Archive for July, 2014

postheadericon Wright has his mind set on the title

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Jesse Wright has a little payback on his mind.

A year ago, the Milford, Utah, cowboy posted a 90-point saddle bronc ride during the championship round of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Moments later, his older brother – two-time world champion Cody Wright – scored 91 points to win the round and the coveted Roundup title. Jesse was the runner-up.

Jesse Wright

Jesse Wright

On Thursday night at Roundup Arena, Jesse matched moves with Frontier Rodeo’s Griz for 83 points for the highest-marked ride of the performance. He’s two points behind Cody and is a virtual lock to return the Sunday short go-round for just the second time in his career, where he knows there will be an opportunity to not only catch his older brother, but surpass him.

“I’m gunning for him, that’s for dang sure,” said Jesse Wright, who won the 2012 world championship. “It’s awesome when you make the short round, because they hold out the buckers. When you make the short round, you know you’ll get the good ones.”

Griz is one of the good ones, and Wright suspects the athletic bay horse may be back in the mix come Sunday night. Only the top 12 contestants from the preliminary rounds qualify for the championship, and roughstock cowboys – bareback riders, bronc riders and bull riders – will be matched with 12 of the best horses in the game. Griz has bucked at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo several times.

“About three years ago, I won Corpus Christi, Texas, on him,” Wright said. “He’s a really good horse, really nice. He takes a lot of rein and is real flashy.”

After winning the gold buckle two seasons ago, Wright returned to the NFR for the fourth straight year this past December, where he earned a little more than $37,000 and finished well off the pace. This season, he sits 16th in the world standings and still needs to move up at least one spot in order to qualify for the NFR for a fifth time.

“It’s tough,” he said about repeating as the world champion. “You’ve got to keep a good, positive mindset. Staying healthy is the main key; when you can stay healthy for 365 days and ride at the top of your game and win a world championship, it’s something. You’ve earned it.”

Doing well in Dodge City will be a big boost to returning to the No. 1 spot at the conclusion of the season.

“It’s important here, because I’m not sitting right where I want to be, and this is a big, good rodeo,” he said, referring to the competition and the purse. “This’ll get me set up to go back to the finals and possible win another world championship. I’ll keep coming back here for dang sure.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Bareback riding:
1. Casey Colletti, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Coast, and Casey Breuer, on Vold’s Hot Valley, 85 points; 3. Jared Smith, 83; 4. Orin Larsen, 81; 5. Tim O’Connell, 80; 6. Tilden Hooper, 78; 75. Winn Ratliff, 77; 8. (tie) Kyle Brennecke and Joel Schlegel, 76.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders:1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds; 2. Brandon Volker, 4.4; 3. Casey Martin, 4.5; 4. Tyler Waguespack, 5.1; 5. Shane Frey, 5.4; 6. (tie) Gary Gilbert and Tait Kvistad, 5.9 each. Second round leaders: 1. Ty Lang, 3.9 seconds; 2. Tooter Silver, 4.1; 3. Levi Rudd, 4.5; 4. (tie) Chance Howard and Tyler Waguespack, 4.8; 6. Bray Armes, 5.0; 7. Kait Kvistad, 5.2; 8. (tie) Ty Talsma and Logan Rudd, 5.3; 7. (tie) Brock White and Casey Martin, 5.6. Average leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 9.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 9.9; 3. Casey Martin, 10.1; 4. Tait Kvistad, 11.1; 5. Denver Berry,12.9; 6. Brock White, 13.1; 7. Orrin Michael Fontenot, 13.9; 8. Brandon Volker, 15.5.

Team roping: First round leaders:1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward and Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman, 5.6 each; 4. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7; 5. Robert Pixley/Joe Mattern, 5.9; 6. (tie) Kyle Linaweaver/Mitch Murray and Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 6.1 each. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Keven Daniel/York Gill and Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers, 5.2 seconds; 3. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 6.0; 4. (tie) Derrick Begay/Will Woodfin and Tavis Walters/Tyler Worley, 9.9; 6. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 10.9; 7. Trey Harmon/Braden Harmon, 14.6; 8. Bull Austin/Corey Hendrick, 14.8. Average leaders: 1. Andrew Ward/Reagan Warad, 16.5 seconds on two runs. 2. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 17.0; 3. Trey Harmon/Braden Harmon, 21.8; 4. (tie) Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman and Bull Austin/Corey Hendrick, 22.8; 6. Tavis Walters/Tyler Worley, 26.4; 7. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.1 seconds on one run; 8. (tie) Keven Daniel/York Gill and Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers, 5.2.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, 85 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Kate’s Hot Sister; 2. Jesse Wright, 83; 3. (tie) Taos Muncy and Isaac Diaz, 82; 5. (tie) Troy Crowser and Ty Thompson, 81; 6. (tie) Brady Nicholes and Sam Spreadborough, 78.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders:1. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8 seconds; 2. Cody Ohl, 12.0; 3. Thomas Merritt, 13.5; 4. Fred Whitfield, 13.8; 5. Perry Dietz, 14.1; 6. Adam Gray, 15.7. Second round leaders: 1. Marcos Costa, 10.2 seconds; 2. Cody Ohl, 11.0; 3. Adam Gray, 12.0; 4. Sean O’Neil, 13.8; 5. Blake Barber, 15.7; 7. Clete Scheer, 17.9; 8. Fred Whitfield, 21.6. Average leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 23.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Adam Gray, 27.7; 3. Sean O’Neil, 30.4; 4. Thomas Merritt, 31.1; 5. Marcos Costa, 33.5; 6. Fred Whitfield, 35.4; 7. Jerome Schneeberger, 11.8 seconds on one run; 8. Perry Dietz, 14.1.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Shada Brazile, 17.87 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 17.96; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.19; 4. Jane Melby, 18.37; 5. Jaime Barrow, 18.42; 6. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 18.51. Second round leaders: 1. Jane Melby, 18.43 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 18.52; 3. Shelbie Parrish, 18.56; 4. Sara Rose McDonald, 18.61; 5. (tie) Katie Loughran and Alissa Burson, 18.71; 7. Peyton Mentzer, 18.83; 8. (tie) Callie Gray and Kris Hanson, 18.92; 10. Angie Thompson, 19.07. Average leaders: 1. Jessi Fish, 36.48 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Sarah Rose McDonald and Jane Melby, 36.80; 4. Katie Loughran, 37.38; 5. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 37.72; 6. Shelbie Parrish, 37.75; 7. Alissa Burson, 38.03; 8. Sandi Brandli, 38.14; 9. Angie Thompson, 38.33; 10. Peyton Mentzer, 38.50.

Bull riding: 1. Tyler Smith, 84 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Elise Said What; 2. J.W. Harris, 83; 3. (tie) Dillon Tyler and Dustin Bowen, 75; 5. Tag Elliott, 74; 6. Elijah Mora, 64; 7. Casey Huckabee, 53; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Lea County a great home for rodeo

Hunter Cure, the 2013 world champion steer wrestler, grapples his animal to the ground during last year's Lea County Fair and Rodeo. He is one of numerous world champions who will be part of the Lovington rodeo next week.

Hunter Cure, the 2013 world champion steer wrestler, grapples his animal to the ground during last year’s Lea County Fair and Rodeo. He is one of numerous world champions who will be part of the Lovington rodeo next week.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – There is a certain passion that follows the rodeo trail.

It takes a lot of love to compete in a sport best known for a gypsy lifestyle, where the road not only is a way of transportation but also a place to live.

When full-time cowboys and cowgirls leave their homes in June, they know there is a great chance they won’t return until September. They sleep in vans, motels and specialized horse trailers that are outfitted with elaborate living quarters, and they make a living eight seconds at a time.

They dream of big-money opportunities, and they’ll get it at the Lea County Fair & Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6-Saturday, Aug. 9, at Jake McClure Arena. For four nights, the sport’s brightest stars will make their gypsy homes in Lovington, even if only for a night, in order to compete at one of the largest events in ProRodeo.

“There are several reasons we get so many of the top contestants,” said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. “I think we’re competitive with the added money, and the purse is similar to other tour rodeos going on at the same time.

“You also have to give credit to Pete Carr for bringing good stock. He’s a well-respected stock contractor, and the cowboys know when they get to Lovington, they’ll get on good horses and bulls.”

Carr owns Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which will produce the rodeo and the Lea County Xtreme Bulls, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5. Carr has been a fixture in Lovington for a number of years.

“It’s really a great community with an outstanding board of directors and a ton of committee volunteers,” Carr said. “We appreciate the opportunity to be part their team and together we are trying to improve the event every year. You’ll see the best of the best in Lovington.”

The Carr crew packs quite a punch when it arrives in southeastern New Mexico. Last December, there were 27 Carr animals that were selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association record. In addition, Carr was nominated as the 2013 stock contractor of the year.

“Pete and his staff do an outstanding job with our rodeo every year,” said Greg Massey, chairman of the rodeo committee. “Pete is great to work with, and he does a good job with the stock so that we continue to bet the best cowboys to come to our rodeo.”

Good livestock is critical to a good rodeo, and regular NFR qualifiers know they’ll have a shot at a good paycheck when they arrive in Lovington to compete.

“It’s nice to go to a rodeo and have really good horses out for everybody,” said Jake Wright, a two-time NFR qualifier who earned a share of the saddle bronc riding championship in Lovington last year with his oldest brother, Cody. “The stock contractor here has that kind of caliber that it’s really a riding contest and not a drawing contest.”

Good money and great stock are just two of the many ingredients that go into making Lea County a rodeo hot spot every August.

“I think there’s a lot of history around here with the Cooper family and Guy Allen and all those that have ties to the county,” Helton said. “Those families live here, and that helps bring the cowboys here. But there’s also the cowboy atmosphere that’s here. You can’t say enough about that.

“The committee works very hard to make this an event the contestants want to come to. We have a VIP hospitality area and places for them to shower. These ideas came from the cowboys over the last several years to see what we can do to make it a better experience for them. We do care. We want them to be comfortable here.”

That has translated well. Last year, the Lea County Fair and Rodeo was nominated as the PRCA large outdoor rodeo of the year, which is proof the cowboys love what is done in Lovington each summer.

The fans do, too.

postheadericon Great action key to rodeo’s success

CROSSETT, Ark. – Each of the past two seasons, the Crossett Riding Club PRCA Rodeo has been recognized as one of the very best in the sport.

In 2012-13, the event has been nominated for Medium Size Rodeo of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and stands as one of just five rodeos its size to receive the honor. Organizers will try to surpass those awards during this year’s event, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6-Saturday, Aug. 9, at Cap Gates Arena in Crossett.

PeteCarrsClassicLogo“There are three things that stand out to me on why that rodeo’s so great,” said Scott Grover, now in his sixth year calling the action. “There is a very hard-working committee that’s not afraid to change and that always wants to do something every year to make the rodeo better, whether it’s hiring the best acts or adding more money. They take this rodeo very seriously and the nomination very seriously.

“The committee is striving to win the rodeo of the year title, and having Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo is a big reason to that. Pete Carr is one of the premier stock contractors in the PRCA, and he always brings great stock. The third thing is that they care about hospitality, which is very important. The churches get involved and feed everyone at least twice a day.”

The Carr crew has produced the rodeo for a number of years, and staff members work hand-in-hand with committee members to make sure the event goes off well.

“Crossett is an outstanding rodeo, and we are excited to be part of it,” said Carr, owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm. “The fact that the rodeo has been nominated the past two years shows how much work they put into it.”

From handing out silver dollars to winning performers to having a large grand entry, the local organizers have proven how much they care about the little things that go on inside the arena.

“The rodeo is put on by the Crossett Riding Club, which has a huge tradition in Crossett and the surrounding areas,” Grover said. “This is like families that have been there for years on years on years.”

The great history is just one aspect of what it takes for fans to enjoy the overall rodeo experience. Crossett’s status in ProRodeo is a key reason why many of the sport’s brightest stars make their way to southern Arkansas in July.

But don’t discount the importance of great livestock, which is one reason why Carr was nominated as PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year in 2013.

“The whole rodeo company crew is very production savvy,” Grover said. “They understand what it takes to put on a fast show, an exciting show that fans want to continue to see.

“From top to bottom, what Pete has is solid with National Finals Rodeo and award-winning livestock, and that’s what attracts cowboys to Crossett.”

With great cowboys and top-flight action, the Crossett rodeo is attractive to fans.

postheadericon Lang mud-wrestles into the lead

DODGE CITY, Kan. – About a dozen years ago, Ty Lang decided to try his hand at steer wrestling while attending Dodge City Community College.

“I came to school as a calf roper and a team roper,” said Lang of Montrose, Colo. “A handful of us wanted to start bulldogging.”

The wheels were in motion. On Wednesday night during the first performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, Lang splashed through Roundup Arena and threw his steer in the deep mud in 3.9 seconds to take the early lead in the second round – he suffered a penalty and a 14.4-second run during the first round in the morning and sits well off the pace in the two-run aggregate.

Tyler Smith rides Frontier Rodeo's Elise Said What for 84 points Wednesday night in the mud during the first performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. He has the bull riding lead.

Tyler Smith rides Frontier Rodeo’s Elise Said What for 84 points Wednesday night in the mud during the first performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. He has the bull riding lead.

Still, he is in solid position to cash a nice paycheck in the home of his alma mater.

“A couple of great guys, Mike Greenleaf and Leonard Hampton, helped me along the way to get started in bulldogging,” said Lang, who competes at about 70 rodeos per season. “This was a great place for me to start going to school.

“Mike got us a set of steers, and we started bulldogging.”

This marks just the second time Lang has competed at Roundup Rodeo, but he found it to his liking despite the muddy conditions. Rain fell for almost 12 hours through the morning and into the afternoon. The first round in the timed events took place amidst pouring rain at times, and the arena mud was several inches deep across.

That makes it tough on the competitors and the animals.

“This is one of the best rodeos in the country, so it’s hard to miss,” he said. “That 3.9 makes it a lot more fun than a no-time. It’s something everybody has to fight. It’s a disadvantage, of course, but everybody has the same disadvantage.

“These horses know what they’re doing. When you back in the corner (of the timed-event chute) it doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or 110 degrees or a mud hole out there; you just back in the corner and go do your job.”

Lang’s goals this year are simple: He wants to make enough money to move up in the world standings so that he is eligible to compete at big winter rodeos, which have limits on the number of contestants; only the top contestants get a shot to compete at those big-money events.

“I want to get qualified for the big rodeos next winter so I have a shot to make it to the NFR next year,” he said.

That’s the dream of every ProRodeo contestant, and it’s one that Lang has been chasing since the early 2000s in Dodge City.

“The first time you jump a steer, it’s a total addiction,” Lang said. “It’s the most addictive crack there is.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Bareback riding:
1. Casey Colletti, on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Painted Coast, and Casey Breuer, on Vold’s Hot Valley, 85 points; 3. Orin Larsen, 81; 4, Tilden Hooper, 78; 5. Winn Ratliff, 77; 6. (tie) Chris Harris, Seth Hardwick and Justin McDaniel, 74.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders:1. Bray Armes, 4.0 seconds; 2. Brandon Volker, 4.4; 3. Casey Martin, 4.5; 4. Tait Kvistad, 5.9; 5. Kyle Whitaker, 6.7; 6. Nick Guy, 6.9. Second round leaders: 1. Ty Lang, 3.9 seconds; 2. Levi Rudd, 4.5; 3. Bray Armes, 5.0; 4. Kait Kvistad, 5.2; 5. (tie) Ty Talsma and Logan Rudd, 5.3; 7. (tie) Brock White and Casey Martin, 5.6. Average leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 9.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Casey Martin, 10.1; 3. Kait Kvistad, 11.1; 4. Brock White, 13.1; 5. Brandon Volker, 15.5; 6. Ty Lank, 18.2; 7. Levi Rudd,18.7; 8. Logan Rudd, 19.7.

Team roping: First round leaders:1. Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman, 5.6 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7; 3. Robert Pixley/Joe Mattern, 5.9; 4. Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 6.1; 5. Quisto Lopez/Travis Hobbs, 7.2; 6. Bobby Boyd DVM/Byron Wilkerson, 7.7; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 6.0 seconds; 2. Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twissselman, 7.2; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Miles Baker/Dustin Searcy, 17.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Landon McClaugherty/Caleb Twisselman, 22.8; 3. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.7 seconds on one run; 4. Robert Pixley, 5.9; 5. Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 6.1; 6. Quisto Lopez/Travis Hobbs, 7.2; 7. Bobby Boyd/Byron Wilkerson, 7.7; 8. Brent Reichmuth/Allan Hughes, 25.2.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, 85 points on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Kate’s Hot Sister; 2. (tie) Taos Muncy and Isaac Diaz, 82; 4. Brady Nicholes, 78; 5. Cody Taton, 76; 6. Hardy Braden, 72; 7. Joaquin Real, 71; 8. Spencer Wright, 70.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 12.0 seconds; 2. Adam Gray, 15.7; 3. Sean O’Neil, 16.6; 4. Chris Neal, 18.1; 5. Marcos Costa, 23.3; 6. Tanner Stec, 23.4. Second round leaders: 1. Marcos Costa, 10.2 seconds; 2. Cody Ohl, 11.0; 3. Adam Gray, 12.0; 4. Sean O’Neil, 13.8; 5. Clete Scheer, 17.9; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 23.0 seconds on two runs; Adam Gray, 27.7; 3. Sean O’Neil, 30.4; 4. Marcos Costa, 33.5; 5. Clete Sheer, 17.9 seconds on one run; 6. Tanner Stec, 23.4.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Shada Brazile, 17.87 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 17.96; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.19; 4. Jane Melby, 18.37; 5. Jaime Barrow, 18.42; 6. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 18.51. Second round leaders: 1. Jane Melby, 18.43 seconds; 2. Jessi Fish, 18.52; 3. Shelbie Parrish, 18.56; 4. Sara Rose McDonald, 18.61; 5. Katie Loughran, 18.71; 6. Korinna Lynn Hughes, 19.21; 7. Hannah Ragsdale, 19.33 seconds; 8. Hali Scott, 19.79; 9. Kaela Haddon, 19.88; 10. Jaime Barrow, 23.23; no other qualified runs. . Average leaders: 1. Jessi Fish, 36.48 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Sarah Rose McDonald and Jane Melby, 36.80; 4. Katie Loughran, 37.38; 5. Korrina Lynn Hughes, 37.72; 6. Shelbie Parrish, 37.75; 7. Hali Scott, 38.69; 8. Kaela Haddon, 38.96; 9. Hannah Ragsdale, 40.23; 10. Jaime Barrow, 41.65.

Bull riding: 1. Tyler Smith, 84 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Elise Said What; 2. J.W. Harris, 83; 3. Dillon Tyler, 75; 4. Tag Elliott, 74; 5. Elijah Mora, 64; 6. Casey Huckabee, 53; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Dodge City photos posted

Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla., the reigning PRCA Steer Roping Rookie of the Year, makes a solid run during the third round of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo steer roping competition Tuesday afternoon. Poppino finished second in the average.

Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla., the reigning PRCA Steer Roping Rookie of the Year, makes a solid run during the third round of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo steer roping competition Tuesday afternoon. Poppino finished second in the average. Look for more photos by clicking HERE.

 

postheadericon Bingham wins Dodge City Xtreme

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Tim Bingham is on pace to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time in his young career.

On Tuesday night, Bingham took another step closer by claiming the championship at the inaugural Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls at Roundup Arena. The Honeyville, Utah, cowboy pocketed $5,261 on Tuesday night, pushing his season earnings to $56,363. Just as importantly, he moved up one spot to seventh in the world standings.

Tim Bingham

Tim Bingham

“I’ve been in a similar position before, but not nearly what I am here,” said Bingham, who finished 20th in the 2012 standings, just five spots out of qualifying for the NFR, the sport’s year-end championship. “It’s pretty much a dream coming true before your eyes, and it’s not even finished yet.”

Bingham won the first round with an 86-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Centerfold, earning more than $1,500 for that. He then came back in the final round with an 85.5 on Frontier’s Swamp Dog; he finished second in the round behind Jordan Spears, who posted the highest marked ride of the night with an 89 on Frontier’s Kojack. Bingham’s two ride total of 171.5 was eight and a half points better than Spears, who had a 74 in the opening round.

“You have to be consistent enough to back up your first ride,” said Bingham, who has victories this season in Spanish Fork, Utah; Clovis, Calif.; San Francisco; Sisters, Ore.; Salt Lake City and Elizabeth, Colo. “That’s where I’ve been struggling. I can get my first ones rode, but I struggle in the short round. Finally I got a short-round bull covered and won.”

The Xtreme Bulls tour is a part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Money won not only counts toward the Xtreme Bulls standings but also the bull riding world standings. His Dodge City winnings will move Bingham from 48th to 23rd. He is in good position to qualify for the Xtreme Bulls Finals, which will take place Labor Day weekend in Ellensburg, Wash.

The bigger picture is the NFR qualification and a shot at the elusive world championship. Bingham knows he must follow a simple cliché of taking advantage of every ride and every opportunity, but he’s placed himself in great position heading into the final two months of the season.

He is scheduled to compete again Friday night during the third performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. A good showing later this week could make all the difference, and he has a pretty good track record in southwest Kansas.

“I’ve only ever been on one bull here and rode it, but I missed the short round,” he said, referring to Sunday night’s championship, which features the top 12 contestants from the preliminary rounds that take place Wednesday-Saturday. “I was one for one here, so now I’m three for three.”

It all adds up quite well inside Roundup Arena.

Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls
Dodge City, Kan.
July 29
First round:
1. Tim Bingham, 68 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Centerfold, $1,508; 2. Tate Stratton, 81.5, $1,182; 3. Triston Boor, 76, $903; 4. Jordan Spears, 74, $624; 5. Ty Wallace, 69, $438; no other qualified rides. Short round: 1. Jordan Spears, 89 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Kojack, $1,875; 2. Tim Bingham, 85.5, $1,427. Average: 1. Tim Bingham, 171.5 points on two rides, $2,326; 2. Jordan Spears, 163, $1,784; 3. Tate Stratton, 81.5, $1,318; 4. Triston Boor, 76, $853; 5. Ty Wallace, 69, $543.

postheadericon Roundup steer roping results

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 3
Steer roping: First round:
1. (tie) Neal Wood and Travis Mills, 12.7 seconds, $1,705 each; 3. Tony Reina, 13.2, $1,222; 4. Roger Branch, 13.5, $901; 5. Jess Tierney, 13.8, $579; 6. Landon McClaugherty, 14.0, $322. Second round: 1. J.B. Whatley, 11.2 seconds, $1,866; 2. Tuf Cooper, 11.5, $1,544; 3. (tie) Tom Smith and Chet Herren, 12.0, $1,062; 5. Jason Evans, 12.1, $579; 6. Brodie Poppino, 12.2, $322. Third round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 10.3 seconds, $1,866; 2. (tie) J. Tom Fisher and Joe Wells, 12.0, $1,383 each; 4. Corey Ross, 12.2, $901; 5. Mike Chase, 12.3, $979; 6. Rocky Patterson, 12.4, $322. Average: 1. Tyrel Taton, 43.0 seconds on three runs, $2,799; 2. Brodie Poppino, 43.6, $2,316; 3. Jess Tierney, 45.3, $1,834; 4. C.A. Lauer, 46.1, $1,351; 5. Martin Poindexter, 46.3, $869; 6. Tom Smith, 49.4, $483.

postheadericon Live broadcasts to showcase Roundup

DODGE CITY, Kan. – The Dodge City Roundup Rodeo has been a world-class event for much of its existence.

This year, the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour event also is receiving unprecedented live coverage from some of the biggest web-based entities in ProRodeo. For those who can’t make their way to this southwest Kansas community, the weekend performances will be carried live on the Internet.

DodgeCityRoundupSteve Kenyon’s ProRodeo Live will broadcast the final three performances, which will take place at 7:45 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday – the Sunday showcase is the championship round and will feature the top contestants from the qualifying rounds that take place through the week.

Rob Matthews will make the call for ProRodeo Live. Friday’s broadcast will air Saturday afternoon on Rural Radio 80, and Saturday’s show will air Sunday afternoon on that Sirius XM station. The championship round will re-broadcast on Rural Radio 80 on Saturday, Aug. 9.

The championship round also will be simulcast live Sunday night on the Wrangler Network online.

“This is a very exciting time for Roundup Rodeo,” said Dr. R.C. Trotter, the chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We’re happy to partner with ProRodeo Live and the Wrangler Network to be able to share our rodeo with everyone that wants to follow it. We believe we have one of the very best rodeos in the country, and we’re proud to have this opportunity to share it.”

The rodeo begins Tuesday with steer roping competition throughout the day, followed by the inaugural Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls at 7:45 p.m. Performances for the rodeo take place at the same time beginning Wednesday.

postheadericon Tate Branch key to fair’s success

LOVINGTON, N.M. – When Tate Branch opened his vehicle dealership in Hobbs, N.M., a few years ago, he realized there were several gifts that came with it.

“I feel like I’m very, very blessed,” said Branch, owner of Tate Branch Dodge in Hobbs, Tate Branch Autoplex in Carlsbad and Tate Branch Auto Group in Artesia. “I feel like I’m in a position that God has blessed me, and this is one way I could give back.”

Lea County Fair LogoThe “this” to which Branch referred is the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, a 10-night exposition that takes place Aug. 1-9 at the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington. Tate Branch Dodge of Hobbs is the title sponsor for the annual fair and rodeo.

“There is a passion in Lea County for this,” he said. “The fair and rodeo is huge, and I had no idea until six years ago when we opened the dealership in Hobbs. We got involved, and I’ve gotten passionate about rodeo over the last several years.”

That passion is evident in many things Branch and the dealership do. Tate Branch Dodge endorses ProRodeo ropers Clint Cooper, Clif Cooper, Tuf Cooper, Jake Cooper and Jim Ross Cooper – all of whom have ties to Lea County – as well as saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy of Corona, N.M.

But close to home, Branch’s commitment is focused strongly on the fair and rodeo.

“Tate Branch, the owner as well as the dealership, recognizes how valuable the fair and rodeo is to all the people in Lea County and to the surrounding area,” said Lindsay Chism, the marketing director for Tate Branch Dodge. “The fair and rodeo is great entertainment, and it’s great for the families to be excited.

“We want to be able to provide that opportunity year after year. One thing that we could do to benefit the masses the most is helping to bring the fair and rodeo to Lea County.”

Chism has seen the benefit most of her life. She grew up in Lea County and graduated from Hobbs High School. She’s participated in the fair and rodeo as a youngster and continues to enjoy the festivities with her family.

“For me, I think the parade on Wednesday is one of those things you really enjoy because you get to see the energy of all ages,” she said. “You can feel everybody’s excitement as they line all those miles up and down Lovington. I love how many people come out for that and how very uniting it is.

“I think it kicks off the big final four days and gets everybody really excited.”

Branch purchased the Hobbs dealership in 2008. In the years since, he has witnessed that excitement up close and personal.

“We have always believed with the three dealerships that there is an importance to being involved in the community and giving back to the community,” said Branch, who grew up in Carlsbad, N.M. “We are very family oriented and community oriented.”

That attitude is paying off for many southeastern New Mexico residents, especially those who make their way to Lovington every August for the expo.

“I’ve done quite a bit of research on this, and this is the largest county fair in the state of New Mexico,” Branch said. “Every year it seems like it grows. It’s all about the people and the passion they have for it. They plan around that week all year. That’s important to us.”

postheadericon Fair offers affordable entertainment

LOVINGTON, N.M. – There aren’t many places one can go these days for just $8.

For folks near this community of about 10,000 people, that’s all it takes for a full day of entertainment at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, which takes place Friday, Aug. 1-Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Lea County Fairgrounds.

Lea County Fair LogoJust consider what that one ticket is worth: ventriloquist Kevin Johnson, the Equilibrium Circus, the Ham Bone Express Pig Races, the Lea County Xtreme Bulls, a Wrangler Million Dollar Tour rodeo, livestock shows, the carnival, great food and some of the top concert acts in the country.

“We do this for the citizens of the county, and they show up every year,” said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. “They are the ones who make this possible. Their tax dollars are what put this on.”

That’s important, and it also is why fair-goers are afforded such a bargain. Just the concerts alone would make the annual exposition a valuable piece of entertainment.

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

The key factor is that the Lea County Commission underwrites the 10-day affair. There are many reasons why county officials support the event, but it all comes back to supporting the community.

“Our fair and rodeo is a quality-of-life deal for the county,” said Dale Dunlap, now in his fifth year on the commission. “It brings in outside people and brings in a lot of contestants and vendors. It provides a lot of economic impact to Lea County.

“It’s something we’ve always done, and it’s always something that keeps getting bigger and better.”

That’s so true. More and more people are learning about the eastern New Mexico gem.

“We want to show the people that we’re interested in giving them entertainment,” said Dunlap, who previously had spent six years on the Lea County Fair Board. “We want to give back to the public and show them that we spend their tax dollars wisely.”

In fact, those involved in livestock showing realize they have something special in Lovington.

“With our livestock show and the sale, it teaches the young folks responsibility,” Dunlap said. “It could pay off in the long run. The sale is what I like to see because there are so many people who turn out to support these kids.”

That says a lot, but that’s what many have come to expect with the exposition.

“The flagship event for the county is the Lea County Fair and Rodeo,” Helton said. “It’s that one week a year that everybody comes together and catches up. Without the citizens here, I don’t think we could do it. The support from them is unbelievable. Whether it’s financial or other support we need, we seem to have it.”

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