Archive for May, 2014

postheadericon UBHA set up to prove young talent

Anyone who knows bucking horses realizes the true power that comes through when a massive beast loves what he does.

Even at just 3 years old, Wazzup fits that category already.

“I love his style,” said Guy French, Wazzup’s owner and the executive director of the United Bucking Horse Association. “He bucks hard, and he’s got the perfect criteria for a bucking horse.”

That says a lot about the big brown gelding, which was sired by Midnight Kid, a Canadian-bred stallion. But there’s so much more. You see, Wazzup owns a Jekyll and Hyde-like personality that helps make the talented young horse even more special.

Wazzup is a 3-year-old brown gelding that is the pride and joy of Guy French, the executive director of the United Bucking Horse Association, an organization that showcases young bucking horses. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Wazzup is a 3-year-old brown gelding that is the pride and joy of Guy French, the executive director of the United Bucking Horse Association, an organization that showcases young bucking horses. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

“He’s super mild-mannered,” French said. “You can walk right up to him and pet him. He’s bucking because he loves it; it’s something that’s really special to me.”

French knows a few things about bucking horses. He rode them through college as a bareback rider at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. While there, he found a passion for the majestic animals.

“My friend and roommate traveled to Fredericksburg, Texas, to pick up some practice horses from Lester Meier for the school, and a dream was born that lives on in my heart to this day,” he said. “As we drove across the pasture to the catch pens, I saw an amazing spectacle of 70 to 80 broncs running and bucking behind us.

“I was struck by the power, beauty, mystique and sheer awesomeness of these animals. At that moment, the dream of owning a herd of bucking horses took root in my soul.”

French purchased his first set of bucking horses from Charlie Thompson in Lubbock, Texas, then continued to piece together a solid string of horses in order to be a stock contractor on the amateur level. Seeing the limited financial opportunities, he opted to build his herd of brood mares in order to raise colts to sell to stock contractors.

“That didn’t go well until I became acquainted with bucking horse futurities four years ago,” he said, noting the first futurity in which he competed was in Glen Rose, Texas, where one of his fillies placed fourth. “If there had been any doubt before, I now had officially caught the bug.”

He quickly realized there was a need to showcase younger bucking horses, so French developed the Classic Bronc Bash, a futurity now in its fourth year. But the Texan saw a bigger picture, which is why he developed the UBHA. The organization was established to showcase younger broncs, which buck with a mechanical dummy instead of a rider to allow the horses the opportunity to develop with age.

“It makes perfect sense to establish an association that would cater to the dummy classes and potentially provide proven foals as contenders,” French said.

There has been great interest. So far, more than 35 people have purchased shares in the UBHA, and the ultimate goal is to increase that number to 55 shareholders, who will adopt a set of bylaws, establish event rules and judging criteria, and sanctioning annual events across the United States and Canada. The shareholders will maintain ownership of the association, determine a board of directors and elect officers to oversee the organization.

“The UBHA will have annual and lifetime memberships available for anyone who would like to participate in sanctioned events,” French said. “Year-end payouts will be awarded to the top colts in each of the three dummy classes.

“It is my hope that the UBHA will be a cornerstone to the bucking horse industry. The UBHA will establish a track record for each colt as it competes in the yearling, 2-year-old and 3-year-old classes. The colt’s value will increase as it continues to prove itself.”

postheadericon Fair offers early ticket sales

LOVINGTON, N.M. – The Lea County Fair and Rodeo has become a destination point for many who are looking for great entertainment and an amazing price.

Fair officials have made it even more affordable with the creation of early bird ticket sales. From June 2-July 18, potential fairgoers will have an opportunity to purchase tickets online at a discounted rate.

Lea County Fair LogoThe early-bird prices are $7 for adult; $5 for a child; $20 for a Family Four Pack (two adults and two children); $48 for an Adult Season Pass (for ages 13 and older); and $36 for a Child Season Pass (for ages 6-12). That’s a significant savings, and the Family Fun Pack will not be available after July 18. Advanced tickets may be purchased at

“None of these tickets will be available for purchase online after July 18,” said Stephanie Rice, the administrative coordinator at the Lea County Fairgrounds. “I encourage everyone to buy them online, get the discount and avoid any lines at the gate.”

The annual fair and rodeo is set for Friday, Aug. 1-Saturday, Aug. 9, at the fairgrounds in Lovington. Over the years, it’s proven to be a hotbed of entertainment, and the 2014 lineup is a perfect example of that.

Over the 10-day expo, fairgoers will have daily entertainment from ventriloquist Kevin Johnson, the Equilibrium Circus and Hambone Express. But it’s the night-time stage that will host some of the best acts in music history.

Saturday, Aug. 2: Night Ranger and 38 Special
Tuesday, Aug. 5: Casey Donahew Band
Wednesday, Aug. 6: MercyMe
Thursday, Aug. 7: Joe Nichols
Friday, Aug. 8: Dwight Yoakam
Saturday, Aug. 9: Eli Young Band

That star-studded lineup will be highlighted by some of the best rodeo action in the country. The Lea County Fair and Rodeo will host Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday, Aug. 5, then four nights of ProRodeo action. The rodeo is part of the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour and will feature the top cowboys and cowgirls in the game.

“We are excited to introduce the early bird ticket sales this year, because we think it will be a great thing for fairgoers,” Rice said. “They can get their tickets early and get a discount at the same time.”

postheadericon Carr a big name for top cowboys

SILVERTON, Texas – Many of rodeo’s rising stars already have a keen understanding of what it takes to win at the professional level.

For cowboys that ride bucking horses and bulls, it’s a combination of self-confidence and the ability to get on the best animals in the game. That’s why they trust in the outstanding athletes that are part of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, a Dallas-based stock contractor who produces more than 30 events a season.

Sage Kimzey

Sage Kimzey

“Anytime Pete Carr has a rodeo, you know the stock’s going to be great,” said rookie Sage Kimzey, the No. 1 bull rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. “His bull string is one of the best in the business.”

That philosophy will come in handy at the Silverton Buck Wild Days Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at Wood Memorial Arena.

Kimzey knows a thing or two about great Carr bulls. Over the first weekend in May, the Strong City, Okla., cowboy matched moves with Line Man for 92 points to share the bull riding title at the prestigious Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo.

Line Man was one of 27 Carr animals that was selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and is recognized as one of the top bucking bovines in the sport.

“I had a great bull from Pete Carr, and I knew it was going to be good if I could get him rode for the full eight seconds,” said Kimzey, who matched moves with Carr’s Hermes for 88 points this past weekend to win the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Okla. “Pete has a ton of great bulls, and he puts on a great show, too.”

Richie Champion

Richie Champion

That’s what fans have come to expect at events Carr produces. It’s what contestants favor, too. Take Richie Champion, a third-year bareback rider from The Woodlands, Texas, who has been ranked among the top 15 cowboys in the world standings for much of the early season. He shared the bareback riding title in Guymon with an 86-point ride on Fancy Free, a bay mare that has bucked at the NFR each of the last nine years.

“That is a tough rodeo, because everybody comes to Guymon,” Champion said. “It seems like you can’t draw a bad horse. Pete brings the best of the best, and guys try hard to win.”

Like many of the sport’s top hands, the Texas bronc buster makes sure to be part of the competition at as many Carr rodeos as possible. Last July, he shared the victory in Eagle, Colo., with an 87-point ride on Scarlet’s Web. He’s made a nice living on a number of other Carr horses so far in his career.

“Pete has our interests in line,” Champion said of Carr. “He wants us to have good horses to get on. He’s put in a lot of time to get good horses together, and he has a lot. He has horses that are consistent. He’s one of the guys that have the top animals and hauls them all over the country to give us a chance to win.”

Whenever the Carr team rolls into town, it’s a winning combination.

postheadericon Kimzey weathers storm to win title

CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Will Rogers Stampede Arena was home to a storm Sunday night, but the rain didn’t wash out the final performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo.

Afternoon rain covered much of Rogers County, making the arena muddy and slick. More rain fell during the third performance, but the rodeo rolled on. That’s a good thing for 19-year-old Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., who outlasted the storm to win the bull riding.

Sage Kimzey

Sage Kimzey

“Nobody likes competing when it’s pouring outside,” said Kimzey, the No. 1 bull rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings. “You’ve just got to block it out and take care of your business.”

Kimzey did. He rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hermes for 88 points to win the title. He now has pushed his annual earnings past $80,000 and owns a lead of nearly $20,000 over the No. 2 cowboy, four-time and reigning world champion J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas.

“I didn’t know that bull at all, but all the bulls here are great,” Kimzey said. “Pete Carr makes sure we have good bulls here, so I knew I had a chance to win when I showed up.

It came down to the final ride of the weekend to distinguish the champion bull rider. But it was a wild way to close out the 2014 version of the Will Rogers Stampede.

“With weather like this, it’s hard on the animals and the contestants because the ground conditions change,” said John Gwatney, the production supervisor for Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which produces the annual rodeo. “For the spectators, I don’t think it gets any better. We keep going with the rodeo, and the crowd that are true rodeo fans stay and enjoy the show.”

They got to see a good one all the way to the end. Kimzey is just 19 and has been a true ignition switch for rodeo. The win in Claremore marks the seventh time he has earned an event title; it’s also the third Oklahoma rodeo he’s won this May, adding titles in Duncan and Guymon.

“This means everything by keeping your confidence up and keep everything rolling,” he said. “This year’s been crazy so far, and I’m just looking forward to it continuing.”

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 23-25

All-around cowboy: Josh Peek, $2,933, tie-down roping and steer wrestling.

Bareback riding: 1. (tie) Caine Riddle, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sky Hawk, and Jared Keylon, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bright Lights, 84 points, $1,036 each; 3. Winn Ratliff, 81, $643; 4. (tie) Ethan Assmann, Jared Smith and Matt Bright, 80, $286 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. Clay Mindemann, 4.1 seconds, $1,919; 2. Tooter Silver, 4.8, $1,669; 3. Jacob Edler, 4.9, $1,418; 4. Josh Peek, 5.1, $1,168; 5. Stewart Gulager, 5.2, $918; 6. Cody Kroul, 5.8, $667; 7. Ryan Jarrett, 5.9, $417; 8. Cole Edge, 6.0, $167.

Team roping: 1. Cale Markham/Chase Tryan, 4.4 seconds, $1,676 each; 2. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 4.7, $1,457; 3. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.0, $1,238; 4. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.1, $1,020; 5. (tie) Jesse Stipes/Casey Stipes, Will Clark/Michael Harris, A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton and Branden Duff/Dustin Harris, 5.2, $474 each.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Nat Stratton, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness, and Isaac Diaz, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly, 82 points, $1,172 each; 3. Hardy Braden, 81, $728; 4. (tie) Justin Caylor and Wade Sundell, 80, $384 each; 6. (tie) Ty Kirkland and Heith DeMoss, 79, $101 each.

Tie-down roping: 1. Josh Peek, 8.4 seconds, $1,765; 2. Cody Huber, 8.6, $1,461; 3. (tie) Bart Brunson, Luke Blanton and Riley Pruitt, 9.0, $852 each; 6. Kyon Buckley, 9.3, $304.

Barrel racing: 1. Callie Gray, 17.16 seconds, $2,008; 2. Bailee Snow, 17.39, $1,721; 3. Natalie Foutch, 17.44, $1,434; 4. Jana Bean, 17.50, $1,243; 5. Michele McLeod, 17.64, $956; 6. Shelby Janssen, 17.65, $765; 7. (tie) Kara Posch and Laura Kennedy, 17.68, $478 each; 9. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.69, $287; 10. Jammie Tinker, 17.70, $191.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.6 seconds, $897; 2. Brady Garten, 11.2, $742; 3. Trey Wallace, 12.0, $587; 4. Bryan Reiter, 12.1, $433; 5. Cody Lee, 12.3, $278; 6. Brad Mohon, 12.9, $155. Second round: 1. Brad Prather, 10.4 seconds, $897; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.3, $742; 3. Mike Chase, 11.4, $587; 4. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and Corey Ross, 11.5, $356 each; 6. C.A. Lauer, 11.7, $155. Third round: 1. Bryce Davis, 9.7 seconds, $897; 2. Corey Ross, 9.8, $742; 3. Roger Branch, 9.9, $587; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, 10.2, $433; 5. Shane Suggs, 10.3, $278; 6. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.5, $155. Average: 1. Brady Garten, 38.8 seconds on three head, $1,345; 2. Jay Sellers, 39.1, $1,113; 3. Trey Wallace, 39.2, $881; 4. Landon McClaugherty, 39.9, $649; 5. Corey Ross, 40.8, $417; 6. Vin Fisher Jr., 42.2, $232.

Bull riding: 1. Sage Kimzey, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hermes, $1,520; 2. Brett Stall, 87, $1,152; 3. Tate Stratton, 82, $829; 4. (tie) Reid Barker and Ardie Maier, 81, $438 each; 6. Brennon Eldred, 78, $230.

postheadericon Sartain, Skelton rope Claremore lead

CLAREMORE, Okla. – World champion header Nick Sartain likes the way things are going this season.

Nick Sartain

Nick Sartain

On Saturday night, the good times kept rolling as he and his heeling partner, Rich Skelton, stopped the clock in 5.0 seconds to take the team roping lead at the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo.

“We just need to get a little momentum heading into the summer,” said Sartain, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Dover, Okla. “We’ve actually been home all spring. We went out to Redding (Calif.) for the (Wrangler) champions challenge, and we clipped them for a little money out there last week.

“This is huge for us when we’re starting to get at it rodeoing again. It’s huge to have a couple wins right off the bat to get the summer under way.”

Rich Skelton

Rich Skelton

The tandem knows a thing or two about winning. Sartain won the heading gold buckle in 2009 roping with Kollin von Ahn. Now he’s roping with Skelton, an eight-time world champion from Llano, Texas.

“Anytime you rope with Rich, you have a chance to win a world championship as long as you do your job,” Sartain said. “That’s the cool thing for me, knowing we have a chance to make the finals.

“He’s one of the greatest heelers of all time, and he’s really cool to travel with. He’s one of my best friends.”

This is the second year the two champs have roped together, and it’s a strong partnership. They have gold buckle memories. Now they want to add to them. Each cowboy is ranked fourth in the world standings.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to get Rich Skelton his ninth world title, because I really want that for him,” Sartain said. “I think we have a legitimate chance at it.”

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 23-25
Leaders through second performance
Bareback riding:
1. (tie) Caine Riddle, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sky Hawk, and Jared Keylon, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Bright Lights, 84 points; 3. (tie) Matt Bright and Jared Smith, 80; 5. Layne Lerche, 78; 6. Tyler Pasour, 76.

Steer wrestling: 1. Clay Mindemann, 4.1 seconds; 2. Tooter Silver, 4.8; 3. Jacob Elder, 4.9; 4. Josh Peek, 5.1; 5. Stewart Gulager, 5.2; 6. Cody Kroul, 5.8; 7. Ryan Jarrett, 5.9; 8. Cole Edge, 6.0.

Tie-down roping: 1. Josh Peek, 8.4 seconds; 2. Cody Huber, 8.6; 3. (tie) Bart Brunson, Luke Blanton and Riley Pruitt, 9.0; 6. Kyon Buckley, 9.3.

Saddle bronc riding 1. (tie) Nat Stratton, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness, and Isaac Diaz, on Pete Carr Classic Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly, 82 points; 3. Hardy Braden, 81; 4. Wade Sundell, 80; 5. Ty Atchison, 77; 6. Chase Miller, 76.

Team roping: 1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.0 seconds; 2. (tie) A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, Will Clark/Michael Harris and Branden Duff/Dustin Harris, 5.2; 5. Ryan Jarrett/Austin Rogers, 5.3; 6. (tie) Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison and Caleb Bullock/Shade Etbauer, 5.4; 8. Adam Rose/Billy Saebens, 5.5.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.6 seconds, $897; 2. Brady Garten, 11.2, $742; 3. Trey Wallace, 12.0, $587; 4. Bryan Reiter, 12.1, $433; 5. Cody Lee, 12.3, $278; 6. Brad Mohon, 12.9, $155. Second round 1. Brad Prather, 10.4, $897; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.3, $842; 3. Mike Chase, 11.4, $587; 4. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and Corey Ross, 11.5, $356; 6. C.A. Lauer, 11.7, $155. Third round leaders: 1. Bryce Davis, 9.7 seconds; 2. Corey Ross, 9.8; 3. Roger Branch, 9.9; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, 10.2; 5. Shane Suggs, 10.3; 5. Vin Fisher Jr. 10.5; 6. J.P. Wickett, 11.0. Average leaders: 1. Jay Sellers, 39.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Trey Wallace, 39.2; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 39.9; 4. Corey Ross, 40.8; 5. Vin Fisher, 42.2; 6. Will Gasperson, 44.7.

Barrel racing: 1. Callie Gray, 17.16 seconds; 2. Bailee Snow, 17.39; 3. Natalie Foutch, 17.44; 4. Jana Bean, 17.50; 5. Michele McLeod, 17.64; 6. Shelby Janssen, 17.65; 7. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Kara Posch, 17.68; 9. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.69; 10. Jammie Tinker, 17.70.

Bull riding: 1. Brett Stall, 87 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Joe Kidd; 2. Ardie Maier, 81; 2. Brennon Eldred, 78; 4. John Young, 72; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Bright takes bareback riding lead

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Last May, the pain in Matt Bright’s right elbow was intense. In fact, the Texas bareback rider did not feel up to competing at the annual Will Rogers Stampede.

Things have changed over the last 12 months.

Matt Bright

Matt Bright

“This rodeo has been good to me my whole career,” said Bright, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Stafford, Texas. “The first year I came here was the only time I didn’t win a check here.”

Bright is well on his way to another Oklahoma paycheck after riding Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Powerade for 80 points to lead the rodeo at the Will Rogers Round Up Club Arena. He’s ranked 32nd in the world standings and moving up, which is a big change from a season ago.

You see, Bright missed a big part of the 2013 season because of his injured elbow, which required surgery last summer.

“It took a few months to knock all the rust off and get in some kind of good shape,” he said, noting the rugged nature of bareback riding is just tough on a cowboy’s body. “The last few weeks, I feel like I’ve stepped it back up to the level I was before I got hurt.

“I feel like I’ve been riding about as good as I did when I left off. I’m gong to try to go to the same rodeos I did before. Hopefully I can make up some ground that I missed at the beginning of the year. My goal is to make it back to the finals and have a shot at the world title. I’m just barely out of the top 30 right now, so it shouldn’t take too much for me to get back in there where I need to be.”

Only the top 15 contestants in each event at the conclusion of the regular season qualify for the NFR, ProRodeo’s grand championship that takes place each December in Las Vegas. Injuries kept the cowboy away from Sin City last year, but he’s hoping it’s just a small hiccup in his career.

Of course, he needs good dance partners when the time comes, which is what he got from Powerade.

“I had that horse at Big Spring (Texas) a couple years ago, and I placed good on him there,” Bright said. “He’s a really nice horse, and he let me show off a little bit. I just tried to get as many points out of him as I could.”

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 23-25
Leaders through first performance
Bareback riding:
1. Matt Bright, 80 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Powerade; 2. Lane Lerche, 78; 3. Tyler Pasour, 76; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. Clay Mindemann, 4.1 seconds; 2. Tooter Silver, 4.8; 3. Josh Peek, 5.1; 4. Stewart Gulager, 5.2; 5. Cody Kroul, 5.8; 6. Ryan Jarrett, 5.9; 7. Trell Etbauer, 6.1; 8. (tie) Riley Duvall and Jarek VanPetten, 6.3.

Tie-down roping: 1. Josh Peek, 8.4 seconds; 2. Cody Quaney, 10.2; 3. Perry Dietz, 14.1; no other qualified times.

Saddle bronc riding 1. (tie) Nat Stratton, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness, and Isaac Diaz, on Pete Carr Classic Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly, 82 points; 3. Hardy Braden, 81; 4. Chase Miller, 76; 5. Andrew Harris, 69; 6. Dusty Hausauer, 57.

Team roping: 1. (tie) A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton and Branden Duff/Dustin Harris, 5.2 seconds each; 3. Ryan Jarrett/Austin Rogers, 5.3; 4. (tie) Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison and Caleb Bullock/Shade Etbauer, 5.4; 6. Adam Wallace/Justin Pruitt and John Wayne Giles/Jake Fox, 6.0; 8. Steele Herring-Smith/Jeremy English, 6.7.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryan Reiter, 12.1 seconds; 2. Jay Sellers, 13.5; 3. Ralph Williams, 13.6; 4. Robert Fudge, 16.0; no other qualified times.

Barrel racing: 1. Callie Gray, 17.16 seconds; 2. Bailee Snow, 17.39; 3. Natalie Foutch, 17.44; 4. Jana Bean, 17.50; 5. Michele McLeod, 17.64; 6. Shelby Janssen, 17.65; 7. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Kara Posch, 17.68; 9. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.69; 10. Jammie tinker, 17.70.

Bull riding: 1. Ardie Maier, 81 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Lumberjack; 2. Brennon Eldred, 78; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon National event is rescheduled


MULVANE, Kan. – The Kansas Star Arena is rescheduling its inaugural National Roping Championship for the fall.

NationalRopingChampionshipLOGOOriginally scheduled for early June, the event will feature many of the top all-around ropers in rodeo, including 19-time world champion Trevor Brazile, all competing for $122,000 in prize money during the three performances scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 and noon and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the arena, just off Interstate 35 near Mulvane.

“With the hectic schedule for ProRodeo’s top contestants, we have opted to move the dates for the National Roping Championship to October to secure the star-studded athletes this caliber of a championship rightly deserves,” said Tim Lanier, the Kansas Star Arena director.

The original date was in direct competition with 17 events that are part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The date change will allow those top contestants to compete through ProRodeo’s regular season, which concludes the end of September, then take their shot at the top prize money up for grabs at the Kansas Star Arena.

The National Roping Championship will feature 20 of the sport’s greatest stars competing in each roping event: heading, heeling, tie-down roping and steer roping.

postheadericon Claremore hosting rodeo’s best

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Rodeo’s greatest stars make their way to Rogers County every spring.

That’s the attractive nature that is the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo, scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 23-Sunday, May 25, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena. Discounted tickets can be found on the rodeo’s website,; fans can also follow the rodeo on Facebook.

In fact, 506 contestants have put their names in the hat in order to compete for the big prize money available in Claremore.

Rocky Patterson

Rocky Patterson

“I love the fact that we have so many contestants who are coming to our rodeo this year,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “When you look at the list of contestants, you see we have many of the greatest cowboys and cowgirls in rodeo that will be here. That says a lot about the hospitality they see in Claremore.”

The field of entrants includes eight-time world champion heeler Rich Skelton, three-time world champion steer roper Rocky Patterson, two-time steer wrestling titlist Dean Gorsuch and two-time barrel racing champ Brittany Pozzi.

In all, 62 of the Claremore competitors have qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Rich Skelton

Rich Skelton

“I think that is a testament to the outstanding rodeo we have here,” Petty said. “We have a great history, but I think it helps us that we have the best stock contractor in rodeo with Pete Carr. He brings great livestock, which brings great cowboys.

“It makes a better show for the fans, which is why we’re here.”

There are a number of new things to greet fans, too. The committee has put in hundreds of hours to re-work the arena, which will feature the bucking chutes on the east side of the complex, providing all the action directly in front of the bleachers, which are on the west side. Modern restroom facilities also have been added just behind the main stands.

Dean Gorsuch

Dean Gorsuch

“We’ve been doing a lot of things at the arena,” Petty said. “We have play days, which is a way to increase interest in our facilities and our event, and we’ve started a cowboy church. I think we’ve done a lot of great things that will keep things growing for years to come.”

The final day of the rodeo features a cowboy church service beginning at 6 p.m. with the Rev. Roy Shoop officiating. Shoop is the pastor of Cowboy Gatherin’ Church in Inola, Okla., and also is a PRCA team roper. Anyone who attends the church service will be admitted to the rodeo for free.

“I can’t think of a better way to close out our weekend than to have some faithful fellowship followed by a great night of rodeo,” Petty said. “This is an exciting week for us.”

postheadericon 2-year-olds post big score at UBHA event

A 2-year-old bucking horse from Waters Rodeo posted the highest-marked trip during the United Bucking Horse Association’s event this past weekend in Martin, S.D.

The paint horse scored 45.75 points to win the 2-year-old class, earning its owners $2,140. Another 2-year-old colt had the next highest marking, with a Wain Rodeo horse posting a 45.25. That horse finished second.

Wes Janis’ No. 111 posted a 44-point marking to win the 3-year-old class in Martin. Janis pocketed the $2,140 first-place check.

1. Wes Jannis, 111, 44 points, $2,140
2. Richard Real Bird, O-W Witcha, 43.75, $1,605
3. Kenny Andrews, 10 Tom Dually, 43, $1,070
4. Steve Waagen, 171, 42.75, $535

1. Waters Rodeo, paint, 45.75, $2,140
2. Wain Rodeo, 236 BFSOB, 45.25, $1,605
3. Harold Frazier, 23 Ambush, 43.5, $1,070
4. ST Rodeo, Medicine Bundle, 42.5, $535

postheadericon Steer ropers ready for action


GROESBECK, Texas – Scott Snedecor arrived in Groesbeck a year ago with one mission in mind: Help raise money for those who need it.

Scott Snedecor

Scott Snedecor

He left town with a plan to return. He will for the Invitational Steer Roping set for 10 a.m. Monday, May 26. It’s all part of the Wild West Championships, a four-day Western sports event that concludes with the greatest steer ropers in the world competing on Memorial Day.

“I thought it was just a good deal and a way to raise money for a great cause,” said Snedecor, a two-time world champion steer roper from Fredericksburg, Texas. “It turned out to be a great roping. I’d say it’s one of the best jackpots there is all year.”

The Wild West Championships will begin Friday, May 23, at the Limestone County Fairgrounds in Groesbeck. The event will go toward raising scholarship money for area youth, which is another key reason the biggest names in steer roping are planning to show up.

“Everything just turned out great last year, and everybody wanted to be part of it again this year,” said Bobby Joe Hill, who is organizing the event with Cody Gantt. “We limited the Invitational Steer Roping to 35 ropers, which I think is attractive to these guys. We also run it in a timely manner, which is good for the ropers and for the fans.”

Rocky Patterson

Rocky Patterson

In addition to a large purse, the contestants will rope for a championship buckle and a three-horse trailer.

“Our goal this year was just to make it even better for everyone involved,” Hill said.

The contestants have taken notice.

“You like to go to a good roping any time, plus this is for a good cause,” said Rocky Patterson, a three-time world champion from Pratt, Kan. “It’s a good arena to rope in, and you get a chance to rope for good money.”

Hill, who owns Hill Rodeo Cattle Co., provides roping cattle for numerous events each year, including the National Finals Steer Roping and other marquee events. The contestants understand the type of work that goes in to producing an event of this magnitude.

“I think Bobby Joe and the others who helped put this thing on did an outstanding job putting it all together,” Snedecor said. “It turned into a big deal. It went from being an event that was for a good cause to being a really good roping.”

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