Aug. 26, 2015
Pass adds Caldwell to victory list
The last five weeks have been a blur for bull rider Aaron Pass – a victory blur.
The Kaufman, Texas, cowboy continued his victory binge, winning the Caldwell Night Rodeo (Aug. 18-22) with an 88-point ride on Powder River Rodeo’s No. 16x.
“I had never been on that bull before and he’s just a young bull,” said Pass, 26. “He turned back in the gate to the right and he kind of had me bucked off, then he jumped forward and kind of tipped me up and turned back to the left. If he was an older bull and knew what he was doing, he would’ve kept going right and bucked me off, but actually he jumped back underneath me and it worked out for a good score.”
With his $7,999 win in Caldwell, Pass could do nothing but smile.
“I’ve never even stayed on here (at Caldwell),” Pass said. “I’ve been here twice before and both times I was bucked off, so it’s really cool to win here.”
Pass has rocketed up the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings in recent weeks. He was 118th on July 18 and shot up to 15th in the Aug. 17 standings with $46,415 despite only competing in 19 rodeos at that time. He moved up to ninth after his Caldwell performance.
Pass sat out for almost two months – late-March to mid-May – with an injured right hip. Then, in just his second rodeo back in action, Pass broke three ribs at a non-PRCA event in Surrey, British Columbia.
After being sidelined for two more months with the broken ribs, Pass returned at Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, and he has been nearly unstoppable since.
Pass won the prestigious “Daddy of ‘em All,” and then took victory laps at the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo, Omak (Wash.) Stampede and the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo Xtreme Bulls Division 2 event in Castle Rock, Colo. – before the big win in Caldwell.
“This has been a blessing and it has been just great,” Pass said. “I got to get on some good bulls and win some big rodeos. Now that I’ve come this far, I just hope I keep doing well.”
Pass acknowledged that being in the zone has him on a mission to compete at as many rodeos as he can before the regular season concludes Sept. 30.
“I’m just going to keep staying dedicated, keep exercising when I’m out here on the road and stay strong in my faith, and let the cards fall how they may,” Pass said. “I’ve always had confidence in myself to do good, and right now I’m healthy and drawing right and things are going my way. I just need to keep this momentum going.”
Pass made his Wrangler National Finals Rodeo debut last year, and finished 10th in the world standings with $104,550.
“It would be awesome to qualify for the Finals again,” Pass said. “I would like to get to Vegas in the top 10, especially with all the money added this year at the NFR. I don’t think you can count anybody out.”
Other winners at the $264,105 rodeo were all-around cowboy Morgan Grant ($1,554 in tie-down roping and steer wrestling), bareback rider Clint Laye (167 points on two head), steer wrestler Trevor Knowles (12.7 seconds on three head), team ropers Chad Masters and Travis Graves (14.6 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy (166 points on two head), tie-down roper Cody Ohl (25.1 seconds on three head) and barrel racer Kimmie Wall (51.83 seconds on three runs).
- Shared respect: Ohl said the tie-down roping win in Caldwell was extra special because his idol – ProRodeo Hall of Famer Dean Oliver – was in attendance. Following his victory, Ohl presented Oliver the championship spurs he received for winning the average title. Oliver, an 11-time world champion (all-around, 1963-65; tie-down roping, 1955, 1958, 1960-64, 1969), and an eight-time winner of the Caldwell Night Rodeo, had high praise for Ohl.
- “That was one of the nicest things anybody has ever done for me,” Oliver said about receiving the spurs from Ohl. “I about fell out of my seat when he gave me those (spurs). I’m going to frame them and hang them up.” In return, Oliver gave Ohl a photo of the two of them in Caldwell. Oliver wrote the following message to Ohl on the back of the photo: “I still stand by my pick, you’re the best I’ve ever seen.”
Roche is tops at Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – Baylor Roche and his wife, Samantha, are expecting their first child Oct. 20, and he’s hoping the family will make a trip to Las Vegas shortly thereafter.
The 26-year-old steer wrestler took a big step toward that goal when he won the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo with a time of 3.7 seconds.
Roche made his run at RMV Riding Park on the first day of the Aug. 22-23 rodeo, and was hoping his time would hold up against a loaded field of bulldoggers, including five-time World Champion Luke Branquinho, Blake Knowles, Clayton Moore and J.D. Struxness – who all finished tied for second with 3.9-second times.
“I knew it was a good run, and it was going to win something, but a lot of good guys were up that second day, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to win it,” Roche said. “I really felt like I needed to win this rodeo to give myself a chance (at making the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo). I had a dry couple of weeks, and I needed to get something going fast.”
Roche entered the week 21st in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. The $5,295 he earned in San Juan Capistrano only moved him up one spot in the world, but more importantly, it cut the deficit between him and the man in the 15th spot – Tyler Pearson – to less than $10,000.
It was Roche’s second big win of the 2015 season; he captured the title at the Fort Worth (Texas) Stock Show Rodeo in February. When he returned home to Tremonton, Utah, after his win in Fort Worth, Roche was met with some big news.
“When I won in Fort Worth, I gave an interview (to PRCA media) saying that I didn’t have any kids because I was still a big kid and could barely take care of myself,” Roche said with a laugh. “Then I got home and Samantha joked that I better call them back and change what I said. Things are going to be getting expensive around here, so the more money I can win now, the better.”
With $10 million up for grabs at the WNFR this December, it would be a great time for Roche to qualify for his first trip to rodeo’s Super Bowl.
“It’s been a good year, and it’s been exciting,” he said. “The next five weeks I’ll be going to a lot of rodeos and hope to keep up with the guys ahead of me. I don’t like to look at the standings – but you always have a hint of what you need to do. Being gone all summer, it would make everything worth it if I could get to the NFR.”
Other winners at this $217,684 rodeo were bareback rider Casey Breuer (87 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Back Fire), team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska (4.5 seconds), saddle bronc rider Jake Wright (84 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Hell’s Fire Hostage), tie-down ropers Sterling Smith and Matt Shiozawa (8.3 seconds each) and bull riders Brennon Eldred (87 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Dark Shadow) and Kody DeShon (87 points on Rosser Rodeo’s Jeepers Creepers).
Nomination deadline for PRCA Veterinarian of the Year
PRCA members and committees should be aware that nominations for the sixth annual PRCA Veterinarian of the Year Award are due Sept. 1. The recipient will be presented a beautiful Montana Silversmiths buckle during the PRCA Awards Banquet Dec. 2 in Las Vegas.
PRCA members and rodeo committees may nominate a veterinarian who displays extraordinary dedication and commitment to the well-being of professional rodeo livestock. Nomination forms are available online in the “Livestock” section of prorodeo.comor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All nominations received by Sept. 1 will be submitted to the selection committee and each nominee will be judged for his or her overall dedication to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock, extent of involvement in the sport of rodeo, community involvement and letters of recommendation.
“Each year the PRCA recognizes a veterinarian who has volunteered his or her time on behalf of rodeo livestock,” said Cindy Schonholtz, director of industry outreach. “These individuals provide the highest level of veterinary care to the livestock involved in the sport of rodeo. The PRCA Veterinarian of the Year program enables the sport to give back to these great individuals and show them how much we appreciate the job they do. We encourage PRCA members to help us tell the stories of these dedicated veterinarians by nominating them for this prestigious award.”
- Although there were no changes at the top of the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings, there was a lot going on down at the back end of the top 20, where guys are scrambling for one of the 15 berths in each event at the $10 million Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this December. This was especially true in team roping, where 2009 World Champion Header Nick Sartain and eight-time World Champion Heeler Rich Skelton won checks at five rodeos in four states totaling $8,211. That moved Sartain from 17th to 14th and Skelton from 19th to 13th. It was the second-highest total posted by any team roping pair for the week, behind Erich Rogers and Cory Petska, who solidified their place in the WNFR field with earnings of $12,362. The other pair to elbow their way into WNFR contention during the week of Aug. 17-23 was two-time World Champion Header Matt Sherwood and Quinn Kesler, 22, who banked checks worth a total of $7,682 from Burley, Idaho; San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and Gooding, Idaho. Sherwood, who hasn’t been to the WNFR since 2011, moved up from 17th to 15th while Kesler went from 18th to 14th.
- Firmly stuck on the bubble at No. 15 at the start of the week, Texas steer wrestler Clayton Hass put together a remarkably consistent week – a win in Lynden, Wash., along with runner-up finishes in Caldwell, Idaho, and Canby, Ore. – to stand as the week’s leading money winner in any event with $12,959. That moved him all the way to sixth place, and the steer wrestling standings are now the closest in all of rodeo. From first-place Hunter Cure to Tyler Pearson in 15th place, there is a margin of just $18,292, which is less than first place money in one round of the WNFR. The gap between Dakota Eldridge in 13th place ($54,025) and Clayton Moore in 19th ($46,976) is just $7,049 with a lot of big-money rodeos still on the schedule.
- Productive weeks by Sterling Smith, Reese Riemer, Blair Burk and Shane Hanchey have made the stretch run in the tie-down roping field even more intriguing with five weeks left in the season. A tie for first place in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and a tie for second in Norco, Calif., brought Smith a total of $6,827, moving him from 16th place to 14th, just ahead of Brazilian Marcos Costa and Adam Gray. Riemer was third among all tie-down roping earners for the week with $8,440 (trailing only Tuf Cooper at $11,105 and Matt Shiozawa at $9,802) and moved from 27th to 23rd. Checks in Lethbridge, Alberta; San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; Canby, Ore., and Caldwell, Idaho, kept Hanchey, the 2013 world champion, steady in 20th position, but now less than $5,000 from that 15th spot, while 14-time WNFR qualifier Blair Burk earned $6,856 for the week to move from 23rd to 18th. The margin between Smith ($56,967) in 14th place and Jake Pratt ($48,930) in 21st is $8,037.
- Sage Kimzey and Brennon Eldred held their spots at 1-2 in the bull riding world standings, although they went about it in very different ways. Reigning World Champion Kimzey won the Range Day Rodeo in Rapid City, S.D.; the Gooding (Idaho) ProRodeo and the Cassia County Fair & Rodeo in Burley, Idaho, for $7,089, while Eldred went big at the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., sharing the win with Kody DeShon, to earn $7,025. DeShon’s share of the Rancho Mission Viejo title jumped him from 19th in the world standings to 12th. Clayton Foltyn gave new life to his bid for a return to the WNFR – he last went in 2011 – with checks in Rancho Mission Viejo, Calif.; Caldwell, Idaho, and Gooding, Idaho, which allowed him to move from 22nd to 18th place.
- Out for a couple of months following hip surgery last spring, four-time reigning World Champion Bareback Rider Kaycee Feild is making it clear he is all the way back to elite level. Top four finishes in Caldwell, Idaho; San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and Gooding, Idaho, generated $10,299 and moved him from fourth to second behind Evan Jayne.
|Nominations sought for Lifetime Achievement AwardNominations are being sought for the PRCA Donita Barnes Contract Personnel Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was created to recognize PRCA members who have dedicated their lives to the rodeo industry for their commitment, work and contributions. Any active member (or active life member) of the PRCA may nominate eligible contract personnel members for the award.Nominees must have been a PRCA member for a minimum of 15 years, and may not have won a yearly contract personnel award within 15 years of the date of nomination (life members may be nominated even if they are not actively renewed). Nomination letters of 500 words or less can be mailed to the PRCA, 101 ProRodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919 or e-mailed to email@example.com between now and Sept. 1.
All nominations will be reviewed by an external selection panel. The top five nominees will be included on a final ballot mailed out no later than Sept. 15. The final ballots will be sent to contract personnel members who have participated in at least one rodeo within that rodeo year. Ballots are to be returned no later than Oct. 15. For more information, contact Brandy Sorenson at the PRCA National Headquarters, 719.593.8840.
Also, nomination ballots for the year-end awards were sent out Aug. 1. All nominations must be received by the PRCA Auditing Firm no later than Sept. 1. For purposes of voting categorization, the lists of dress/comedy, stock contracting firms and rodeo committees are available online at www.prorodeo.com.
|News & Notes from the rodeo trailBull rider Bobby Welsh’s bid to return to the WNFR for the first time since 2011 (he is 22nd in the Aug. 24 world standings, about $6,000 out of 15th place) is apparently over. He has a compression fracture of the thoracic spine, and while no surgery is being considered at this time, he will be undergoing treatment for at least the next six weeks. Fellow bull rider Kanin Asay – who sat one spot behind Welsh in 23rd – suffered a concussion at the Canby (Ore.) Rodeo and is questionable to return to action at the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo, which begins Sept. 4, Thanks in part to California Rodeo Salinas, the California Rodeo Association recently presented checks totaling more than $300,000 to 15 local entities, including Monterey Bay Veterans, Inc., YWCA of Monterey County, Salinas High School Future Farmers of America and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare Foundation. The $300,000 includes not only the money earned by these groups for completing tasks in conjunction with the rodeo, but also ticket donations to non-profit groups for fundraising activities, discounted rentals of facilities, tip monies collected and divided throughout the events and more.
The sign-up date for a chance to sing the National Anthem at the 2015 Wrangler NFR is Aug. 28. Aspiring performers can go to www.nfrsocialarena.com/national_anthem to sign up for one of three categories: rodeo committee, youth and open. From there, fans will have a chance to vote on their favorite in each category. A fourth wild-card category, which is awarded to the performer who receives the most votes outside of the winner in each category, has been added to provide one additional opportunity to perform. Winners will be announced Oct. 7,
The deadline for applicants interested in becoming a flag girl at the 2016 WNFR is Aug. 24. To apply, go to www.nfrsocialarena.com/flag_girl. From the applicants, 10 girls are selected to try out – the competition will be held at Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas Dec. 8. Winners are announced on Dec. 9,
Jerry Nelson, owner of Frontier Rodeo, has relocated his basketball team – previously the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks – to Owensboro, Ky. The team won four American Basketball Association titles before leaving that league to join the Premier Basketball League starting in January 2016. The Mavericks are currently on a 92-game winning streak,
The Aug. 20 performance of the Caldwell Night Rodeo benefitted Power of Pink, which raises money to fund mammograms for local women. This year’s efforts raised nearly $45,000, a record for Caldwell.
McCook, Neb., native Mark Harris has published a large-format photography book called “Rodeo Nebraska,” the culmination of eight years of shooting pictures at 82 rodeos in 62 locations. The book is being published by the Nebraska State Historical Society and will be available Oct. 1.
The Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Arena is getting a new sponsor patio. The patio replaces the northeast MM and NN sections of the arena. The area is about four feet off the ground and has a packed gravel surface, for the time being. The rodeo board started taking down the stands in early July and the patio is scheduled to be completed before the rodeo begins Sept. 4.
Rodeo organizers at the Cassia County Fair and Rodeo in Burley, Idaho, teamed up with the Man Up Crusade, a non-profit organization based in Nampa, whose purpose is to bring awareness to domestic violence. Proceeds from the Aug. 20 rodeo were donated to the Mini-Cassia Shelter Haven of Hope in Rupert. Mark Burgess, Haven for Hope’s board president, said the money the shelter receives from the rodeo will go toward maintaining its office and facility, as well as employees’ wages.
After the 10 rodeos of the Steamboat Springs (Colo.) ProRodeo Series, two of this season’s year-end champions won it for the second time in three years. Clayton Van Aken won the all-around title (he also won it in 2013) and saddle bronc rider Colin Stalley took the title in 2015 and 2013 as well. Other year-end winners were bareback rider Colton Onyett, steer wrestler Dax Cathcart, team ropers Travis Bounds and Justin Price, tie-down roper Brice Ingo and bull rider Brian Larson.
|2015 World Standings Leaders
||Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas
||Evan Jayne, Marseille, France
||Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas
||Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont.
||Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev.
||Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La.
||Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas
||Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla.
||Mike Chase, McAlester, Okla.
CHAMPIONS NAMED FROM INTERNATIONAL FINALS YOUTH RODEO
Aug. 5, 2015
IFYR All-Around Cowboy Brett Stuart and All-Around Cowgirl Shelby Lankford.
Photo courtesy IFYR
The 23rd annual International Finals Youth Rodeo came to a close July 10 at Shawnee, Okla. The world’s richest youth rodeo awarded more than $200,000 in prize money, championship saddles and buckles.
The IFYR started with more than 930 contestants. After two long go-rounds and 10 performances, the top 15 averages from each event competed in the finals Friday night for a shot at the championships.
Brett Stuart of Bridgeport, Texas, took home the All Around Cowboy title and Shelby Lankford of Blanchard, Okla. earned the title of All Around Cowgirl. Ali Armstrong of Lexington, Okla., won the championship in barrel racing, Alex Odle of Brush, Colo., took home the pole bending championship and Blair Bullock of McAlpin, Fla., won the breakaway roping championship. Kenzie Huffman of Strasburg, Colo., scored the goat tying championship and Laramie Eppler of Iowa Park, Texas, and Taylor Hurst of Navasota, Texas, worked together to earn the championship in team roping. Marcus Theriot of Poplarville, Miss., earned the tie-down roping championship, Bridger Anderson of Carrington, N.D., won the championship in steer wrestling and Koby Radley of Montpelier, La., captured the championship title in bull riding. Blaise Freeman of Snyder, Texas, won the championship in saddle bronc riding and Paden Hurst of Navasota, Texas, earned the bareback riding championship.
“These athletes have put everything they’ve got into this rodeo and their hard work paid off,” said Michael Jackson, operations manager of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “They came out to each performance and competed with their best effort. We congratulate all of our champions and wish the best of luck to all of our contestants.”
The International Finals Youth Rodeo, founded in 1993, is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that presents top high school athletes with a professional rodeo. The internationally recognized IFYR is held annually at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee. For more information visit IFYR.com or call (405) 275-7020.
ALL AROUND CHAMPIONS:
All Around Cowboy Brett Stuart:
Brett Stuart from Bridgeport, Texas, claimed the All Around title for the 2015 IFYR. “I was planning on staying aggressive in the final round and not backing down any,” Stuart said. “I knew I was in a close race with Tyler Milligan. Before the team roping, we were $700 apart and after I roped my calf we were $1,900 apart.” The 17-year-old competes in calf roping, team roping, and steer wrestling. This is his second IFYR and he didn’t make the short go last year. “I was way more aggressive this year and was focused when I got here. The mud played a role on some people, but that’s part of rodeo, you’ve got to cowboy up.” Brett bulldogged both his steers in the mud and admits that he only had one dry ground the whole time. He has won six All Around Championships so far as well as the National Junior High Champion Chute Dogger in 2013 and champion team roper in 2012 and he plans to rodeo in college while pursuing a degree in business. He is going to be a junior at Paradise High School and spends his free time practicing rodeo. He is the only one in his family that competes in rodeos and his dedication to practice has paid off. He has won $25,000 in amateur rodeos last year. “I don’t play any sports,” Stuart said. “Rodeo is my fun.”
All Around Cowgirl Shelby Lankford:
Shelby Lankford from Blanchard, Okla., had no idea she was in the running for the All Around title. “I was in there picking up my check for second in the breakaway and fourth in the goat tying and my mom came in and told me.” This is her first All Around Championship. “I think it’s pretty cool, but it was definitely unexpected.” She competes in goat tying and breakaway roping for the Oklahoma High School Rodeo and will head to Rock Springs in breakaway roping. This is her second time at the IFYR and she won the goat tying last year. Lankford is putting her money in the bank and the 16-year-old will continue coming to the IFYR for the next two years. “I was sitting first coming into the breakaway and missed the barrier, so I was second with a 2.8. She was fourth in the short round in the goats. I was down and out after the breakaway, but it all worked out in the end.” Lankford has been competing in rodeos for as long as she can remember and plans to continue.
Bareback Riding Champion Paden Hurst
Paden Hurst, from Navasota, Texas, is the 2015 IFYR Bareback Champion covering all three horses and coming back with a 72.5 in the short go. He never looks at the draw. “That horse was jumping long and moving out from under me.” He handled it by “lifting and setting my feet.” Hurst didn’t do any sports in school. “I’ve been working since I could drive,” said the all around hand at MidTex Livestock. “I do a little bit of everything from feeding to sorting.” He’s been riding bareback horses for ten months. “I’ve ridden bulls my whole life and wasn’t able to get on for three years because I broke my riding wrist.” He was finally able to ride again and entered in both bulls and bareback. “I still ride bulls. But I didn’t ride here because I didn’t want to mess anything up on the bulls heading to Rock Springs.” He entered bareback and saddle bronc riding at the IFYR. Hurst just graduated from Anderson High School with 32 other seniors. He will head to National High School finals in the bareback riding and spend the rest of the summer hitting amateur rodeos with his traveling partners, Lane McGehee and his cousin, Taylor Hurst, who took home the IFYR Championship in team roping. This fall, Hurst is going to Wharton County Junior College to study accounting. “I plan to own a bank one day.”
Saddle Bronc Champion Blaise Freeman:
Blaise Freeman from Snyder, Texas, has been riding saddle broncs for three years. The 18-year-old graduated from Borden County High School and is going to Western Texas College. “I grew up being babysat by Cody and Heith DeMoss’s mom and they gave me a bronc saddle and it started clicking from there. I was scared to death to get on one the first couple times,” Freeman said. He competes in team roping with his younger brother at the high school rodeo. He is going to use the money he won at the IFYR to keep entering rodeos. “I’ve always wanted to win this rodeo – it’s a big stepping stone in my career. The stock here was great – it was an even pen.”
Tie-Down Champion Marcus Theriot:
Marcus Theriot has dominated in the rodeo world for seven years. This is his fourth trip to Shawnee and his second championship here. The All Around cowboy from Poplarville, Miss., is attending college online and shooting for the National Finals Rodeo next year. He has been recruited by several schools, but is going to wait until he’s made a run for the NFR. He is going to concentrate on tie-down roping. “I’ve been tie-down roping all my life and feel like that’s what I’m most experienced in.” Theriot is competitive in team roping, steer wrestling and tie-down roping and has won numerous All Around titles as well as event championships from the junior high to the high school. The cowboy has at least 20 saddles and cases of buckles. “This is a huge rodeo and it’s really competitive,” Theriot said. He started rodeo when he was in kindergarten and plans to do it for the rest of his life.
Steer Wrestling Champion Bridger Anderson
Bridger Anderson from Carrington, N.D., was sitting first going into the short go. “I was going out to make the best run I can make, that’s my game plan for every steer wrestling run, that’s the best a guy can do. It worked for me.” Anderson will give the money to mom for entry fees. He is going to be a junior at Carrington High School and will head to Rock Springs to compete at the NHSFR in the steer wrestling and tie-down roping. He entered the IFYR in the steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping. “There were only two of us from North Dakota – it’s a long haul.” Anderson has been jumping off a steer since eighth grade and has had his current dogging horse for a year and a half.
“This is an extremely good rodeo; well put on and competitive. Everyone can compete at this rodeo and do well.” Anderson trains horses and rodeos, dedicating a lot of time to both. He plans to get an education and rodeo, working towards being a world champion. He told his mother since he was three that he planned to be a steer wrestling world champion. That goal hasn’t changed.
Barrel Racing Champion Ali Armstrong:
Back to back Barrel Racing Champion, Ali Armstrong from Lexington, Okla., is riding a horse that took her to the pay window in all three goes both years. Panama has been her go-to horse for four years. “We clicked from the beginning,” Armstrong said. “He was my match.” She has two more years to defend that title and plans to do just that. She has been competing in rodeos for nine years and doesn’t get nervous, but checking in for the IFYR this year was a different feeling. “Whenever we were checking in, I was really calm, but Monday came around and I was starting to get nervous. As soon as I started warming Panama up though, my nerves went away. It’s just another run, another rodeo.” Armstrong has been homeschooled for three years. The switch came because she wanted to focus more riding horses and going to rodeos. “You really have to be self-disciplined to get all the homework done and that discipline has helped me in the sport of rodeo.”
Breakaway Roping Champion Blair Bullock:
Blair Bullock from McAlpin, Fla., won the Breakaway Roping Championship. “I love this rodeo,” Bullock said. “It’s fun and there are always jackpots, practices and I get to meet a lot of new people.” She admits it was tough in the rain this year. “I’ve roped in the mud before. It’s the luck of the draw, rain or shine, you just do it.” Bullock lives in north Florida, about an hour from Georgia, and says there are a lot of people that rope in her neck of the woods. “I knew I was going to have to rope right there and do it,” Bullock said of her final run. “I had to be quick. I was 2.1. I always say I don’t want to rope for money, I want to rope for the big deal. I saw my calf on the film and he looked like a good calf, and I’ve got a good horse to put me there. It was all up to me.” Bullock didn’t make the trip to Shawnee last year, but made it the previous two years. “This is the first time I made the short round, I was pretty excited.” Bullock competes in several events, but is planning to narrow it down to team roping and breakaway roping. She has been roping since she was in sixth grade. She also plays guard in basketball and will continue her education at the University of West Alabama on basketball and rodeo scholarships. “It’s a lot of hard work. I remember playing a game one night, and my dad picking me up with a horse and driving all night to rodeo. “She plans to spend part of her earnings on her horse. “She deserves it.”
Goat Tying Champion Kenzie Huffman:
Kenzie Huffman, from Strasburg, Colo., took the Goat Tying Championship. “I drew good,” admits the 18-year-old graduate of Strasburg High School. “I didn’t think there was any way I was going to win it, Mia was ahead of me by half a second. Her goat was wild, and it worked in my favor.” Huffman has been tying goats since she was six and competes in breakaway and barrel racing as well. “I like goats better for sure today,” Huffman said. “I like breakaway too.” Huffman is a fourth year veteran at the IFYR and this is her first win, after making the short go her freshman year in the goats. She was sitting second in the short go and she claims that her discipline of tying goats every day has helped her along the way. She says that her goat horse is not fond of all the noise here, but she tried to take him over where it was quiet and keep him chilled out. “I’m going to save my money for college,” she said of her winnings. She is going to college in Gillette, Wyo., for the scholarship and rodeo program. She plans to study business marketing. She is headed to Rock Springs in breakaway roping, goat tying, and cutting and after that she will amateur rodeo until school starts. She also has her permit and plans to work towards that as well.
Pole Bending Champion Alex Odle:
Alex Odle was sitting fourth in the short go in the poles and it all worked out. The 2015 IFYR Pole Bending Champion is also going to serve as a Youth Director for the next year. “I didn’t think I had a chance,” said the 17-year-old from Brush, Colo. “I knew I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Mom told me to run hard. Don’t be safe, run hard, but be smart.” It was a tough week for the pole benders at Shawnee. “The first round was perfect ground,” Odle said. “The second round I knew the mud might pull me in, but it was out of my control.” Alex has been competing in rodeos since she was 8, and belongs to the CJRA and the CSHSRA. She is headed to National High School Finals after this, and this is her third year competing in the IFYR. “I never made it to the short round,” she said. She competes in barrel racing, pole bending and breakaway roping. “I’m happy to be here.” Odle is also excited to be a youth director. “I want to be a voice for all the youth and make it the best and be more involved.” She is looking forward to being more involved with the IFYR and sees this opportunity as a way to help her with other things in life. Odle will keep the money she won in the checkbook to help with rodeo entries for the rest of the summer and her upcoming fair. She will be a senior next year and plans to rodeo in college. “I have to choose between softball and rodeo. I’m picking rodeo,” she said.
Bull Riding Champion Koby Radley:
Koby Radley from Montpelier, La., has been riding bulls for seven years. He was the only contestant this year to cover all three bulls. “It was a tough pen of bulls,” Radley said. The 17-year-old will be a senior this year at Park View Baptist and plans to continue his education. He started riding bulls for the adrenaline rush and plans to continue. “My cousins always did it and I started.” He is going to take his money and save it. This is his second IFYR, and he plans to return.
Team Roping Champions Laramie Eppler and Taylor Hurst:
Laramie Eppler, from Iowa Park, Texas, has been roping with Taylor Hurst, from Navasota, Texas, for at least five years. They met each other through their dad’s who were friends. They are the 2015 IFYR Champion Team Ropers. They live 350 miles apart, and rope together at junior rodeos and high school rodeos. Eppler just graduated from high school and plans to go to school at Texas A&M for Agriculture Business. “Our game plan was to just catch and rope smart but be as fast as we could,” said Eppler. The team came back high call. “We needed to be clean but we had no idea what we had to be.” He is going to take the first semester off from rodeo and focus on his grades. “Winning this has been a long time coming,” he said. His roping partner, 17-year-old Hurst, has one more year of high school and this is his first year at the IFYR. “We’ve both worked hard for this and it’s great to see the work pay off. It means the world to me. My cousin, Paden Hurst, also took home a championship here in bareback riding.”
Click for IFYR All-Around results>>
Click for IFYR final average report>>
WESTERN SPORTS WEEKLY SERVES UP A SUMMER SLATE OF RODEO PROGRAMMING
RFD-TV ANNOUNCES SUMMER LINEUP FOR 2015 RODEO SEASON
By Heather Huston
Aug. 5, 2015
Avid rodeo and Western sports fans can now catch their favorite contestants and top rodeos throughout the summer on RFD-TV and RURAL RADIO SiriusXM Channel 147. The summer slate features encore airings of some of the top rodeos in the circuit, along with Western sports highlights, weekly standings, and interviews with top athletes. From the Bob Feist Invitational and the Pikes Peak or Bust rodeo− to the Cody Wyoming and Days of 47 rodeos – Western sports fans can catch all the summer rodeo action on RFD-TV and RURAL RADIO.
On RFD-TV, viewers can watch WESTERN SPORTS WEEKLY every Wednesday at 9 PM ET. WESTERN SPORTS WEEKLY is the top destination for rodeo fans to get the latest information and Western sports standings, all produced to give viewers an inside look from the top. This one-hour weekly program features the latest headlines from rodeos across the country, interviews with top athletes, and weekly standings from Professional Bull Riding (PBR) and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In addition, the show presents weekly segments such as the “athlete of the week,” “team of the week,” and “tip of the week.” Other network programs such as Little Britches Rodeo, Professional Roughstock Series, and Racer’s Edge round out the prime time Wednesday block. Western sports viewers can also catch weekday recaps on the RURAL EVENING NEWS, and complimentary rodeo programming such as Total Team Roping on Friday’s and the Cinch High School Rodeo and Women’s Pro Rodeo on Saturday’s.
“As a network, we know how important this content is for our viewers and it’s our job to deliver it. Western sports programming has been steadily growing for the past two years, especially since we launched The American in 2014,” stated Randy Bernard, Chief Events Officer for RFD-TV. “RFD-TV is continually working with sanctioning bodies and outside rodeo organizations throughout the world to broaden our Western sports programming.”
RFD-TV is available to more than 48 million households across North America and Western sports content is one of the top programming genres responsible for growth on the network. Household viewing for RFD-TV’s Western sports programming was up five percent in 2015 compared with the previous year and receives more than 600,000 adult impressions weekly. Since the beginning of 2015, the Western sports genre has delivered more than 10 million households and hosted 15 million adult viewers.
RFD-TV’s Western Sports Summer Schedule:
August 5: Featuring a brief intro with Kayla Zadel, this week’s WESTERN SPORTS WEEKLY will feature an encore presentation of the 75th Annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, a Colorado Springs tradition since 1937.
August 12: Watch a full episode of WESTERN SPORTS WEEKLY with live special guest Fallon Taylor. This week’s episode also includes a big announcement about RFD-TV’s The American, the world’s richest rodeo event. A delayed broadcast of the 95th Cody Stampede Rodeo will air post-show starting at 9:30 PM ET. The Cody Stampede Rodeo is the PRCA’s largest one header rodeo and features more than 800 of the top contestants competing for a purse of $400,000.
August 19: Featuring a full episode of WESTERN SPORTS WEEKLY, followed by a delayed broadcast of the Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City, Utah.
RFD-TV also features complimentary rodeo shows with Western sports highlights on the RURAL EVENING NEWS and programming, such as: Little Britches Rodeo: Wednesday’s at 5 PM and 3:30 AM ET; Professional Roughstock Series: Wednesday’s at 8 PM and 12 AM ET, and Sunday’s at 2:30 PM ET; Racer’s Edge: Wednesday’s at 8:30 PM and 12:30 AM ET; Total Team Roping: Friday’s at 2:30 PM and 10:30 PM ET; Cinch High School Rodeo: Sunday’s at 12:30 PM ET;Women’s Pro Rodeo: Sunday’s at 10:30 PM ET.
RURAL RADIO SiriusXM Channel 147 (formerly channel 80) also offers a complimentary slate of Western sports programming year-round featuring Western Sports Roundup with Steve Kenyon, Outside the Barrel with Flint Rasmussen, Alexis Bloomer’s Off the Record, and coverage of PBR, WPCA and PRCA events.
RURAL RADIO is fast becoming the recognized leader in Western sports coverage. Working in cooperation with ProRodeoLive.com, RURAL RADIO has been the exclusive home for events like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, and complete coverage of RFD TV’s The American. This summer RURAL RADIO will air live rodeo coverage from major sporting events including: The Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, the California Rodeo Salinas, The Calgary Stampede, the Ellensburg Rodeo, the Pendleton Round-Up, the PRCA’s Wrangler Champions Challenge events and of course the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.
RURAL RADIO is the first and only national radio network serving rural America and Canada and is available to more than 27 million households nationally. RURAL RADIO has also experienced steady growth for the past two years with a large audience of farmers and ranchers and reaching more than 55 million listeners weekly.
For a full schedule of Western sports programming on RFD-TV and RURAL RADIO SiriusXM Channel 147 and its programs please go to rfdtv.com or ruralradio80.com.
About Rural Media Group, Inc. (RMG):
Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and Western lifestyle. Reconnecting city with country, RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, RURAL RADIO, FamilyNet, RFD-TV The Magazine, and RFD-TV The Theatre. RMG are distributed to more than 100-million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV®, Comcast, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter, Optimum, Brighthouse, Suddenlink, Time Warner, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. Corporate headquarters and broadcast operations are in Nashville, Tennessee.
RFD-TV is the flagship network for RMG. Launched in December 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. Top RFD-TV programming includes Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, Rural America Live, Western Sports Weekly, top rodeo events such as The American, and award-winning musical entertainment such as The Marty Stuart Show, Reno’s Old Time Music, The Molly B Polka Party, and Larry’s Country Diner.
Found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 147 (formerly channel 80), is the agribusiness and western lifestyle channel for the U.S. and Canada. RURAL RADIO’s program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, Western sports, and living the country life in small towns and ranches. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The channel airs multiple exclusive series including Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, Western Sports Round Up, and reports from CME on Commodity Wrap. RURAL RADIO also carries live western sports including PBR bull-riding and PRCA rodeo events every weekend.
FamilyNet is America’s trusted entertainment network dedicated to providing wholesome and responsible viewing choices for today’s diverse family.
RFD-TV The Magazine:
RFD-TV The Magazine is the print-programming guide for the networks, which has attracted over 180,000 paid subscribers.
RFD-TV The Theatre:
RFD-TV The Theatre is a 2,000 capacity soft seat venue in Branson, Missouri where entertainment programming is produced and performed.
For more information, visit rfdtv.com, familynet.com, and ruralradio80.com.
Heather Huston, e: heather@rfdtvcom, o: (615) 296-9332, m: (802) 345-5262
Aug. 4, 2015
Diaz sets Dodge City Roundup arena record
The third time was a charm for saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz, who even surprised himself when he rode for an arena record 93 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine Woman to win the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup (July 29 through Aug. 2).
Diaz won the final round by a whopping six points and took the two-head average with 173 points.
“This was the third time I’ve had her,” Diaz said of Medicine Woman, the two-time Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year (2011, 2014). “This was by far the best she’s ever been for me. She was phenomenal.”
Diaz rode Medicine Woman for 87 points to split the win in Corpus Christi, Texas, earlier this season, and split third in his other trip on her.
Medicine Woman carried Wade Sundell to the Dodge City Roundup arena record of 92 points just one year ago.
Diaz was ecstatic after setting the arena record.
“I’m on Cloud 9,” he said. “This was my career best, too. I didn’t even know I was capable of going 93.”
It was the second-highest scored saddle bronc ride of the season, behind the 94-point ride of Spencer Wright on Beutler & Son’s Rebel Soul in a preliminary round at Rodeo Austin (Texas) in March.
Diaz had tied for fourth in the first round in Dodge City before setting a personal best with his 93-point ride. His previous high was 91 points on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting, the 2009 Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year, in Ellensburg, Wash., two years ago.
It was the first win at the Dodge City Roundup for the 28-year-old cowboy from Desdemona, Texas.
“I finished second here twice,” Diaz said. “Billy Etbauer got me by a point one year (2008) and J.J. Elshere beat me a year earlier.”
Like many cowboys, he grew up hearing about the famous western Kansas rodeo.
“It’s awesome to win here,” he said. “You hear about Dodge City when you’re a little kid and you dream of winning here. In a bronc rider’s mind, Cheyenne (Wyo.), here and Ellensburg are the best short rounds all year long because of the stock they have. Guys just know when they’re coming into the short round at those rodeos that they have a chance to go 90 because of the stock.”
Diaz earned $4,684 in Dodge City to add to his already successful season. He sat ninth in the Aug. 3 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $62,886.
He’s on track to qualify for his fifth Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He made it to Las Vegas in 2007 (eighth in the world), 2009 (11th) and 2012-13 (10th both years).
“This year has been unbelievable,” Diaz said. “I’ve drawn better than ever, it seems, and I’m riding better than ever. I put my faith in God and I know he’s with me at all times. My faith is everything to me.”
His wife of 21 months, barrel racer Britany (Fleck) Diaz, was 18th in the July 20 world standings but recently slipped just out of the top 20 after her horse was hurt. She qualified for the WNFR in 2011 and ’14.
“We’ll make it the same year one of these times,” Isaac Diaz said. “That’d be a dream to go together.”
Other winners at the $322,324 rodeo were all-around cowboy J.D. Yates ($1,648 in team roping and steer roping), bareback rider Matt Bright (164 points on two head), steer wrestler Stockton Graves (12.0 seconds on three head), team ropers David Key and Martin Lucero (16.5 seconds on three head), tie-down roper Caleb Smidt (27.0 seconds on three head), barrel racer Tillar Murray (51.34 seconds on three head), steer roper Scott Snedecor (36.8 seconds on three head) and bull rider Aaron Pass (176 points on two head).
- Nick Sartain and his partner, eight-time World Champion Rich Skelton, placed in every round and finished second in the three-head average at the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup to allow Sartain to become the 129th man to surpass $1 million in PRCA career earnings. The $5,758 they earned in Dodge City also moved them closer to a qualifying spot in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Sartain, the 2009 world champion, jumped up from 17th a week ago to 13th, while Skelton went from 16th to 14th. Next in line to join the millionaires club is 2012 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Jesse Wright, whose career earnings are sitting at $998,295 – just one good check away.
- Milestones aside, no team roping pair had a better week than Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, who strung together wins in Heber City, Utah; Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Preston, Idaho (along with a fourth-place tie in Phillipsburg, Kan.), to bank $12,961 and shoulder their way into contention for berths in the Wrangler NFR. Smith went from 24th to 16th as he bids to qualify for his first trip to Las Vegas and Eaves, who’s made the WNFR the past three years with Dustin Bird, jumped from 20th to 12th.
- BRAZILE WATCH: Trevor Brazile pushed his streak of five-figure earnings weeks up to six with an $11,213 haul from July 27-Aug. 2. He collected checks in all three roping events with almost exactly half of his total coming from finishing second at the Journey to the Cross steer roping-only event in Garden City, Kan. Brazile now has $166,011 to lead the all-around standings by more than $80,000 over Caleb Smidt in second place. He remained second in steer roping and among team roping headers, and eighth in tie-down roping. Over his six-week hot streak, Brazile has earned $99,754.
- The top saddle bronc riders in the country converged on Sentinel Butte, N.D., Aug. 1 to battle it out in the Home on the Range Champions Ride – a saddle bronc riding-only event. It was the first time in the event’s 58 years that the money won counted toward the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. The biggest winners were Cort Scheer and Wade Sundell. Scheer earned a total of $7,582, thanks in part to winning the first round with an 86-point ride on Sutton Rodeos’ Prom Night. Sundell earned a total of $6,086 in Sentinel Butte, highlighted by winning the final round with a 90-point trip on Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic From Hell. Scheer and Sundell finished tied for the two-head average title with 171 points. Scheer moved from seventh to fifth in the Aug. 3 world standings, while Sundell went from ninth to sixth. However, no saddle bronc rider made more money last week than Rusty Wright. The 19-year-old earned a total of $9,615 while winning in Grace, Idaho, splitting first in Great Falls, Mont., and tying for second in Dodge City. He moved into second place in the world standings, and cut the deficit between himself and No. 1 Cody DeMoss to $20,772.
- Tie-down roper Caleb Smidt’s big win in Dodge City combined with a third-place finish in Abilene, Kan., brought him $8,097 and moved him from eighth in the world to second, just $353 behind leader Marty Yates. That still wasn’t this week’s biggest money total for a tie-down roper. That distinction belonged to Ryan Jarrett, who had top-three finishes in Great Falls, Mont.; Preston, Idaho; Heber City, Utah, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, for total earnings of $8,742, moving him from 10th place to seventh. Seven-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Matt Shiozawa helped his cause with a tie for first in Great Falls, an outright win in Preston, and a seventh-place check in Idaho Falls. His total for the week of $7,037 lifted him from 16th to 13th. It’s a tight race at the top of the standings, with less than $2,000 separating the top six tie-down ropers in the world.
- Tie-down roper Cody Quaney’s longshot bid for a Wrangler NFR bid took a big hit when he suffered a groin injury Aug. 1. The Cheney, Kan., cowboy had finished third at Iowa’s Championship Rodeo to stand 29th in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings before getting hurt in Dodge City, Kan., and is now facing surgery to repair an artery.
Hall of Fame weekend full of festivities
The 2015 ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction week kicks off with the 28th annual ProRodeo Hall of Fame Golf Tournament Aug. 6 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Cowboy Ball takes place Aug. 7 and the weekend culminates with the Induction Ceremonies and the Commissioner’s Classic Team Roping competition on Aug. 8.
World Champion Cowboys Tom Nesmith, Mark Garrett, Bob Wegner and Harry Charters, along with rodeo notable Jack Hannum, the Hendricks Brothers specialty act and four-time team roping head horse of the year Precious Speck (Walt) head the 2015 induction class for the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
They will be enshrined Aug. 8 during ceremonies in the sculpture garden adjacent to the Hall, along with the rodeo committees from the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up, the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo and Iowa’s Championship Rodeo (Sidney).
News & Notes from the rodeo trail
For 30 consecutive years, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo has been held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. That streak will continue as Las Vegas Events has formally signed an agreement with the Thomas & Mack Center to host the Wrangler NFR for a length of up to 10 years. The agreement mirrors the extension that LVE and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority signed with the PRCA in January 2014 that keeps the world’s richest and most prestigious rodeo in Las Vegas through 2024. This year’s WNFR runs Dec. 3-12.
Four singers will have the chance of a lifetime to sing the National Anthem at the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas this December. Aspiring performers can go to www.nfrsocialarena.com/national_anthem to sign up for one of three categories: rodeo committee, youth and open. Sign-ups start Aug. 3 and end Aug. 28. From there, fans will have a chance to vote on their favorite in each category. A fourth wild-card category, which is awarded to the performer who receives the most votes outside of the winner in each category, has been added to provide one additional opportunity to perform. Winners will be announced Oct. 7,
The Wrangler Network will provide live coverage of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo Xtreme Bulls event from Lovington, N.M., Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. (MT). The network will also broadcast the first night of rodeo action from Lovington Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. on www.wranglernetwork.com.
After 15 years as executive director of the Oakdale Cowboy Museum, Christie Camarillo left the position effective July 31. The museum has grown from a small volunteer-based entity to a successful and self-sufficient community business that has been honored locally, as well as nationally. Camarillo, sister to world champion team ropers Leo and Jerold Camarillo and cousin to Reg Camarillo, said she plans on remaining active in the community and continuing her work with the Rodeo Historical Society that’s associated with the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Earlier this year, she was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce.
The Eastern Kansas Pro Rodeo Series – which features two PRCA rodeos in the Sunflower State – has been revived after a 10-year absence. The original rodeo series began in 1984 as a joint effort between several eastern Kansas Fair and Rodeo committees, and continued for more than 20 years. Rodeo contestants who score the most points in each of seven events will be awarded Maynard Trophy Buckles. Engraved Moore Maker knives will go to the runner-up in each event. Winners will be determined by points through eight places at each rodeo. The participating rodeos are the Aug. 7-8 Linn County Fair Rodeo (Mound City) and the Aug. 14-15 Eureka Pro Rodeo (Eureka).
The friends of late PRCA team roper Elmer Lattin organized a memorial team roping in his honor July 29 in Great Falls, Mont. The event took place after the slack at the Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup. Lattin died July 28, 2011, of heart failure at the age of 67.
The Mesquite (Texas) ProRodeo Series held 80′s night Aug. 1, which included an 80′s costume and hairstyle contest and discounted pricing for anyone who dressed up for the theme.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I’m rodeoing financially smarter. Instead of going to the rodeos that are further away and might pay more, I’m going to the closer ones. Like this week, there are three good rodeos (in Kansas – Phillipsburg, Abilene and Dodge City). I hit all three, when normally I would just come to Phillipsburg and Dodge. I’m trying to make some money instead of win a million (dollars) and spend a million.”
-Three-time World Champion Tie-down Roper Tuf Cooper telling rodeo
publicist Ruth Nicolaus about his travel strategy
2015 World Standings Leaders
||Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas
||Evan Jayne, Marseille, France
||Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas
||Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont.
||Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev.
||Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La.
||Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas
||Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla.
||Mike Chase, McAlester, Okla.
WYATT FISHER WINS 2015 NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL RODEO REINED COW HORSE CHAMPIONSHIP
July 30, 2015
Wyatt Fisher and Nu Cash Cutter, the NHSFR Reined Cow Horse Champions
For the first time in the event’s 67-year history, the National High School Finals Rodeo featured reined cow horse as one of its events. 17-year-old Wyatt Fisher, Nipomo, California, won the inaugural reined cow horse championship Friday, July 17, in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
“I’m still in shock. It’s a great feeling. My horse was great,” Fisher said, smiling, as he accepted his awards and stood alongside 19 other reined cow horse short-go qualifiers for a group photo.
With approximately 100 contestants competing in reined cow horse at the National High School Finals Rodeo, it is believed to be the largest youth cow horse class ever held at any event.
Fisher, who has a strong background as a National Reined Cow Horse Association Youth competitor, appreciated the tough competition and the skill of his fellow contestants, many of whom he had never met or shown against.
“In the first go-round, it was pretty scary. I didn’t know there was going to be this kind of horseflesh. It was wonderful – I was happy to see it, though.”
Fisher rode Nu Cash Cutter (Smart Cash Cutter x Nu Cashlynn Rose x Nu Cash) a 2004 gelding owned by his parents, JJ and Teresa Fisher, to the title. He thanked his mom and dad, who are both avid reined cow horse competitors, as well as NRCHA professional trainers Russell Probert and Justin Wright.
The reined cow horse champion was determined by the total score on three go-rounds. Of the 100 contestants, the top 20 after two go-rounds advanced to the short go. Fisher was in the top four in the first go; won the second go; and also won the short go, which gave him the championship with a total score of 885. Fisher’s prizes included Gist custom buckles for the top placings in the go-rounds and the championship, and a special trophy from the National Reining Horse Association for the top rein work score, a 146.5, in the short go.
Reined cow horse was added to the National High School Rodeo event lineup in 2014. The NRCHA has helped the NHSRA implement the new event over the past year, with support from leading sponsor Carol Rose Quarter Horses, as well as Bluebonnet Feeds and Jerry Kimmel.
Rose, who was on hand in Rock Springs to cheer on the reined cow horse contestants, was impressed by the grit and horsemanship of all the contestants.
“I was just amazed by what I saw in the arena. Those kids are phenomenal riders, and I was whooping and hollering for every single one of them. I am so proud to be a part of this, and I believe it will be great for the future of our sport,” Rose said.
For more information about the National High School Finals Rodeo, including complete results, visit www.NHSRA.com.
RIEKEN AND REMSBURG HIT RENO RODEO INVITATIONAL LADIES ONLY JACKPOT
By Kendra Santos
Photos by Allen’s Rodeo Photos
July 29, 2015
Reno Rodeo Invitational Ladies Open Producer Perry Di Loreto presented 2015 RRI Ladies Only Champs Sissy Rieken, left, and Jessy Remsburg, right, a truckload of prizes in addition to their champions’ checks.
It was a long trek from Texas to Nevada, but Texan Sissy Rieken and Alabaman Jessy Remsburg made the 30-plus-hour drive pay by dominating the 2015 Reno Rodeo Invitational Ladies Only to the tune of $33,875 for the team June 24 at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Rieken of Arp, Texas, and Remsburg, who calls Boligee, Ala., home, roped four steers in 39.41 seconds to top the 113-team field at the ninth annual event. In addition to the loot, the winners also were awarded Circle Y saddles, Gist buckles, Kelly Slayton/Weaver Leather horse blankets, Weaver ball caps, My Girl and I gift baskets and EZ Wash wands.
“I’ve entered the Reno Rodeo Invitational before, but this was my first year I’ve entered the Ladies Only,” Rieken said. “These are great ropings for a great cause. The facility’s great and the cattle are great. I loved it, and I will be back next year.”
The cause Rieken refers to is the Nevada Military Support Alliance, which recognizes and supports the men and women of Nevada’s armed forces, veterans and their families. When Rieken and Remsburg finished fourth in the first round at the Reno Rodeo Invitational June 23, Rieken donated her half—$3,000—to the NMSA.
“I’m a Christian, so whatever money I have is God’s money,” said Rieken, who lives in Arp, which is in East Texas, with her husband, Rowdy, and their 14-year-old son, Riley. “We give 10 percent of everything we win to something—to charity, a church or somebody. Our church has an amateur rodeo every year, so we donate added money to that. The Nevada Military Support Alliance is a really good cause, so that’s what we did in Reno.”
The Reno Rodeo Invitational and the Wildfire Ladies Open in Salado, Texas, are two of the biggest all-girl ropings in the country, and Remsburg won them both this year. She won the 2015 Wildfire Ladies Open heeling for Beverly Robbins.
“Salado’s a lot closer to home, but it was sure fun to get to come to Reno,” Remsburg said. “I’ll come again next year. Winning this roping is a big deal. It means a lot to me. It was fun to come out here and do this. It’s an awesome roping and I had fun.”
Di Loreto makes sure everyone who enters the RRI Ladies Only has fun. At check-in every roper who entered the 2015 RRI Ladies Only received a Wrangler/Circle Y rope bag and special discount offers from Wrangler, D Bar M, Bayou West and Lone Star Ropes. And there’s a short round for everyone, even the teams who miss their first three steers.
Rieken and Remsburg hadn’t roped together much before. They’d entered one other roping, and Rieken drove 14 hours roundtrip to practice for a couple days with Remsburg before they headed West to Reno.
“Jessy’s an awesome heeler,” Rieken said. “She’s great. I was so blessed to get her to rope with me out here. I texted her awhile back about roping here, she said yes and I was so grateful. Hopefully I’ll be back next year with Jessy.”
“Sissy ropes outstanding and handles steers awesome,” Remsburg said. “She’s a great partner, and she’s a really good person. I didn’t know her very well before this. I had a lot of fun roping with her here in Reno.”
Rieken and Remsburg also made the RRI short round, and Remsburg heeled the steer but he jumped out of it. “I was pretty sick about that,” she said. “Sissy turned eight steers in the same spot every time between the two ropings.”
Rieken and Remsburg don’t have a long history as roping partners, but they have plenty in common in addition to the 2015 RRI Ladies Only title. They’re Florida natives, both were roping in their first RRI Ladies Only and both have a one-track mind for roping.
“Roping is a very big part of our lives,” Rieken said. “I grew up on a ranch, and I’ve breakaway roped since I was 8. I started team roping when I got out of college, and we do a lot of it.”
Remsburg played basketball through high school, but had to have back surgery for a herniated disk that was pressing on a nerve at 17 and, “sports were tough after that. I’ve always roped, and it’s everything to me now.
“I eat, sleep and breathe heeling. It’s all I think about, really. I work for Joel Colgrove, who rides four horses a day and turns 10 steers a day on every horse. So I get to heel a lot of steers every single day. I rope with him, keep his horses exercised and take care of things around the place. Roping is pretty much it for me. I started out heading, and there aren’t a lot of girl heelers, so I set my mind to heeling. It’s really hard for me, and it’s a challenge. But I love it.”
The Riekens own Rieken Construction, and do oil field maintenance. Sissy keeps the books and helps Rowdy in the field. Son Riley ropes, too, and was up in the first round at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Des Moines, Iowa, while Rowdy was roping at the BFI in Reno and Sissy was roping in the RRI and RRI Ladies Only.
“We couldn’t watch him in the first round, but we get to be there for the second round,” Sissy said. “It was kind of crazy. I roped in the Perry roping yesterday and the all-girl today. As soon as the awards are over we’re heading to Iowa.
“From Arp to Reno takes about 31 hours, but we broke it up on the way here going to some ropings and rodeos along the way, so it wasn’t bad. Now that we’re done here in Reno we’re headed to Greeley (Colo.). We’ll leave our horses there, and fly from Denver to Des Moines to watch Riley rope at the junior high finals.”
After placing second in each of the first three rounds Rieken and Remsburg took a commanding seven-second lead into the short round. They had 17 seconds to play with on their last steer, and it was a good thing. They stopped the clock in 16.42 seconds, including a leg on their last one.
“We used nearly every bit of that 17 seconds,” Rieken chuckled. “It was funny, because the steers were chute run and we had the same steer in the first, third and short rounds.”
Rieken rode a 13-year-old bay horse they call Stump. They raised him from when he was orphaned at five weeks because his mom was shot out in the pasture. Stump is the son of the gray stud, Starman, Rieken used to ride, and Rowdy trained him.
“You can head and heel on him, and Rowdy used to rodeo on him,” Sissy said. “Then we switched horses. Stump’s a neat little horse. He’s short strided, he’s easy to ride and be around, and he loves people. I wish I had a pasture full of him.”
Remsburg rode a 7-year-old sorrel horse she calls Cajun. “I bought him at a sale as a 2-year-old,” she said. “He’s just gotten good in the last year or so. I’ve roped on him about three years, but I’ve been competing on him at the level we’re at now for about a year. Heeling has a lot to do with timing and horse placement, and I have a really good horse right now.”
“Everything about this roping is great, and we each won almost $17,000,” Rieken said. “That’s an awesome payout. Everything about this roping is great, and Perry is an awesome, nice, sweet guy. To do this for us is great, and we all really appreciate it.
“I want to thank God for giving me the talent to rope, great horses, my husband, Rowdy, my son, Riley, and the opportunity to do what I love to do.”
“This is an awesome roping,” Remsburg said. “I’ve never been here before, but I had a chance to make it work, so I came. I live near Beverly (Robbins), so I flew to Texas with her, then hauled her horse out here with mine. It worked out to where I could go. It was about a 30-hour drive from Stephenville, where we left from with the horses. It’d be about a 40-hour drive from Boligee to Reno.
“This roping’s worth coming to no matter where you live. A big thank you to Perry and his crew for having it. There aren’t many good all-girl ropings, and I have a blast at them. It means a lot that they take the time to put it on. I hope they keep doing it. If they do, I’ll be here.”
Reno Rodeo Invitational Ladies Only
Round One: 1/2. Tracie Saunders and Lori Ireland; Sissy Rieken and Jessy Remsburg, 7.90, $1,375; 3. Barrie Smith and Bailey Peterson, 7.99, $1,000
Round Two: 1. Marcey Chaves and Taylor Hurley, 6.89, $1,500; 2. Sissy Rieken and Jessy Remsburg, 6.99, $1,250; 3. Vicky Benedetti and Suzanne Williams, 7.82, $1,000
Round Three: 1. Kelsey Nonella and Melia Ohalloran, 6.82, $1,500; 2. Sissy Rieken and Jessy Remsburg, 8.10, $1,250; 3. Tammy Ellerman and Jimmi Jo Montera, 8.37, $1,000
Short Round: 1. Lari Dee Guy and Annette Stahl, 9.64, $2,000; 2. Tammy Ellerman and Jimmi Jo Montera, 10.23, $1,500
1-Steer Average: 1. Lou Ann Smith and Tamara Smith, 5.53, $1,500
2-Steer Average: 1. Allie Berryessa and Ashley Martinkus, 21.55, $2,250; 2. Marcey Chaves and Taylor Hurley, 21.59, $2,000; 3. Lindy Lehman and Abby Estes, 22.51, $1,750
3-Steer Average: 1. Sammy Jo Fernlund and Kim Williamson, 31.46, $3,500; 2. Jacque Ertz and Wende Karnath, 32.56, $3,250; 3. Cathie Twisselman and Teale Dunn, 32.65, $3,000; 4. Connie Gibb Withers and Jenny Turner, 36.46, $2,750
4-Steer Average: 1. Sissy Rieken and Jessy Remsburg, 39.41, $30,000; 2. Tammy Ellerman and Jimmi Jo Montera, 40.07, $15,000; 3. Lari Dee Guy and Annette Stahl, 43.75, $6,000; 4. Amy Lewis and Alison Grantham, 49.49, $5,000; 5. Hailey Kesler and Leigh Sherwood, 55.86, $4,750; 6. Lisa Cunningham and Kayla Tiegs, 31.20 on three, $4,500