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☛ PRCA Rodeo News 4-3-17

PRCA RODEO NEWS

Courtesy PRCA
April 3, 2017

WPRA history on display at ProRodeo Hall of Fame

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In anticipation of the 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Aug. 5, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association opened a historical exhibit March 31.

This exhibit is housed in the 101 Gallery of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, and will remain open until September. Visitors can learn the history of the WPRA from when 38 women met in a hotel room in San Angelo, Texas, in 1948 to start the Girls Rodeo Association (GRA) through the historic 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductions, which will include barrel racers for the first time ever.

In addition, there is a display showing the fashion and clothing trends through the years, a look back at the 1988 and 2002 Olympic Command Performance Rodeos held during the Olympic Games in Calgary and Salt Lake City, respectively, and a horsepower section honoring the horses that have been awarded with honors such as AQHA Horse of the Year, Horse With the Most Heart and the Rising Star Award.

“I am thrilled with the new partnership between the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the WPRA,” said Kent Sturman, Director of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. “Not only will we now honor the women who excel in the sport of barrel racing, but with this exhibit, we can educate our guests and fans about the history of the WPRA and promote this important segment of the sport of professional rodeo. These outstanding women have been instrumental in advancing this event, and they deserve to be celebrated.”

As announced March 28, the two individuals and one equine partner which will be honored in the inaugural WPRA Hall of Fame class include Wanda Harper Bush, Charmayne James and a joint PRCA/WPRA equine inductee, Star Plaudit “Red.”

They will be joined by the PRCA inductees, which include Buck Rutherford (All-Around), Enoch Walker (Saddle Bronc), Cody Custer (Bull Riding), Tommy Puryear (Steer Wrestling), Mike Beers (Team Roping), Randy Corley (Contract Personnel), Bob Ragsdale (Notable), Smith & Velvet (Livestock) and Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo (Committee).

The ProRodeo Hall of Fame, which is a popular Colorado Springs attraction for rodeo fans and tourists alike, has already inducted 250 people, 27 rodeo committees and 31 animals.

The 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame Induction festivities are scheduled for Aug. 3-5, and the actual ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. MT on Aug. 5.

The Hall of Fame is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Starting May 1 through Aug. 31, it will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information can be found at www.prorodeohalloffame.com.

RNCFR turns 30

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Thursday is the start of the 30th annual RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla. The rodeo takes place Thursday through Sunday at the Silver Spurs Arena.

The inaugural Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo was held in March of 1987 in Pocatello, Idaho, but the story began more than a decade before then.

In 1974, saddle bronc riding representative Larry Jordan hatched the idea to create a circuit system to benefit the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and all of its weekend cowboys – those dedicated rodeo contestants who also had a job and maybe a family, but not the desire or capability to travel year-round in an effort to reach the National Finals Rodeo.

The first year the circuit system was in place there were 14 different circuits. The map was shuffled into 12 circuits the following year.

All of Oklahoma was the Oil Circuit. Now it’s part of the Prairie Circuit, along with Kansas and Nebraska. Three of the circuits – California, Montana and Texas – are comprised of one state, while the First Frontier Circuit in the Northeast includes 13 states.

In 1987, Dodge came in as a sponsor for each of the 12 Circuit Finals Rodeos, as well as the Dodge National Circuit Finals, which was renamed the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in 2012.

As for the location, Pocatello was the original home of the rodeo largely thanks to stock contractor Reg Kessler suggesting the location. The rodeo was held in Pocatello for 24 years before moving to Oklahoma City, Okla., for 2011-13 and then a single year at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla., before moving to its home through 2024 – Kissimmee, Fla. The following cowboys won the first National Circuit Finals Rodeo:

* Saddle bronc riding average – Bud Monroe, 159 points on two head, $1,171

* Saddle bronc riding Wrangler round – (tie) Clay Jawers and Bud Monroe, 80, $2,049 each

* Bareback riding average – Todd Little, 160 points on two, $1,206

* Bareback riding Wrangler round – (tie) Steve Carter and Todd Little, 87, $2,111 each

* Bull riding average – Johnny Shea, 157 points on two, $1,234

* Bull riding Wrangler round – (tie) Brett Todd and Tuff Hedeman, 80, $2,159 each

* Calf roping average – D.R. Daniel, 21.8 seconds on two, $1,119

* Calf roping Wrangler round – D.R. Daniel, 9.7, $2,238

* Steer wrestling average – Darrell Sewell, 10.7 seconds on two, $1,114

* Steer wrestling Wrangler round – John Thompson, 4.0, $2,228

* Team roping average – Barry Johnson/Dee Pickett, 14.4 seconds on two, $636

* Team roping Wrangler round – Jake Barnes/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 6.2, $1,272

* Barrel racing average – Suzanne Fausett, 31.12 seconds on two, $974

* Barrel racing Wrangler round – Charmayne James, 15.30, $1,948

Lerwill takes bicycle riding journey

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Since the age of 3, Troy “Wild Child” Lerwill has been riding a bicycle – and he has never stopped.

At the age of 50, Lerwill, a three-time barrelman at the National Finals Rodeo (2006-08), embarked on a 1,400-mile bicycle ride from Covington, La. to Key West, Fla.

“I love to ride,” said Lerwill, who has been a PRCA member since 1997. “I owned a bike store for 23 years and I just sold it two years ago. I’m an avid cyclist and I wanted to do this. After I finished working the Fort Worth (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo, I spent a couple of weeks getting my stuff ready for the ride and I took off. The coolest part about the ride was all the people I met along the way.”

Lerwill’s journey began on Feb. 18 and concluded March 25. He was picked up by some friends who brought him back to Covington, La., where his truck and trailer were.

“I had about six weeks off after I finished Fort Worth, so I had time to make this ride,” said Lerwill, who was the opening act at the NFR in 2001 and 2003. “Now, I have some rodeos that are starting up down here in (Louisiana).”

Although Lerwill is no stranger to bike rides, this 1,400-mile trek was new to him.

“I never done something this long and just by myself,” he said. “I’ve ridden across the state of Utah and I rode from Wyoming back to Utah, and from Utah over into Nevada, but nothing this long.”

Not only did Lerwill brave the elements on his touring bicycle – he also was living in the elements each night.

“I just took my tent and my hammock,” Lerwill said. “If the weather permitted, I stayed in the hammock and if it didn’t I stayed in my tent. Then, it took me three days to get through the congested area from St. Petersburg (Fla.) all the way to Naples, and there were no campgrounds, so I had to stay in three hotels. I didn’t want to do that, but I didn’t have much of a choice. I slept under two or three bridges and I tried my best to stay in state parks and campgrounds.”

According to Lerwill, he averaged about 55 miles a day for six days a week, and then he would have one day of rest.

“I’m always trying to grow and learn and experience new things, and this was something I wanted to do,” Lerwill said. “Mentally and physically this was very challenging. I was on the bike between five to seven hours a day. Your body needs to conform to all the new things that are happening that it’s not used to. I prepared well, and it turned out great. I cooked my own meals and I pretty much lived on fruits and vegetables the entire time. I did have half a dozen pieces of Key Lime pie when I was in Key West.”

Lerwill acknowledged this type of bicycle trip will likely not be his last.

“It was very gratifying to complete this journey, and I’m probably going to do some more long-distance adventures,” he said. “I think this is just the beginning. I would like to ride from Vancouver, British Columbia, down to Tijuana (Mexico). The soonest I could do that ride would be 2019, but I’m probably going to do another ride after Fort Worth next year, I just don’t know if I’m going to go back through Florida.”

News & Notes from the rodeo trail

ProRodeo Live will broadcast live from the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo April 6-9 in Kissimmee, Fla., at the Silver Spurs Arena. The performances are 11 a.m. (ET) April 6; 7:30 p.m. April 7; 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 8; and 2:30 p.m. on April 9.

The following PRCA Executive Council members were recently elected (or re-elected) and will serve two-year terms beginning April 1. The newly-elected members were Caleb Bennett (bareback riding event representative), Jerome Schneeberger (tie-down roping representative), Manny Equsquiza (team roping event representative) and Tim Bridwell on the stock contractor executive council. The re-elected members are Cody Whitney (bull riding event representative), Duane Reichert (arena pickup men/labor/specialty act), Eva Chadwick (timer/secretary representative), Mike Mathis (contract personnel representative at large), David Petty (Rodeo committee executive council $10,000-$20,000), Larry McConnell (rodeo committee executive council $20,000-$50,000), Keith Marrington and David Morehead (stock contractor executive council) and Dean Oliver (general membership to the competition committee representative).

Steer wrestler Tater Decker, who qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1959 and ’61, passed away March 31, from natural causes, in his home in Talihina, Okla. He was 92. Decker finished 13th in the 1959 world standings and eighth in 1961.

The South Dakota premiere of the documentary film, “Floating Horses: The Life of Casey Tibbs” is scheduled to take place April 26, from 7-10 p.m. (MT) at the Elks Theatre in Rapid City, S.D. Tickets are available at www.blackhillsfilmfestival.org.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“When I went to my first rodeos, the (ProRodeo) Hall of Fame was nowhere near my way of thinking. It never even entered my mind.””

– Announcer Randy Corley said March 31 when he was told he was being inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame with the 2017 class Aug. 5.

2017 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings Leaders

Unofficial through April 3, 2017

AA: Tuf Cooper, Weatherford,Texas $55,636
BB: Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa $56,846
SW: Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont. $74,985
TR-1: Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz. $46,209
TR-2: Corey Petska, Marana, Ariz. $46,209
SB: Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas $57,546
TD: Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas $50,404
BR: Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo. $54,009
SR: Scott Snedecor, Fredericksburg, TX   $42,405

2017 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings

Unofficial through April 3, 2017

All-around
1 Tuf Cooper, Weatherford, Texas $55,636
2 Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas 50,328
3 Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo. 49,271
4 Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas 43,929
5 JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas 29,368
6 Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif. 27,706
7 Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. 24,482
8 Seth Hall, Albuquerque, N.M. 23,877
9 Bart Brunson, Terry, Miss. 19,627
10 Marcus Theriot, Poplarville, Miss. 19,369
11 John Leinaweaver, Orrtanna, Pa. 16,644
12 Justin Thigpen, Waycross, Ga. 14,205
13 Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas 13,883
14 McCoy Profili, Okeechobee, Fla. 12,187
15 Cash Myers, Athens, Texas 11,654
16 Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla. 10,580
17 Brent Lewis, Pinon, N.M. 9,555
18 Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D. 9,298
Morgan Grant, Didsbury, Alberta 8,517
Bareback Riding
1 Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa $56,846
2 Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn. 54,836
3 Bill Tutor, Huntsville, Texas 43,300
4 Jake Brown, Cleveland, Texas 39,857
5 Tyler Nelson, Victor, Idaho 36,850
6 Chad Rutherford, Lake Charles, La. 36,692
7 Mason Clements, Santaquin, Utah 35,718
8 Evan Jayne, Marseille, France 29,250
9 Winn Ratliff, Leesville, La. 28,819
10 Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 25,150
11 R.C. Landingham, Hat Creek, Calif. 24,105
12 Justin Miller, Billings, Mont. 24,092
13 Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore. 20,227
14 Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba 17,635
15 Luke Creasy, Lovington, N.M. 16,902
16 Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas 16,861
17 Jake Vold, Ponoka, Alberta 16,748
18 Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah 14,792
19 J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo. 14,420
20 Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 14,329
Steer Wrestling
1 Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont. $74,985
2 Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La. 51,523
3 Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah 34,063
4 Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo. 32,664
5 Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif. 30,285
6 Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis. 26,770
7 Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas 26,642
8 Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss. 22,608
9 Jason Thomas, Benton, Ark. 20,902
10 Olin Hannum, Malad, Idaho 20,590
11 Jon Ragatz, Beetown, Wis. 20,153
12 Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla. 18,347
13 Cody Cabral, Hilo, Hawaii 18,296
14 Blaine Jones, Templeton, Calif. 18,244
15 Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas 18,109
16 Rowdy Parrott, Mamou, La. 18,098
17 Chance Howard, Cedarville, Ark. 17,974
18 Jacob Talley, Keatchie, La.
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