Archive for July, 2017

postheadericon Lovington is a cowboy’s paradise

Marcos Costa ropes his first-round calf during the 2016 Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Costa finished second in the two-run aggregate.

Marcos Costa ropes his first-round calf during the 2016 Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Costa finished second in the two-run aggregate.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – The rodeo history in southeastern New Mexico is as rich as the rugged terrain that makes up Lea County.

It’s proven in the men who laid the foundation for the rich rodeo tradition, men like Jake McClure, Troy Fort, Sonny Davis, Roy Cooper and Jimmie Cooper. It reappears every summer when this community hosts the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9-Saturday, Aug. 12, at Jake McClure Arena; that also includes Lea County Xtreme Bulls, which is Tuesday, Aug. 8.

“One thing I look at is that we’re off the beaten path to be this big of a rodeo,” said Trey Kerby, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board’s rodeo committee. “A lot of people have to drive a long way to get here. That says a lot about something that’s been around for 82 years.”

Rodeo’s greatest stars converge on this community of about 11,000 over the course of the five performances. Every winner from the 2016 rodeo has already competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which is a tell-tale sign of the greatness that happens inside the fairgrounds’ arena.

“This is always a big rodeo that everybody wants to win,” said Cody Rostockyj, last year’s winner from Lorena, Texas.

Over the years, Lovington’s rodeo has been recognized as one of the best large events in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. That’s no small task; the Lea County Fair and Rodeo has been listed with rodeos like the Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup and Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days.

“It’s something special to be down in the middle of our rodeo,” said Kerby, who grew up in Lea County and has been around his hometown rodeo all his life. “A lot of the contestants come straight from Sikeston (Mo.) just to compete here. It says we’re doing something right for them to come all that way to be here.

“We pay good, and we make it a good rodeo with good livestock. I think that’s attractive to the cowboys who come here.”

It’s also something that helps attract fans from all over the region to Lovington; they know where the top cowboys will be in early August every year.

“We don’t just draw from Lea County,” Kerby said. “We have many people come from west Texas, up north in New Mexico … pretty much all over. There aren’t a lot of things here but ranches and people who know rodeo, so it means a lot to me that they make their way here.”

What is it that makes the Lea County Fair and Rodeo so special to those rodeo fans and the hundreds of contestants that area part of the annual event?

“It’s an accumulation of everything: the world-class stock and the world-class athletes that come to do it,” he said. “If anybody follows rodeo, they know just about everybody that shows up here.”

postheadericon Albertan wins bronc match

Layton Green riding into world-title contention with victory in Pollockville

POLLOCKVILLE, Alberta – Every young cowboy has dreamed of being one of the very best in the field.

Layton Green is living out his dreams one bucking horse at a time, and he’s doing everything he can to make them happen in 2017.

“This has been outstanding,” said Green, who on Saturday night scored 91 points on Calgary Stampede’s Stampede Warrior in the championship round to win the inaugural Hardgrass Bronc Match in Pollockville. “I’ve been dreaming of making the National Finals Rodeo all my life, and this will make it one step easier.

Layton Green

Layton Green

“To win the first-ever Hardgrass Bronc Match is awesome.”

It should be. It’s the first event of its kind; the stand-alone bronc riding was co-sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. That means money won will count toward contestants’ qualifications for bot the NFR and the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Heading into this weekend’s event, Green was No. 1 in the CPRA standings with $33,703 and fifth in the PRCA with $76,073. He will pad those standings with the $7,061 he earned Saturday night.

“That was the third time I’ve had Stampede Warrior this month,” said Green, 23, of Meeting Creek, Alberta. “I won the short round in Ponoka (Alberta), and I was 91.5 points on him to win the first round in Calgary.”

Green shared the first-round victory with Nebraskan Cort Scheer; both cowboys were 87 points – Scheer spurred Calgary’s Weekend Departure, while Green matched moves with Calgary’s Yesterday’s Delivery. By winning the opening round, Scheer and Green were the first two to select from the pen of short-round horses.

“Cort picked Wild Cherry, which I was also 91.5 in Calgary, too, in the four-man round,” Green said. “It was unreal. There was a pile of people here in the crowd, and everybody rodeo really good. It came down to whoever spurred the best, whoever rode the best, was going to win it.

“Because of the horses they had here, everybody had a chance to win it.”

That’s true. Green didn’t even post the highest score of the night. That honor belonged to Clay Elliott of Nanton, Alberta, who spurred Calgary’s Tiger Warrior for 92 points to win the short go-round. With Green finishing second, he earned the highest two-ride cumulative score to win the championship.

“Everybody had fun,” he said. “It was probably one of the best bronc matches I’ve ever been to.”

The leaderboard proved it. Of the top five in the final score, only Green hasn’t been to the NFR.

“Rodeoing with your idols is great,” he said. “I’ve looked up to guys like Cort Scheer and Tyler Corrington for a while now, and to be able to ride at that level and to be able to ride against guys like that is awesome.”

If he keeps it up, he’ll be doing so at the CFR in Edmonton, Alberta, in November and again at the NFR in Las Vegas in December.

Hardgrass Bronc Match
Pollockville, Alberta
July 29, 2017
First round: 1. (tie) Cort Scheer, on Calgary Stampede’s Weekend Departure, and Layton Green, on Calgary Stampede’s Yesterday’s Delivery, 87 points, $2,543 each; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 85, $1,795; 4. Jake Watson, 84, $1,297; 5. (tie) Clay Elliott and Colton Miller, 83.5, $648 each; 7. (tie) Lane Watt and Justin Berg, 83, $249. Short round: Clay Elliott, 92 points on Calgary Stampede’s Tiger Warrior, $2,100; 2; Layton Green, 91.5, $1,725; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 89.5, $1,350; 4. Jake Watson, 88, $950; 5. Cort Scheer, 87, $600; 6. Justin Berg, 85, $375; 7. Colton Miller, 83, $225. Average: 1. Layton Green, 178.5 points on two rides, $2,792; 2. Clay Elliott, 175.5, $2,294; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 174.5, $1,795; 4. Cort Scheer, 174, $1,297; 5. Jake Watson, 172, $798; 6. Justin Berg, 168, $499; 7. Colton Miller, 166, $299; 8. Lane Watt, 83 points on one ride, $199.

postheadericon Back to the basics

Trace Adkins, Gretchen Wilson headline a top concert lineup

LOVINGTON, N.M. – World-class talent makes its way to Lovington each August.

This year’s Lea County Fair and Rodeo concert lineup is proof, with top headliners Trace Atkins and Gretchen Wilson closing out this year’s exposition at the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington.

Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins

“We’ve been able to bring the planning and organizing for the fair and rodeo back in house, and it shows what we are capable of doing,” said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. “Jim Kemp has worked tirelessly on getting everything done appropriately, and his hard work has paid off.

“We have always had strong musical acts at our fair and rodeo, and it’s nice to see that after a couple of years struggling, we have returned to the top with this year’s lineup.”

Adkins, whose raspy bass-baritone voice is as recognizable as his 6-foot-6-inch frame and signature goatee, has had three No. 1 hits on the country charts, including “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing,” “Ladies Love Country Boys” and “You’re Gonna Miss This.”

He will perform Friday, Aug 11, after the rodeo ends. Wilson will finish the nine-day fair and rodeo on Saturday, Aug. 12, bringing her “Rowdy” personality to Lea County.

Gretchen Wilson

Gretchen Wilson

Best known for her 2004 Grammy Award-winning single “Redneck Woman,” Wilson’s newly released album is called Ready to Get Rowdy, including the single “Rowdy.”

She has charted 13 singles on the country charts, five of which have reached inside the top 10; besides “Redneck Woman,” she also hit the charts with “Here for the Party,” “When I Think about Cheatin’,” “Homewrecker” and “All Jacked Up.”

The concerts kick off Friday, Aug. 4, with Hispanic Heritage Night at the fair and rodeo. The concerts will include Conjuncto Primavera and Virlan Garcia. Conjuncto Primavera was formed in the Mexican state of Chihuahua four decades ago and has been nominated for many Latin Grammy Awards. It was awarded the Latin Grammy award Best Norteno for its album Amor Amor.

Garcia specializes in Norteno, Corridos and bandas. He has had a huge hit with “Fuego Cruzado.”

After three days off, the concerts return with the Josh Abbott Band on Tuesday, Aug. 8, following the Lea County Xtreme Bulls. Known for its Texas Country genre, the band originated a decade ago in Lubbock, Texas. This region is nothing new to the group. The group performed in Lovington just four years ago, but this is where its roots lie.

Abbott founded the band in 2006 while attending Texas Tech University, and it was a hit in 2013. There’s no reason to expect anything different now.

Danny Gokey will perform on Faith and Family night on Aug. 9. He gained fame as he dealt the death of his wife just a month before performing on “American Idol.” He placed third on the show and has a powerful message to share through his music.

Cassadee Pope makes her Lea County Fair and Rodeo debut. Like Gokey, Pope gained fame through reality television, being part of the third season of “The Voice.”

“This is an exciting return to the type of concerts we want to share with the people here in Lea County,” Helton said. “I love that we have bands that have been a hit in the past returning, and I’m very excited we have both Trace Adkins and Gretchen Wilson performing this year.

“That says a lot about what we have to offer.”

postheadericon Roundup ready for world-class event

Trevor Brazile, the only 23-time world champion in ProRodeo history, is expected to be one of hundreds of contestants competing at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

Trevor Brazile, the only 23-time world champion in ProRodeo history, is expected to be one of hundreds of contestants competing at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Dodge City Roundup is more than a local rodeo with regional appeal.

It’s a world-class championship that will feature nearly 1,000 contestants all vying for their share of the large purse available.

“We are very pleased to have upgraded our status to a Wrangler Gold Tour rodeo, which means we’re offering more of a purse than ever before,” said Dr. R.C. Trotter, president of Roundup, set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 6, at Roundup Arena; it also includes A Whole Lotta Bull, which features the Xtreme Bulls Tour and Bullfighters Only freestyle bullfighting on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

“We want our fans to see the best rodeo they can possibly see each year, so we want to have the best contestants. That’s why we put up $20,000 in committee purse in every event, and that’s why we have the best livestock.”

It’s working. Take Chet Johnson, who won the saddle bronc riding championship in Dodge City a year ago.

“Dodge City is one of those bucket-list type of rodeos, where everyone wants to win it,” said saddle bronc rider Chet Johnson, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Gillette, Wyo. “It’s got such a history to it, and it’s an icon in the sport. To put that notch on your belt is a huge one.”

Roundup will feature preliminary go-rounds Wednesday-Saturday, with the top 12 contestants in each event advancing to Sunday’s championship round. The final night will be a who’s who in rodeo.

“A lot of guys get nervous when they make the short round here, because this is probably the rankest short round you’ll ever see,” said Tim O’Connell, the reigning bareback riding world champion from Zwingle, Iowa, who won the Roundup crown last year en route to his first gold buckle.

“This is a very prestigious rodeo. In the three years that I’ve been here, they break arena records all the time. If you want to be a rank horse rider and be in the 90s, this is the place to be.”

The fans that experience Roundup feel the same way, and there will be a ton of excitement through all six nights of the rodeo. The rodeo is the crown jewel of a community celebration, Dodge City Days.

“To me, this is more than just a rodeo,” Trotter said. “That’s why we want to reach out to others around us, with our red-white-and-blue Friday and our Tough Enough to Wear Pink night on Saturday. We will honor first-responders on Friday and help raise money and awareness for Circle of Hope.

“Because we have such a great rodeo with amazing partners, we are able to do a lot of great things. It’s one of the things that makes me most proud of being part of Roundup Rodeo.”

postheadericon Inman dominates in Salinas

SALINAS, Calif. – Many things have changed for Toby Inman since 2009, the last time he earned the freestyle bullfighting title in Salinas.

Toby Inman won three of four rounds at Bullfighters Only-Salinas this past weekend to take the overall title. (PHIL DOYLE PHOTO)

Toby Inman won three of four rounds at Bullfighters Only-Salinas this past weekend to take the overall title. (PHIL DOYLE PHOTO)

One thing that hasn’t: He is still one of the smoothest men to have ever tested his skills on the California Rodeo Salinas track. He proved it this past weekend by dominating the Bullfighters Only competition – he won the first three rounds and won the overall championship on a four-fight total of 335 points, 25.5 points better than the runner-up, Weston Rutkowski.

“I was feeling good the first three rounds and was on top of my game,” said Inman of Davis Junction, Ill. “I had good draws, and I was soaking up every bit of it.

“I’m going to enjoy this for a while.”

He should. He’s adapted his game considerably since his last Salinas title, then in his mid-20s. Now in his mid-30s, Inman returned to the winner’s circle by showcasing his athleticism in a different way.

“My style has changed to fit how I move now,” he said. “I don’t move as fast, but I’m still fighting as good I’ve always fought even though I’m slowing down more. I’ve always jumped bulls, but nowadays, jumping isn’t good enough. You’ve got to pull off these big tricks to get a check.

“When I was younger, I just did it. I could run a marathon, but I didn’t train for it. Now at 34 years old, I’ve got to run a mile or two to get in shape. I train my body more than I did before.”

The biggest score of the weekend came in the second round when Inman posted an 89-point fight. He began with a running “gainer” over the black Spanish bull. The animal stayed close, and Inman was remained just out of harm’s way for the entire fight.

“It would’ve been cool to take all four nights, but I’ll take what I’ve got,” he said. “I’m glad I got to town early, because I was soaking up as much of Salinas as I could. That rodeo and the people there are awesome.”

RESULTS
Round 1: 1. Toby Inman, 85 points; 2. Zach Flatt, 81; 3. Beau Schueth, 79.5.
Round 2: 1. Toby Inman, 89 points; 2. Cody Emerson, 85; 3. Beau Schueth, 80.
Round 3: 1. Toby Inman, 85.5 points; 2. Weston Rutkowski, 80.5; 3. Cody Emerson, 78.
Round 4: 1. Beau Schueth, 84 points; 2. Zach Flatt, 83; 3. Weston Rutkowski, 82.
Average: 1. Toby Inman, 335 points on four fights; 2. Weston Rutkowski, 319.5; 3. Zach Flatt, 312.5.

postheadericon Meiers makes Big move in Eagle

J.W. Meier rides Pete Carr's Big Tex for 83 points to finish the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo in third place in saddle bronc riding. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

J.W. Meier rides Pete Carr’s Big Tex for 83 points to finish the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo in third place in saddle bronc riding. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

EAGLE, Colo. – As he stood behind the bucking chutes before the final performance of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo on Saturday night, there was a bit more electricity sparking out of J.W. Meiers.

“I was excited, and I couldn’t believe I had a horse like that here,” Meiers said of his saddle bronc riding partner, Big Tex, a former horse of the year from the Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo string. “He was everything I had ever hoped for.

“He actually bucked harder, so I was trying to hustle. I did everything I could to stay on him. He’s an amazing horse.”

Yes, he is. Now 17 years old, the big bay gelding was the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He has bucked at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo each of the last 11 years, the last five in saddle bronc riding.

Oh, and cowboys have won many of the biggest rodeos in the country on the powerful and electric horse’s back. On Saturday night, he was matched with Meiers, a 22-year-old cowboy from Mills, Wyo., who has been riding broncs for eight years.

“We had a pretty good match-up today,” he said.

The duo danced across the Johnette Phillips Arena dirt for 83 points, which was worth $1,534 for the Wyoming cowboy. He needs every dollar he can get in this region, because they count toward qualifications to the RAM Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo, which takes place this fall in Great Falls, Mont.

“I made the circuit finals last year, and it’s always a goal to keep going back,” said Meiers, who is just five years older than Big Tex but far less experienced. “At this stage, there shouldn’t be a year I don’t go back. Hopefully I get a few more rodeos in me, I can go harder and hopefully make the (National Finals Rodeo) someday.”

For now, though, he’ll continue to work on the basics of the game and chase his dreams of qualifying for the NFR, ProRodeo’s grand finale that features only the best in the game each season.

“Everything can always have work,” he said. “Today I was ready to have a strong mark-out and lift on my rein. That’s what I needed to focus on every ride.

“Hopefully in five years I can be riding at the NFR and hopefully riding broncs as good ever day as I did today.”

Eagle County Fair and Rodeo
Eagle, Colo.
July 19-22
Bareback riding:
1. Jake Brown, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bright Lights, $2,256; 2. Devan Reilly, 82.5, $1,730; 3. Joel Schlegel, 82, $1,278; 4. Trenten Montero 81.5, $827; 5. Will Lowe, 81, $526; 6. (tie) Weston Garrett and Mike Fred, 80, $338 each; 8. Zach Hibler, 79.5, $226.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Beau Clark, 3.2 seconds, $645; 2. Justin Blain Davis, 4.8, $483; 3. Brian Snell, 5.0, $322; 4. Cutter DeHart, 5.2, $161. Second round: 1. Wyatt Johnson, 4.4 seconds, $645; 2. Chisum Docheff, 4.7, $483; 3. Cole McNamee, 5.0, $322; 4. Cutter DeHart, 5.3, $161. Average: 1. Beau Clark, 10.0 seconds on two runs, $967; 2. Chisum Docheff, 10.2, $725; 3. Cutter DeHart, 10.5, $483; 4. Logan McDonald, 12.1, $242.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Kyle Dickens, 8.7 seconds, $677; 2. Brice Ingo, 10.4, $508; 3. Taylor Skinner 11.2, $338; 4. Ricky Lambert, 11.4, $169. Second round: 1. Brandon Neugebauer, 9.1 seconds, $677; 2. Joey Dickens 9.2, $508; 3. Dylan Marks, 10.7, $338; 4. Carter Davis, 11.4, $169. Average: 1. Kyle Dickens, 21.0, $1,015; 2. Brice Ingo, 23.5, $761; 3. Ricky Lambert, 23.6, $508; 4. Taylor Skinner, 24.1, $254.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Wyatt Casper, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Deuces Wild, and Bradley Harter, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria, 83.5 points, $2,391 each; 3. JW Meiers, 83, $1,534; 4. Chet Johnson, 81.5, $993; 5. (tie) Dawson Jandreau and Tyler Turco, 81, $541 each; 7. (tie) Sam Harper and Chanse Darling, 79.5, $316 each.

Team roping: 1. Cole Dorenkamp/Bret Tonozzi, 6.0 seconds, $752; 2. Britt Ellerman, 6.7, $564; 3. Eric Martin/Cody Howa, 7.1, $376; 4. Travis Bounds/Jesse Sheffield, 7.3, $188. Second round: 1. Nick Pullara/Shawn Darnall, 5.0 seconds, $752; 2. Levi O’Keeffe/Jade Nelson, 5.3, $564; 2. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 5.5, $376; 4. (tie) Tanner Baldwin/J.W. Borrego and Tyler Schnaufer/Trevor Schnaufer, 5.8, $94 each; 4. Denton Taylor/Dusty Taylor, 6.2. Average: 1. Brit Ellerman/J.D. Yates, 13.1 seconds on two runs, $1,128; 2. Jay Tittel/Richard Durham, 13.6, $846; 3. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 16.2, $564; 4. Nick Pullara/Shawn Darnall, 16.3, $282.

Barrel racing: 1. Ericka Nelson, 17.17 seconds, $1,532; 2. Shali Lord, 17.32, $1,313; 3. Kelly Koeppen, 17.36, $1,094; 4. Melanie Roman, 17.62, $948; 5. Jean Winters, 17.64, $729; 6. Cambra Smith, 17.71, $584; 7. Andrea Busby, 17.76, $438; 8. Wendy McKee, 17.80, $292; 9. Dani Durham, 17.81, $219; 10. Abby Phillips, 17.85, $146.

Bull riding: 1. Lex Oakley, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Son of Sam, $3,211; 2. Dillon James Tyner, 83, $2,565; 3. Nic Lica, 81.5, $2,010; 4. Fulton Rutland, 79, $1,456; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Lowe spurs through mud to money

Three-time world champion Will Lowe rides Pete Carr's The Senator on Friday night for 81 points at the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Three-time world champion Will Lowe rides Pete Carr’s The Senator on Friday night for 81 points at the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

EAGLE, Colo. – The rains hovered over Johnette Phillips Arena about half an hour before the start of Friday’s third performance of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo.

It didn’t stop until the final bull bucked, but the action was incredible from start to finish.

“It just kept coming down,” said Will Lowe, a three-time world champion bareback rider who posted an 81-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s The Senator. “When our horses went, it was still really good. As it went further and further, it just got worse.”

Lowe has experienced worse; that’s rodeo.

“It always adds different factors to it,” said Lowe, whose wife, Tiffani, is from nearby Gypsum; she competed in barrel racing on Friday. “Sometimes it can be real beneficial, but it just depends on the situation.”

He has experienced all the highs and lows that come with the game. In addition to his three gold buckles, he is a 14-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He also is a two-time winner of the Eagle rodeo.

“I’ve had some real good goes here,” he said. “Usually at Pete Carr’s rodeos, it’s real nice because you have a good chance to win something on whatever you draw. You’ve just got to use them.

“Pete usually has a pretty even pen. I’ve been coming consistently since Pete got the contract here. They bumped the money up, and then they got Pete about the same time. But you know with Pete’s stock that whatever you draw will give you a chance to win money.”

Eagle County Fair and Rodeo
Eagle, Colo.
July 19-22
Bareback riding:
1. Jake Brown, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bright Lights; 2. Devan Reilly, 82.5; 3. Trenten Montero 81.5; 4. Will Lowe, 81; 5. (tie) Weston Garrett and Mike Fred, 80; 7. Zach Hibler, 79.5; 8. Tony Barrington, 75.5.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Beau Clark, 3.2 seconds, $645; 2. Justin Blain Davis, 4.8, $483; 3. Brian Snell, 5.0, $322; 4. Cutter DeHart, 5.2, #161. Second round: 1. Wyatt Johnson, 4.4 seconds; 2. Chisum Docheff, 4.7; 3. Austin Eller, 5.7; 4. Beau Clark, 6.8. Average: 1. Beau Clark, 10.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Chisum Docheff, 10.2; 3. Austin Eller, 12.6; 4. Kodie Jang, 19.5.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Kyle Dickens, 8.7 seconds, $677; 2. Brice Ingo, 10.4, $508; 3. Taylor Skinner 11.2, $338; 4. Ricky Lambert, 11.4, $169. Second round: 1. Brandon Neugebauer, 9.1 seconds; 2. Ricky Lambert, 12.2; 3. Taylor Skinner, 12.9; 4. Brice Ingo, 13.1. Average: 1. Brice Ingo, 23.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Ricky Lambert, 23.6; 3. Taylor Skinner, 24.1; 4. Joe James, 25.5.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Wyatt Casper, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Deuces Wild, and Bradley Harter, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria, 83.5 points; 3. Chet Johnson, 81.5; 4. (tie) Dawson Jandreau and Tyler Turco, 81; 6. (tie) Sam Harper and Chanse Darling, 79.5; 8. Jake Finlay, 79.

Team roping: 1. Cole Dorenkamp/Bret Tonozzi, 6.0 seconds, $752; 2. Eric Martin/Cody Howa, 7.1, $564; 3. Travis Bounds/Jesse Sheffield, 7.3, $376; 4. Jay Tittel/Richard Durham, 7.5, $188. Second round: 1. Levi O’Keeffe/Jade Nelson, 5.3 seconds; 2. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 5.5; 3. Tanner Baldwin/J.W. Borregom 5.8; 4. Denton Taylor/Dusty Taylor, 6.2. Average: 1. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 16.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Brit Ellerman/J.D. Yates, 17.1; 3. Levi O’Keeffe/Jade Nelson, 17.2; 4. Tanner Baldwin/J.W. Borrego, 5.8 seconds on one run.

Barrel racing: 1. Ericka Nelson, 17.17 seconds; 2. Shali Lord, 17.32; 3. Kelly Koeppen, 17.36; 4. Melanie Roman, 17.62; 5. Jean Winters, 17.64; 6. Cambra Smith, 17.71; 7. Andrea Busby, 17.76; 8. Wendy McKee, 17.80; 9. Dani Durham, 17.81; 10. Abby Phillips, 17.85.

Bull riding: 1. Lex Oakley, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Son of Sam; 2. Dillon James Tyner, 83; 3. Nic Lica, 81.5; 4. Fulton Rutland, 79; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Roundup honoring Victory Electric

DODGE CITY, Kan. – As the winds blew cold, moist air across southwest Kansas this past January, crews from Victory Electric were in the middle of the storm.

A power pole and lines sag during the January ice storm that rocked Dodge City. (VICTORY ELECTRIC PHOTO)

A power pole and lines sag during the January ice storm that rocked Dodge City. (VICTORY ELECTRIC PHOTO)

Power lines broke and poles were virtually sawed in half. Thousands were without power, yet the crews from the local cooperative – as well as several other coops regionally that had converged on the area – worked tirelessly to restore power and hope to communities in need.

“The work they did was so admirable that we want to honor Victory Electric during this year’s Dodge City Roundup Rodeo,” said Dr. R.C. Trotter, Roundup’s president. “Nearly everybody in Dodge City was without power for at least some time, some for days.

“Lines were down; poles were snapped. No matter how cold it got, you could see a Victory Electric crew out there all the time. We had several inches of ice on absolutely everything. We had entire trees down, 25 percent damage to nearly every tree in town.”

It was so down that the Federal Emergency Management Agency helped with the cleanup.

That type of dedication deserves special attention. Victory Electric has also partnered with the regional rodeo through its sponsorship with Roundup, set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 6, at Roundup Arena. That also includes the A Whole Lotta Bull night – with Xtreme Bulls and the Bullfighters Only competition – on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

“This was a small-scale major disaster for Dodge City like we haven’t seen in many years,” said Elaine Gall, Roundup’s office manager. “As an example of the community spirit of Dodge City, the vast majority of our residents chose to ‘grin and bear it’ and were very understanding of the work Victory Electric was trying to accomplish.”

That’s the pioneering spirit that has served as the foundation for much of southwest Kansas.

“We are very blessed to have such a strong partnership with Victory,” Trotter said. “They also help so many other areas that have been hit by disasters. We know they had some of their crews out by Ulysses a few weeks ago, and they were all over when we had the blizzard the end of April that hit so much of western Kansas.

“We are very thankful for the work they do in times that most people don’t want to be out.”

Even then, though, community members gathered through the rough weather this past January. Food and drinks were supplied to those crews working so hard to restore power. It served as a small token of appreciation.

The bigger token takes place during the largest event to hit southwest Kansas each summer.

“Considering all that Victory Electric has done this year, this is a very small ‘thank you’ that we as a community can offer,” Trotter said. “We’re very thankful for what they provide to Dodge City.”

postheadericon Ropers ride lead into final round

Cole Dorenkamp, right, and Bret Tonozzi stopped the clock in 6.0 seconds to win the first round in Eagle by more than a second. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Cole Dorenkamp, right, and Bret Tonozzi stopped the clock in 6.0 seconds to win the first round in Eagle by more than a second. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

EAGLE, Colo. – Big leads mean very little in the world of rodeo.

There is no blowout when times are measured in tenths of a second. Bret Tonozzi has been around the game long enough that he understands all the things that can happen when cowboys ride fast horses and try to stop the clock in blazing speed.

So does his young partner, Cole Dorenkamp. The Colorado team ropers posted a 6.0-second run Thursday night to win the first round of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo. They return Friday to run their second steer and see if they can win this prestigious rodeo.

“I’ve been here a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever won this rodeo,” said Tonozzi, a heeler from Fruita, Colo. “It’s a beautiful place, a good committee, and they’ve got a lot of great fans.”

Of course, Tonozzi has a pretty salty header in Dorenkamp. The duo shared the title in Gunnison, Colo., last weekend and are carrying a hot streak through this portion of July.

“I just wanted to get a good start and not break the barrier,” Dorenkamp said. “I wanted to score the steer and let him out.”

Now the two have a 1.1-second lead heading into the second round.

“You still need to win it,” he said.

They captured a payout of $752 each, then got back in their truck and trailer rigs and headed back north.

“We roped in Cheyenne this morning, and we’re up again in the morning,” Tonozzi said “We’ve got to drive half the night to get over then and rope in the morning, then come back here tomorrow night.

“It’s a lot, but it gives us the most opportunities to make money. This is what we do for a living.”

They’ve been living pretty good lately.

Eagle County Fair and Rodeo
Eagle, Colo.
July 19-22
Bareback riding:
1. Jake Brown, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bright Lights; 2. Devan Reilly, 82.5; 3. Trenten Montero 81.5; 4. Zach Hibler, 79.5; 5. Tony Barrington, 75.5; 6. (tie) Jamie Howlett and Kenny Haworth, 75; 8. BoDell Jessen, 72.5S.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Beau Clark, 3.2 seconds, $645; 2. Justin Blain Davis, 4.8, $483; 3. Brian Snell, 5.0, $322; 4. Cutter DeHart, 5.2, $161.

Tie-down roping: 1. Kyle Dickens, 8.7 seconds, $677; 2. Brice Ingo, 10.4, $508; 3. Taylor Skinner 11.2, $338; 4. Ricky Lambert, 11.4, $169.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Wyatt Casper, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Deuces Wild, and Bradley Harter, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria, 83.5 points; 3. Chet Johnson, 81.5; 4. (tie) Dawson Jandreau and Tyler Turco, 81; 6. Curtis Garton, 78.5; 7. Lane Wimberly, 78; 8. Joe Harper, 77.5.

Team roping: 1. Cole Dorenkamp/Bret Tonozzi, 6.0 seconds, $752; 2. Eric Martin/Cody Howa, 7.1, $564; 3. Travis Bounds/Jesse Sheffield, 7.3, $376; 4. Jay Tittel/Richard Durham, 7.5, $188.

Barrel racing: 1. Ericka Nelson, 17.17 seconds; 2. Shali Lord, 17.32; 3. Kelly Koeppen, 17.36; 4. Melanie Roman, 17.62; 5. Jean Winters, 17.645; 6. Cambra Smith, 17.71; 7. Andrea Busby, 17.76; 8. Wendy McKee, 17.80; 9. Dani Durham, 17.81; 10. Abby Phillips, 17,85.

Bull riding: 1. Lex Oakley, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Son of Sam; 2. Dillon James Tyner, 83; 3. Nic Lica, 81.5; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon California is calling

Beau Schueth jumps a bull during the Las Vegas Championship last December. He's been riding a hot streak this month. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Beau Schueth jumps a bull during the Las Vegas Championship last December. He’s been riding a hot streak this month. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Schueth riding a hot streak heading to historic bullfights in Salinas

SALINAS, Calif. – There is no hotter man on the Bullfighters Only tour than Nebraskan Beau Schueth.

He’s performed well at nearly every stop he’s made and is coming off first- and second-place finishes this past week. He won the title in Colorado Springs, Colo., then was the runner-up the next day in Fortuna, Calif. The weekend before, he won BFO-Vernal (Utah) and placed second at the Cowtown Invitational in Calgary, Alberta.

Now he’s going to put his streak to the test during one of the longest running freestyle bullfights in the country, held in conjunction with California Rodeo Salinas. The action takes place Thursday, July 20-Sunday, July 23.

“Ever since I started freestyling bulls, one of my goals is to fight in Salinas,” said Schueth, 25, of O’Neill, Neb.; this will be his first venture to one of the most storied complexes in the game. “For bullfighters, it’s a pretty historic bullfight and goes back to before bullfights were in the mainstream.”

Two decades ago, freestyle bullfighting was a big part of rodeo. When the Wrangler Bullfight Tour was disbanded in 2001, the sport virtually went underground, but California Rodeo Salinas has kept the tradition alive.

Bullfighters Only has created public demand for the sport. The bullfighters utilize their tremendous athleticism to try to outwit and outmaneuver equally athletic bulls, which are bred specifically for this type of fight.

While this is a new stop for the Nebraskan, it’s familiar ground for Toby Inman. The veteran has competed in Salinas a number of times, and he will return this week for the first time since 2010.

“I won it in 2009,” said Inman, 34, of Davis Junction, Ill. “It’s one of those shows you can’t really forget, and you meet so many great people there.”

There is a grand opportunity for each individual in the game to cash in. in the BFO, dollars equal championship points. The man with the most money won at the conclusion of the 2017 season will be crowned world champion. A lot could change in Salinas.

“It’s a big deal for me, especially coming back to bullfighting after taking several years off. I was lucky to even get in it this year, so I’m going to take it.” Inman said. “There are a lot of opportunities to win it and a lot of opportunities to let it slip through your fingertips.”

SALINAS CONTESTANTS
Beau Schueth
Weston Rutkowski
Toby Inman
Zach Flatt
Erick Schwindt
Cody Emerson

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