AQHA ASKING FOR MEMBERSHIP INPUT!
HERE’S HOPING THE IDEA IS CONTAGIOUS!
FROM THE EDITOR
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 10, 2014
I don’t know whose idea it was, but it was a good one! I’m talking about a new forum website, http://aqha.ideascale.com, asking you to “share your ideas to help make the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) a better organization for its members.” I never got a copy of the e-mail about this website myself, even though I am a member and get their e-mails; however, I found it on another website. I have checked with several other members and none of them have received this address; however, let’s pass the word around and take advantage of it.
With the criticism of the association, as well as mass exodus of members, plus their reorganization press release, stating the retirement of Executive Vice President Don Treadway and the elimination of 14 more employees, maybe they, or the company they hired to help their image, have gotten the message and are considering listening to what the members have to say. I only wish the other equine non-profits would follow suit and listen to the members. I hope the AQHA has gotten the message that “the members are the most important part of the association and are who make it an excellent, good, marginal or bad association!”
While the web site is new, there haven’t been many suggestions or comments on the site as of yet, and I would encourage all of you who have an interest or a stake in the AQHA to speak now or forever hold your peace. And guess, what, you don’t have to tell them your name or membership number. Simply post your e-mail address and confirm it.
As of this morning, there have been 17 ideas posted from 46 users and 95 votes. They have been discussing judging score sheets, showing, AQHA registration and forms, ranch horse pleasure, horse division, showing, allowing a certified Genetic Test Lab’s results in addition to UC Davis, drug testing in middle of the show rather than last day, online membership renewals for Amateurs and Novice, novice rules – adding a super senior level, reduced fees for senior citizens, putting score sheets online, the AQHA Handbook and the show calendar with suggestions to add affiliates to the AQHA web site. But there are many more things wrong with the association that need to be addressed – so now is your chance!
Why not join in and add your suggestions that you have been talking about to your fellow members? Why not try it today? Go to: http://aqha.ideascale.com.
10 INDUCTED INTO PRORODEO HALL OF FAME
Aug. 10, 2014
PRCA Photo by Nic Ford
The 2014 ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction class was represented (L to R) by stock contractors Sonny Riley and Don Hutsell (for legendary bucking horse Spring Fling), Pete Grubb Jr. (for his late father Pete Grubb), 1992 World Champion Bareback Rider Wayne Herman, 2002 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Glen O’Neil, 1981 World Champion Steer Wrestler Byron Walker, two-time World Champion Bullfighter Miles Hare, James Herman (for the Greeley Stampede), Chuck Rigsbee (Clovis Rodeo), Russ Fields (Rowell Ranch Rodeo) and Jeff Agenbroad (Snake River Stampede).
There was a recurring theme in the speeches at the 35th annual ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction ceremony Aug. 9, connected to heritage, history and the long road traveled to reach the sport’s pantheon. Everybody had a great road story to tell; nobody’s stretched longer or had more air miles than Glen O’Neill’s. From Down Under to Top of the World.
O’Neill, the 2002 saddle bronc riding world champion, became the first cowboy from outside North America to be inducted into the Hall Saturday, the Australian joining fellow world champions Wayne Herman, Byron Walker and the late Pete Grubb, along with champion bullfighter Miles Hare, legendary bucking horse Spring Fling and four elite committees, from the Clovis (Calif.) Rodeo, Snake River Stampede (Nampa, Idaho), Rowell Ranch Rodeo (Hayward, Calif.) and Greeley (Colo.) Stampede.
“When you’re retired,” O’Neil said, “you think back to where you came from. I think back to when I started rodeoing as a country kid in the Outback riding bucking horses. I was lucky enough to have the right attitude to make the right decisions I did in my career. I kept moving forward, and once I got to the top in Australia, I came to Canada and America and wanted to keep climbing. It’s been a hell of a ride.”
Apart from his many honors in the arena – the gold buckle, 11 qualifications for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and career earnings of $1.6 million – O’Neill may have set a record of sorts Saturday, for the longest distance traveled by a family to witness their kin’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. His parents, brother and aunt and uncle were on hand from New South Wales,
Australia (8,325 miles away). He also had in-laws from Canada here, as well as his wife, Jennifer, and kids from their home in Didsbury, Alberta.
“This is pretty exciting,” said O’Neill, 41, “and I’m at a loss for words a little bit, because it’s a big deal and there are a lot of people here. To come here and be inducted, see all the history that’s in the Hall of Fame and to now be a part of it, is something special.”
Herman, the 1992 world champion bareback rider and also an 11-time Wrangler NFR qualifier, was no less awestruck by the path that had taken him from the tiny North Dakota community of Golden Valley to his plaque in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
“I told my wife, Connie, when we walked into the (Cowboy Ball Aug. 8) that this was almost surreal,” said Herman, 50. “It was a quite a journey to get here and I’m honored and quite humbled to be standing in (the ProRodeo Hall of Fame) with the names that we were pretending to be to win the world when we were kids riding the bucking machine. To be one of them (a ProRodeo Hall of Famer) is unbelievable and hard for me to imagine.”
For Walker, who won his gold buckle as a steer wrestler in 1981 and whose 16 WNFR qualifications are equal to the second-highest total in the history of his event, this
was a day that felt forever in coming.
“I’m thankful to get up and give this speech and not be dead,” said Walker, 56, with a chuckle. “Waiting all this time (since the April 1 announcement) before going into the Hall of Fame was kind of like waiting to go into the principal’s office. I knew it was happening, and I was anxious to get it over with. Being here has been really nice, and walking around the Hall you realize that this is real.”
Grubb was the second ProRodeo cowboy – following Clay Carr – to win world championships at both ends of the arena. The Salmon, Idaho, native won the bareback riding title in 1938 and the team roping (as a heeler) in 1940. Grubb, who died in 1969 the age of 56, was represented at the induction by his son, Pete Jr.
For 33 years, beginning in 1975, Hare’s full-time job was protecting bull riders in arenas all across North America from 2,000-pound farm animals. He was a bullfighter at the National Finals Rodeo six times (1977, 1985, 1988-91) – making his first appearance when he was just 22 years old – and twice more as an alternate (1984, 1992).
He was the inaugural Wrangler World Champion Bullfighter in 1981 and shared that honor with fellow Hall of Famer and lifelong friend Rob Smets in 1988, developing a style based on careful study and his memory of the bulls’ moves.
“The people who are in the Hall are people who I idolized and are the gods of the game, and it’s just an honor to be in here with them,” said Hare, 58. “It’s no accident that I’m here. I’m a product of my environment. My father (Dean) had bucking bulls and fighting bulls in my backyard when I was born. I just had to step out the door and do it. I didn’t have me a basketball hoop out there. I had rodeo stock. It is all I have ever known. I get along much better with things with four legs than things with two legs.”
Along with Kingsway Skoal and Lonesome Me, Big Bend Rodeo’s legendary mare Spring Fling is the only horse to be honored as both a Bareback and Saddle Bronc
Horse of the Year. Spring Fling started out on the bareback side and received the PRCA’s top honor in that category in 1997, then came back to twice claim the saddle bronc award, winning it outright in 1999 and sharing it with Surprise Party Skoal, of Sankey Rodeo, a year later. Spring Fling was also voted the top saddle bronc horse at the 2001 Wrangler NFR and three times was voted the top saddle bronc horse at the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Pocatello, Idaho.
“Whenever Spring Fling was up, I would go out the arena to watch her – no matter what I was doing in the office – and I got goose bumps every time,” said rodeo secretary Crystal Longfellow, who accepted the award on behalf of Big Bend’s Sonny Riley and Don Hutsell. “(Six-time World Champion) Dan Mortensen knew how good Spring Fling was; it was the only horse he ever drew five times and never rode.
“She really deserves it,” Hutsell said. “She’s the best bronc ever, I think. She just flat bucked, and she had the power to get guys off.”
The PRCA committees selected for enshrinement this year are among the PRCA’s longest-standing and most respected rodeos. Clovis, part of the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, celebrated its 100th anniversary in April. Nampa will have its centenary rodeo next year, while Hayward just wrapped up its 93rd year and Greeley its 92nd.
“It’s a bit overwhelming, and to have this line up with our 100-year anniversary next year is more than we could’ve asked for,” said Snake River Stampede chairman Jeff Agenbroad. “It’s a great way to send us off on our second 100 years.”
ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of former contestants and rodeo experts. More than 150 individuals are nominated each year and selection is based on contributions to the sport of professional rodeo in any one of seven categories: contestant, stock contractor, contract personnel, rodeo committees, livestock, media and notables/lifetime achievement.
Including this year’s inductees, 236 people, 28 animals and 22 rodeo committees have been selected for enshrinement in Colorado Springs since the Hall opened in 1979. Visit www.prorodeo.com to view video clips featuring each member of this year’s ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction class.
COWGIRL CHRISTMAS …
THE NEWS YOU NEED TO READ
By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 9, 2014
While the PRCA reported “Cowboy Christmas,” which includes the results of rodeos over the Fourth of July, the “Barrel Racing Report” has reported distaff earnings, rightfully named “Cowgirl Christmas!”
In an article written by Tanya Randall, the barrel racing industry’s leading reporter, she has picked apart the barrel racers’ take during “Cowgirl Christmas,” including interviews with the winners and how the largest-payback weekend in rodeo has affected the barrel racing standings approximately halfway into the race to the highest-paying barrel race of the year: the National Finals Rodeo.
Making the biggest jump in the standings was 21-year-old Kaley Bass, Kissimmee, Fla., who picked up $28,824 from just four rodeos between June 30 and July 7. Only PRCA bareback rider Kaycee Feild, Payson, Utah, (the son of PRCA Hall of Famer Lewis Feild) won more, with $34,483. Riding her 14-year-old gray gelding Wonders Cowboy Dan (Wonders Pal x Wonder Otoe out of Jackies Cowgirl Bar x Cowboy Dans Bar), Bass jumped from 38th in the World Standings on July 1 with $13,007 to 15th with $42,057 on July 7, which doesn’t include the $15,500 she picked up in her pool at the Calgary Stampede, which counts toward NFR qualification in 2014.
According to the WPRA, topping the 2014 WPRA NFR standings after July 7 is Lisa Lockhart with $83,217, followed by Fallon Taylor with $73,677, Nancy Hunter, $68,586 and Carlee Pierce sporting $63,210 in earnings.
Lisa earned $16,285 over Cowgirl Christmas, while Fallon Taylor picked up $16,023. Carlee picked up $12,946. Past World Champions Sherry Cervi picked up $10,943 while Mary Walker took home $8,191.
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