FROM THE EDITOR
A GREAT AMERICAN WEEKEND WITH CONTESTANTS WHO ARE PROUD TO BE AMERICANS!
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 25, 2017
I seldom write an opinion piece in a Letter From The Editor; however, last weekend I watched two Western events at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with an announced close to 40,000 spectators, and heard about two other major horse events held during the same weekend, including the NRCHA’S World’s Greatest Horseman and Celebration of Champions held at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center and the Mercuria cutting held during The Mane Event, a cutting competition held at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nev. After attending and hearing about these four events, I was moved to write how these events affected me and I’m sure a lot of others, due to the obvious patriotism of the contestants as well as the spectators.
I attended the PBR’s “Iron Man” and watched RFD-TV’s “The American” on television that awarded millions of dollars to contestants in the Western industry at AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas – home of the Dallas Cowboys.
None of these contestants in any of these events refused to stand and take off their hats during the National Anthem or put their hands over their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. No one took the microphone and spewed hatred toward others, regardless of their color, country, age or association affiliation. No contestants took a knee. No protestors stood outside carrying signs and chanting hatred.
From the huge American flag that took up one whole end of the arena in AT&T stadium, held by youth and competitors, while the National Anthem was being sung, to the introduction of a veteran who had lost his legs while doing his duty to protect this country, they brought a huge lump in my throat and a tear to my eyes, as I’m sure it did to many others.
Contestants helped each other and cheered them on – regardless of their color, religion or the city, state or country they came from. Millionaire cowboys competed on a level playing field with dead-broke cowboys and teenagers. There were competitors from most of the United States, Brazilians, Blacks, Mexicans, Indians, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, with many members of various associations across the world – and some were just individuals who loved rodeo. There were World Champions, past World Champions, college students, newcomers, teenagers and even brothers who were all excited to be in the same arena. Obviously, their most prized possessions were the horses they competed on.
One of the most spectacular exhibits of patriotism was held just prior to the NCHA Mercuria cutting Finals held that same weekend during The Mane Event aged events held at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
Although I was not able to be there, I heard it was above spectacular, so I called Paula Gaughan and asked her to tell me what went on there. I was truly impressed by her response:
“We emptied the main arena and loping end for an hour after the regular show ended. After we got all our opening props in the arena, we opened the doors and people were let into a dark house with very minimal lighting.
After all were seated, the voice of Tom Holt came out of the dark. He opened with a prayer and asked everyone to direct their attention to the loping area. He began with, “I was born in 1777 and went on to describe the places he had been and the battles he had seen, the children he saw every day in their classrooms and the soldiers he had buried and honored. The arena is still dark and at the end of his monologue, he says, “I am your American Flag!”
At that precise moment, a 50-foot flag that had been concealed in the rafters in a piece of equipment, dropped in all its glory, with glitter coming out of it and was lit up with tons of lights – all on the flag!! There was amazement and pride on all the faces of those in attendance. Then another set of lights lit up a 20-foot tall red, white and blue cowboy boot in the cutting pen. Music played with the voice of Tom Holt describing the role of the cowboy boot in the American tradition of the American cowboy – its history and the history of the American Cowboy, who were American heroes.
Then a military version of the National Anthem played and a girl came out of the back of the boot with a huge American flag on a big black-and-white Paint horse and took a lap in the arena. She and the horse had been concealed in the boot during the entire seating,
Holt then introduced the Mercuria finalists who walked out to a red carpet in front of the boot with spotlights on them. To cap it off, we then introduced Brigadier General David Hicks (nicknamed Trashman) who was the Air Force Commander General in Kabul, Afghanistan. He carried the Crown Royal Whiskey bag with the numbers in it for the draw and shook hands with every contestant as he went to each one and they drew their number. It was all very moving and special!
Now, even though that was all very cool, there was a minor problem in the hydraulics had happened with the girl on the horse. As the National Anthem was playing, they were supposed to slowly rise up out of the boot. You would have first seen the tip of the flag peeking out until the entire flag, girl and horse were atop the boot , where they would revolve through the end of the National Anthem. Even though it didn’t happen that way, no one knew the difference, and it was still spectacular!
The whole opening was possible because of Cotton Rosser of the Flying U Rodeo Company. His son, Reno, and granddaughter Lindsay, who was the girl on the Paint in the boot, have performed this thousands of times and I have had the privilege of seeing it and asked him if he could bring it to us.
But honestly 90 percent of the people there did not have a clue it did not go as it was supposed to. It was meant to be a salute to America – our great country – and honor things we hold dear. I really think we accomplished that. Paula continued, saying that the patriotic show was also to showcase the amazing horses and riders that made the finals of the Mercuria event, especially since there had been eight sets of horses in the go-rounds.
Now, the next problem. How the heck do we top that next year??? It’s back to the drawing board.”
This was the horse world I grew up in; however, when I and my children competed in playdays and rodeos, it was for hundreds of dollars and trophies – not millions of dollars, ruby-studded belt buckles, 100-pound trophies, television cameras, sky cams, monster screens and an audience of thousands of spectators who paid hundreds of dollars to attend and park at the event. But our love of the event and resolve to win in this wonderful country was the same.
For a short time I was back in a world of competitors who had love and respect for their peers, their animals and their country. Although competition and winning was the object, they were all friends and helped each other – and honored our country during the rodeos by the cowboys taking off their hats and cowgirls putting their hand over their hearts while standing and singing the National Anthem and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. God Bless America!!!
THREE CONTESTANTS SPLIT $1 MILLION BONUS AFTER COLLECTING $100,000 FOR WINNING THEIR EVENT AT THE AMERICAN
Feb. 22, 2017
It was a full day of action and drama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Three athletes shared a $1 million bonus at RFD-TV’s The American presented by Polaris RANGER and a total of $2 million was awarded to winners at the world’s richest one-day rodeo event.
Barrel racer Hailey Kinsel, a college student, and saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss, a veteran pro, both came through a qualifying system and won championships. Bull rider Sage Kimzey, who received an exemption and came straight to The American, won the bull riding title. These three each earned $433,333 – $100,000 for first place in their events and a third of a million-dollar bonus.
Kinsel and DeMoss were two of 46 individuals whose road to The American started at qualifying events across the country. Then, they had to finish at the top after four days of The American Semi-Finals in Fort Worth earlier in the week. Five to ten in each event earned the opportunity to compete at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, against 80 invited contestants who are considered the world’s best. Eight champions were crowned.
Bareback riding winner Tim O’Connell, from Zwingle, Iowa, said it best. O’Connell rode Frontier Rodeo’s horse Show Stomper for 90.25 points to win the Shoot Out. The American championship has gone to a bareback rider who has ridden the bay bucking horse the past three years.
“It’s hard to put into words how great this rodeo is and what life changing things it can do for you,” he said when he received his $100,000 check. The three that each earned nearly half-a-million agreed that the money would make a huge difference for them.
“This changes everything,” Kinsel, from Cotulla, Texas said. “But it doesn’t change the way I feel about my horse. God is good, my horse is awesome and this is amazing.”
Kinsel, a senior at Texas A&M, rides a six-year-old palomino mare named DM Sissy Hayday that she and her mother trained. During The American Semi-Finals Kinsel won more than $20,000.
Frontier Rodeo’s bucking horse Maple Leaf has taken saddle bronc riders to the winners’ stage for two consecutive years. Last year it was Iowa’s Wade Sundell. This year it was DeMoss. In 16 seconds, over $1.5 million has been won on this featured bucking horse.
DeMoss hasn’t decided what he’ll do with nearly half a million in winnings. “I guess I’ll talk it over with her,” he said with a grin, pointing to his wife Margie. “This is at the top of my rodeo career,” said the 12-time National Finals Rodeo bronc rider.
Kimzey, a three-time world champion bull rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, finished second in the first round to get to the Shoot Out. The first bull rider was Brazilian Claudio Marcelino de Montanha who qualified at an event in his home country and finished first in the semi-finals. He made easy work of TNT Rodeo Company’s Bottoms Up, scoring 89 points. The next rider was former Professional Bull Riders world champion Guilherme Marchi, who came off early.
Then it was Kimzey’s turn. He got on a bull named Uncle Tink, owned by former NFL defensive end Jared Allen, and scored 89.5. The final rider was bucked off and Kimzey earned the championship.
“I love being a cowboy, love everything about it,” Kimzey said. “I love competition, too, and this was a great day. I got to ride against the best guys on the best bulls.”
The talent-filled field in bareback riding, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding started with each contestant trying to advance to the Shoot Out Round. The best four go to The Shoot Out and compete once more, with the highest score or fastest time earning $100,000. Both the header and the heeler received $100,000 in team roping. Second place in the Shoot Out was worth $25,000.
When The American started four years ago, this format was created to give rodeo athletes an opportunity to compete at one rodeo for big pay checks. Then RFD-TV raised the bar by adding a million-dollar bonus for individuals who come through the qualifying process and win championships. Over the past four years the event has paid more than $10 million to winners at The American and the Semi-Finals.
Clayton Hass from Weatherford won the steer wrestling. Brothers Riley and Brady Minor from Ellensburg, Wash., took the team roping title. Stephenville’s Marty Yates earned the tie-down roping championship.
APARECIDO WIINS PBR’S IRON MAN; COLLECTS $138,766
MASON LOWE HAS HIGH-MARKED RIDE OF EVENT
Press release from PBR
Feb. 19, 2017
Eduardo Aparecido took home $138,766 for winning the PBR’s Iron Cowboy held Saturday even at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. PBR Photo.
Saturday night, Feb. 18, Eduardo Aparecido took over the No. 1 spot in the world standings by winning the PBR’s (Professional Bull Riders) Frontier Communications Iron Cowboy, presented by Kawasaki, in front of more than 38,500 fans at Arlington, Texas’ AT&T Stadium.
Aparecido, who also won the Kansas City Invitational last weekend, sealed his victory with an 89-point ride atop Catfish John (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve/Miller) in Round 4 after fellow Brazilian Fabiano Vieira bucked off Cochise (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) in 1.56 seconds. He took home $138,766 for winning PBR’s second Major of the 2017 season, including $50,000 from Bad Boy Mowers as part of the Bad Boy Mowers Major Bonus Program.
While 15 riders advanced to Round 2, the Iron Cowboy came down to just three cowboys in Round 3. Aparecido, Vieira and Mason Lowe all made the 8 second whistle in Round 2, including the high-marked ride of the event from Lowe who turned in a 90.75-point effort aboard Smooth Operator (Dakota Rodeo/Rosen/Struve/Berger). Lowe received $26,000 for the ride and $38,766 total in the event.
Fire & Smoke (Dakota Rodeo/Rosen/Struve/Berger) bucked off Lowe in Round 3, with Aparecido and Vieira moving on to Round 4. Aparecido covered Big Black Cat (Dakota Rodeo/Struve/Berger/Heald) for 88.75 points while Vieira rode Honey Hush (Swinging C Cattle Co./Hodges Bucking Bulls) for 88.5 points.
Seven Dust (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) and SweetPro’s Bruiser (D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.) shared the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event title after turning in twin 46-point bull scores in Round 2.
Fans can see the Final Rounds of the Frontier Communications Iron Cowboy, presented by Kawasaki, on Sunday, Feb. 19 on CBS Sports at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Aparecido will try to make it three wins in a row when the Top 35 bull riders in the world head to Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, for the Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires, Feb. 24-26.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 3 and the Built Ford Tough Championship Round Sunday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can also watch each round in real time on PBR LIVE and the PBR LIVE app at 8:15 p.m. ET on Friday; 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday; and 2:15 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series
Frontier Communications Iron Cowboy, presented by Kawasaki
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Eduardo Aparecido, 85-90.5-88.75-89-0-353.25-955 Points.
2. Mason Lowe, 86.5-90.75-0-0-0-177.25-145 Points.
3. Fabiano Vieira, 84-86.5-88.5-0-0-259.00-140 Points.
4. Reese Cates, 88.5-0-0-0-0-88.50-125 Points.
5. Chase Outlaw, 88.25-0-0-0-0-88.25-75 Points.
6. Rubens Barbosa, 88-0-0-0-0-88.00-60 Points.
7. Joao Ricardo Vieira, 87.25-0-0-0-0-87.25-50 Points.
8. J.B. Mauney, 86.75-0-0-0-0-86.75-40 Points.
9. Robson Palermo, 86.25-0-0-0-0-86.25-10 Points.
10. Shane Proctor, 86-0-0-0-0-86.00-5 Points.
(tie). Matt Triplett, 85.75-0-0-0-0-85.75-5 Points.
(tie). Claudio Marcelino Montanha Jr., 84.5-0-0-0-0-84.50-5 Points.
(tie). Luciano De Castro, 83.5-0-0-0-0-83.50-5 Points.
(tie). Cody Teel, 84.75-0-0-0-0-84.75-5 Points.
(tie). Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 85-0-0-0-0-85.00-5 Points.
Jess Lockwood, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Marco Antonio Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Ryan Dirteater, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Mike Lee, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dener Barbosa, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Brady Sims, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Luis Blanco, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Gage Gay, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Koal Livingston, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Stormy Wing, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Guilherme Marchi, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Jake Gowdy, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Sonny Schafferius, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Rodeo Tyler, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Robson Aragao, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Kyle Jones, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Fraser Babbington, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Jorge Valdiviezo, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Tanner Byrne, 0-0-0-0-0-0.00
2017 Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series World Finals Standings
(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5’s, Points, Total Winnings)
1. Eduardo Aparecido, 10, 3, 5, 2,015.00, $201,633.33
2. Jess Lockwood, 10, 2, 3, 1,677.50, $161,973.33
3. Rubens Barbosa, 15, 1, 3, 1,352.50, $81,134.50
4. Marco Antonio Eguchi, 13, 0, 4, 920.00, $50,781.67
5. Cooper Davis, 10, 0, 2, 842.50, $49,085.00
6. Kaique Pacheco, 14, 3, 5, 765.00, $81,391.05
7. Shane Proctor, 10, 1, 2, 712.50, $48,435.00
8. Derek Kolbaba, 12, 1, 2, 700.00, $56,153.64
9. Mason Lowe, 13, 0, 2, 650.83, $66,317.31
10. Chase Outlaw, 7, 0, 3, 587.50, $32,705.00
11. Silvano Alves, 10, 0, 2, 570.00, $27,872.31
12. Ryan Dirteater, 10, 0, 1, 553.33, $30,855.67
13. Fabiano Vieira, 12, 1, 4, 503.33, $35,682.98
14. Mike Lee, 16, 2, 4, 480.83, $33,142.31
15. Dener Barbosa, 13, 0, 3, 467.50, $26,880.99
16. J.B. Mauney, 7, 0, 1, 445.00, $23,175.00
17. Matt Triplett, 16, 2, 4, 417.50, $28,541.48
18. Joao Ricardo Vieira, 9, 0, 2, 380.00, $21,446.67
19. Brady Sims, 9, 0, 1, 345.00, $18,067.31
20. Claudio Marcelino Montanha Jr., 9, 1, 4, 302.50, $17,970.00
21. Reese Cates, 12, 1, 3, 265.00, $25,375.00
22. Luis Blanco, 7, 0, 1, 243.33, $13,631.31
23. Gage Gay, 12, 0, 0, 230.00, $14,795.00
24. Nevada Newman, 8, 0, 2, 215.00, $15,850.25
25. Koal Livingston, 10, 1, 4, 170.00, $17,350.00
26. Stetson Lawrence, 11, 0, 0, 167.50, $10,775.00
27. Stormy Wing, 7, 0, 1, 165.00, $10,612.31
28. Dakota Buttar, 5, 0, 0, 163.33, $11,799.31
29. Cody Nance, 10, 0, 1, 152.50, $15,368.21
29. Luciano De Castro, 14, 0, 3, 152.50, $14,319.19
31. Guilherme Marchi, 9, 0, 1, 145.00, $11,547.97
32. Jake Gowdy, 12, 1, 2, 135.00, $22,797.71
33. Sonny Schafferius, 9, 1, 3, 132.50, $10,532.23
34. Robson Aragao, 12, 0, 3, 120.00, $11,460.00
34. Cody Ford, 8, 1, 3, 120.00, $12,300.00
34. Cody Rodeo Tyler, 13, 1, 3, 120.00, $11,945.00
37. Alex Cardozo, 12, 0, 1, 117.50, $10,108.53
38. Cody Teel, 3, 1, 2, 115.00, $10,500.00
39. Cody Heffernan, 15, 0, 1, 112.50, $14,789.83
40. Josh Faircloth, 11, 0, 5, 111.66, $12,238.79
41. Kyle Jones, 13, 1, 2, 110.00, $12,168.53
42. Troy Wilkinson, 3, 1, 2, 106.25, $13,026.07
43. Jay Miller, 7, 1, 2, 100.00, $8,775.00
44. Cody Campbell, 10, 1, 2, 86.66, $7,971.67
45. J.W. Harris, 8, 0, 0, 82.50, $6,658.50