Tierney, a second-generation Timed Event champion, earned $60,000. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

GUTHRIE, Okla. – There’s a changing of the guard at the Timed Event Championship of the World.

Paul David Tierney

Paul David Tierney

Paul David Tierney, a 24-year-old cowboy from Oral, S.D., roped, tied and wrestled 25 animals in 332.3 seconds to win his first gold buckle, the fifth Timed Event title for his family. His father, Paul, earned four championships over nearly three decades of competition.

“My mom says I used to play around back there, so I guess I was pretty young the first time I came here,” said Tierney, who earned $60,000 over three days of competition – $50,000 for winning the average and another $10,000 for having the fastest go-round run, a 49.0. “I had a ton of fun this weekend.”

Clay Smith

Clay Smith

The younger Tierney is still playing inside the Lazy E Arena, but he’s doing it in the arena instead of behind the scenes. It came down the final steer of the competition to decide the championship of the “Ironman of ProRodeo.” Tierney, who had led since the third round, relinquished his advantage in the 24th run of this rugged test when he posted an 18.9-second steer wrestling run, just moments after his nearest competitor, 22-year-old Clay Smith, had scored a 5.7.

Smith took a 1.8-second lead into steer roping. When Tierney finished in 20.2 seconds, the championship was well within reach for the youngest competitor in this year’s field. Smith, though, broke the barrier on a 13.6-second run; that 10-second penalty pushed his time to 23.6 and pushed him to second place, finishing in a cumulative time of 333.9 seconds.

Russell Cardoza

Russell Cardoza

“I love the Timed Event,” said Smith of Broken Bow, Okla. “I tried not to get in a hurry on anything, then I break the barrier. I should’ve been a little smarter than that.”

It overshadowed an amazing performance by the top young guns in the competition. With past champions K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyo., and Daniel Green of Oakdale, Calif., among the top five, the top three cowboys all were relative newcomers to this unique contest: third-place finisher Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne, Ore., is just 27 years old.

“You just have to keep your head,” Tierney said. “Even when it gets a little tight, just go make your run and see what happens.”

That’s the key to the Timed Event. The winner each year typically is the contestant who made the fewest mistakes through the five rounds of competition. By finishing second, Smith pocketed $25,000. Cardoza added $24,000 – $15,000 for his third-place finish, $5,000 and $4,000 for finishing third and fourth in the fastest rounds.

Not only are Tierney, Smith and Cardoza the future of the competition, they bring an educated approach to their games.

“This might get some more young guys working on their stuff,” Tierney said of the strong run by the younger contestants. “I think it’s great for it.”

He becomes just the 12th man in the 30-year history of the Timed Event Championship to own the prestigious gold buckle. His name will be etched alongside his father and the other 10 winners in rodeo lore.

1. Paul David Tierney, 332.3 seconds, $50,000; 2. Clay Smith, 333.9, $25,000; 3. Russell Cardoza, 344.2, $15,000; 4. K.C. Jones, 350.9, $10,000; 5. Daniel Green, 390.9, $7,500; 6. Clayton Hass, 404.7, $5,000; 7, Dustin Bird, 408.8, $4,500; 8. Landon McClaugherty, 425.4, $3,000.

FASTEST ROUND LEADERS: 1. Paul David Tierney, 49.0, $10,000; 2. Erich Rogers, 52.5. $6,000; 3. Russell Cardoza, 54.6, $5,000; 4. Russell Cardoza, 55.9, $4,000; 5. K.C. Jones, 56.7, $3,000; 6. Trell Etbauer, 56.8, $2,000.

RECORD RUN: Spencer Mitchell, 4.3 seconds in heading, $3,000.

TOTAL PAYOUT: 1. Paul David Tierney, $60,000; 2. Clay Smith, $25,000; 3. Russell Cardoza, $24,000; 4. K.C. Jones, $13,000; 5. Daniel Green, $7,500; 6. Erich Rogers, $6,000; 7. Clayton Hass, $5,000; 8. Dustin Bird, $4,500; 9. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and Spencer Mitchell, $3,000; 11. Trell Etbauer, $2,000.


postheadericon Tierney continues to lead Timed Event

Paul David Tierney dismounts his horse during tie-down roping Saturday night during the fourth round of the Timed Event Championship of the World. He leads heading into the final round of the championship Sunday. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Paul David Tierney dismounts his horse during tie-down roping Saturday night during the fourth round of the Timed Event Championship of the World. He leads heading into the final round of the championship Sunday. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

GUTHRIE, Okla. – Paul Tierney has been in the lead heading into the final round of the Timed Event Championship of the World.

Paul David Tierney hasn’t. He’s 24 years old competing in the “Ironman of ProRodeo” for just the third time. But he has a fine pedigree; his father is ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee Paul, a five-time winner of this prestigious event. Now the second generation is five runs away from clinching his first gold buckle.

“I’m worried about me right now,” said the younger Tierney, who holds an 18.3-second lead over the No. 2 cowboy, 22-year-old Clay Smith of Broken Bow, Okla. “The fourth round wasn’t what we wanted.”

In heeling, Tierney posted a 23.8-second run, which slowed him a tad. But he still finished with a 79.1-second round, the sixth-fastest on Saturday night. So what does that mean for the final round Sunday afternoon inside the Lazy E Arena?

“I’m going to make five practice runs,” said Tierney of Oral, S.D.

After his heeling mishap, Tierney held just a four-tenths of a second lead over then-No. 2, K.C. Jones of Burlington, Colo. Tierney then made solid runs in the final two events, steer wrestling in steer roping. Meanwhile, Jones struggled in steer roping and fell to fourth place in the average. Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne, Ore., is third.

Erich Rogers of Round Rock, Ariz., posted the fastest round on Saturday night, roping and wrestling five head in 52.5 seconds. He owns the second fastest round, which would be worth $6,000 in the fastest-round of the competition.

“I’ve learned a lot from last year,” Tierney said. “I worked on my tripping and my bulldogging, it’s helped.”


AVERAGE LEADERS: 1. Paul David Tierney, 257.9 seconds; 2. Clay Smith, 276.2; 3. Russell Cardoza, 277.2; 4. K.C. Jones, 285.4; 5. Daniel Green, 322.0; 6. Clayton Hass, 339.4; 7. Dustin Bird, 340.7; 8. Landon McClaugherty, 357.7.

ROUND 3: 1. Paul David Tierney, 49.0 seconds; 2. Russell Cardoza, 55.9; 3. Dustin Bird, 64.3; 4. Jess Tierney, 64.5; 5. Mike Outhier, 68.2; 6. K.C. Jones, 70.

ROUND 4: 1. Erich Rogers, 52.5 seconds; 2. Clay Smith, 56.9; 3. Russell Cardoza, 62.8; 4. Mike Outhier, 65.4; 5. Paul David Tierney, 70.0; 6. Daniel Green, 79.1.

FASTEST ROUND LEADERS: 1. Paul David Tierney, 49.0; 2. Erich Rogers, 52.5; 3. Russell Cardoza, 54.6 seconds; 4. Russell Cardoza, 55.9; 5. K.C. Jones, 56.7; 6. Trell Etbauer, 56.8.

postheadericon Tierney takes control with fast round

GUTHRIE, Okla. – The third round of the Timed Event Championship of the World proved to be a game-changer.

Pre-round leader Landon McClaugherty dropped out of contention moments after the round began Saturday afternoon at the Lazy E Arena. Past champions K.C. Jones, Kyle Lockett and Daniel Green swarmed the top of the leaderboard like buzzards, along with last year’s runner-up, Paul David Tierney, the son of four-time Timed Event champion Paul Tierney.

Paul David Tierney

Paul David Tierney

When Lockett and Green suffered 60-second penalties during the steer wrestling portion of the round, they fell out of the top five, and the younger Tierney saw his opportunity explode. The South Dakota cowboy posted a 49.0-second round, highlighted by a 4.9-second steer wrestling run, to score the fastest round of this year’s competition so far. It also catapulted Tierney into the lead in the average with a 15-run cumulative time of 187.9 seconds.

“I’m feeling good right now,” said Tierney, who owns an 11.8-second lead over Jones, the five-time champion from Burlington, Wyo. “I’ve made a couple mistakes that I shouldn’t have made, but I’m starting to get it smoothed out and calmed down again.”

It takes a calm demeanor during this event, dubbed the “Ironman of ProRodeo” because of all the challenges that come from competing in all five timed-event disciplines. Not only did he have a world champion to teach him the ropes, but Tierney also learned a few things from his strong finish a year ago.

“It taught me that I needed to get a time on every one and, at the end, it’ll play out for you and let you win something,” he said. “You want to be consistent and don’t be yourself. You just need to go out there and make the run you need to make.”

Now he holds the lead in the most unique event in rodeo, and he’s got two more rounds and 10 more runs to make to secure his place in Timed Event Championship history.

1. Paul David Tierney, 187.9 seconds; 2. K.C. Jones, 199.7; 3. Russell Cardoza, 214.4; 4. Clay Smith, 219.3; 5. Dustin Bird, 239.5; 6. Daniel Green, 242.9; 7. Clayton Hass, 247.9; 8. Jess Tierney, 248.3.

ROUND 3: 1. Paul David Tierney, 49.0 seconds; 2. Russell Cardoza, 55.9; 3. Dustin Bird, 64.3; 4. Jess Tierney, 64.5; 5. Mike Outhier, 68.2; 6. K.C. Jones, 70.

FASTEST ROUND LEADERS: 1. Paul David Tierney, 49.0; 2. Russell Cardoza, 54.6 seconds; 3. Russell Cardoza, 55.9; 4. K.C. Jones, 56.7; 5. Trell Etbauer, 56.8; 6. (tie) Kyle Lockett and Landon McClaugherty, 57.2.

postheadericon McClaugherty bolts into TEC lead

Landon McClaugherty ropes his calf on Friday night during the second round of the Timed Event Championship of the World at the Lazy E Arena. He is the leader heading into the second day of competition. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Landon McClaugherty ropes his calf on Friday night during the second round of the Timed Event Championship of the World at the Lazy E Arena. He is the leader heading into the second day of competition. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

GUTHRIE, Okla. – A good cowboy is one who learns from experiences.

Landon McClaugherty is a good cowboy, and he proved it Friday night during the second go-round of the Timed Event Championship of the World. The Tilden, Texas, man raced through five runs in 57.2 seconds and pushed his two-round cumulative time to 122.6 seconds to lead the race in this year’s “Ironman of ProRodeo” event with three rounds remaining.

Landon McClaugherty

Landon McClaugherty

“I wish I wouldn’t have missed my trip on the last one,” McClaugherty said of his steer roping run, in which he didn’t quite get the rope in position initially and had to adjust quickly. He did and still posted a 25.5-second time in the event. “Other than that, it’s been going good.”

It was a busy day for all 20 of the top timed-event cowboys in rodeo to kick-start the championship. McClaugherty’s time is just seven seconds faster than K.C. Jones, a five-time champion from Burlington, Wyo., who held the lead after Friday afternoon’s opening go-round. McClaugherty was fourth heading into the evening performance.

That’s when he showed how his Timed Event training has come into play. Past champions always say that the man who makes the fewest mistakes will win the title. That means being steady and solid is the key. Even with his final-run bobble, the Texan was pretty solid.

“It’s like a practice-pen deal here; you let them out and work your horse, and you do your thing,” said McClaugherty, now in his fourth time in the most unique and rugged event in rodeo. “You’re only going to be as fast as the cow’s going to let you.”

He needs to keep that focus, especially with Jones and three-time champion Daniel Green on his tail – Green, of Oakdale, Calif., is third at 130.6. Also among the leaders is two-time winner Kyle Lockett of Visalia, Calif., who led the race until suffering a 60-second time in steer wrestling – at the Timed Event, a 60 is the equivalent of a no-time.

The race is on with two days of competition remaining.

1. Landon McClaugherty, 122.6 on 10 head; 2. K.C. Jones, 129.7; 3. Daniel Green, 130.6; 4. Paul David Tierney, 138.9; 5. Clay Smith, 146.0; 6. Cody Doescher, 155.6; 7. Russell Cardoza, 158.5; 8. Kyle Lockett, 167.7.

ROUND 1: 1. K.C. Jones, 56.7 seconds; 2. Kyle Lockett, 57.2; 3. Daniel Green, 61.1; 4. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and JoJo LeMond, 65.4; 6. Dustin Bird, 66.4.

ROUND 2: 1. Russell Cardoza, 54.5 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 56.8; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 57.2; 4. Paul David Tierney, 61.3; 5. Clayton Hass, 61.9; 6. Josh Peek, 64.8.

FASTEST ROUND LEADERS: 1. Russell Cardoza, 54.6 seconds; 2. K.C. Hones, 56.7; 3. Trell Etbauer, 56.8; 4. (tie) Kyle Lockett and Landon McClaugherty, 57.2; 6. Daniel Green, 61.6.

postheadericon Jones takes early lead in Timed Event

K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyo., makes a heeling run during the 2014 Timed Event Championship at the Lazy E Arena. Jones posted a 56.7-second round to take the early lead. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyo., makes a heeling run during the 2014 Timed Event Championship at the Lazy E Arena. Jones posted a 56.7-second round to take the early lead. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

GUTHRIE, Okla. – K.C. Jones has spent half his life coming to the Lazy E Arena every March to compete in the Timed Event Championship of the World.

Jones, 46, is in this exclusive field for the 23rd time in the event’s 30-year history. He’s one of two men who have earned the coveted championship five times. On Friday afternoon, he scrambled through the opening round of five runs in 56.7 seconds to take the early lead.

K.C. Jones

K.C. Jones

“That’s just the first five, and there’s 20 more,” said Jones of Burlington, Wyo. “It’s going to be real important and keep your horses working good here.”

Jones is one of four former champions competing at the Lazy E this weekend; only 2010 winner Josh Peek is not among the top three. Jones is trailed by two-time titlist Kyle Lockett, who roped, tied and wrestled five head in 57.2 seconds, and three-time and reigning champ Daniel Green, who posted a 61.1-second round.

“The bulldogging steers are running a little more; the calves are stronger than they were last year,” Jones said. “The tripping steers are not running quite as hard, but they’re not taking the tie as good as they have in past years. It’s going to be important to draw good.”

Jones did. In fact, he was steady throughout each of the five runs – after 23 years and five gold buckles, he understands the name of the game is staying away from mistakes.

But this is the most grueling test in rodeo, and sometimes these top-level cowboys let their competitiveness get in the way. That was the case with Timed Event rookie Cody Doescher of Oklahoma City, who was solid through the first four runs, posting a 40.3-second cumulative time. His final run of the round in steer roping became a little menacing; he had to trip his steer twice before he could secure the tie.

“I feel like I did pretty good,” said Doescher, a 23-year-old heeler. “I made myself stay aggressive, but I got a little too aggressive in the steer roping, got in a hurry and fell pretty far behind. I have to step up my game a little bit.”

Doescher is ninth in the standings, but he’s learning rather quickly what a true challenge the Timed Event is.


1. K.C. Jones, 56.7 seconds; 2. Kyle Lockett, 57.2; 3. Daniel Green, 61.1; 4. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and JoJo LeMond, 65.4; 6. Dustin Bird, 66.4.

postheadericon Bulldoggers have power in RNCFR

GUTHRIE, Okla. – Every timed-event contestant in rodeo knows it takes great horsepower to excel in the rodeo arena.

Bray Armes

Bray Armes

Fans will get to see it in full force during the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Lazy E Arena. In addition to the elite steer wrestlers in rodeo battling for ProRodeo’s National Championship, the Lazy E will host some of the greatest bulldogging horses in the game.

Wade Sumpter

Wade Sumpter

In fact, the top two in AQHA/PRCA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year voting will be in central Oklahoma with their owners: 2013 winner Two Guns will be mounted by Wade Sumpter (who owns the horse with veterinarian Chris Morrow) and other bulldoggers, while runner-up Ote will handle the heavy lifting for owner Bray Armes.

With 24 top cowboys battling for the prestigious RNCFR championship, expect a number of top horses to be in the mix. You see, this championship will bring out the greatest stars in the game, both human and equine. Armes and Sumpter are two of 10 steer wrestlers in this year’s field who have played on the sport’s grandest stage, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Their appearances inside the Lazy E Arena is just another feather in their cap – in fact, the National Championship is the second most honored title in the game, just behind the World Title.

World champion Jason Miller leads a field of the event’s brightest stars who will compete at this year’s RNCFR, joining Beau Franzen, Jake Rinehart, Nick Guy, Tommy Cook, Tom Lewis, Olin Hannum and Oklahoman Stockton Graves.

postheadericon Ropers ride to win in Garden City

ALVA, Okla. – Parker Warner and Dustin Searcy have found their comfort zone.

The team ropers from Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s rodeo team have won each of the past two National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association events in which they have competed, the most recent this past weekend at the Garden City (Kan.) Community College rodeo.

Dustin Searcy

Dustin Searcy

“We took a little bit to get going this season,” said Searcy, a junior heeler from Mooreland, Okla. “We practiced really hard this winter and just tried to bear down this spring. With seven rodeos left in the season, we knew it was still anybody’s ballgame.”

In just two weeks into the spring semester portion of the 2013-14 Central Plains Region season, Searcy and Warner have moved from zero points to 240 and sit fourth in the region standings in their respective divisions.  Now with five events remaining on the schedule – the schools will compete at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College this coming weekend – the Rangers are on a roll at the right time.

Warner and Searcy won the Kansas State University rodeo to open the season, then followed it up a week later in western Kansas with a second straight victory.

Parker Warner

Parker Warner

“We knew we were behind, and we knew we had to get points,” said Warner, a senior header from Jay, Okla. “Garden City is always a good rodeo and always has good steers, usually on the fresher side. We knew we needed to just go knock one down in the long round.”

They did, but their time was a little on the slow end at 6.9 seconds; they qualified for the championship round ninth out of 10 teams.

“I told Searcy that this setup was pretty fun and that we should just go for it,” Warner said, noting that the team won the final round with a 4.7-second run and won the average title with a cumulative time of 11.6 seconds on two runs. “It was a good two weeks for sure.”

It was a pretty good couple of weeks for the Northwestern men and women. The Rangers men placed third in Garden City with 395 points, while the women placed second with 245. In all, Northwestern held 11 spots in the short round, which was valuable to team points.

Warner and Searcy led the way with their victory, but another Ranger heeler, Chase Boekhaus of Rolla, Kan., scored a second-place finish roping with Ethan Fox of Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Northwestern header Dalton Richards finished sixth.

“For us, it’s a mental game,” Searcy said. “We know we have a run we think we can win on. When we go to the practice pen, we’re focused. We’re trying to get better on one thing every day, whether it’s being consistent and knocking them down or trying to go fast and max out on a steer. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves in the practice pen, and I think it helps.”

Other short-round qualifiers were steer wrestler Ryan Domer of Topeka, Kan., who placed third; tie-down roper Wade Perry of Lamont, Okla., who finished sixth; bull rider Garrett German of Arnett, Okla., who placed fourth; breakaway ropers Kelsey Pontius of Watsontown, Pa., (third) and Micah Samples of Abilene, Kan., (fourth); and goat-tiers Karley Kile of Topeka, Kan., (third) and Kodi Hansen of Everly, Iowa, (fourth).

For Warner and Searcy, it comes down to having a solid partnership.

“One thing about Parker is that he’s definitely going to catch, and he’s going to give us a chance to win,” Searcy said. “He’s going to set the steer up where I can heel him as fast as possible.”

That’s a strong combination. It also is a winning combination.

“It’s good to have someone like Searcy because it takes a little pressure off me,” said Warner, who transferred to Northwestern from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. “I know he’s going to do his job. It’s easier to have a partner behind you that’s very consistent, rides good horses and doesn’t do anything too off the wall; he uses his head, and he’s always mentally prepared.

“We try to have a game plan when we back into the box, and we try very hard to execute our game plan.”

Their game plan is working so far.

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