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postheadericon Carr puts production in local rodeo

World champions Sherry Cevi, left, and Chad Ferley, center, wait with Carr pickup man Jeremy Hight prior to the opening in Guymon. Production is a big part of the experience at a Carr rodeo.

World champions Sherry Cevi, left, and Chad Ferley, center, wait with Carr pickup man Jeremy Hight prior to the opening in Guymon. Production is a big part of the experience at a Carr rodeo.

SILVER CITY, N.M. – Rodeo is much more than bucking animals and fast horses.

Rodeo is a lifestyle, and every event offers something quite spectacular. For contestants, it’s a way to compete and make a living; for volunteers, it’s about creating an annual happening for the community.

For fans, a rodeo is great family entertainment filled with amazing athletic feats and explosive action. That’s why the crew from Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo and Carr Pro Rodeo take their jobs so seriously when it comes to event production. It’s why they’re excited to be part of the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 6-Saturday, June 8, at Southwest Horseman’s Park.

There also will be a special section of bull riding set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5. Like every other event on the scheduled for 2013, production is the key.

“Pete Carr purchased Classic Pro Rodeo earlier this year, and that makes him the biggest and best stock contractor in rodeo right now,” said Loydd Williams, chairman of the Bridgeport, Texas, rodeo committee. “When you put those two companies together, it’s going to be tough to beat in terms of bucking stock and the overall production of rodeo.

“This is not your 1960s stock contractor. This is a great production that fans will love from start to finish. Pete Carr and his crew have made our rodeo better.”

It was that kind of showcase that drew members of the Will Rogers Stampede committee to hire the Carr crews for the 2013 rodeo in Claremore, Okla.

“It was the professionalism, the production,” Petty said. “It was a well-oiled machine.

“One of the things small rodeo committees are struggling with is we must have a product to keep people coming back, and Carr Pro Rodeo brings that product that entices people to want to see that show. Once people do see it, the chances of them becoming a regular at the rodeo are higher.”

The value of the Carr production machine works quite well at rodeos of all size. In all, Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo will produce 33 events this year.

“We try to have the theatrical portion of our show not interfere with the competition side,” said John Gwatney, a production supervisor for the Carr firms. “We try to run a good, fast, clean performance without interfering with the competition.

“That’s where we’re different from other rodeo companies. If we’re not ready, the cowboy has to wait. When it comes time for that cowboy to compete, we’ve done everything we can to make that animal ready for that cowboy, so all he has to do is nod his head.”

Fans have taken notice, but so have the cowboys who make their livings on the backs of the greatest bucking animals in the game.

“Both rodeo companies have put on some really great rodeos,” said bareback rider Matt Bright, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Azle, Texas. “When you put together the kind of stock that those two companies have with their production values, it’s a great event.”

postheadericon Inaugural event raises $7,000 for families

Weekend of roping served as a benefit for families affected by West, Texas, explosion

GROESBECK, Texas – Bobby Joe Hill paid a little more attention to the news in the days following the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

Bobby Joe Hill

Bobby Joe Hill

He saw that 15 people had died and more than 200 were injured, including many of the first-responders who arrived on the scene to care for others. He knew he had to do something to help the families of those affected by the blast. Being involved in rodeo, he knew just how to make it happen.

That’s why Hill, owner of Hill Rodeo Cattle, organized the Wild West Memorial, a four-day competition that featured team roping, a ranch rodeo and an open steer roping from May 24-27 at the Limestone County Fairgrounds in Groesbeck, some 45 miles southeast of West.

“We raised $7,000 for the families of the fallen first responders,” said Hill, who worked with Roger Nevil of American LNG, Chris Glick of Last Chance Designs and Johni Nevil in organizing the event. “I had hoped to make a little more for the families, but it cost a little more to put this on than I’d thought, but I wanted it to be a first-class event.

“I wanted to go big or go home, so we went big. This is just the first year. We’ve already got our dates set for next year, Memorial Day weekend, Friday to Monday.”

The “first-class event” featured 16 National Finals qualifiers, including two world champions, Scott Snedecor and Rocky Patterson. It was quite an event that just got off the ground 19 days prior to opening night.

Lawson Plemons

Lawson Plemons

“I felt like I was pretty blessed and that those people needed the money more than I did,” said Lawson Plemons, a team roper, tie-down roper and steer roper from Axtell, Texas. “I had a good day, and I wanted to help somebody else out.”

In all, Plemons won $5,700, two saddles and a buckle; he donated all of the money from his short go-round earnings to the families of first responders. He wasn’t the only cowboy to do so; Patterson, the three-time and reigning world champion steer roper, donated a portion of his earnings.

“Anytime you hear about some little kids losing their dad, it’s a bad deal,” Patterson said. “There were a lot of people affected, but to me, the worst of it is the kids.”

Patterson pointed to one family that lost the father, who had three children and whose wife was expecting their fourth. Now that mother will raise four children as a single mother.

“Those people will need this kind of help every year,” he said.

That’s why Hill is looking toward the future.

“We were able to raise a lot of money in a few days with just Facebook advertisements,” said Hill, who supplies roping cattle to numerous ProRodeos throughout the year, including the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping. “I was very pleased with the turnout.”

Rocky Patterson

Rocky Patterson

He wasn’t the only one. In addition to the donations, there were several others who were involved in some capacity. In fact, top ProRodeo announcers Charlie Throckmorton and Curt Robinson and rodeo judges donated their time and talent to call the action for the introduction of ropers and the steer roping, as did Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association judge Brad Bettis and Cowboy Professional Rodeo Association judge Joey Jobe.

“You’ve got to do something to try to help those people,” Robinson said. “Bobby Joe was going to all that work trying to put it together, and I felt like it was an honor to trying to help somebody out.”

That was a common theme.

“We got a lot of help from Tara Shepperd and John Costlow, who announced during the team ropings and did all the work that went on in the entry office,” Hill said. “They played a big part in keeping this event rolling.”

Of course, there were a lot of people who stepped up and helped out, including the sponsors: A Cut Above Buckles, Centex Oilman’s Association, Cardinal Energy, Cactus Saddlery, Vaquero Energy, Utley Cattle Co., Aqua Transfer Energy, Buffalo Livestock Auction, Hill Rodeo Cattle, Jason Smith, Carr Pro Rodeo, Stace Smith Pro Rodeos, Andrews Rodeo Co., Frontier Rodeo Co., Champion Rodeo Co., Hat Brand Rodeo Co., Pickett Pro Rodeo, J-J Rodeo Co., Brent Bennett Rope Horses, Serna Services, Fire It Up Team Roping Prod, Brandon Holliman, Gaines Horse Shoeing, Seth Sawyer, Crazy Heart Sound and Lighting, Cowboy Tack Collection, Eloy Perez, Groesbeck Auction & Livestock, Winters Oil Partners, Bearcat Oilfield Services, Caney Creek Hunting Lodge, Double J Water Well, Bodie Services, Rafter G Sales, Wrangler, Clayton and Kasey Wood, 3W Ranch Supply, Custom Hose, Dew Tire Shop, Dane Noyce, Last Chance Designs and Big Daddy Productions.

In addition to all those who made the Wild West Memorial a big part of their business, there were others who stepped up to the plate. More team ropers participated than expected, and there were 21 teams in the ranch rodeo. It was a powerful show of the giving nature that burns deep inside cowboys.

“It’s something we need to do,” Throckmorton said. “Tragedy can strike us anytime, and we knew we needed to be there. That’s the reason we did it. Curt Robinson was already down here at another event, and he is the guru of all steer roping announcers.

“It was a first-class deal, and we tried to make it like the National Finals.”

That’s a tribute to Hill and those who helped him organize the event in less than 20 days.

“People thought it was really good for him to put it together on the last minute,” Plemons said. “It was a good roping to watch, but he made it good.”

That was one of Hill’s goals; his primary purpose was to provide funds to those who need it most.

“I want to thank everybody who even offered to help out, because we couldn’t have done it without them,” Hill said. “I’ve put on team ropings and provided stock for a lot of rodeos, but it was a little bit different putting on an event like this. I’m really glad we did this, though, and I’m already looking forward to next year.”

Wild West Memorial
May 24-27
Groesbeck, Texas
Steer roping: First round:
1. Lawson Plemmons, 11.6, $1,650; 2. Walter Preistly, 12.2, $1,250; 3. Mike Chase, 12.4, $820; 4. J.P. Wickett, 12.9, $430. Second round: 1. Chet Herren, 9.5, $1,650; 2. Jim Locke, 11.2, $1,250; 3. Lawson Plemmons, 11.3, $820; 4. Tony Renia, 11.8, $430. Third round: 1. Bryce Davis, 10.5, $1,650; 2. Rocky Patterson, 10.8, $1,250; 3. Bobby Joe Hill, 10.9, $820; 4. Ty Herd, 12.5, $430. Short round: 1. Chet Herren 11.3, $800; 2. Bobby Joe Hill, 11.9, $625; 3. Jim Locke, 13.2, $425; 4. Rocky Patterson, 13.3, $225. Average: 1. Lawson Plemmons, 1.4, $2,425; 2. Joe Wells, 54.9, $1,825; 3. Rocky Patterson, 60.5, $1,225; 4. Will Gasperson, 67.0, $750.

No. 8 roping: Average winners: Cody Whicher/Isaac Serna. Saddle winner: Curtis Creager.

No. 9 roping: Average winners: Royce Glider/Isaac Serna. Saddle winner: Isaac Serna.

No. 11 roping: Average winners: Shane Winters/Andrew Hill. Saddle winner: Andrew Hill.

No. 12 roping: Average winners: Steve Henderson/J.W. Cotton. Saddle winner: Eric Moody.

Ranch rodeo champions: Colby Lovell, Brian Leathers, Jake Conrad and Skeeter Ramsey.

postheadericon Carr animal athletes ready to perform

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Jason Havens rides Pete Carr's Classic Pro Rodeo's Good Time Charlie for 86 points to finish second in Guymon, Okla., in early May. Good Time Charlie is one of many outstanding animal athletes owned by Pete Carr's Classic and Carr Pro Rodeo, the livestock firms that will produce the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Jason Havens rides Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie for 86 points to finish second in Guymon, Okla., in early May. Good Time Charlie is one of many outstanding animal athletes owned by Pete Carr’s Classic and Carr Pro Rodeo, the livestock firms that will produce the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

SILVER CITY, N.M. – The tree-lined grassland in east Texas is home to some of the greatest bucking animals in rodeo.

In the coming days, those majestic animals will arrive in Grant County to be a major part of the showcase that is the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 6-Saturday, June 8, at Southwest Horseman’s Park. When they arrive in Silver City, they’ll be ready to perform.

Pete Carr

Pete Carr

“They’re all bred to buck, and even though they all have different personalities, they’re ready to go,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, two elite livestock producers in the sport. “By getting on the truck, they know they’re going to go buck. They’re pretty eager to get on the truck.”

They’re pretty good, too. In fact, the Carr firms accounted for 31 animals that were selected to buck at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand championship that takes place each December in Las Vegas. In all, more than 70 NFR animals make their home on Carr property about 900 miles east of Silver City.

“These animals thrive on this,” Carr said. “It’s just like people. When somebody feels good, they’re happy and they’re upbeat. They carry themselves differently.

“It’s the same with a horse. When a bucking horse knows he’s going to get to buck, he gets excited, and he’s ready to go.”

This year the Carr firms will produce 33 rodeos in 13 states, and they’ll have the type of power that’s a major draw for the sport’s top cowboys.

Matt Bright

Matt Bright

“The thing about Pete Carr’s rodeos is that when you go to one, you know you’re going to get a chance to win first,” said bareback rider Matt Bright, a three-time NFR qualifier from Azle, Texas. “A lot of guys don’t have that.

“I really respect that guy a lot, because he used to be a bareback rider himself. I think that’s why he’s got such a good pen of bareback horses. He knows what kinds of horses guys can win on.”

Fans in Silver City know what kind of animal athletes come to town every June. Three years ago, Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo horse Big Tex helped bareback rider Tilden Hooper to a world record-tying 94-point ride inside Southwest Horseman’s Park. Big Tex went on to be named the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

In fact, three Carr horses have earned that title: Real Deal won in 2005, and MGM Deuces Night earned the title last year. The Carr roster also includes River Boat Annie, the 2007 reserve world champion bareback horse; Dirty Jacket, the 2012 runner-up reserve world champion bareback horse; and Grass Dancer, which guided bareback rider Ryan Gray to record-tying 94-point ride in 2009 at Eagle, Colo.

“Pete has a list of really good animals,” said saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy, a two-time world champion. “That’s what’s great about going to his rodeos; you know you’re going to get a good horse.”

postheadericon Pecos rodeo hosts Gizmo’s personalities

Gizmo McCracken and his 'gizmos and gadgets' will be part of the featured entertainment at the 2013 West of the Pecos Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26-Saturday, June 29, in Pecos, Texas.

Gizmo McCracken and his ‘gizmos and gadgets’ will be part of the featured entertainment at the 2013 West of the Pecos Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26-Saturday, June 29, in Pecos, Texas.

PECOS, Texas – Dale McCracken has multiple personalities, but it’s not a disorder.

It’s quite the opposite, really. Like a superhero donning his cape, McCracken covers his face with greasepaint and enters the world of his alter-ego, Gizmo, the funnyman/barrelman who has entertained rodeo crowds for much of his life. It’s as if Dale drives and Gizmo does all the work, but it works well for McCracken.

“The guy that wears the makeup gets paid better, that’s for sure,” said McCracken, who will be one of the featured acts at the West of the Pecos Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26-Saturday, June 29, at Buck Jackson Arena. “The name came along several years ago. I worked on a music show in Branson (Mo.) for about eight years, and there you’ve got to have a stage name.

“So with all the gizmos and gadgets I had, they came up with the name, ‘Gizmo, the Ozarks Greatest Inventor.’ So instead of selling a particular act, I sell a character.”

That character carries on several personas, but they’re all comedic. During much of the rodeo, he’ll do what is called the “walk and talk,” sharing his comedy with the audiences each night of the three-performance rodeo.

“We’ve got a lot of stuff planned for Pecos,” said McCracken, still referring, possibly, to his multiple personalities. “It’s been awhile since we’ve been there, but we’ve got a lot of friends and fans there. It’s always good to go to a rodeo where you see a bunch of fans.

“The big thing we do is the ‘walk and talk,’ and we work it from the hello to the end. I’ll bring out a lot of characters throughout the rodeo, because I think if you come for more than one night, you should see the different characters.”

McCracken returns to Pecos after a successful run last June, but he’s got enough in his bag of tricks to show the fans something special, something fresh. Besides, he likes working in West Texas.

“I’m just ready for some good, hot weather,” he said. “We’ve been in so much cold and rain so far this year that we’re looking forward to getting to Pecos.

“It’s a huge arena, but the way it’s laid out, everybody’s got a good seat. That is a great crowd. They pay attention to what we do, and they love rodeo. It’s a lot of fun.”

McCracken joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1992 and has earned several honors in that time: he’s worked several PRCA circuit championships and has been a nominee for the association’s Comedy Act of the Year.

At each rodeo, there are a variety of duties for McCracken. As a comedian, he will interact with the crowd throughout each performance and put on skits that tend to leave fans in stitches. During bull riding, he continues to provide comedic relief as well as a necessary tool for the bull riders, bullfighters and others that are in the arena.

“First of all when I’m in the barrel, my best friend is Jesus, and my second best friend is the barrel,” he said. “It’s your safe haven there a lot. It also has its important part for cowboys and bullfighters to use, a place for them to go in the arena if they’re in a bind. That barrel is like that one tree out in the middle of the desert that gives you a little protection.”

And it’s also a heavy object with which some of the feistier bucking beasts love to play. So what’s it like for McCracken to be hit with that much force?

“It’s like getting into an aluminum trashcan and put into the back of a pickup going down the road at 35 miles per hour,” he said. “Then when you get up to speed, you have your buddy throw you out of the pickup, and you just bounce along down the road.

“The first time they hit you, it’s like a carnival ride. Then they hit you again, and it’s more like a car accident that turns into a carnival ride. It’s a pretty exciting tilt-o-whirl.”

So is McCracken’s life as a rodeo clown. He spends many weeks on the road, working events in several states, but he loves what he does. He enjoys the crowds and the excitement that comes with rodeo, and loves to see the smiles and hear the laughter.

“I really enjoy seeing people have a good time,” McCracken said. “Maybe there’s a guy that’s had it pretty rough, is struggling some. If we can just get him to the rodeo and use our last American heritage sport to help him forget his troubles, then he’s had a good night, and we, as a rodeo, have had a good night, too. Laughter is pretty good medicine, and the way things are right now, everybody needs a shot.”

postheadericon Carr bringing power to Silver City rodeo

SILVER CITY, N.M. – Southwestern New Mexico is picturesque, sitting on the edge of the Gila National Forest. It’s a beautiful setting for a piece of Americana, the Wild Wild West Pro Rodeo, where onlookers will see the incredible feats of amazing animal athletes. They’ll see that the beauty of a bucking horse comes from its power.

SilverCityPicThey’ll also see the beauty and power of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo and Carr Pro Rodeo, the premier livestock producers in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The Carr crew will be bringing the power to the Wild Wild West Pro Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 6-Saturday, June 8, at Southwest Horseman’s Park.

“Pete Carr is one of the premier stock contractors in the world,” said saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Heflin, La. “Pete taking it another step further is amazing to me. It’s just going to make it better for everybody.”

That’s the idea. The two firms are established and have been recognized for years as the elite among livestock producers. This spring, Carr made put everything together by purchasing Classic.

“I’m combining two of the best crews in rodeo to form one of the greatest rodeo companies,” Carr said. “I’m excited about the new opportunities that are ahead for the company. I want committees to know we have a lot to offer them. We’re going to have unprecedented resources for all the rodeos, which will benefit everyone involved: committees, sponsors, contestants and spectators.”

The contestants who make their living in the sport recognize the impact of the Carr firms.

Heith DeMoss

Heith DeMoss

“Pete has such an array of horse now that no matter where he goes, he will have it to where everybody has a chance to win money,” DeMoss said. “It’s a riding contest instead of a drawing contest, and that’s what Pete’s got in his mind to do. I’m behind him all the way.”

DeMoss won the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo on Pete Carr’s Classic’s Spur Strap, so he knows the kind of horse power it takes to be successful. He’s not the only bronc rider who touts the athletic animals now owned by Pete Carr. Wade Sundell rode Pete Carr’s Classic’s Big Tex for 90 points in February to win the $50,000 round at RodeoHouston.

“Pete’s got a heck of a string put together,” said Sundell, a four-time NFR qualifier from Boxholm, Iowa. “There are not a lot of people that can match him anymore.”

Sundell also fared well in Guymon two weeks ago, matching moves with Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality for 85 points to finish in a tie for second. He recognizes the importance of riding great horses throughout the year if he hopes to win the elusive world championship.

Steven Peebles

Steven Peebles

“It’s awesome when you have a good horse underneath you, because you know something good is going to happen,” he said.

That’s a major factor in why cowboys loving going to Carr-produced rodeos like Silver City.

“There are a lot of rodeos that are going to be hard to beat because of what Pete Carr brings to the table,” said bareback rider Steven Peebles, a four-time NFR qualifier from Redmond, Ore. “Pete has raised the bar in rodeo. He’ll have better horses and better production.”

This is about giving spectators with the best entertainment value while serving the committees with elite performances and providing contestants with the best opportunities.

postheadericon Kastner scores victory in Claremore

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Bull rider Trevor Kastner has almost clinched his third straight qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Kastner, 25, of Ardmore, Okla., scored an 85-point ride on Sunday night on the Carr Pro Rodeo bull Fletch to win the Will Rogers Stampede, adding $1,740 and bringing his 2013 earnings to nearly $44,000; it’s not even June, when the summer run begins in ProRodeo and features numerous opportunities to add to those dollars.

Trevor Kastner

Trevor Kastner

“A month ago it was pretty slow,” said Kastner, the No. 3 bull rider in the world standings. “The past two weeks have been pretty good.”

Yes they have. Last week Kastner won the Elks Helldorado Days Rodeo in downtown Las Vegas and finished second at the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Redding, Calif. On Sunday, he matched his skills against a seasoned bull.

“I’d seen him quite a bit, but I’d never been on him,” Kastner said. “He’s usually a pretty good bull, and it turned out that way tonight. He’s just a little bit sluggish and built uphill, so he makes a guy have to try a little bit more.”

Besides competing at the NFR, Kastner is also a qualifier to the Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, featuring the top 12 contestants from the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region. He joined tie-down roper Cole Wilson of Kincaid, Kan., as Prairie Circuit finalists who found their way to the winner’s circle on the final night of Claremore’s rodeo.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Wilson, who shared the calf roping title with Oklahoman Trent Creager; both cowboys roped and tied their calves in 8.6 seconds and earned $1,506 each. “I have a house payment and a truck payment, and we’re entered up for the rest of the week so this is going to soften the blow to the bank for sure.”

It marked the first time the 23-year-old Kansan had cashed a check from Claremore.

“I like to come to Claremore every year,” Wilson said. “It’s usually got pretty good odds and some pretty good calves, and the pay is pretty good, too.

“My blue horse is back this year. He’s been hurt all last summer and all winter. It gives you a little confidence heading into the summer.”

 

Claremore, Okla.
May 24-26
Results
Bareback riding:
1. Bill Tutor, 85 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket, $1,270; 2. (tie) Jared Smith and Tim O’Connell, 83, $827 each; 4. Caine Riddle, 81, $462; 5. Justin McDaniel and Kyle Brennecke, 80, $231 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. Shane Henderson, 4.2 seconds, $1,939; 2. Matt Reeves, 4.7, $1,686; 3. Royce Johnson, 4.9, $1,433; 4. (tie) Tooter Silver, Teddy Johnson and Jason Thomas, 5.3, $927 each; 7. (tie) Alan Frierson, Ryan Swayze and Tommy Cook, 5.4, $197 each.

Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Trent Creager and Cole Wilson, 8.6 seconds, $1,506; 3. Derrick Traylor, 9.2, 1,191; 3. Jared Kempker, 9.5, $981; 5. Jarod Branch, 9.7, $771; Tyler Garten, 9.8, $561; 7. (tie) Blake Deckard and Jerome Schneeberger, 9.9, $245 each.

Saddle bronc riding 1. Wade Sundell, 83 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Social Call, $1,254; 2. Ty Atchison, 82, $950; 3. Curtis Garton, 80; 4. Cody Hamm, 456; 5. (tie) Lance Wilson, Joseph Dean Lufkin and Cody Anthony, 78, $152 each.

Team roping: 1. A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 4.8 seconds, $1,994; 2. Drew Gartner/Tim Franzen, 4.9, $1,734; 3. Coleman Proctor/Jett Hillman, 5.2, $1,474; 4. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.4, $1,214; 5. Troy Boone/Tad Sheets, 5.7, $954; 6. (tie) Joe Macoubrie/Dawson McMaster and Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8, $563; 8. Casey Hicks/Cody Heflin, 5.9, $173.

Steer roping: First round: 1. J. Paul Williams, 10.6 seconds, $888; 2. Joe Wells, 10.7, $735; 3. Jay Sellers, 10.8, $582; 4. Trevor Brazile, 11.4, $429; 5. J.P. Wickett, 12.2, $276; 6. Chuck Thomson, 12.8, $153. Second round 1. Bryce Davis, 9.8 seconds, $888; 2. J. Tom Fisher, 11.3, $735; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 12.7, $582; 4. Rocky Patterson, 13.6, $429; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 13.7, $276; 6. Pecos Bill McNiel, 13.8, $153. Third round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 9.7 seconds, $888; 2. Cody Lee, 10.8, $735, 3. Jake DeGeer, 11.0, $582; 4. Chuck Thomson, 11.2, $429; 5. Chet Herren, 11.6, $276; 6. Vin Fisher Jr., 12.7, $153. Average leaders: 1. Jay Sellers and Vin Fisher Jr., 39.3 seconds on three runs, $1,217 each; 3. Cody Lee, 41.2, $873; 4. (tie) Rocky Patterson and J.P. Wickett, 43.2, $528; 6. C.A. Lauer, 45.7, $230.

Barrel racing: 1. Christy Loflin, 16.99 seconds, $1,912; 2. Carlee Pierce, 17;05, $1,639; 3. Cheyenne Kelly, 17.27, $1,367; 4. (tie) Shelley Morgan and Gretchen Benbenek, 17.41, $1,047; 6. Sandi Brandi, 17.42, $728; 7. Alexia Mehrle, 17.49, $546; 8. Sally Young, 17.50, $364; 9. $273; 10. (tie) Jessi Eagleberger and Michele McLeod, 17.53, $91 each.

Bull riding: 1. Trevor Kastner, 84 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Fletch, $1,740; 2. Trey Benton III, 82, $1,318; 3. (tie) Shawn Hogg and Bart Miller, 80, $791 each; 5. Guthrie Murray, 79, $369; 6. Dylan Werner, 71, $264.

postheadericon Rookie gets veteran help to lead rodeo

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Bill Tutor’s No. 1 goal in 2013 is to win the Bareback Riding Rookie of the Year title in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

The young cowboy got a big boost from a veteran bucking horse and moved closer toward that goal on Saturday night when he rode Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket for 85 points to take the bareback riding lead at the Will Rogers Stampede, with just one performance remaining at 7:45 p.m. Sunday.

“I got on him last year in Eagle, Colo.,” said Tutor, a 21-year-old cowboy from Huntsville, Texas. “I was 87 on him there. I felt like I rode him 10 times better tonight.”

The judges seemed to have liked it, but that’s been the case almost every time the horse has performed over the last five years. The 9-year-old bay gelding has been named one of the best bareback horses in ProRodeo; in 2012, he was named the runner-up reserve world champion.

“He’s just electric in himself,” Tutor said. “He stands out among the other horses. He’s way flashier, but he bucks to where he helps the rider out a lot. You have enough hang time to expose yourself.”

Judges mark half the score for the animal and half for the rider, and scores are on the 100-point scale.

“He’s gaining points himself, but he allows you to gain points yourself,” Tutor said.

He was one of two cowboys who moved into the lead on Saturday night, joining bull rider Trey Benton III. He rode Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Short Stack for 82 points.

“I didn’t know much about the bull, but he started real good,” said Benton, the 2012 PRCA rookie of the year who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last December. “I wish he would’ve stayed left, but he went back right and flattened out a little bit. We made a good ride.”

Taking the lead in Claremore is a nice momentum-booster for the Rock Island, Texas, cowboy.

“I had a bad finals, and it got to me a little bit the beginning of the year,” Benton said. “Then I broke my face at Fort Worth, and I had to sit out two months after that. Now I’m coming back and starting to get on my grind, so it’s going good.

“You’ve got one goal when you go all year, and that’s to stay on all your bulls and they’ll pay you.”

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 24-26
Leaders through second performance
Bareback riding:
1. Bill Tutor, 85 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket; 2. Jared Smith, 83; 3. Caine Riddle, 81; 4. Justin McDaniel, 80; 5. Colt Bruce, 79; 6. Richie Champion, 76.

Steer wrestling: 1. Shane Henderson, 4.2 seconds; 2. Matt Reeves, 4.7; 3. Royce Johnson, 4.9; 4. (tie) Tooter Silver, Teddy Johnson and Jason Thomas, 5.3; 7. (tie) Alan Frierson, Ryan Swayze and Tommy Cook, 5.4.

Tie-down roping: 1. Trent Creager, 8.6 seconds; 2. Derrick Traylor, 9.2; 3. Jared Kempker, 9.5; 4. Tyler Garten, 9.8; 5. (tie) Blake Deckard and Jerome Schneeberger, 9.9; 7. Jeff Miller, 10.5; 8. Cody McCartney, 10.7.

Saddle bronc riding 1. Wade Sundell, 83 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Social Call; 2. Curtis Garton, 80; 3. (tie) Lance Wilson and Cody Anthony, 78; 5. Alan Frierson, 77; 6. James Greeson, 75.

Team roping: 1. A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 4.8 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Jett Hillman, 5.2; 3. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.4; 4. Troy Boone/Tad Sheets, 5.7; 5. (tie) Joe Macoubrie/Dawson McMaster and Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8; 7. Casey Hicks/Cody Heflin, 5.9; 8. Gavin Foster/Derrick Jantzen, 6.1.

Steer roping: First round: 1. J. Paul Williams, 10.6 seconds, $888; 2. Joe Wells, 10.7, $735; 3. Jay Sellers, 10.8, $582; 4. Trevor Brazile, 11.4, $429; 5. J.P. Wickett, 12.2, $276; 6. Chuck Thomson, 12.8, $153. Second round 1. Bryce Davis, 9.8 seconds, $888; 2. J. Tom Fisher, 11.3, $735; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 12.7, $582; 4. Rocky Patterson, 13.6, $429; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 13.7, $276; 6. Pecos Bill McNiel, 13.8, $153. Third round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 9.7 seconds; 2. Cody Lee, 10.8, 3. Jake DeGeer, 11.0; 4. Chuck Thomson, 11.2; 5. Chet Herren, 11.6; 6. Vin Fisher Jr., 12.7; 7. Landon McClaugherty, 13.0; 8. C.A. Lauer, 13.1. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Jay Sellers and Vin Fisher Jr., 39.9 seconds on three runs; 3. Cody Lee, 41.2; 4. (tie) Rocky Patterson and J.P. Wickett, 43.2; 6. C.A. Lauer, 45.7.

Barrel racing: 1. Christy Loflin, 16.99 seconds; 2. Carlee Pierce, 17;05; 3. Cheyenne Kelly, 17.27; 4. (tie) Shelley Morgan and Gretchen Benbenek, 17.41; 6. Sandi Brandi, 17.42; 7. Alexia Mehrle, 17.49; 8. Sally Young, 17.50; 9. Michele McLeod, 17.53; 10. Reann Zancanella, 17.56.

Bull riding: 1. Trey Benton III, 82 points on Lancaster & Pickett’s Short Stack; 2. Shawn Hogg, 80; 3. Guthrie Murray, 79; 4. Dylan Werner, 71; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Great action so far in Claremore

We’ve had two days of competition at the Will Rogers Stampede, and we’ve seen possibly the second fastest barrel racing run in the 67-year history of the Claremore, Okla., rodeo – Wrangler National  Finals Rodeo qualifier Christy Loflin posted a time of 16.99 seconds on Thursday morning; reserve world champion Carlee Pierce posted a 16.96 in 2011 to set the arena record.

Pierce is in Claremore and will run tonight. She is the two-time reigning Will Rogers Stampede champion.

We’ve had a lot of fast runs in the timed events, and we’re just kickstarting this Carr Pro Rodeo/Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo production. Tonight, Bill Tutor will get his chance to ride the great horse Dirty Jacket, the runner-up reserve world champion bareback horse in 2012. We’ll also see a lot of great NFR-caliber animals perform over final two performances, set for 7:45 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

But you can get a glimpse of the goings-on in the behind-the-scenes photos from the first two days. Click on the photo below, and you’ll see them.

CowboysDressingRoom-600

postheadericon Circuit contestants make move Friday

CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Will Rogers Stampede has been a major stop in the Prairie Circuit in the four decades the ProRodeo circuit system has been in place.

On Friday night at Will Rogers Round Up Club Arena, the circuit’s stars shined brightly. Bareback rider Caine Riddle of Vernon, Texas; saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell of Coleman, Okla.; and steer wrestler Shane Henderson of Winfield, Kan., all to the leads in their respective events on the opening night of Claremore’s rodeo. They’ll have to wait out the results from the remaining two performances, set for 7:45 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Caine Riddle

Caine Riddle

“They changed stock contractors this year, and it gives everybody a bit more of a chance to win,” said Riddle, the No. 19 cowboy in the world standings who won the Will Rogers Stampede in 2011. “I drew at the top of the herd, and I rode good and felt good.”

Riddle scored 81 points Carr Pro Rodeo’s Outa Sight, an 8-year-old paint mare that has been selected to perform twice at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“This is a good rodeo,” he said. “I’ve been here six or seven times and have been successful at it.”

Riddle is joined by Henderson as a former Claremore champion – in fact, Henderson has earned the bulldogging title twice. He grappled his steer to the ground in 4.2 seconds and is five-tenths of a second faster than the second-place cowboy, Matt Reeves of Cross Plains, Texas.

Wade Sundell

Wade Sundell

“This is one of the better circuit rodeos we have,” said Henderson, a four-time Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo qualifier. “The money always helps. That’s a big bonus. It’s a really good goal to get to our circuit finals, and this is a big stepping stone to get to that.

“I think we’ve got the best cowboys and cowgirls in ProRodeo in our circuit.”

That includes Sundell, an Iowa-born cowboy who is competing in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region for the first time in his career. He rode Carr Pro Rodeo’s Social Call for 83 points.

“Pete (Carr) said he was just a young horse and that I needed to give him some reign,” said Sundell, who has finished in the top five in the world standings each of the past three years. “It worked out good; I’m winning first, so I can’t complain.

Friday’s ride marked the first time in Sundell’s career that he had ridden in Claremore. In addition to winning the elusive world title, he hopes to qualify for the Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo.

“Every time I nod my head, I’m trying to be 90 or nothing,” Sundell said. “I just need to stay healthy, and this is the best I’ve felt in a long time. Everybody better look out, because I’m coming from the back door.”

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 24-26
Leaders through first performance
Bareback riding:
1. Caine Riddle, 81 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Outa Sight; 2. (tie) Tyler Pasour and Luke Creasy, 75; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. Shane Henderson, 4.2 seconds; 2. Matt Reeves, 4.7; 3. Royce Johnson, 4.9; 4. (tie) Teddy Johnson and Jason Thomas, 5.3; 6. (tie) Alan Frierson, Ryan Swayze and Tommy Cook, 5.4.

Tie-down roping: 1. Trent Creager, 8.6 seconds; 2. Jared Kempker, 9.5; 3. (tie) Blake Deckard and Jerome Schneeberger, 9.9; 5. Jeff Miller, 10.5; 6. Cody McCartney, 10.7; 7. Colby Dorsey, 11.2; 8. Scotty Shelton, 11.5.

Saddle bronc riding 1. Wade Sundell, 83 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Social Call; 2. Lance Wilson, 78; 3. Alan Frierson, 77; 4. Cody Goertzen, 74; 5. Blane Stacy, 72; 6. Clayton Zibell, 71.

Team roping: 1. A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 4.8 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Jett Hillman, 5.2; 3. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.4; 4. (tie) Joe Macoubrie/Dawson McMaster and Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8; 6. Casey Hicks/Cody Heflin, 5.9; 7. Gavin Foster/Derrick Jantzen, 6.1; 8. Spencer Griffith/Jacob Griffith, 6.2.

Steer roping: First round: 1. J. Paul Williams, 10.6 seconds, $888; 2. Joe Wells, 10.7, $735; 3. Jay Sellers, 10.8, $582; 4. Trevor Brazile, 11.4, $429; 5. J.P. Wickett, 12.2, $276; 6. Chuck Thomson, 12.8, $153. Second round 1. Bryce Davis, 9.8 seconds, $888; 2. J. Tom Fisher, 11.3, $735; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 12.7, $582; 4. Rocky Patterson, 13.6, $429; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 13.7, $276; 6. Pecos Bill McNiel, 13.8, $153. Third round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 9.7 seconds; 2. Cody Lee, 10.8, 3. Jake DeGeer, 11.0; 4. Chuck Thomson, 11.2; 5. Chet Herren, 11.6; 6. Vin Fisher Jr., 12.7; 7. Landon McClaugherty, 13.0; 8. C.A. Lauer, 13.1. Average leaders: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 39.3 seconds on three runs; 2. Cody Lee, 41.2; 3. (tie) Rocky Patterson and J.P. Wickett, 43.2; 5. C.A. Lauer, 45.7; 6. Landon McClaugherty, 46.6; 7. Justin McKee, 70.7; 8. Trevor Brazile, 21.1 on two runs.

Barrel racing: 1. Christy Loflin, 16.99 seconds; 2. Cheyenne Kelly, 17.27; 3. (tie) Shelley Morgan and Gretchen Benbenek, 17.41; 4. 5. Sandi Brandi, 17.42; 6. Alexia Mehrle, 17.49; 7. Sally Young, 17.50; 8. Michele McLeod, 17.53; 9. Reann Zancanella, 17.56;  10. Tana Poppino, 17.57.+

Bull riding: 1. Guthrie Murray, 79 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Southern Fried; no other qualified rides.

postheadericon Praying for those affected by Oklahoma storms

My girls got out of school at 3 p.m. today and were home shortly thereafter. My youngest was being her rascally self and had to suffer a couple of consequences.

I was a little frustrated, because I have some things I need to finish before Wednesday morning, and taking time for a 4-year-old’s attitude adjustment wasn’t what I needed. Nonetheless, it’s what she needed, so I handled the situation. Upon returning to my desk, I started noticing the reports from the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla.

I sat awestruck while watching the coverage from KFOR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City. When the “chopper” video showed the leveled Tower Plaza Elementary School, my heart switched from aching to broken.

Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. We need her for so many things; this wasn’t one of them.

I somberly walked upstairs, where I found my 11-year-old reading. I told her what was happening in Oklahoma, kissed her, hugged her and told her I loved her with all my heart.

I found my rascal playing in her sister’s room, so I picked her up, looked her square in the eyes and said, “I know we had a little trouble today, but I want you to know that no matter what happens in our lives, I will ALWAYS love you.” I held her, and tears just flooded my face.

Not a day goes by that I don’t tell my girls just how much I love them. Today, though, I just wanted to hold them closer than ever. My heart, and my prayers, go out to all those affected by this storm. May God help you find the peace you deserve.