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postheadericon Results through Thursday at Dodge

Hunter Herrin scores a 7.8-second run to take the second-round lead.

Hunter Herrin scores a 7.8-second run to take the second-round lead.

We’re not far from the second performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Check out more photos through this morning’s competition HERE.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 31-Aug. 4

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Casey Martin, 4.2 seconds; 2. Matt Reeves, 4.3; 3. Chad Van Campen, 4.4; 4. Ty Willick, 4.5; 5. Bray Armes, 4.6; 6. Riley Duvall, 4.9; 7. (tie) Jacob Shofner, Jule Hazen and Shayde Etherton, 5.0. Second round leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 3.2 seconds; 2. Casey Martin, 4.0; 3. (tie) Ben Shofner and John Kloeckler, 4.1; 5. Dru Melvin, 4.2; 6. Blake Knowles, 4.9; 7. Jared Thompson, 5.0; 8. Cody Pratt, 5.1. Average leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 7.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Casey Martin, 8.2; 3. Ben Shofner, 10.1; 4. Cody Pratt, 11.1; 5. Cody Kroul, 11.7; 6. Joe Buffington, 12.0; 7. Sean Mulligan, 13.0; 8. Ty Willick, 18.0.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 5.7 seconds; 2. Caleb Scmidt/B.J. Duggger, 6.2; 3. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 6.5; 4. John O’Connor/Ernie Bacon, 20.8; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. Matt Sherwood/Tommy Zuniga, 4.6 seconds; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.9; 3. Trent Barrett/Jake Pelton, 21.1. Average: 1. Matt Sherwood/Tommy Zuniga, 4.6 seconds on one run; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.9; 3. Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 5.7; 4. Trent Barrett/Jake Pelton, 21.1; no other qualified times.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.5 seconds; 2. Bryson Sechrist, 9.3; 3. Ben Madsen, 9.4; 4. Tyler Garten, 10.0; 5. Justin Maass, 10.1; 6. Blake Deckard, 11.0; 7. Billy Hamilton, 11.1; Caleb Smidt, 11.3. Second round leaders: 1. Hunter Herrin, 7.8 seconds; 2. (tie) Fred Whitfield and Ryan Watkins, 8.1; 4. Paul David Tierney, 8.4; 5. Bill Sharber, 9.5; 6. Blake Deckard, 9.6; 7. Ben Madsen, 11.7; 8. Tylen Layten, 13.1. Average leaders: 1. Blake Deckard, 20.6 on two runs; 2. Ben Madsen, 21.1; 3. Fred Whitfield, 26.9; 4. Tylen Laton, 29.0; 5. Hunter Herrin, 7.8 on one run; 6. Ryan Watkins, 8.1; 7. Paul David Tierney, 8.4; 8. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.5.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Laura Lambert, 17.22 seconds; 2. Shali Lord, 17.23; 3. June Holeman, 17.30; 4. Jessica Frost, 17.33; 5. Kelly Waide, 17.34; 6. (tie) Morgan Figueroa and Carol Chesher, 17.35; 8. Shannon Witcher, 17.45; 9. Lizzy Ehr, 17.48; 10. Kyra Stierwalt, 17.51. Second round leaders: 1. Lizzy Ehr, 17.06 seconds; 2. Kendra Dickson, 17.08; 3. (tie) Carol Chesher and Emily Miller, 17.24; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.34; 6. Kelly Waide, 17.35; 7. Sandy McElreath, 17.38; 8. P.J. Burger, 17.46; 9. Benette Little, 17.47; 10. Stacey Bailey, 17.63. Average leaders: 1. Lizzy Ehr, 34.54 on two runs; 2. Carol Chesher, 34.59; 3. Kelly Waide, 34.69; 4. Gretchen Benbenek, 34.94; 5. (tie) Ryann Pedone and Sandy McElreath, 35.34; 7. Shannon Witcher, 35.49; 8. P.J. Burger, 35.50; 9. Kirby Harter, 35.82; 10. Andrea Wolf, 36.18.

postheadericon Armes speeds to lead in Dodge City

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Drake Armes celebrated his fourth birthday last December in Las Vegas. He’d like to do the same for No. 5.

You see, his daddy is Bray Armes of Ponder, Texas, who wrestled steers at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time. In order to return, he needs to finish the regular season among the top 15 bulldoggers on the money list when the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association season concludes in September. He’s No. 14 right now with $33,824, but he stands a good chance of moving up.

Bray Armes

Bray Armes

On Wednesday night during the opening performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, Armes grappled his steer to the ground in 3.2 seconds to take an overwhelming lead in the second round; combined with his 4.6 in the first round Wednesday morning, he has a four-tenths of a second lead in the average with a cumulative time of 7.8 seconds.

“I just lucked out and drew two really good steers and was fortunate enough to use them,” said Armes, who was raised on a farm near Gruver, Texas, just 155 miles southwest of Dodge City. “I’m very blessed, and I just thank the Lord for getting me here and letting me be safe and being able to do what I love to do.

“This morning, the guy that had that steer broke the barrier (not allowing the steer a long enough head start) and missed the steer right there in front of the chute. I knew if I started good, he’d be waiting on me right there. I didn’t know it was going to happen that fast, but it worked out good.”

Drake Armes is one of his dad’s traveling partners this week, so he got to see first-hand the fastest run of the rodeo so far. Rodeo cowboys spend their seasons on the road and, oftentimes, away from home for weeks, even months at a time. There are 32 PRCA rodeos taking place this week alone, including three others in Kansas – Hill City, Phillipsburg and Abilene.

“It means everything to have him with me,” Armes said, noting his wife, Neelley, and daughter, Breely, returned home to north Texas after spending a little time on the rodeo trail last week. “Last year when I got into a rut and couldn’t win anything, I picked him up, and it just took off.

“Hopefully it just keeps rolling this year.”

The main thing about Wednesday’s performances is that he’s a virtual lock to return to Dodge City for the championship round Sunday evening – the top 12 contestants by virtue of the best cumulative time (in steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing) or best scores (in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding) qualify for the short go-round.

For now, though, Armes will take a moment to enjoy runs before hitting the trail again.

“The toughest thing about rodeo is being gone from my family, so any time we get to spend together is great,” he said.

Now he needs to parlay a solid performance in Dodge City into a return trip to the NFR so he and his family can get a little more quality time in the City of Lights.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 31-Aug. 4
Bareback riding:
1. R.C. Landingham, 82 points on Frontier Rodeo’s War Cry; 2. Tim O’Connell, 81; 3. Seth Hardwick, 80; 4. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Brian Bain, 77; 6. (tie) J.R. Vezain and Casey Colletti, 75.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Casey Martin, 4.2 seconds; 2. Ty Willick, 4.5; 3. Bray Armes, 4.6; 4. Jacob Shofner, 5.0; 5. Cooper Shofner, 5.3; 6. Kyle Broce, 5.8; 7. Dakota Eldridge, 5.9; 8. Ben Shofner, 6.0. Second round leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 3.2 seconds; 2. Casey Martin, 4.0; 3. Ben Shofner, 4.1; 4. Dru Melvin, 4.2; 5. Blake Knowles, 4.9; 6. Cody Pratt, 5.1;7. Cody Kroul, 5.5; 8. Joe Buffington, 5.6. Average leaders: 1. Bray Armes, 7.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Casey Martin, 8.2; 3. Ben Shofner, 10.1; 4. Cody Pratt, 11.1; 5. Cody Kroul, 11.7; 6. Joe Buffington, 12.0; 7. Sean Mulligan, 13.0; 8. Ty Willick, 18.0.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 5.7 seconds; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. Matt Sherwood/Tommy Zuniga, 4.6 seconds; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.9; 3. Trent Barrett/Jake Pelton, 21.1. Average: 1. Matt Sherwood/Tommy Zuniga, 4.6 seconds on one run; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.9; 3. Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 5.7; 4. Trent Barrett/Jake Pelton, 21.1; no other qualified times.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Tyler Corrington, on Frontier Rodeo’s Bear Paw, and Bradley Harter, on Frontier Rodeo’s Strike Fire, 83 points; 3. Cort Scheer, 79; 4. Ryan Bestol, 76; 5. Nick Laduke, 74; 6. Jordan Furnish, 66; no other qualified rides.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Ben Madsen, 9.4 seconds; 2. Blake Deckard, 11.0; 3. Colby Dorsey, 14.1; 4. Tylen Layton, 15.9; 5. Fred Whitfield, 18.8; 6. Luke Madsen, 21.6; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: 1. Fred Whitfield, 8.1 seconds; 2. Paul David Tierney, 8.4; 3. Blake Deckard, 9.6; 4. Ben Madsen, 11.7; 5. Tylen Layten, 13.1; 6. Brandon Barber, 13.9; Houston Hutto, 20.6. Average leaders: 1. Blake Deckard, 20.6 on two runs; 2. Ben Madsen, 21.1; 3. Fred Whitfield, 26.9; 4. Tylen Laton, 29.0; 5. Paul David Tierney, 8.4 on one run; 6. Brandon Barber, 13.9; 7. Colby Dorsey, 14.1; 8. Houston Hutto, 20.6.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Kelly Waide, 17.34 seconds; 2. (tie) Morgan Figueroa and Carol Chesher, 17.35; 4. Shannon Witcher, 17.45; 5. Lizzy Ehr, 17.48; 6. Ryann Pedone, 17.57; 7. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.60; 8. Katharine Wall, 17.79; 9. Cynthia Wolf, 17.87; 10. (tie) Andrea Wolf and Sandy McElreath, 17.96. Second round leaders: 1. Lizzy Her, 17.06 seconds; 2. (tie) Carol Chesher and Emily Miller, 17.24; 4. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.34; 5. Kelly Waide, 17.35; 6. Sandy McElreath, 17.38; 7. Benette Little, 17.47; 8. Stacey Bailey, 17.63; 9. Kirby Harter, 17.69; 10. Ryann Pedone, 17.77. Average leaders: 1. Lizzy Her, 34.54 on two runs; 2. Carol Chesher, 34.59; 3. Kelly Waide, 34.69; 4. Gretchen Benbenek, 34.94; 5. (tie) Ryann Pedone and Sandy McElreath, 35.34; 7. Shannon Witcher, 35.49; 8. Kirby Harter, 35.82; 9. Andrea Wolf, 36.18; 10. Morgan Figueroa, 39.90.

Bull riding: 1. Bart Miller, 85 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Big Day; 2. Joe Frost, 82; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Wednesday results from Dodge City

Dru Melvin of Ponca City, Okla., lowers himself on his steer Wednesday morning during his bulldogging run at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Melvin leads the second go-round with a 4.2-second run, but he suffered a no-time in the first round. Melvin qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2006.

Dru Melvin of Ponca City, Okla., lowers himself on his steer Wednesday morning during his bulldogging run at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Melvin leads the second go-round with a 4.2-second run, but he suffered a no-time in the first round. Melvin qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2006.

The first-round of competition for Wednesday’s section of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo timed events is complete, and the second round is partially complete. I have posted updated photos HERE.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 31-Aug. 4
Steer wrestling: First round leaders:
1. Casey Martin, 4.2 seconds; 2. Ty Willick, 4.5; 3. Bray Armes, 4.6; 4. Jacob Shofner, 5.0; 5. Cooper Shofner, 5.3; 6. Kyle Broce, 5.8; 7. Dakota Eldridge, 5.9; 8. Ben Shofner, 6.0. Second round leaders: 1. Dru Melvin, 4.2 seconds; 2. Blake Knowles, 4.9; 3. Joe Buffington, 5.6; 4. Kody Dollery, 6.0; 5. Sean Mulligan, 6.8; 6. Gabe Burrows, 8.4; 7. (tie) Sterling Lambert and Kyle Whitaker, 10.9. Average leaders: 1. Joe Buffington, 12.0 on two runs; 2. Sean Mulligan, 13.0; 3. Tait Kvistad, 21.9; 4. Sterling Lambert, 22.6; 5. Kyle Whitaker, 24.9; 6. Blake Knowles, 26.8; 7. Jarret New, 21.4; 8. (tie) Casey Martin and Dru Melvin, 4.2 on one.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 5.7 seconds; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: No times yet.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Ben Madsen, 9.4 seconds; 2. Blake Deckard, 11.0; 3. Colby Dorsey, 14.1; 4. Tylen Layton, 15.9; 5. Fred Whitfield, 18.8; 6. Luke Madsen, 21.6; no other qualified times. Second round leaders: no qualified times. Average leaders: no qualified times.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Kelly Waide, 17.34 seconds; 2. (tie) Morgan Figueroa and Carol Chesher, 17.35; 4. Shannon Witcher, 17.45; 5. Lizzy Ehr, 17.48; 6. Ryann Pedone, 17.57; 7. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.60; 8. Katharine Wall, 17.79. Second round leaders: 1. Emily Miller, 17.24 seconds; 2. Sandy McElreath, 17.38; 3. Benette Little, 17.47; 4. Stacey Bailey, 17.63; 5. Kirby Harter, 17.69; 6. Debbie Bloxom, 22.85; 7. Tana Poppino, 22.97; 8. Shanda Suit, 25.94. Average leaders: 1. Sandy McElreath, 35.34 seconds on two runs; 2. Kirby Harter, 35.82; 3. Stacey Bailey, 40.05; 4. Benette Little, 40.21; 5. Shanda Suit, 45.07; 6. Tana Poppino, 46.10; 7. Debbie Bloxom, 46.12; 8. Sherri Lucas, 46.20.

postheadericon Vacation is paying off well for Evans

DODGE CITY, Kan. – What started as a family vacation has turned into a nice financial whirlwind for Jason Evans.

He left a few weeks ago on a month-long voyage with his family – wife, April; son, Canyon; and daughters, Paisley and Hartley – all while competing on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit. They’ve done all sorts of fun, tourist things along the way, but Evans has roped pretty well, too.

Jason Evans

Jason Evans

He wrapped his second steer roping title in as many weeks on Tuesday by tying down three steers in a cumulative time of 34.8 seconds to win the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo championship and one of the most sought-after trophies in the sport, the Roundup buckle.

“I’ve placed in a lot of rounds and placed in the average over the years, but this is the first time I’ve won it,” said Evans, who owns an insurance agency in Huntsville, Texas. “This is one of those buckles that when you see it, you know you want to win it.”

Evans placed in two go-rounds – his 11.7 in the second round was good enough for a tie for fifth place, while his 10.7 in the third round earned him third-place money – and earned $4,124 in the process. A week ago, he also earned the championship in Deadwood, S.D., pocketing $3,676 in the process.

So what does it take to be successful?

“I want to do the things I practice at home and work on and prepare for,” said Evans, who estimates he has won more than $20,000 in the 15 years he’s competed in Dodge City. “This is where you test it. It’s nice to get some success.”

Yes, it is. Of course, he doesn’t take all the credit.

“My horse is working really good, so that helps a lot,” he said of Choctaw, a 16-year-old bay gelding he got from friend Bill Pearson. “I was focused on just doing the best I can on my steers and not worrying about what the others do on theirs … just go make my runs. If I win first, great; if it’s then, then it’s whatever it is.”

Evans began steer roping at the age of 13. Now 30 years later, he is still successful at it when he’s not focused on his business in Huntsville.

“I used to calf rope, and I roped steers secondary,” he said. “About 10 to 12 years ago, I started my business, and I have a family now, so I quit calf roping and just rope steers.”

Between those two, it’s difficult for a cowboy to be able to earn that coveted trip to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, which is reserved only for the top 15 cowboys on the money list at the conclusion of the regular season. But he would savor that challenge should it ever appear.

“I’ll go to the rodeos I can,” Evans said. “If I do good, I’ll make the finals. If I don’t do good, I won’t. I’m OK with that.”

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 30-Aug. 4
Steer roping: First round:
1. Trevor Brazile, 8.9 seconds, $1,929; 2. Jess Tierney, 10.4, $1,596; 3. Joe Wells, 11.2, $1,264; 4. Tony Reina, 11.3, $931; 5. Brodie Poppino, 11.4, $599; 6. Brent Lewis, 11.7, $333. Second round: 1. Chet Herren, 10.7 seconds, $1,929; 2. Jarrett Blessing, 10.8, $1,596; 3. (tie) Howdy McGinn and Roger Branch, 11.6, $1,097 each; 5. (tie) Jason Evans and Chance Kelton, 11.7, $466 each. Third round: 1. Dan Fisher, 10.1 seconds, $1,929; 2. Chet Herren, 10.3, $1,596; 3. Jason Evans, 10.7, $1,264; 4. Corey Ross, 10.9, $931; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 11.0, $599; 6. Mike Chase, 11.1, $333. Average: 1. Jason Evans, 34.8 on three runs, $2,893; 2. Roger Branch, 39.2, $2,394; 3. Jess Tierney, 41.7, $1,895; 4. Randy Wells, 42.5, $1,397; 5. Mike Outhier, 47.2, $898; 6. Howdy McGinn, 48.1, $499.

postheadericon Photos posted from Dodge City

Bryce Davis, a Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping average winner, focuses on his run during the second round of steer roping at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

Bryce Davis, a Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping average winner, focuses on his run during the second round of steer roping at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

If you want to check out some of the photos I took from this morning’s action, just go HERE.

postheadericon Frost memorialized on ‘The Ride’

Cord McCoy lets viewers learn a little more about a bull riding legend

It’s been more than 24 years since Lane Frost died doing what he loved, suffering a fatal injury during the final round of the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo.

Who he was and the legend he has left remains powerfully strong in rodeo, and Cord McCoy shares that lore with viewers in the Aug. 5 episode of “The Ride with Cord McCoy.”

“That’s been my favorite show we’ve done,” McCoy said about the 30-minute program, which airs at 1 and 11 p.m. Eastern on Mondays on RFD-TV. “I think this one takes our whole show to the next level. We’re getting to talk to people about the details that they haven’t talked about in over 20 years.

Lane Frost

Lane Frost

“There were at least five of us that cried while we were taping it. I bawled like a baby. It was so touching for me; I could hardly do the interview at the grave site.”

That’s just part of the impact Frost’s legacy continues to have on fans. It was the foundation that led to the 1994 movie “8 Seconds,” which chronicled the life and death of the 1987 bull riding world champion.

“We taped the show in backward order. I’d talked to Cody (Lambert) and Clyde and Elsie (Frost), then that evening while we were wrapping the show, I walked down and saw the grave for the first time,” said McCoy, a bull rider who has qualified for the PBR World Finals six times and earned a trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2005. “The first thing I did was walk up to the back of the grave, and on the back of it, it said, ‘Lane, I love you, Kellie.’

“I broke down right there.”

It’s a touching reminder of Frost, and it’s a story McCoy has wanted to tell.

“You definitely get an idea of Lane Frost from the movie,” he said as he opened the episode. “To be able to go back to Clyde and Elsie’s place and to talk about the true Lane Frost is going to be pretty interesting … to be at the place where Lane grew up, to be where Lane practiced and what he was really like.”

The show begins with a bull riding and bullfighting school that takes place annually at the arena Lane Frost built on the family’s place near Lane, Okla., with money he’d earned at the 1985 NFR. Viewers get to see world champion bull rider Mike Lee work with newcomers to the sport, while Frank Newsome teaches up-and-coming bull fighters the tricks of that trade.

The meat of the story, though, is on Frost, and it leaves viewers wanting to know even more about the man.

“God used Lane,” Clyde Frost said of his son. “He made him who he was. Everybody liked him, and they’re still using him. Little kids … we hear from them all the time.”

A young Lane was especially taken with his dad’s dear friend, Freckles Brown, who won the bull riding world championship in 1962 at the age of 41. In fact, the two are buried near one another in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Hugo, Okla. – Brown died in 1987, just two years before Lane Frost.

“Freckles died in March of that year, and Lane won the world in December,” Elsie Frost said. “But Freckles was really special to him. When we buried Freckles down there, Lane commented on what a pretty cemetery that was.”

The story of the two bull riding champions is more powerful than that. They had a special bond.

“Freckles had that cancer, and he was down at Houston” for treatment, Clyde Frost said. “Lane was up at (the) Fort Worth (rodeo), and he flew down to Houston and stayed in the room with Freckles that night and let (Brown’s wife) Edith go. He told me the next time I seen him, ‘I told Freckles I was going to win the world for him.’

“He did, but Freckles wasn’t there.”

Lambert, who traveled the rodeo trail with Lane Frost, told of that fateful ride on July 30, 1989, and his words trailed into tears as he repeated the last words his friend ever spoke to him.

“No matter how tough you think you are, it’s a touching story,” McCoy said. “You see the effects he made on people’s lives then and still today.”

That’s the most telling aspect of the Lane Frost story, and it’s one that needs to be retold again. It’s why McCoy wanted this episode to be such a showcase for viewers of “The Ride.”

“It’s an honor that they want to come and be where Lane was,” Elsie Frost said. “That’s so amazing. Lane’s been gone almost 24 years now, and these kids weren’t even born then. It’s still amazing to me that they still know who he is and that they still look up to him. But it’s neat that they do.”

With a break in his voice as he looked down upon the gravestone that symbolizes the life and death of one of rodeo’s greatest champions, McCoy provided his thoughts on why Lane Frost’s legacy continues to touch so many people today.

“You wonder how many millions of people in the last 25 years have come and paid respects,” he said. “(He’s) definitely a legend … still living on.”

postheadericon Lea County is ready to rodeo

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Jake McClure grew up roping about anything he could.

Like a number of talented cowboys, McClure grew up in Lea County – eventually, he was followed by Troy Fort, Sonny Davis, Roy Cooper and Jimmie Cooper as world champions from the southeastern most corner of New Mexico who are now enshrined in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame – and he carried a rope with him just about everywhere he went the first few years of his life.

Top-name cowboys, like two-time world champion steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch, will be featured next week at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, which runs Aug. 7-10 in Lovington, N.M. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Top-name cowboys, like two-time world champion steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch, will be featured next week at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, which runs Aug. 7-10 in Lovington, N.M. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Born in 1903, McClure set off on the rodeo trail at the age of 16, traveling the world and earning his keep as one of the handiest ropers in the game. In 1930, he earned the world championship and was one of the most dominant cowboys of his era. Sadly, though, he died in 1940, and his resume became the types of stories found in novels.

His legacy continues today in Lovington, where the rodeo arena bears his name. Jake McClure Arena is home to one of the most prestigious events in the sport, the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7-Saturday, Aug. 10. It’s part of the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour and also features the Lea County Xtreme Bulls event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

“We have an outstanding history of the best cowboys in rodeo,” said Greg Massey, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board’s rodeo committee. “When you look at the people from here who have done well in rodeo, you can see it means a lot to us to put on a great event.”

That includes some of the brightest stars in the game, from Lovington native Clint Cooper, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in tie-down roping, to the Monument, N.M., twins Jim Ross and Jake Cooper, a couple of NFR-qualifying team ropers – Jake qualified with his brother in 2007, and Jim returned to ProRodeo’s grand championship each of the past two seasons while roping with Charly Crawford (2012) and Brandon Beers.

But they’ll just be a few of the numerous stars that will make their way to Lovington for the annual championship.

Just taking a look at previous champions at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo is like reading a who’s who list of ProRodeo’s greatest stars: Trevor Brazile, Kaycee Feild, Will Lowe, J.P. Wickett, Scott Kormos, Scott Kormos, Kanin Asay, Wesley Silcox, Dean Gorsuch, Clay Tryan, Chandler Bownds and Guy Allen.

Sure, it takes elite athletes who know how to perform at this level, but there are plenty of others who will chase their rodeo dreams in Lovington. That’s why it’s such an important piece of the ProRodeo puzzle.

“I think we have the best stock contractor in rodeo, so we’ll have some excellent bucking horses and bulls to go along with the best cowboys,” Massey said. “We’ve had a very good rodeo for several years, but this one might be better yet.”

postheadericon Brazile leads average in Dodge City

Trevor Brazile ropes his steer Tuesday morning during the first day of competition at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Brazile is the No. 2 cowboy in the steer roping world standings so far this season; he also is the top-ranked all-around cowboy, the No. 8 header and the sixth-ranked tie-down roper. He is also scheduled to compete again Saturday night.

Trevor Brazile ropes his steer Tuesday morning during the first day of competition at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Brazile is the No. 2 cowboy in the steer roping world standings so far this season; he also is the top-ranked all-around cowboy, the No. 8 header and the sixth-ranked tie-down roper. He is also scheduled to compete again Saturday night.

The final round of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo steer roping is scheduled to begin at 7:30 tonight at Roundup Arena. Through two go-rounds, 17-time world champion Trevor Brazile leads the average race, posting a 21.2-second cumulative time. He also won the first round with an 8.9-second run, the fastest of the event so far. The first Roundup champion of 2013 will be crowned tonight.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 8.9 seconds, $1,929; 2. Jess Tierney, 10.4, $1,596; 3. Joe Wells, 11.2, $1,264; 4. Tony Reina, 11.3, $931; 5. Brodie Poppino, 11.4, $599; 6. Brent Lewis, 11.7, $333. Second round: 1. Chet Herren, 10.7 seconds, $1,929; 2. Jarrett Blessing, 10.8, $1,596; 3. (tie) Howdy McGinn and Roger Branch, 11.6, $1,097 each; 5. (tie) Jason Evans and Chance Kelton, 11.7, $466 each. Average leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 21.2 seconds on two head; 2. Jess Tierney, 22.8; 3. Roger Branch, 24.0; 4. Jason Evans, 24.1; 5. J.D. Yates, 25.6; 6. JoJo LeMond, 27.2.

postheadericon Dirty Jacket continues hot streak

Dirty Jacket, a 9-year-old bay gelding from Carr Pro Rodeo, bursts out of the chute with George Gillespie en route to their winning 87-point ride at the Eagle County (Colo.) Fair and Rodeo. It marked the seventh time in eight trips this season that Dirty Jacket has guided a cowboy to the top spot.

Dirty Jacket, a 9-year-old bay gelding from Carr Pro Rodeo, bursts out of the chute with George Gillespie en route to their winning 87-point ride at the Eagle County (Colo.) Fair and Rodeo. It marked the seventh time in eight trips this season that Dirty Jacket has guided a cowboy to the top spot.

EAGLE, Colo. – Great athletes and amazing competition are major factors in why professional rodeo continues to grow.

The hottest athlete going down the rodeo trail is a 9-year-old bucking phenomenon named Dirty Jacket, the runner-up Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse in 2012 from Carr Pro Rodeo. The powerful, bay gelding has been magnificent each time he’s bucked, guiding cowboys to the top spot in seven of the eight rodeos in which he has performed.

The latest gem came this past weekend at the Eagle County (Colo.) Fair and Rodeo, where he and George Gillespie IV matched moves for 87 points in the beautiful mountain setting.

“He’s the perfect bucking horse, because he loves what he does and he’s excited when it’s time to buck,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo. “He ready when he gets to the chute, and he stands there until the gate opens; then he has a big leap in the air and bucks hard every time.

“When the whistle blows, he lines out with the pickup man and allows the guys to get off without any problem. He’s the kind of horse all the bareback riders want to draw, because they know that as long as they don’t stub their toe, they’re going to win.”

The ride with Gillespie marked the second straight time the two have matched up; Gillespie also won the Navajo Nation Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo in Window Rock, Ariz., with an 89 point ride. He tied for the Eagle championship with Richie Champion, who rode the Pete Carr’s Classic horse Scarlet’s Web, a half-sister to Dirty Jacket that’s been to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo numerous times.

“He had a different trip with me this time than the one he had in Window Rock,” Gillespie said of Dirty Jacket, which was voted the 2012 Texas Circuit Bareback Horse of the Year. “He’s just such a great horse that you know you can win as long as you do your job. That’s what you want to get on.”

postheadericon Carr ready to be part of Crossett traditions

CROSSETT, Ark. – For many years, the great Jim Shoulders produced the Crossett Riding Club PRCA Rodeo.

It’s something quite special to have one of the greatest legends in the game be such an integral part of a community, and it’s an important piece of lore that should forever be remembered in the event’s history. You see, not only was Shoulders a 16-time world champion cowboy, he also was a stock contractor, best known for owning the great bull Tornado, which had gone unridden until ProRodeo Hall of Famer Freckles Brown scored a ride during the 1967 National Finals Rodeo. Shoulders is, and always will be, a big part of rodeo’s history.

PeteCarrClassicLOGONow, though, Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo is charged with the production of Crossett’s rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7-Saturday, Aug. 10, at Cap Gates Arena in Crossett. The times may have changed since Shoulders first arrived in town, but the eye for production is a big part of what the Pete Carr’s Classic crew strives for every August.

“This thing is great from start to finish,” said ProRodeo announcer Scott Grover, now in his fifth year calling the action. “It’s just a great rodeo that’s steeped in tradition.”

That’s a great marriage for one of America’s first extreme sports, which has its foundation laid firmly in the livestock industry. More than a century ago, cowboys tested their skills against one another, whether with a rope or on the back of a bucking horse. Over time, the sport has evolved into the spectacle that it is today. It continues to be one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the country, and events like the one in Crossett are a big reason why.

“Our goal is to put on a first-class production that benefits the fans, the committees and the contestants,” said Pete Carr, who owns not only Pete Carr’s Classic but also Carr Pro Rodeo, the largest stock contractor in the world. “We’ve got great crews that work very hard to make that happen.”

That’s what it takes to be successful in today’s world of rodeo. By handling the behind-the-scenes details, Carr crew members allow for the happenings in the arena to dictate the action, and that’s something the fans have come to love.

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

It’s one of many traditions for the rodeo, now celebrating its 65th year. Another big one involves the payout of silver dollars to the winners of each event each night of the rodeo. Each year means another dollar added to the kitty, so this year means the winners will receive 65 silver dollars.

“That’s one thing the contestants talk about is winning the silver dollars in Crossett,” Grover said. “Another big thing is that there will be 300 to 400 horses every night in the grand entry, and there are riding clubs from all over that are part of it.

“This rodeo was nominated as the medium size rodeo of the year last year, so they really do work hard at making everything right.”

From a large grand entry to kick start each performance to a rousing conclusion featuring amazing Carr bucking bulls, there’s a lot for fans to experience at the Crossett rodeo.