Archive for September, 2017

postheadericon Furr earns fourth BFO title

PENDLETON, Ore. – No other athlete in the Bullfighters Only has had a hotter summer run than Kris Furr.

He captured another title earlier this week by winning BFO Pendleton, held in conjunction with the world-famous Pendleton Roundup. Furr kept Manuel Costa’s Portuguese Power engaged throughout the 60 seconds walked away from Happy Canyon with 87 points.

Kris Furr

Kris Furr

“I like to keep the bull close the whole time,” said Furr, who threw a few fakes to the quick little black bull but mostly focused on making rounds. “If I feel like they’re getting away from me, I like to go back to them and get some rounds in. I want to keep their confidence high so they stay with me.”

Furr edged the No. 4 man in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings, Beau Schueth, by one point in a true battle of the best in freestyle bullfighting. Dusty Tuckness, who has three wins under his belt this season, finished third.

With his run in Pendleton, the Hamptonville, N.C., man earned his fourth Bullfighters Only victory this season. He has managed to remain consistent since jumping on tour in the spring.

“Happy Canyon was crazy,” he said of the venue. “It was probably the craziest atmosphere I’ve been around. The crowd literally sits on top of you. They gear it more like a party over there, so it’s really wild.

“It was a lot like a NASCAR race. It was a dark setting, so that really made it feel that way, too.”

Furr knows a lot about NASCAR. His home is just 20 miles from Moorseville, N.C., which has been dubbed Race City USA.

“Bullfighting is a lot like NASCAR in a way,” Furr said. “Fans don’t want to see you get hurt, but if you get knocked down, they don’t want to miss it.”

Furr hasn’t been knocked down much this season, which is why he stands firmly inside the top 10 of the Pendleton Whisky World Standings. He hopes by staying on his feet, and keeping the bulls close, will enable him to make a run at that world championship by season’s end.

PENDLETON RESULTS
1. Kris Furr, 87 points on Manuel Costa’s Portuguese Power; 2. Beau Schueth, 86; 3. Dusty Tuckness, 85; 4. Toby Inman 83; 5, Zach Call, 78; 6. Justin Josey, 71.

postheadericon WARNING: LVE placing limits on bags allowed at NFR

The National Finals Rodeo is going to be clear on safety starting with this year’s championship, set for Dec. 7-16 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Events sent out a news release earlier today about its new security policy that will regulate the sizes and types of bags that may be carried into the complex. It is being touted as the “Clear Bag” policy.

This type of clutch, because of its size and that it’s not clear, WILL NOT be allowed inside the Thomas & Mack Center during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo due to safety concerns, Las Vegas Events announced Wednesday.

Bags that will be permitted are:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed (in inches) 12x6x12
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed (in inches) 4.5×6.5, which is approximately the size of a hand.
  • An exception will be made for diaper bags and medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.

Prohibited bags include but aren’t limited to

  • Purses larger than a clutch
  • Briefcases
  • Backpacks, cinch bags, fanny packs that are not clear or exceed the size restriction
  • Luggage of any kind
  • Computer bags/ cases
  • Camera bags/cases
  • Binocular bags/cases or any bag larger than the permissible size

More information can be found HERE.

This will mark a big change for many that attend the NFR every year. It will be important that this information spreads over the next two months to help attendees plan.

postheadericon Josey earns Lewiston title

LEWISTON, Idaho – Justin Josey is officially back among the best in the business with Bullfighters Only.

Justin Josey jumps over Miguel Costa's Sid Vicious to start his winning bout at Bullfighters Only-Lewiston this past weekend. (ROSEANNA SALES PHOTO)

Justin Josey jumps over Miguel Costa’s Sid Vicious to start his winning bout at Bullfighters Only-Lewiston this past weekend. (ROSEANNA SALES PHOTO)

Josey, who returned to freestyle bullfighting earlier this year after a nine-month hiatus, scored 89.5 points to win BFO-Lewiston, held in conjunction with the Lewiston Roundup. The Apache, Okla., man outlasted the No. 4 man in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings, Beau Schueth, by just half a point to claim the top prize.

“I saw Beau’s fight, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be enough to beat that,” Josey said. “It’s nice to know you wowed enough people to win the whole bullfight.”

He started off his bout with his back to the chute. As Manuel Costa’s Sid Vicious charged toward him, the Oklahoman jumped and allowed the bull to pass right between his legs. It was just the beginning of a solid minute of action.

“I needed that,” Josey said. “Every win is a confidence-booster, whether it’s in the first round, the short round or the whole bullfight. Every instance you get to do something like that, you can gain a lot of ground.”

He sits inside the top 20 in the standings and has realized just how much he loves the game.

“Now this feels good and feels like it should rather than how it was a few months ago,” he said. “I had gotten to where I wasn’t really working at it. You can either not work at it and get bad quickly, or you can work at it and get better.

“It’s every day, day in and day out. I feel like I’m more into it now than I’ve ever been.”

While Josey is returning to the game, young Dayton Spiel of Parade, S.D., is continuing his rookie run in a solid way. Spiel began the season through the BFO Development Camps and worked his way up to the tour. On Friday night, he put together a solid 82-point fight to win the BFO stop in Fort Madison, Iowa. As both have learned, it takes dedication and a commitment to improving to make it in Bullfighters Only.

“This is not a job you can just get by with,” Josey said. “You have to go after it if you want it. Anybody can be bull bait, but not everybody can be a bullfighter.”

LEWISTON RESULTS
1. Justin Josey, 89.5 points; 2. Beau Schueth, 89; 3. Weston Rutkowski, 87; 4. Zach Call, 80; 5. Colt Oder, 75; 6. Tristan Seargeant, 71.

FORT MADISON RESULTS
1. Dayton Spiel, 82 points; 2. Dusty Tuckness, 81; 3. Tanner Zarnetski, 78.

postheadericon Harrison returns to circuit finals

John Harrison, a three-time PRCA Comedy Act of the Year, returns to the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in October. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN HARRISON)

John Harrison, a three-time PRCA Comedy Act of the Year, returns to the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in October. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN HARRISON)

DUNCAN, Okla. – Even though he’s from the southeastern Oklahoma community of Soper, the area around Stephens County, Okla., will always be a home of sorts for rodeo clown John Harrison.

“That part of the country is where my grandparents are from,” said Harrison, the three-time and reigning PRCA Comedy Act of the Year. “My grandfather is from Lawton, and my grandmother went to Marlow High School.”

He returns to this comfortable neck of the woods for the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19-Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Stephens County Arena in Duncan. It marks his second straight appearance at the regional championship for cowboys and rodeos primarily from Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

“Duncan is one of those happy places, because there’s where I was when I got the call to work the NFR last year,” he said of serving as the barrelman for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand championship that takes place every December in Las Vegas.

“I was getting ready for the first performance when the call came in. I don’t even remember the first performance because I was so excited.”

Harrison has been selected to work the NFR three of the last four years. It’s one of the biggest honors for men who make their living through comedy and working the barrel in bull riding.

“It’s actually the greatest honor that there is,” he said. “It’s very humbling, because you know the amount of talent that’s there. It makes you feel good to know you’re respected by your peers enough to get that call.”

But that’s just one aspect of who Harrison is. Yes, he has been named Coors Man in the Can twice; it’s recognition for his work inside the barrel. But he also has been nominated for PRCA Clown of the Year. Before he got into the business of being funny, Harrison was a talented trick rider and actually performed at the NFR as an opening act three times, 2001, ’02 and ’08.

When the opportunity came for him to expand his showcase, Harrison took it and ran with it. Now he utilizes his athleticism in various ways in order to entertain rodeo fans from coast to coast.

“Everything’s changed since I first started clowning,” said Harrison, 38, the grandson of 1962 world champion bull rider Freckles Brown. “I’m married and have a family and responsibilities. My whole life has changed.”

It’s been pretty good. When possible, his wife, Carla, and their three children travel the rodeo circuit with him. When it’s not possible, Harrison knows his rodeo family will be there.

He has carried his trick-riding abilities over, and it’s a big part of the comedy that Harrison delivers. That’s the key reaching fans with a variety of entertaining items. Whether it’s a trick riding display that will leave fans in awe or his parody of rodeo queens, Harrison has a lot of ammunition.

“I do this for the love of the sport,” Harrison said. “Growing up with it, you enjoy it. Now I can actually make a living at it, so that helps.”

postheadericon Call is calling on Lewiston

Zach Call battles his bull earlier this year during the FlexFit Invitational in Lewiston, Idaho. He returns to Lewiston this weekend for the Bullfighters Only event in conjunction with the Lewiston Roundup. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Zach Call battles his bull earlier this year during the FlexFit Invitational in Lewiston, Idaho. He returns to Lewiston this weekend for the Bullfighters Only event in conjunction with the Lewiston Roundup. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Nebraskan one of six men vying for Bullfighters Only title in Idaho city

LEWISTON, Idaho – Zach Call is not where he wants to be in regard to the Bullfighters Only Pendleton Whisky World Standings.

“I’m definitely not sitting anywhere close to where I want in eighth place in the standings,” said Call, 24, of Mullen, Neb. “Hopefully these next few bullfights, I can creep up a little more in the standings.”

His first step will be this weekend during BFO-Lewiston, held in conjunction with the Lewiston Roundup. He will be one of six men who will battle for this year’s championship. His good friend and traveling partner, Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Neb., is also hoping Lewiston is a success story.

“This stretch of BFO events has been a good opportunity to try to make up some ground on the top three guys, Weston (Rutkowski), Toby (Inman) and Dusty (Tuckness),” said Schueth, the No. 4 man in the standings. “We’ll have a little break before our stand-alone bullfight in Austin (Texas on Oct. 28). I want to get a little closer to them over these next few bullfights, then go into Austin with a chance to be No. 1.”

The goal, of course, is to finish the season on the mountaintop and claim the BFO world championship. Rutkowski did it a year ago during Bullfighters Only’s inaugural season, but there are plenty of opportunities for many of the others to make a move to dethrone the Texan.

It’s a good time to be part of the BFO.

“We’ve been hanging out in Lewiston, and we’ve run into a lot of people who have talked about us,” Call said. “It’s pretty cool to know that our BFO name is definitely out there.”

This marks the third time over in the last 12 months that Bullfighters Only has been to Lewiston. A year ago, BFO pioneer Nate Jestes won the first title in this town of city of 33,000 people. This past May, Tuckness won the first of two major stand-alone events when he claimed the Flexfit Invitational.

“Because of the BFO, we’re getting to come to some of the biggest rodeos in the PRCA, ones that you wouldn’t normally get to go to,” Schueth said. “It’s an awesome rodeo and a nice little town, and it’s just been an awesome feeling.

“I’ve had a good run at it. I’ve fought a lot of Spanish fighting bulls this summer and am really feeling good about it. I just need to keep solid, and everything else will take care of itself when we look at the standings.”

A key to freestyle bullfighting is having the right kind of animal in the mix. Costa Fighting Bulls will provide some of the most athletic and aggressive fighting bulls in the game during the two-day Lewiston event. That will give the bullfighters every opportunity to score points, but it will also increase the danger factor.

“We’ll have a couple of younger guys, and the bull power here is going to be really strong,” Call said. “It’s going to be a test for them to see how they handle it.”

The hottest fighting bulls – the ones that are always charging the bullfighters – have been able to get the best men in the business down from time to time. It’s just another aspect of the sport that makes it so fascinating for fans.

That’s also what draws the men to the game. They know they must test every ounce of ability, and having hot bulls in the mix is something they crave. It helps that the BFO regularly features the very best when it comes to bulls and bullfighters.

“Those guys make you fight better when they’re there with you,” Schueth said. “You know they’re going to bring their best, so you’ve got to bring your best if you want to win. You just feed off each other. It makes everybody better and makes the bullfight better.”

Call has been in the BFO mix for a little more than a year. He has proven his talents, finishing sixth in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings at the close of the 2016 season.

“There were a lot of these guys that were teaching bullfighting schools when I first started out,” Call said. “I look at it as though if you work hard enough, your teachers become your rivals.”

LEWISTON CONTESTANTS
Beau Schueth
Zach Call
Colt Oder
Weston Rutkowski
Tristan Sargent
Justin Josey

postheadericon Dedicated board sparks fair, rodeo

Waller County Fair and Rodeo directors visit with a fair-goer during a recent fair. The directors are all volunteer, and they are the ones who handle much of the heavy lifting that makes the fair and rodeo happen each year.

Waller County Fair and Rodeo directors visit with a fair-goer during a recent fair. The directors are all volunteer, and they are the ones who handle much of the heavy lifting that makes the fair and rodeo happen each year.

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – The Waller County Fair and Rodeo lasts just nine days, but there’s a brilliant punch that is plugged into that time frame.

For each day of the exposition, there is a core group of dedicated volunteers that put in many hours to make sure everything goes off well. For every concert, every rodeo performance or every ride on the carnival, many people have worked days, weeks, and even months for it all to happen.

“The countless hours we put in just go unseen,” said Dustin Standley, president of the Waller County Fair Board, which helps produce the annual event, set for Saturday, Sept. 30-Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead.

“There are several board members that work year-round. From year to year, the amount of people we have at WCFA grows. It’s a large staff of people you see, and they’re all volunteer.”

The fair board consists of nine executive directors, 17 directors, 38 associate directors and 22 junior fair directors. It takes each and every one of them to handle such a heavy work load. Standley likens the fair board to a pie; while there are many ingredients, it can come together to make the final piece taste just as awesome as the first cut.

“A pie isn’t going to taste good with just crust or just filling,” he said. “You have to bring it all together and mix it up to make it work right. For our fair and rodeo, everybody doesn’t have to do the same thing.

“We need each person to do what they do well so that when it comes together, it’s enjoyable for everybody.”

No matter the job, our dedicated volunteers handle the duty. Preparatory work takes weeks to do, because directors understand that it’s more than a county fair in southeast Texas; the Waller County Fair and Rodeo is a regional exposition.

“It all really starts long before the fair begins,” said Standley, who noted that daily work began in January. “We’ve been having multiple work days just to get prepared. During the week of the fair, it’s thousands of man hours that make the fair succeed.

“It’s like a beehive; we all have a job, and we all know what we need to do. Everybody has a job and a position, and as long as we fulfill those jobs, it’ll all go off without a hitch.”

It’s more than volunteers that make the fair and rodeo a success each year. The directors lean on sponsors to help cover the costs associated with a production of this size. After all, there are eight acts that will perform throughout the fair as well as the other activities that take place.

The key objective is to help raise money for youth and scholarship, and it’s important to each person involved that more money is raised each year to fulfill that mission.

“The main thing about the sponsorships is that our biggest goal is to adhere to our mission to youth and scholarship,” he said. “There is a cost of doing business. If you can’t cover your cost of doing business, then what your revenue is at the fair will have to cover that cost.

“That means we are not doing justice to the kids in our area. We’ve done creative things with our sponsors that works.”

That creativity has paid off. After the 2016 exposition, the fair board handed out more than $75,000 in scholarships. The goal for the 2017 edition is to better that.

“When we go in to our fair week, our bottom-line dollar is at its minimum amount so we can maximize the dollars that go to our youth,” Standley said. “We’ve allowed our sponsors the freedom to tell us what they want, and we’re able to make it work for them and us.

“With our fair and rodeo, it really is a collaborative effort.”

postheadericon Tuckness takes Ellensburg title

Dusty Tuckness makes a round with WAR Fighting Bulls' Banana Mill during his 83.5-point fight to win BFO-Ellensburg last weekend. (ROSEANNA SALES PHOTO)

Dusty Tuckness makes a round with WAR Fighting Bulls’ Banana Mill during his 83.5-point fight to win BFO-Ellensburg last weekend. (ROSEANNA SALES PHOTO)

ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Being a veteran, Dusty Tuckness knew just what was necessary during his bout last weekend at the Bullfighters Only event in conjunction with the Ellensburg Rodeo.

The Meeteetse, Wyo., man massaged every point possible out of WAR Fighting Bulls’ Banana Mill to earn the Bullfighters Only-Ellensburg championship and remain among the top three in the Pendleton Whisky World Standings.

“It worked out alright,” Tuckness said of his 83.5-point fight. “I handled my bull decent. I didn’t have the hottest bull, but I got a few things done with him.”

He edged Beau Schueth of O’Neill, Neb., by half a point to claim the championship. Tuckness has now earned more than $21,000 and has earned his third BFO title this season – he also won stand-alone events earlier this year in Lewiston, Idaho, and Decatur, Texas.

Battling Banana Mill, Tuckness used his experience to keep the bull close. The closer to danger the bullfighter gets, the more opportunities there are to score points.

“He was one of the slower bulls, so it helped that I kept him corned up,” he said. “He kept getting distracted toward the outside, so I had to keep pushing him to stay close.”

Tuckness used several maneuvers to do so. On a couple of occasions, he pulled off a move called a “cape,” in which the bullfighter side steps the bull; as the animal moved through, Tuckness draped his right arm across its back signifying a bull passing through a cape.

With each step, though, the fans in Ellensburg remained on the edges of their seats. That’s just the way the competitors like it.

“Everybody in Ellensburg really enjoyed the bullfights,” he said. “When we were signing autographs afterward, that’s all everybody was talking about. Many of them said that they liked it years ago when the bullfights were at Ellensburg and that they really liked it back with the BFO.”

RESULTS
1. Dusty Tuckness, 83.5 points on WAR Fighting Bulls’ Banana Mill
2. Beau Schueth, 83
3. Zach Call, 78

postheadericon Harrison has the fun for Bellville

Entertainer John Harrison will have plenty of comedy mixed with his athletic and entertaining style at the Austin County Fair and Rodeo, set for Oct. 12-14 in Bellville, Texas. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Entertainer John Harrison will have plenty of comedy mixed with his athletic and entertaining style at the Austin County Fair and Rodeo, set for Oct. 12-14 in Bellville, Texas. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BELLVILLE, Texas – When John Harrison first started as a showman in the 1990s, he was just looking to make a living in the rodeo industry.

Now two decades later, he is one of the preeminent entertainers in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He is a four-time winner of the PRCA Comedy Act of the year and is a two-time winner of the Coors Man in the Can, recognizing the top barrelman in the game each year.

Harrison will showcase that talent at the Austin County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12-Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Austin County Fairgrounds in Bellville.

“I’ve never been to Bellville, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Raised in Soper, Okla., to a rodeo family, Harrison began his entertaining career as a trick rider. He joined the PRCA in 1999, and within five years, he had transitioned to being a clown and barrelman. It provided greater opportunities and has allowed him the chance to showcase the funny side of his amazing abilities.

“Everything’s changed since I first started clowning,” said Harrison, 38, the grandson of 1962 world champion bull rider Freckles Brown. “I’m married and have a family and responsibilities. My whole life has changed.”

It’s been pretty good. When possible, his wife, Carla, and their three children travel the rodeo circuit with him. When it’s not possible, Harrison knows his rodeo family will be there in support and spirit.

When it’s all combined, that life is why he is one of the top entertainers in the game today. He knows the awards are nice, but it’s the story behind them that makes it all better. The awards are based on votes by PRCA members, so it’s his peers that make the awards so memorable.

“It’s the greatest honor that there is, and it’s very humbling because you know the amount of talent that there is in rodeo,” he said. “It makes you feel so good.”

Three of the past four years, Harrison has been selected as the barrelman for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand championship that takes place over 10 December nights in Las Vegas.

He brings that kind of talent and fortitude to the job in Bellville.

“John is good, clean family fun,” said John Gwatney, chute boss at the Austin County Fair and Rodeo. “It’s his rodeo background, because he grew up in this sport. For us, he helps us with the timing of our production. When you know what needs to be done and have someone that doesn’t have a big ego, then he’s willing to do work and willing to do that for the production.”

What Harrison does best is find the best ways to entertain the fans. Whether it’s engaging with them through his humor or showcasing his incredibly athletic ability, smiles are his greatest reward.

“I like everybody to come to the rodeo and truly get away from the problems in their lives,” he said. “I want them to leave that stuff at home and come have fun. When they have fun, then it throws gas on the fire for me.”

There should be plenty of flames in Bellville.

postheadericon Rodeo a big part of Waller County

Cory Solomon, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from nearby Prairie View, Texas, will be one of many top athletes who will be part of the Waller County (Texas) Fair and Rodeo the first week of October. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Cory Solomon, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from nearby Prairie View, Texas, will be one of many top athletes who will be part of the Waller County (Texas) Fair and Rodeo the first week of October. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – In this part of Texas, rodeo is more than a sport. It’s a way of life for many.

The Waller County Fair and Rodeo recognizes that in a big way. Not only is it home to an amazing Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event – set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5-Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead – but also it features rodeo-related events through much of the nine-day exposition.

“We’ve made some changes to our ranch rodeos to kick off the fair weekend,” said Paul Shollar, co-chairman of the Waller County Fair Board’s rodeo committee. “We’ll have the women’s ranch rodeo on Friday (Sept. 28) and the men’s ranch rodeo on Saturday (Sept. 30). That’s become a big hit.”

It’s just the start of big things inside the fairgrounds arena. The Little Britches rodeo takes place Sunday, Oct. 1, followed by the Waller County Team Roping on Monday, Oct. 2. The top cowboys in the game kick off with a couple of specialized events: The Tie-Down Roping Eliminator on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and the Team Roping Eliminator on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

“We’ve invited eight of the best tie-down ropers in the world and eight of the top teams,” Shollar said. “Five of our eight tie-down ropers are world champions and account for 36 gold buckles. In team roping, we have 85 NFR qualifiers and a number of world champions. That says something about the kind of event we’re putting on with these eliminators.”

The format is unique. Each contestant or team will compete in the first round with the slowest time being eliminated. Eliminations continue each round until the champion is crowned and earns the lion’s share of the purse – $10,000 in tie-down roping and $15,000 in team roping.

“It’s for a big purse during the week,” Shollar said. “You have them competing back to back each night until we get the winner. It’s a fun format for us, for the cowboys and for the fans.”

The elite cowboys and cowgirls will continue the show, with dozens of world championships and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers all competing during the PRCA rodeo.

“We’ve got $5,000 added money per event,” he said of the committee purse that is mixed with contestants’ entry fees to come up with the total payout. “That has skyrocketed us to over 500 contestants.

“We started as a ProRodeo six years ago, and the first thing we did was bring Pete Carr Pro Rodeo on board. That has been a wonderful relationship, and it’s another reason why we get so many of the top contestants. With us being one of the first rodeos of the new season, it was hard to bring roughstock riders. We don’t have that problem anymore.”

Carr has been nominated as PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year five straight times and has some of the best bucking stock in the game. That’s attractive to the cowboys that ride bucking animals, especially since half the score is based on the animals’ performances.

“Pete and his crew are unbelievable,” Shollar said. “They fit right in with us. They treat you with respect, like we’re just one of the guys. They include you on everything, and they know that rodeo is more than a sport; good production just makes it great entertainment.”

That includes a couple of key factors with announcer Andy Stewart and clown/entertainer Gizmo McCracken, both of whom have received multiple nominations in their respective categories.

“I think what makes our rodeo one of the best is the production,” said Dustin Standley, president of the Waller County Fair Board. “We put on the rodeo like it’s an attraction. It’s not just a rodeo. This is over the top and exciting.”

postheadericon Gritty field of 10

Reigning champion Bo Yaussi is scheduled to be one of 10 young cowboys that will be part of the 2018 Jr. Ironman Championship in March. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Reigning champion Bo Yaussi is scheduled to be one of 10 young cowboys that will be part of the 2018 Jr. Ironman Championship in March. (JAMES PHIFER PHOTO)

Reigning champ Yaussi to join nine others in battling for second Jr. Ironman title

GUTHRIE, Okla. – The inaugural Jr. Ironman Championship was more than a showcase of excellence. It was a spectacle that had the greatest all-around stars in the game in awe.

“I think the Junior Timed Event is really good,” said Trevor Brazile, the winningest all-around cowboy in the history of the sport. “I remember how excited I was when I was 18, and I came here to compete in this. To see the Junior Timed Event here and getting those young cowboys involved early – in being multi-event cowboys and not specializing – means a lot to me.

“I hope to see some of those guys competing in the Timed Event in a few years. It gets in their blood early and lets them not be one-dimensional. For them to be able to reap the benefits of being a multi-event cowboy is fun to see. My hat’s off to the Lazy E for involving them.”

The second edition is going to be even better. It seems it wasn’t just the fans and families who enjoyed watching the young athletes battle through, heading, heeling, tie-down roping and steer wrestling – four of the five disciplines involved in the CINCH Timed Event Championship.

The upcoming Jr. Ironman will feature four cowboys that were part of the field last year, including the top three finishers – reigning champion Bo Yaussi, reserve champ J.D. Draper and Wyatt Hansen. Also in the mix is Myles Neighbors, who won the first of the three go-rounds this past March.

Yaussi, of Udall, Kan., won the lion’s share of the cash, pocketing the $10,000 first-place prize. He also has the distinguished title of being the inaugural Jr. Ironman titlist and has already placed himself among the great champions in the Lazy E Arena’s 34-year history.

“There were 10 awesome kids in this, but Bo Yaussi is a stud,” said Draper of Oakley, Kan.

Both will have a chance to prove it again in front of a big audience at the Lazy E Arena come the first weekend of March.

“This is an awesome experience, and I really liked it,” Draper said. “It’s good that we get to do all the events like this.”

2018 Jr. Ironman Championship Contestants
Bo Yaussi – Udall, Kan.                                                      J.D. Draper – Oakley, Kan.
Wyatt Hansen – Oakdale, Calif.                                          Chase Graves – Poplarville, Miss.
Ty Eason – Sulphur Spring, Texas                                    Ryder Ladner – Kiln, Miss.
Myles Neighbors – Bentonville, Ark.                                  Cully Morgan – Checotah, Okla.
Laine Moore – Asbury, Alabama                                         Carson Good – Long Valley, S.D.

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