CROSBY, Texas – There’s a reason why many of the top cowboys in the game have circled the dates on the calendar for the Crosby Fair and Rodeo.
They know they’ll get the best bucking horses and bulls from Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, the firm that produces the annual event set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at Rock’n C Arena.
“Pete Carr has the bucking horses and bulls that are unreal,” said bareback rider Clint Cannon, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Waller, Texas. “When I think about Pete Carr, I think about 90-point rides, rock ’n’ roll music and fans loving it.”
Cannon will be one of several NFR qualifiers scheduled to compete in Crosby. It’s one of the attractive features the county has when the fair and rodeo takes place each June.
This year’s event also will feature Cody Teel, the 2012 world champion bull rider from Kountze, Texas, and a three-time NFR qualifier. It’s more than a close drive from home for Teel; he understands the drawing power the Carr firm has for cowboys.
“He’s got the best bull pen going,” Teel said of Carr. “He’s got my vote for stock contractor of the year. He really tries to put together a good set of bulls, and it shows. There wasn’t one bull you didn’t want to get on. He gives a guy every opportunity to win.
“I was more anxious for his rodeos this year because of his bulls. You know you’re going to draw pretty good. It showed this year. All his rodeos had a lot of big scores, which shows how good the bulls really are. He definitely has the deepest set of bulls in rodeo.”
Pete Carr is a two-time nominee for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Stock Contractor of the Year. Each of the past two seasons, 27 Carr animals were selected to buck at the NFR, an event record for the number of animals from one contractor.
That kind of firepower makes for an amazing show for rodeo-goers. Of course, having the top stars in town makes a big difference.
“Pete’s got an eye for horses, and he’s surrounded himself with people who know what they’re talking about,” said saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss, a six-time NFR from Heflin, La. “You want to go to Pete’s rodeos, because you’re going to get on something.”
The key for any competitor is having a chance to win any time they are in the arena. Cowboys know that will be possible in Crosby.
WEATHERFORD, Texas – Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket is the best bucking horse in the business.
The 11-year-old bay gelding is the 2014 Bareback Horse of the Year and has been one of the top three horses in the year-end voting by members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association each of the past three seasons.
He returns to work in the arena this week at the Parker County Frontier Days and PRCA Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 10-Saturday, June 13, at the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse Arena. He is matched with Winn Ratliff, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Leesville, La.
At the 2014 NFR in December, the athletic horse proved the accolades, guiding cowboys to go-round victories both times he bucked inside the Thomas & Mack Center: Richmond Champion of The Woodlands, Texas, won the fifth round, while Caleb Bennett of Tremonton, Utah, claimed the 10th-round title.
“There’s not another horse like him,” said Champion, who also won the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days title after a 91-point ride in July. “Dirty Jacket might’ve even looked better than he did that day in Cheyenne.”
The fifth and 10th rounds featured the greatest bucking horses in rodeo, an elite list of phenomenal athletes. Even then, Dirty Jacket stood out.
“There wasn’t a bad horse in the pen, but to have Dirty Jacket again at the NFR and to win the round was awesome,” Champion said. “There’s not another night that you get to walk down the alley with that caliber of horse standing all next to each other.
“That same feeling runs in all of us to see that kind of horse lined up for us, just standing outside the Thomas & Mack. That’s what dreams are made of in this sport.”
It’s the same feeling Bennett had when he prepared for the final night of the competition. It had been a rough week for the Utah cowboy, who had placed in just one round prior to the 10th night.
“I couldn’t have been more blessed and ask for anything more than to end it the way I did on Dirty Jacket,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal horse and definitely one of the ones you want to have in this round.”
The powerful gelding is one of four Pete Carr horses that have received the top honor in bareback riding, joining pasture-mates like Real Deal, Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night. In 2013, when Dirty Jacket was named Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse, he helped cowboys to at least a share of the title 12 of 13 times he performed during the regular season. In 2014, his wins were just as miraculous.
Champion’s 91 in Cheyenne was one of two of the highest marked rides of the campaign. The other was by Steven Dent, who rode Dirty Jacket for a matching 91 on the final weekend of the regular season at the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo in Stephenville, Texas, in September.
“Any time you can draw one that everybody wants, you’re happy with it whether you’re in that situation or it’s a regular-season rodeo,” said Dent, a seven-time NFR qualifier from Mullen, Neb. “You don’t have the opportunity to get on a horse that you can be that many points on and that’s that fun to get on very often in your life, much less the last week of the year when you’re trying to make the NFR.
“That is a really great horse. There are not very many of them like him that do it every time, that are that electric, jump that high in the air and that you can be that many points on.”
The horse has been selected to buck at the NFR each of the past seven seasons. Earlier this year, Jessy Davis scored 93 points during the Cinch Shootout at the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo.
“He has a huge frame, but he’s so athletic from nose to tail,” Champion said of the horse. “He just looks like an athlete. If you could pick a horse out of a herd that could jump nine feet in the air, he’s that horse. If you’re going to win a big rodeo, that’s the horse you want.”
Dirty Jacket is powerful, athletic and consistent, but what makes him a proven winner year after year is in the effort he puts forward every trip. He has the heart of a champion.
SILVER CITY, N.M. — A special section of bull riding will kick start the Wild Wild West Pro Rodeo at 8 tonight.
The event will include many of the top bull riders in the game matched against some of the top bulls from stock contractor Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo. The match-ups are set by random draw, and there are some interesting combinations for the four days of rodeo action.
Tim Bingham, a 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Honeyville, Utah, will test his talents on Footloose, another NFR athlete. Other match-ups for tonight are Brant Atwood-Rattler, Guthrie Murray-Rio Bravo, Cody Dollins-Morning After and Jacob Marcell-Missing Parts.
The top bulls also will buck throughout the weekend. That means several NFR animals will be matched with other top bull riders as the rodeo continues through Saturday: Cody Teel-Morning After and Elliot Jacoby-Mind Games.
When Jake Cooper isn’t roping around his Stephenville, Texas, place, he can be found on the ProRodeo trail as one of the elite team ropers in the game.
But that’s not necessarily his home.
“Monument (N.M.) will always be my home and my hometown,” said Cooper, one of three children born to Jimmie and Shryl Cooper. “We live in Stephenville because it’s more central for rodeos, and I’d say half the top 15 guys live around there.
“If you want to be the best, you have to be around the best.”
Both are certainly the case. This season, Cooper is among the top five headers in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings, competing primarily with heeler Tyler McKnight of Wells, Texas. It’s a return to the top of the game for Cooper, who last qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2007 while competing with his twin brother, Jim Ross.
“It feels great to be in a position like this,” said Jake Cooper, one of seven cowboys that are part of the Tate Branch Auto Group “Riding for the Brand” team. “I haven’t roped good the last few years, and I had some struggles with some horses. It’s really early in the season to get too excited, but I feel great about the start and feel great about the year.”
He should. His hope is to stay among the top 15 through the rest of the regular season and earn a spot in the NFR field. After eight years away from ProRodeo’s grand finale, he would welcome the change.
Of course, it helps to have sponsorship arrangements like he has with Tate Branch Auto Group, which has southeastern New Mexico dealerships in Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs.
“It makes it so much easier on us out here on the road with help like that,” said Cooper, who joins Jim Ross; tie-down roping brothers Clif and Clint Cooper and their legendary father, Roy Cooper; steer roper Marty Jones; and two-time world champion saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy. “I got to know Tate a little bit because Jim’s had the relationship for a couple of years. It’s a great opportunity for us to be involved with a guy like Tate, who supports rodeo and what we do.
“Not only does it make the financial burden less, but having a guy that’s easy to talk to and is a spiritual guy like my dad is great, too. This really has the feeling of family.”
Branch takes a familial approach to the arrangements with the cowboys, all of whom have New Mexico ties. Jake Cooper, Jim Ross Cooper, Clint Cooper, Roy Cooper and Jones have specific ties to Lea County in the state’s most southeastern corner, while Muncy is from Corona; Clif Cooper is the lone Texas-raised cowboy in the bunch, but he has other ties to Lea County through Roy’s family.
“Having grown up around rodeo, I know what kind of sacrifices these guys make to compete at the top level,” said Joby Houghtaling, the Tate Branch Auto Group’s director of operations. “We’re very excited to support these guys, the sport of rodeo and the lifestyle they live. We want them to know they’re part of our family.”
That seems to be a common theme for many of the “Riding for the Brand” cowboys, but it’s especially true for Jake Cooper. Less than a decade ago, he and Jim Ross became the first set of twins to compete together in team roping at the NFR. Of course, they’re just carrying on a heritage passed down from their father, 1980 all-around world champion Jimmie Cooper, a ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee.
“This is a lifestyle for me,” Jake Cooper said. “Guys ask me all the time how long I’m going to do this. This is all I’ve ever done. Since I was 12 years old, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s a way of life for me, not really a job.
“I’m 30 now. I’ve grown up. Dad told me it was a hard life out here. You’ve got to love it, and I do. He used to tell me when I was a kid that he loved to rope with me.”
In early May, Jake Cooper returned to Monument and spent a week with his family. He and his dad roped together much of that time.
“There’s nothing that makes me happier than roping with him and spending time with him,” Jake Cooper said. “It’s great that he can still compete and do stuff along with us.”
As he prepares for the busy summer run, Jake Cooper knows the struggles that come with competing in rodeo full time. Only the top teams at each rodeo will earn a check, so it’s vital that he and McKnight battle through any adversity and excel at the right times if he plans to return to the NFR in 2015.
If he qualifies for Las Vegas in December, he will rope for the largest purse in the history of the sport’s championship event, with go-round winners earning more than $26,000 each night for 10 star-filled days in the Nevada desert. Just making it to Sin City would put him in position to claim that elusive, yet coveted world championship.
“It’s a little early to be talking about a gold buckle,” he said. “That’s been my goal since I was a kid. That’s every guy’s goal, especially growing up with my dad having one. It’s almost like that World Series ring; it’s that instant respect you get from every rodeo cowboy.
“It’s going to take a lot more hard work. Hopefully if all the right things fall in place, we’ll get to do it.”
SAN ANGELO, Texas – “Rodeo Town” is living up to its Texas roots in a bigger way.
The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Association has hired Texas-based Pete Carr Pro Rodeo as its stock contractor for the February 2016 event.
“The rodeo committee has voted to move forward with Pete Carr,” said Justin Jonas, the executive director for the association. “Pete Carr has shown us the commitment and concern imperative to putting on a premier event, as San Angelo has grown accustomed to over the past 84 years.”
Carr has been recognized as one of the top producers in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, having received multiple nominations for Stock Contractor of the Year. Each of the past two season, the Dallas-based firm has had more animals selected to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo than any other contracting company in the PRCA.
“The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo has a great tradition, and we’re excited to be part of such a classic event in our sport’s history,” Carr said. “We’ve been fortunate to be part of this exciting rodeo over the last couple of years. It’s an exciting time for me and our company.”
One of the most original and prestigious rodeos in Texas will kick off its 12 performances on February 5th, 2016. Over the years, the San Angelo Rodeo has grown from 8 to 10 and now has a dozen performances. “Rodeo Town” celebrates the rodeo’s heritage with more than 97 percent of the seats sold out each year
From a West Texas town of only 110,000 people, this caliber of rodeo and livestock show is a combination of excitement and entertainment that is unheard of anywhere else in the event community.
“They definitely love their rodeo in San Angelo,” said Carr, the 2014 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s Stock Contractor of the Year. “The association does a great job of putting on a great event for the fans out there.”
The rodeo committee will work closely with Carr and his team on producing the event, which is scheduled for February 5-20 at Foster Communications Coliseum. This past February, reigning PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year Dirty Jacket guided NFR qualifier Jessy Davis to a 93-point ride to win the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Cinch Shoot-Out.
Dirty Jacket is just one of four Carr horses to be named the world champion bareback horse, joining MGM Deuces Night, Big Tex and Real Deal. The 11-year-old bay gelding is one of 27 Carr animals selected to buck at the finals in 2013 and ’14, a record number of animals coming from one contracting company.
That kind of talent combined with the historic San Angelo Rodeo should be the perfect mix.
CLAREMORE, Okla. – The locals found the good and the bad that comes with a soggy rodeo Sunday night during the final performance of the Will Rogers Stampede.
While steer ropers Brodie Poppino and Brady Garten suffered no-times, team ropers Coleman Proctor and Jake Long pulled off the fastest time of the week to claim the championship.
“It was sure enough wet out there,” said Proctor, a header from Pryor, Okla., just 20 miles east of Claremore. “The good Lord blessed us with a lot of rain in this country, but it’s dang sure wet and nasty. Steers were having heck getting through the mud, but we always seem to work decent in the mud.”
Proctor and Long have roped together most of their lives and are coming off a fantastic 2014 season in which both cowboys finished among the top five in the world standings in their respective events. On Sunday night, the tandem downed their steer in 5.3 seconds to win their first Claremore title; they each pocketed $1,469.
“I feel more like a cowboy to win one in the mud,” Proctor said. “There were still a lot of people in the stands, the die-hards who came out and sat through those conditions to see a great rodeo. It was a great experience. Anytime you can win in the PRCA against this caliber of guys, it’s real special.”
Sunday night wasn’t so special for Poppino, a Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping qualifier from Big Cabin, Okla., just northeast of Claremore. He and Garten, a two-time NFSR qualifier from Claremore, suffered no-times.
“The conditions are so tough, and the cattle don’t take it very good,” Poppino said. “You have some horse power issues, too, but that’s part of the draw. That’s rodeo. Everybody gets their time to run in the mud; sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Still, a good portion of the crowd on hand was there to support the locals.
“If you’re going to rodeo all year, you’re going to have to compete in that stuff more than once,” Garten said. “Last year I was in the same performance and won the average, so it worked out in my favor last year and not this year.”
Despite the conditions, Proctor and Long were among three event champions who competed Sunday night. They were joined by bareback rider Richmond Champion of The Woodlands, Texas, and bull rider Guthrie Murray of Miami, Okla., who posted the top scores on the final night.
Other winners were steer wrestler Laine Herl, tie-down roper Dillon Holder, steer roper Rocky Patterson, barrel racer Michele McLeod and saddle bronc rider Nat Stratton.
Will Rogers Stampede
Bareback riding: 1. Richmond Champion, 83 points on Lancaster & Pickett’s Peppermint, $1,241; 2. (tie) Justin Pollmiller and Kody Lamb, 80, $808 each; 4. Yance Day, 79, $451; 5. Winn Ratliff, 78, $263; 6. Justin Miller, 74, $188
Steer wrestling: 1. Laine Herl, 4.1 seconds, $1,794; 2. Zac Parrington, 4.3, $1,560; 3. (tie) Josh Clark, Denver Berry and Tooter Silver, 4.4, $1,092 each; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.7, $624; 7. Josh Peek, 4.8, $390; 8. (tie) Shane Frey and Jacob Talley, 5.0, $78 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Dillon Holder, 8.2 seconds, $1,976; 2. (tie) Trent Creager and Clay Brown, 8.8, $1,455 each; 4. Jerome Schneeberfger, 9.3, $594; 5. Jeremy Len Kempker, 9.8, $813; 6. Perry Dietz 9.9, $341.
Saddle bronc riding 1. Nat Stratton, 85 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness, $1,396; 2. Cody Anthony, 81, $1,058; 3. (tie) Shade Etbauer and Justin Caylor, 79, $635; 5. (tie) Ryan Bestol and Joe Lufkin, 78, $254.
Team roping: 1. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.3 seconds, $1,689; 2. Adam Rose/Eddie Ruth, 5.5, $1,469; 3. (tie) Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster and Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 5.7 $1,138 each; 5. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8, $808; 6. Brock Demaree/Kraig Von Ahn, 6.3, $588; 7. Justin Spotts/Kris Kyle, 7.0, $367; 8. Ralph Williams/Darin Suit, 8.3, $147.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds, $984; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.6, $815; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Rocky Patterson, 11.8, $560 each; 5. C.A. Lauer, 13.3, $306; 6. Cody Lee, 13.5, $170. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.6 seconds, $984; 2. Chet Herren, 12.0, $815; 3. Brad Mohon, 13.0, $645; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.1, $475; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tyrel Taton, 13.4, $238 each. Third round leaders: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds, $984; 2. (tie) Jess Tierney and Tom Smith, 10.5, $730 each; 4. Guy Allen, 10.9$475; 5. Jason Evans, 12.0, $306; 6. Rod Hartness, 12.5, $190. Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 35.2 seconds on three head, $1,477; 2. Bryce Davis, 41.9, $1,222; 3. Jay Sellers, 43.0, $967; 4. Jason Evans, 43.3, $713; 5. Dee Kyler Jr., 65.3, $458; 6. Brad Mohon, 69.6, $255.
Barrel racing: 1. Michele McLeod, 17.41 seconds, $2,006; 2. Taylor Langdon, 17.58, $1,719; 3. Katelyn McLeod, 17.63, $1,433; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.66, $1,242; 5. Shea-Lynn Leach, 17.67, $955; 6. Lacinda Rose, 17.72, $764; 7. Laura Kennedy, 17.75, $573; 8. Fallon Taylor 17.77, $382; 9. Cassidy Kruse, 17.84, $287; 10. Shelley Morgan, 17.86, $191.
Bull riding: 1. Guthrie Murray, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Medicine Show, $1,567; 2. Brennon Elred and Sam Wyatt, 87, $1,021 each; 4. Tanner Bothwell, 85, $570; 5. John Mincey, 84, $332; 6. John Young, 83, $237.
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Justin Pollmiller plodded through the mud not knowing much about Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, the horse he was to compete on Saturday night.
The more he learned about the athletic equine, the faster his pace got. By the second performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo began, he was quite tickled to play his game in the rain. The smile got larger after the two matched moves for 80 points to take the bareback riding lead.
“I don’t really look up anything about the horses before I get on them, but once I got here and some guys told me about her, I felt like I had a good horse,” said Pollmiller of Weatherford, Okla. “On her back, she felt outstanding.
“I thought that horse was really good, and I felt like I was really able to get back and spur on her.”
One performance remains in the 69th edition of Claremore’s rodeo, so the cowboy will have to await the results of Sunday’s show to see how he will place. Nonetheless, doing well in this damp northeast Oklahoma is crucial for Pollmiller, who competes in the Prairie Circuit, a series of rodeos and contestants primarily in the Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska region.
“I love it here,” he said. “There are great horses, and it seems like it’s really well run. It’s awesome to have one of those in your circuit that you can go to every year.”
Pollmiller is from Littleton, Colo., but moved to the Sooner State to compete in college rodeo at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He’s done pretty well at it, actually, clinching the Central Plains Region title again this past season and earning another qualification to the College National Finals Rodeo.
After the college finals is complete, he will return to Weatherford as a graduate assistant for the rodeo program.
“I really like it down here, mostly because of the weather,” Pollmiller said, mindfully ignoring the constant rain that fell throughout Saturday’s rodeo. “It’s still snowing and cold back home, but down here, we’ve actually bucked horses in November and December.
“There are a lot more rodeos, too, so this is the place to be.”
He proved it in spite of the rain and mud in Claremore.
Will Rogers Stampede
Leaders through second performance
Bareback riding: 1. Justin Pollmiller, 80 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change; 2. Yance Day, 79l 3. Winn Ratliff, 78; 4. (tie) Kolt Kitaif and Wyatt Clark, 73; 6. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Bill Tutor, 72.
Steer wrestling: 1. Laine Herl, 4.1 seconds; 2. Zac Parrington, 4.3; 3. (tie) Josh Clark, Denver Berry and Tooter Silve, 4.4; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.7; 7. Josh Peek, 4.8; 8. (tie) Shane Frey and Jacob Talley, 5.0.
Tie-down roping: 1. Dillon Holder, 8.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Trent Creager and Clay Brown, 8.8; 4. Jerome Schneeberfger, 9.3; 5. Jeremy Len Kempker, 9.8; 6. Perry Dietz 9.9.
Saddle bronc riding 1. Nat Stratton, 85 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness; 2. Shade Etbauer, 79; 3. (tie) Ryan Bestol and Joe Lufkin, 78; 5. (tie) Preston Kafka and Will Smith, 76.
Team roping: 1. (tie) Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster and Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 5.7 seconds each; 3. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8; 4. Brock Demaree/Kraig Von Ahn, 6.3; 5. Ralph Williams/Darin Suit, 8.3; 6. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Jett Hillman, 9.8; 7. Jeff Schneider/Gabe Gwaltney, 10.1; 8. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 10.5.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds, $984; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.6, $815; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Rocky Patterson, 11.8, $560 each; 5. C.A. Lauer, 13.3, $306; 6. Cody Lee, 13.5, $170. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.6 seconds, $984; 2. Chet Herren, 12.0, $815; 3. Brad Mohon, 13.0, $645; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.1, $475; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tyrel Taton, 13.4, $238 each. Third round leaders: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Jess Tierney and Tom Smith, 10.5 each; 4. Guy Allen, 10.9; 5. Jason Evans, 12.0; 6. Rod Hartness, 12.5. Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 35.2 seconds on three head; 2. Bryce Davis, 41.9; 3. Jay Sellers, 43.0; 4. Jason Evans, 43.3; 5. Jess Tierney, 26.8 on two head; 6. Cody Lee, 27.0.
Barrel racing: 1. Michele McLeod, 17.41 seconds; 2. Taylor Langdon, 17.58; 3. Katelyn McLeod, 17.63; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.66; 5. Shea-Lynn Leach, 17.67; 6. Lacinda Rose, 17.72; 7. Laura Kennedy, 17.75; 8. Fallon Taylor 17.77; 9. Cassidy Kruse, 17.84; 19. Shelley Morgan, 17.86.
Bull riding: 1. Brennon Elred, 87points on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Lil Clever; 2. Tanner Bothwell, 85; 3. John Mincey, 84; 4. John Young, 83; 5. Jimy Marten, 81; 6. Jacob O’Mara, 79; 7. Chris McCombs, 78; 8. Jeff Bertus, 76.
First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds, $984; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.6, $815; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Rocky Patterson, 11.8, $560 each; 5. C.A. Lauer, 13.3, $306; 6. Cody Lee, 13.5, $170.
Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.6 seconds, $984; 2. Chet Herren, 12.0, $815; 3. Brad Mohon, 13.0, $645; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.1, $475; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tyrel Taton, 13.4, $238 each.
Third round leaders: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Jess Tierney and Tom Smith, 10.5 each; 4. Guy Allen, 10.9; 5. Jason Evans, 12.0; 6. Rod Hartness, 12.5.
Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 35.2 seconds on three head; 2. Bryce Davis, 41.9; 3. Jay Sellers, 43.0; 4. Jason Evans, 43.3; 5. Jess Tierney, 26.8 on two head; 6. Cody Lee, 27.0.
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Laine Herl is just 21 years old and has big dreams in the world of rodeo.
He took a pretty solid leap toward that Friday night during the first performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo. Herl, of Goodland, Kan., posted a 4.1-second run to take the early lead in steer wrestling with two performances remaining.
“I’d really like to win the rookie of the year,” said Herl, the No. 2 cowboy in the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings. “I drew a good steer and had a good start. That makes a big difference.”
Herl just finished the 2014-15 college rodeo season in fourth place in the steer wrestling standings while competing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, about three hours west of Claremore. Unfortunately only the top three earn the right to compete at the College National Finals Rodeo that will take place next month in Casper, Wyo.
“I missed the college finals by just five points,” he said, noting that the region was filled with talented steer wrestlers. “We had about half the top 15 guys from Northwestern. Practice was tough, but everybody was there to help everybody else.”
That came in handy as he takes his place among the top players in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the premier sanctioning body for the sport. He’s traveling with veteran Jule Hazen, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Ashland, Kan.
“Jule’s helped me a lot,” Herl said. “My horse got hurt, so he allowed me to get on his. I’ve just learned a lot from him. It helps with the little things that nobody would really notice. They do all the fine-tuning things that nobody really sees but that makes a big difference.”
Herl was a multi-sport star at Goodland High School and had scholarship opportunities in both wrestling and football. He chose rodeo instead.
“My dad bulldogged for a long time,” he said. “He was still going when I was growing up, and it made me want to do it. For me, rodeo’s a better sport because everybody’s willing to help everybody else.”
Will Rogers Stampede
Leaders through first performance
Bareback riding: 1. Winn Ratliff, 78 points on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Red Ryder; 2. Kolt Kitaif, 73; 3. Tim O’Connell, 72; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Laine Herl, 4.1 seconds; 2. Zac Parrington, 4.3; 3. (tie) Josh Clark, Denver Berry and Tooter Silver; 6.
Tie-down roping: 1. Tylen Layton, 10.6 seconds; 2. Trell Etbauer, 11.1; Bart Brunson, 12.6; 4. Jack Hewett, 12.9; 5. Ryan Jarrett, 13.2; 6. Cole Bailey, 16.9.
Saddle bronc riding 1. Shade Etbauer, 79 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly; 2. Ryan Bestol, 78; 3. Prestan Kafka, 76; 4. Weston Pierschbacher, 75; 5; Wyatt Casper, 74; 6. Wyatt Barstow, 73.
Team roping: 1. (tie) Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster and Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 5.7 seconds each; 3. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8; 4. Brock Demaree/Kraig Von Ahn, 6.3; 5. Ralph Williams/Darin Suit, 8.3; 6. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Jett Hillman, 9.8.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds; 2. C.A. Lauer, 13.3; 3. Cody Lee, 13.5; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.7; 5. Jess Tierney, 16.3; 6. Luke Bland, 18.1.
Barrel racing: 1. Michele McLeod, 17.41 seconds; 2. Taylor Langdon, 17.58; 3. Katelyn McLeod, 17.63; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.66; 5. Shea-Lynn Leach, 17.67; 6. Lacinda Rose, 17.72.
Bull riding: 1. John Mincey, 84 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Justin Boots; 2. John Young, 83; 3. Jimy Marten, 81; 4. Jacob O’Mara, 79; 5. Chris McCombs, 78; no other qualified rides.
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country are preparing to converge on Claremore this week.
The Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo – the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2014 Small Rodeo of the Year – will feature nearly 600 entries for the upcoming event, set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena. Discounted tickets can be found on the rodeo’s website, www.WillRogersStampede.com; fans can also follow the rodeo on Facebook.
But there’s so much more to the Memorial Day Weekend festivities in Rogers County.
“We’ve worked really hard this year to put together the best experience possible for people who want to come to a professional rodeo and have a good time,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We’ve got a lot for the fans to enjoy with Miss Rodeo America Lauren Heaton along with our great acts, Tomas Garcilazo and John Harrison.”
Heaton is the first Miss Rodeo Oklahoma to win the national crown. Gracilazo is a charro who earned the PRCA’s Dress Act of the Year in 2012 and ’13. Harrison, of Soper, Okla., won the 2014 PRCA Comedy Act of the Year and the Coors Man in the Can.
Together, they bring the pomp and circumstance and valuable entertainment to the event, but the action comes in the competition. A big reason why so many contestants make their way to Claremore every May is because of the bucking stock from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, a Dallas-based livestock firm that has been one of the top five in the PRCA each of the past two seasons.
“Having Pete Carr and his crew at our rodeo is one of the reasons our rodeo has seen recent success,” Petty said. “He has amazing bucking stock and produces an incredible rodeo.”
That’s key to the biggest and best names in the game, including world champions like Rocky Patterson, Guy Allen, Mary Walker, Ryan Jarrett, Will Lowe, Trevor Brazile and Sage Kimzey. Brazile and Kimzey are reigning champions – Brazile in steer roping and the all-around and Kimzey in bull riding.
Kimzey also is the reigning Will Rogers Stampede champion. That win was a key reason he ran through the 2014 season in dominating fashion.
He will be joined in Claremore this week by several other Wrangler National Finals Rodeo or Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping qualifiers who come from the area: Tie down ropers Jerome Schneeberger of Ponca City, Okla., and Mike Johnson of Henryetta, Okla.; steer wrestler Tom Duvall of Hichita, Okla.; team ropers Coleman Proctor of Pryor, Okla., and Jake Long of Coffeyville, Kan.; barrel racer Tana Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla.; bull rider Tate Stratton of Kellyville, Okla.; and steer ropers Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin and Brady Garten of Claremore.
“It’s a very exciting week for us, and we’re ready to put on the kind of show that has people talking,” Petty said. “It takes a lot of work to put on an event like this, but we do this because we love it and we love this community. It’s an amazing experience.”