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The words of Ted Harbin, winner of the 2010 PRCA Media Award for Excellence in Print Journalism
Updated: 21 min 43 sec ago

Long, Proctor end Guymon drought

Sun, 05/03/2015 - 6:25pm
Jake Long, left, and Coleman Proctor rope their final steer Sunday afternoon to claim the team roping title at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Jake Long, left, and Coleman Proctor rope their final steer Sunday afternoon to claim the team roping title at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

GUYMON, Okla. – It’s been nearly a decade since team ropers Coleman Proctor and Jake Long have seen any success in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

They finally found redemption Sunday afternoon during the final performance of the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, scoring a 6.8-second run to finish the three-run aggregate with a cumulative time of 20.0 seconds; they edged Colby Lovell and Kory Koontz by a tenth of a second.

“I know Jake was hungry for this one,” Proctor said. “The first time I headed was in college for Jake, and we won the college rodeo here. We’ve wanted to win the ProRodeo here, so today I just wanted to get him turned and give Jake a chance.”

The chance paid off, and it was a long time coming.

“This rodeo’s been rough on me in the past,” Long said. “That’s about the sixth steer in the last 10 years I’ve caught by two feet, and I happened to put three of them together this year. Coleman did a great job, and I feel very blessed and happy right now.”

He should. The longtime friends finished the 2014 season near the top of the world standings – Proctor was the fourth-ranked header, while Long was the No. 3 heeler. Prior to Pioneer Days Rodeo, they were inside the top 20. The victory and the $5,354 they each earned in the Oklahoma Panhandle should move them close to the top 10.

JoJo LeMond ropes his fifth-round steer to claim his first Guymon title, winning the steer roping championship. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

JoJo LeMond ropes his fifth-round steer to claim his first Guymon title, winning the steer roping championship. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

“We haven’t had the best start to this year, but we know if we keep plugging away, it’ll be good in the end,” Long said. “It’s a great rodeo to win. It works as a double dip for us, because the Prairie Circuit is our home circuit. Any time we can get some money together to get to our circuit finals and work our way to Florida, it’s a good thing.”

They also will continue to build off their Wrangler National Finals Rodeo run and all the experience they’ve gained over the years of roping together.

“If anything, what we did last year helps with finances,” Proctor said. “For all the times I went home broke and had to work to make ends meet and to get myself back on the road, it’s just reassuring to know that it was all worth it.”

Long and Proctor were joined in the winner’s circle on Sunday by steer roper JoJo LeMond, barrel racer Shali Lord and bull rider Chad German, whose 86-point ride on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Footloose put him in a tie with reigning world champion Sage Kimzey and Trevor Kastner.

Other winners were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile; bareback rider Ty Breuer, who rode Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie for 87 points on Saturday night; saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy, who posted the highest marked ride of the rodeo with an 88 on Saturday afternoon on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut; steer wrestler Stan Branco; and 2013 tie-down roping world champion Shane Hanchey.

For LeMond, he finally worked through some Pioneer Days Rodeo demons to earn his first Guymon title.

“I’ve come back high call in team roping three or four times and had bad luck,” LeMond said, referring to owning the fastest cumulative time heading into the final round. “This is the first year I won it.”

A three-time NFR qualifier in heading, LeMond also qualified for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping in 2013. Now he has big plans for his 2015 season.

“This event is huge for me,” he said. “I’m going to try to make it to the National Finals in team roping one more time; I’m roping with Dakota Kirchenschlager this year. I always wanted to go in steer roping again. They have some signature series events this year that makes it to where a guy can afford it. I’m going to make a run at it for sure.”

Now he will be outfitted with the trophy belt that is awarded to the Guymon champions annually.

“I’ve always messed myself up for the opportunity to win one,” LeMond said. “Shay Good won one a few years ago on my horse, and I tried to con him out of that belt. Thankfully I have my own now.”

It will be on display for all to see for years to come.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 28-May 4
All-around champion:
Trevor Brazile, $2,849 in steer roping, tie down roping and team roping.

Bareback riding: 1. Ty Breuer, 87 points Good Times Charlie from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, $3,359; 2. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Zachariah Philips, 85, $2,239 each; 4. R.C. Landingham, 84, $1, 231; 5. (tie) Jared Smith and Josi Young, 82, $ 672; 7. (tie) Wes Stevenson and Yance Day, 81, $ 392.

Team roping: First round: 1. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 5.9 seconds, $1,924; 2. David Key/Martin Lucero, 6.2, $1,673; 3. Chase Thompson/Richard Durham, 6.3, $1,422; 4. (tie) Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz and Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 6.4, $920 each; 7. Dustin Davis/Will Woodfin, 6.6, $418; 8. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 6.7, $167.Second round: (tie) Brian Dunning/Jesse Jolly and Joel Bach/Allen Bach, 5.6 seconds, $1,799 each; 3. Bubba Buckaloo/Ryan Motes, 5.9, $1,422; 4. Jesse Stipes/Billie Jack Saebens, 6.2, $1,171; 5. Tyler Milligan/Brady Norman, 6.3, $920; 6. Tom Richards/Cesar de la Cruz, 6.5, $669; 7. (tie) Justin Turner/Chase McAlvain and Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 6.6, $293 each. Third round: 1. Brian Dunning/Jesse Jolly, 6.6 seconds, $1,924 each; 2. (tie) AJ Fuchs/Sloan Hendley and Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 6.7, $1,548; 4. (tie) Clayton Hass/Logan Medling and Luke Brown/ Kollin VonAhn, 6.8, $1,046; 6. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 6.9, $669; 7. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 7.1, $418; 8. (tie) Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters and Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirkenschager, 7.2, $84. Average: 1. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 20.0 seconds on three runs, $$2,886; 2. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 20.1, $ 2,510; 3. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 21.0, $2,133; 4. Chade Masters/Travis Graves, 21.9, $ 1,757; 5. Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters, 22.6, $1,380; 6. Chace Thompson/Richard Durham, 22.8, $1,004; 7. Anthony Lucia/Wesley Johnson, 24.1, $627; 8. AJ Fuchs/Sloan Hendley, 24.2, $251.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 14.9 seconds, $1,840; 2. Brodie Poppino, 16.0, $1,523; 3. Dari Suit, 17.5, $1,206; 4. Mike Chase, 17.8, $888; 5. (tie) Blake Deckard, Ora Taton and Jason Evans, 18.0, $296 each. Second round: 1. Scott Snedecor, 13.9 seconds, $1,840; 2. Shay Good, 16.0, $1,523; 3. Jason Evans, 17.0, $1,206; 4. Brian Garr, 17.8, $888; 5. (tie) Jay Sellers and Brodie Poppino, 18.4, $444 each. Third round: 1. Ralph Williams, 13.9 seconds, $1,840; 2. Jess Tierney, 15.6, $1,523; 3. Tyrel Taton, 17.4, $1,206; 4. Leo Campbell, 17.5, $888; 5. Marty Jones, 18.2, $571; 6. Slick Ellis, 18.8, $317. Fourth round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 11.7 seconds, $1,840; 2. Brad Starks, 14.4, $1,523; 3. Will Gasperson, 15.7, $1,206; 4. Chris Glover, 16.6, $888; 5. Fred Brown, 16.8, $571; 6. (tie) Trey Wallace and Chance Kelton, 16.9, $159 each. Fifth round: 1.(tie) Brodie Poppino and Chris Glover, 11.3 seconds, $1,681 each; 3. Rocky Patterson, 11.8, $ 1,206; 4. (tie) Chance Kelton and Will Gasperson, 12.2, $730; 6. Trevor Brazile, 12.6, $ 317, no other qualified times. Average: 1. JoJo Lemond, 106.8 seconds on five runs, $5,520; 2. Tuf Cooper, 106.9, $4,568; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 129.6, $3,617, 4. Brodie Poppino, 64.0 on fou runs, $2,665, 5. Scott Snedecor, 68.8, $1.713; 6. Chance Kelton, 69.6, $952.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Taos Muncy, 88 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut, $3,562; 2. Will Smith, 87, $2,731; 3. Isaac Diaz, 85, $2,018; 4. (tie) Dalton Davis and Allen Boore, 83, $1,068; 6. Steven Dent, 82, $594; 7. Bradley Harter, 81, $475; 8. (tie) Audy Reed, Travis Nelson and Brody Cress, 79, and $119.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Hunter Lewis, 3.4 seconds, $1,946; 2. Jason Lahr, 4.3, $1,692; 3. (tie) Stan Branco and Brad Loesch, 4.4, $1,311 each; 5. (tie) Brandon Volker, Mitchell Gardner and Kyle Irwin, 4.5, $677 each; 8. Dean Gorsuch, 4.9, $169.Second round: 1. Darrell Petry, 4.0 seconds, $1,946; 2. Jacob Talley, 4.3, $1,692; 3. Rody Parrott, 4.4, $1,438; 4. Ryan Swayze and Ty Erickson, 4.5, $1,058 each; 6. San Branco, 4.6, $677; 7. (tie) Forest Sainsbury, Josh Frost, Jordan Wiseman, Les Shepperson and Tyler Pearson, 4.8, $118 each. Third round: 1. Jason Thomas, 3.6 seconds, $1,946; 2. Wade Sumpter, 3.9, $1,692; 3. Trell Etbauer, 4.2, $1,438; 4. (tie) Michael Bates Jr. and Blake Mindemann, 4.6, $1,058 each; 6. Forest Sainsbury, 4.7, $677; 7. (tie) Kyle Irwin and Sean Mulligan, 4.8, $296 each. Average: 1. Stan Branco, 13.9 seconds on three head, $2,919; 2. Tyler Pearson, 15.4, $2,538; 3. (tie) Jacob Talley and Hunter Lewis, 15.7, $1,967 each; 5. Jon Herl, 16.0, $1,396; 6. Kyle Irwin, 16.1, $1,015; 7. Jason Thomas, 16.2, $635; 8. Glen Clark, 16.5, $254.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Sterling Smith, 7.2 seconds, $1,989; 2. Jake Pratt, 7.6, $1,730; 3. Michael Otero, 8.0, $1,470; 4. Cory Solomon, 8.1, $1,211; 5. Blair Burk, 8.2, $951; 6. Marty Yates, 8.3, $692; 7. Tyler Prcin, 8.5, $432; 8. Randall Carlisle, 8.6, $173.Second round: 1. Blain Cox, 7.3 seconds, $1,989; 2. (tie) Dillon Holder and Shane Hanchey, 7.4, $1,600 each; 4. Josh Peek, 7.6, $1,211; 5. (tie) Blake Deckard, Jake Pratt and Trevor Brazile, 7.7, $692 each; 8. (tie) Reese Riemer and Ace Slone, 7.9, $86 each. Third round: 1. Michael Otero, 7.3 seconds, $1,989; 2. Cade Swor, 7.4, $1,730; 3. Shane Hanchey, 7.9, $1,470; 4. Cody Quaney, 8.0, $1,211; 5. Reese Reimer, 8.1, $951; 6. (tie) Sterling Smith and Will Howell, 8.3, $562; 8. Caleb Bullock, 8.5, $173. Average: 1.Shane Hanchey, 24.8 seconds on three runs, $2,983; 2. Reese Reimer, 25.7, $2,594; 3. (tie) Cory Solomon, Sterling Smith and Michael Otero, $1,816; 6. Tyler Prcin, 26.3, $1,038; 7. Jake Pratt, 26.5, $649; 8. Blane Cox, 27.5, $259.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Sabrina Ketcham, 17.00 seconds, $2,115; 2. Mary Walker, 17.01, $1,813; 3. Cassidy Kruse, 17.03, $1,511; 4. Shali Lord, 17.07, $1,310; 5. Andrea Cline, 17.08, $1,007; 6. Calyssa Thomas, 17.18, $806; 7. Callie DuPerier, 17.25, $604; 8. Brittany Pozzi, 17.27, $403; 9. Britany Diaz, 17.28, $302; 10. Kasey Etbauer, 17.29, $201. Second round: 1. Calyssa Thomas, 16.89 seconds, $2,115; 2. Paige Conrado, 16.93, $1,813; 3. Heather Clayton, 16.94, $1,511; 4. Shali Lord, 16.97, $ 1,310; 5. Britta O’Keeffe, 17.1, $1,007; 6. Jacki Ganter, 17.11, $806; 7. Mary Walker, 17.12, $604; 8. Kassidy Cruse, 17.15, $403, 9. (tie) Carley Richardson and Laura Kennedy, 17.19, $252. Average: 1.Shali Lord, 34.04 on two runs, $2,115; 2. Clayssa Thomas, 34.07, $ 1,813; 3. Mary Walker, 34.13, $1,511; 4. Cassidy Kruse, 34.18, $1,310, 5. Paige Conrado, 34.27, $1,007. 6. Britta O’Keeffe, 34.48, $806; 7. Brittany Pozzi, 34.52, $604; 8. Sammi Bessert, 34.53, $403, 9. (tie) Jackie Ganter and Ivy Conrado, 34.70, $251.84.

Bull riding: 1. (tie) Trevor Kastner on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sazerac, Sage Kimzey on Lancaster & Pickett’s Sam Crow, and Chad German, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Footloose, 86 points, $2,983 each; 4. Brett Stall, 84, $ 1,406; 5. (tie) Chris McCombs, 83, $767; 7. Josh Koschel, 82, $511; 8. Scottie Knapp, 80, $384.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Thomas scores the round lead

Sat, 05/02/2015 - 11:16pm
Jason Thomas wrestles his third-round steer to the ground in 3.6 seconds on Saturday night to take the steer wrestling lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Jason Thomas wrestles his third-round steer to the ground in 3.6 seconds on Saturday night to take the steer wrestling lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

GUYMON, Okla. – Jason Thomas is ready to return home.

Thomas makes his living on the rodeo trail, a pathway that takes ProRodeo cowboys down a winding path that crisscrosses North America. On Saturday night during the third performance of the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, he put on quite a show and can return to Benton, Ark., on a high note.

“I’ve been in California for a month, so I’m ready to go home for a while before we head out for the summer,” said Thomas, who posted a 3.6-second run to take the third-round lead in steer wrestling. “I had a really good steer today; Jason Lahr ran that steer and was 4.3, and Stan (Branco) came back and was 4.5.

Ty Breuer

Ty Breuer

“I was 12th-13th coming back, so I knew I had to run at it for the round and try to place in the average.”

Pioneer Days Rodeo features three go-rounds in team roping, tie-down roping and steer wrestling, with money paid in each round and for the top cumulative times in the three-round aggregate. Thomas sits fourth with a total time of 16.2 seconds; if that holds, he’ll likely collect another good check out of the Oklahoma Panhandle.

“This is the best winter I’ve ever had,” he said, noting that he started competing full time two seasons ago after competing at Panola Community College in Carthage, Texas, and McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La.

Thomas has considerable support for his business, from his primary mount, Frosty, to his traveling partner, 2013 world champion Hunter Cure.

“I’ve had Frosty since the ninth grade,” he said of the 17-year-old gelding. “He was my heeling horse and the first horse I ever hazed on when I was about 13, so I’ve had him a long time.

“It’s been a big help for me to go with Hunter. I feel better about my situations. You can’t pay for that kind of knowledge and help going up and down the road.”

While Thomas has been flourishing through the early part of the season, bareback rider Ty Breuer of Mandan, N.D., is just getting back to business. The 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier suffered a broken back at Denver nearly four months ago and has been on the sideline since then. His ride Saturday was the first since January.

It worked out pretty well, too. Breuer matched moves with Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie for 87 points to take the bareback riding lead.

“Anytime you can get along with one of the best horses around, it’s a big confidence booster,” he said. “I knew that horse would just be good. That’s the perfect horse to come back on.”

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 27-May 3
Results through the first performance
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Ty Breuer, 87 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie; 2. (tie) Zachariah Phillips and Tim O’Connell, 85 each; 4. Wes Stevenson, 81; 5. Mason Clements, 80; 6. (tie) Devan Reilly, Richmond Champion and Joe Gunderson, 78.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Brian Dunning/Jesse Jolly, 6.6 seconds; 2. A.J. Fuchs/Sloan Hendley, 6.7; 3. (tie) Clayton Hass/Logan Medlin and Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn, 6.8; 5. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 7.1; 6. (tie) Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager and Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters, 7.2; 8. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 7.5;. Aggregate leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 20.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 21.0; 3. Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters, 22.6; 4. Anthony Lucia, 24.1; 5. A.J. Fuchs/Sloan Hendley, 24.2; 6. Jess Tierney/Jace Crabb, 24.6; 7. Turtle Powell/ Dakota Kirckenschlager, 26.3; 8. Jason Arndt/Chad Mathes, 26.8.

Steer roping: Fifth round leaders: 1. Brodie Poppino, 11.3 seconds; 2. Rocky Patterson, 11.8; 3. (tie) Chance Kelton and Will Gasperson, 12.2; 5. Thomas Smith, 13.1; 6. Jess Tierney, 13.4; 4. Shay Good, 13.6; 5. Scott Snedecor, 14.3; 6. Wade Shoemaker, 15.0; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 106.9 seconds on five runs; 2. Brodie Poppino, 64.0 seconds on four runs; 3. Scott Snedecor, 68.8; 4. Chance Kelton, 69.6; 5. Jess Tierney, 74.4; 6. Will Gasperson, 87.4.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Taos Muncy on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut, 88 points; 2. Isaac Diaz, 85; 3. (tie) Dalton Davis and Allen Boore, 83; 5. Bradley Harter, 81; 6(tie) Tyler Corrington, Wade Sundell and Jace Angus, 78; 4. (tie) Chet Johnson, Cort Scheer, and Zeke Thurston, 77; 5. Jade Blackwell and Tyrel Larson, 76; 6. Chase Bennett, 75; 7. Chanse Darling, 73; 8. Casey Maddox, 70.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Jason Thomas, 3.6 seconds; 2. Wade Sumpter, 3.9; 3. (tie) Michael Bates Jr. and Blake Mindemann, 4.6 each; 5. Forest Sainsbury, 4.7; 6. Sean Mulligan, 4.8; 7. (tie) Stan Branco and Laine Herl, 4.9. Aggregate leaders: 1. Stan Branco, 13.9 seconds on three runs; 2. Hunter Lewis, 15.7; 3. Laine Herl, 16.0; 4. Jason Thomas, 16.2; 5. Blake Mindemann, 16.6; 6. Brad Johnson, 19.0; 7. Forest Sainsbury, 19.4; 6. Chance E. Howard, 20.1.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. Michael Otero, 7.3 seconds; 2. Cade Swor, 7.4; 3. Shane Hanchey, 7.9; 4. Cody Quaney, 8.0; 5. (tie) Sterling Smith and Will Howell, 8.3; 7. Trey Young, 8.8; 8. Cory Solomon, 9.1. Aggregate leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 24.8 seconds on three runs; 2. (tie) Cory Solomon, Sterling Smith and Michael Otero, 26.0 each; 5.Jake Pratt, 26.5; 6.Blane Cox, 27.5; 7. Will Howell, 27.6; 8.Cade Swor, 27.7.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Paige Conrado, 16.93 seconds; 2. Heather Clayton, 16.94; 3. Britta O’Keeffe, 17.10; 4. Mary Walker, 17.12; 5. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Carley Richardson, 17.19; 7. Sammi Bessert, 17.23; 8. Ivy Conrado, 17.24; 9. Brittany Pozzi, 17.25; 10. Fallon Taylor, 17.29. Aggregate leaders: 1. Mary Walker, 34.13 seconds on two runs; 2. Paige Conrado, 34.27; 3. Britta O’Keeffe, 34.48; 4. Brittany Pozzi, 34.52; 5. Sammi Bessert, 34.53; 6. Ivy Conrado, 34.70; 7. Emily Holton, 34.73; 8. Jaime Hinton, 34.74; 9. Chelsey Kleinvackter,34.75; 10. Sidney Forrest, 34.79.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trevor Kastner, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sazerac; 2. Sage Kimzey, 86; 3. Brett Stall, 84; 4. (tie) Chris McCombs and Bryce Barrios, 83 each; 6. Josh Koschel, 82; 7. Scottie Knapp, 80; 8. Tanner Bothwell, 79.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Reunion pays off for Muncy

Sat, 05/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Taos Muncy rides Powder River Rodeo's Miss Chestnut for 88 points to take the lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Taos Muncy rides Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut for 88 points to take the lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

BY TRISHA PRICE
Rodeo Media Relations

GUYMON, Okla. – No stranger to winning or the Guymon community, two-time world champion saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy of Corona, N.M., has made a name for himself in the rodeo industry.

“This is where it all started for me,” Muncy said referring to Guymon, home of this week’s Pioneer Days Rodeo.

Muncy rodeoed for Oklahoma Panhandle State University, just 10 miles down the road in Goodwell.

Tuf Cooper competes in steer roping on Saturday afternoon. He leads the five-round aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Tuf Cooper competes in steer roping on Saturday afternoon. He leads the five-round aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

“As soon as I came here for the bronc school my freshman year of high school, I knew where I wanted to go to college and where I wanted to hang out,” he said.

As an Aggie, he won the college and world championships in bronc riding as just a sophomore in 2007, becoming just the third cowboy in the history of the sport to win the two titles in the same event in the same calendar year; he joined bull rider Matt Austin and all-around cowboy Ty Murray.

An 88-point ride aboard Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut put Muncy in a position to take home his second championship title in Guymon – he won Pioneer Days in that magical 2007 season. He has encountered that horse before while winning the title in Caldwell, Idaho.

“I had a pretty good idea of what he was and I was really excited it was nice weather to get on him,” Muncy said.

The sunny, 80-degree weather made it the perfect saddle bronc riding conditions at the Saturday afternoon performance for Muncy.

He was joined in the winner’s circle Saturday by two other world champions who also took the lead in each of their events. Three-time and defending tie-down roping champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, took the lead in the steer roping with an aggregate time of 106.9 seconds on five runs, and reigning bull riding world champion Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., took the lead in the bull riding with a 86-point ride.

Cooper, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, is excited about taking the lead in the steer roping, an event he began competing in just a year ago.

“To win one of my first big steer roping’s would be a big breakthrough for me and give me a lot of confidence,” Cooper said. “I’ve placed in some rounds won enough to stay in the all-around but nothing big.

“This is one of the bigger steer ropings; it’s a five-header, so you have to keep roping because a lot of guys can go out. My dad has won it plenty of times, my uncle has won it and my brother-in-law so it would be cool to win.”

His father is eight-time world champion Roy Cooper, who won rodeo’s Triple Crown in 1983 by claiming the all-around, tie-down roping and steer roping gold buckles.

Now Tuf Cooper is carrying on a family tradition.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 27-May 3
Results through the first performance

Bareback riding leaders: 1. (tie) Zachariah Phillips, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, and Tim O’Connell, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free, 85 points each; 3. Wes Stevenson, 81; 4. Mason Clements, 80; 5. (tie) Devan Reilly and Richmond Champion, 78 each; 7. Will Martin, 77; 8. Kody Lamb, 74.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. (tie) Clayton Hass/Logan Medlin and Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn, 6.8 seconds; 3. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 7.1; 4. (tie) Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager and Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters, 7.2; 6. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 7.5;. Aggregate leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 20.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 21.0; 3. Calvin Brevik/Wade Masters, 22.6; 4. Jess Tierney/Jace Crabb, 24.6; 5. Turtle Powell/ Dakota Kirckenschlager, 26.3; 6. Brandon Webb/Kaleb Driggers, 29.8; 7. Clayton Hass/Logan Medlin, 30.0; 8. Zayne Dishion/Tommy Zuniga, 30.7.

Steer roping: Fifth round leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 11.8 seconds 2. Chance Kelton, 12.2; 3. Jess Tierney, 13.4; 4. Shay Good, 13.6; 5. Scott Snedecor, 14.3; 6. Wade Shoemaker, 15.0; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 106.9 seconds on five runs; 2. Scott Snedecor, 68.8 seconds on four runs; 3. Chance Kelton, 69.6; 4. Jess Tierney, 74.4; 5. JoJo LeMond, 93.2; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 110.2.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Taos Muncy on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chesnut, 88 points; 2. Isaac Diaz, 85; 3. (tie) Tyler Corrington and Wade Sundell, 78; 4. (tie) Chet Johnson, Cort Scheer, and Zeke Thurston, 77; 5. Jade Blackwell and Tyrel Larson, 76; 6. Chase Bennett, 75; 7. Chanse Darling, 73; 8. Casey Maddox, 70.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Wade Sumpter, 3.9 seconds; 2. Michael Bates Jr., 4.6; 3. Forest Sainsbury, 4.7; 4. Sean Mulligan, 4.8; 5. (tie) Stan Branco and Jon Herl, 4.9; 7. Ace Campbell, 5.1; 8. Dean Stermer, 5.8.Aggregate leaders: 1. Forest Sainsbury, 19.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Darrell Petry, 20.5; 3. Sean Mulligan, 24.0; 4. Wade Sumpter, 25.4; 5. Dean Sterner, 26.2; 6. Dean Boldon, 28.2; 7. Juan Alcazar Jr., 31.4; 8. Hunter Lewis, 8.4 seconds on two runs.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. Cade Swor, 7.4 seconds. 2. Shane Hanchey, 7.9; 3. Sterling Smith, 8.3; 4. Trey Young, 8.8; 5. Cory Solomon, 9.1; 6. Jess Woodward and Dane Kissack, 9.7; 8. Robert Mathis 9.8. Aggregate leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 24.8 seconds on three runs; 2. Cory Solomon, 26.0; 3. Sterling Smith, 26.0; 4.Jake Pratt, 26.5; 5.Blane Cox, 27.5; 6.Cade Swor, 27.7; 7. Dane Kissack 28.9; 8.Trey Young, 29.8.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Heather Clayton, 16.94 seconds; 2. Mary Walker, 17.12; 3. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Carley Richardson, 17.19; 5. Ivy Conrado, 17.24; 6. Brittany Pozzi, 17.25; 7. Fallon Taylor, 17.29; 8. Rebecca Hughes, 17.30; 9. Lanita Peirce, 17.31; 10.Chelsey Kleinvachter, 17.32. Aggregate leaders: 1. Mary Walker, 34.13 seconds on two runs; 2. Brittany Pozzi, 34.52; 3. Ivy Conrado, 34.70; 4. Jaime Hinton, 34.74; 5. Chelsey Kleinvackter,34.75; 6. Fallon Taylor, 34.81; 7. Natalie Bland, 34.87; 8. Karisa Brookshire, 34.93; 9. Jenna Waggoner, 34.94; 10. Rebecca Hughes, 34.96.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trevor kastner, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sazerac; 2. Brett Stall, 84; 3. Chris McCombs, 83; 4. Chris McCombs, 82; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Claremore rodeo focuses on fans

Sat, 05/02/2015 - 2:39pm

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Rodeo is much more than a sport.

It’s a true showcase, the perfect piece of family entertainment. That is the mindset taken by the by the volunteers who organize the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo and the staff at Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which produces the annual rodeo, set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena.

“We try to have the theatrical portion of our show not interfere with the competition side,” said John Gwatney, a production supervisor for Carr rodeo. “We try to run a good, fast, clean performance without interfering with the competition.

“That’s where we’re different from other rodeo companies. If we’re not ready, the cowboy has to wait. When it comes time for that cowboy to compete, we’ve done everything we can to make that animal ready for that cowboy, so all he has to do is nod his head.”

That’s very attractive for everyone involved. Fans love it, which makes the experience perfect for local organizers.

“We have a lot of true rodeo fans in this part of Oklahoma,” said David Petty, chairman of the Will Rogers Stampede, which is the 2014 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Small Rodeo of the Year. “The last few years, we’ve had an outstanding rodeo, and it shows in a lot of things that we’re doing in Claremore.

“It helps a lot that Pete Carr is our stock contractor, because he’s one of the very best in rodeo. Our fans know he has great bucking horses and bulls, and that, in turn, helps us draw the top contestants to our rodeo.”

The overall package is set up for everyone involved. The Carr team works hard with local orgaanizers to make it a fair competition for the cowboys and cowgirls, then puts in a concerted effort to put together a production that will have fans talking long after the final bull is bucked.

“We micromanage our program ahead of time,” Carr said. “We can’t be perfect, but we can dang sure get as close as we can. We’re always striving to be better, identifying the weaknesses and taking constructive criticism. It’s an everyday challenge, but I think trying to be better is just trying to take it to the next level.

“I’m proud of what we do, but I know we can always find ways to improve things. I like that the people I work with have that same mindset, too.”

The proof is in what happens at each rodeo performance.

“We have a weekend full of rodeo that is wild and fun and full of the top cowboys and cowgirls,” Petty said. “That’s what our fans want to see, and that’s what they can expect to see again this year.”

It’s a start-to-finish project for the entire Carr staff.

“What starts the production is our version of Americana,” Gwatney said. “We’re looking to get peoples’ emotions up, get them on the edge of their seats so when that first animal bucks, the height of the excitement is already up.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Guymon has been good for Koontz

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:19pm
Colby Lovell, right, and Kory Koontz took the third-round lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo with a 7.1-second run. They also lead the three-run aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

Colby Lovell, right, and Kory Koontz took the third-round lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo with a 7.1-second run. They also lead the three-run aggregate. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

GUYMON, Okla. – The magic number for Kory Koontz is 20.

He’s one of the greatest ropers in ProRodeo and might just be the best heeler to have never won a world championship. Over the course of his storied career, the Sudan, Texas, cowboy has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 19 times. He’d like 2015 to mark his 20th trip to the sport’s grand finale.

Kory Koontz

Kory Koontz

“For a long time, the number in my mind that I had was that I wanted to make 20 of them,” he said, referring to the 10-round finale that takes place in Las Vegas each December. “I’ve missed it the last three years.”

On Friday night, he made another significant move in his plan to return by taking the third-round and average lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo with header Colby Lovell. The tandem posted a 7.1-second run during the first performance; their cumulative time of 20.1 seconds through three go-rounds gives them a significant advantage with three performances remaining in Oklahoma’s richest rodeo.

“I think I’ve won it twice,” said Koontz, who just resumed his partnership with Lovell in the last couple of months. “I’ve been here at least 20 times.”

Now he’d like to win his third Pioneer Days Rodeo trophy belt with Lovell; the two roped together in 2010, the first of four straight NFR qualifications for Lovell. Since then, Koontz has teamed with Erich Rogers, Brock Hanson and Chad Masters, while Lovell has partnered with York Gill, Russell Cardoza and Martin Lucero.

Colby Lovell

Colby Lovell

They quickly found success in 2015 as partners, so they decided to stick it out.

“Our plan is to stay in Texas and here in Oklahoma and get some money,” Koontz said. “When it’s time to go to Reno (Nev.) and get going for the summer, we’ll give it a run and try to get back to the NFR.

“Now we’ve got our game face on, and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got to go back there.”

As long as they continue to find success like they have in the Oklahoma Panhandle this week, their chances are good.

“We’re just doing our job,” Koontz said. “We drew just medium-type steers, and we did what we do. My partner did a good job, and I came around there and heeled all three of them. It was almost like we made the same runs three times in a row.”

That seems to be a winning combination.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 27-May 3
Results through the first performance
Bareback riding leaders:
1. (tie) Zachariah Phillips, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, and Tim O’Connell, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free, 85 points each; 3. Mason Clements, 80; 4. (tie) Devan Reilly and Richmond Champion, 78 each; 6. Will Martin, 77; 7. Kody Lamb, 74; 8. Anthony Tomas, 73.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 7.1 seconds; 2. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 7.5; 3. Bobby Boyd/Johnny Folmer, 11.6; 4. Logan Olson/Jordan Olson, 11.7; 5. Caleb Smidt/Mickey Gomez, 13.0; 6. Brandon Webb/Kaleb Driggers, 13.3; 7. Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 16.5; no other qualified runs. Aggregate leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 20.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 21.0; 3. Brandon Webb/Kaleb Driggers, 29.8; 4. Logan Olson/Jordan Olson, 37.7; 5. Bobby Boyd/Johnny Folmer, 41.2; 6. Caleb Smidt/Mickey Gomez, 43.0; Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 53.0; 8. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 13.3 seconds on two runs.

Steer roping: Fifth round leaders: 1. Chance Kelton, 12.2 seconds; 2. Shay Good, 13.6; 3. Scott Snedecor, 14.3; 4. J. Tom Fisher, 19.8; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Scott Snedecor, 68.8 seconds on four runs; 2. Chance Kelton, 69.6; 3. Tuf Cooper, 90.3; 4. JoJo LeMond, 93.2; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., 110.24; 6. Brodie Poppino, 52.7 seconds on three runs.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Corrington, on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Wild Flower, and Wade Sundell, on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeo’s Badlands, 78 points each; 3. (tie) Chet Johnson and Cort Scheer, 77; 5. Jade Blackwell, 76; 6. Chanse Darling, 73; 7. Casey Maddox, 70; 8. Nick Shenold, 59.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Wade Sumpter, 3.9 seconds; 2. Forest Sainsbury, 4.7; 3. Sean Mulligan, 4.8; 4. Dean Stermer, 5.8; 5. Billy Boldon, 5.9; 6. Darrel Petry, 6.0; 7. Juan Alcazar Jr., 17.9; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Forest Sainsbury, 19.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Darrell Petry, 20.5; 3. Sean Mulligan, 24.0; 4. Wade Sumpter, 25.4; 5. Dean Sterner, 26.2; 6. Dean Boldon, 28.2; 7. Juan Alcazar Jr., 31.4; 8. Hunter Lewis, 8.4 seconds on two runs.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 7.9 seconds; 2. Cory Solomon, 9.1; 3. Robert Mathis, 9.8; 4. Tyson Durfey, 10.2; 5. (tie) Jake Pratt and Cheyenne Stanley, 11.2 each; no other qualified times. Aggregate leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 24.8 seconds on three runs; 2. Cory Solomon, 26.0; 3. Jake Pratt, 26.5; 4. Robert Mathis, 32.5; 5. Cheyenne Stanley, 34.8; 6. Tyson Durfey, 34.9; 7. Tyler Prcin, 16.6 seconds on two runs; 8. (tie) Blane Cox and Reese Reimer, 17.6.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Heather Clayton, 16.94 seconds; 2. Mary Walker, 17.12; 3. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Carley Richardson, 17.19; 5. Brittany Pozzi, 17.25; 6. Fallon Taylor, 17.29; 7. Rebecca Hughes, 17.30; 8. Lanita Peirce, 17.31; 9. Jaime Hinton, 17.33; 10. Sherrylynn Johnson, 17.34. Aggregate leaders: 1. Mary Walker, 34.13 seconds on two runs; 2. Brittany Pozzi, 34.52; 3. Jaime Hinton, 34.74; 4. Fallon Taylor, 34.81; 5. Natalie Bland, 34.87; 6. Rebecca Hughes, 34.96; 7. Andrea Busby, 35.11. 8. Kaylee Gallino, 35.19.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Trevor kastner, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sazerac; 2. Brett Stall, 84; 3. Chris McCombs, 83; 4. Chris McCombs, 82; no other qualified rides.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Ketcham leads Guymon barrel racing

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 1:22pm
Sabrina Ketcham

Sabrina Ketcham

First round: 1. Sabrina Ketcham, 17.00 seconds, $2,115; 2. Mary Walker, 17.01, $1,813; 3. Cassidy Kruse, 17.03, $1,511; 4. Shali Lord, 17.07, $1,310; 5. Andrea Cline, 17.08, $1,007; 6. Calyssa Thomas, 17.18, $806; 7. Callie DuPerier, 17.25, $604; 8. Brittany Pozzi, 17.27, $403; 9. Britany Diaz, 17.28, $302; 10. Kasey Etbauer, 17.29, $201.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Second round complete in Guymon

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 5:32pm

Guymon Pioneer Days Logo-100Steer wrestling: Second round: 1. Darrell Petry, 4.0 seconds, $1,946; 2. Jacob Talley, 4.3, $1,692; 3. Rowdy Parrott, 4.4, $1,438; 4. Ryan Swayze and Ty Erickson, 4.5, $1,058 each; 6. San Branco, 4.6, $677; 7. (tie) Forest Sainsbury, Josh Frost, Jordan Wiseman, Les Shepperson and Tyler Pearson, 4.8, $118 each. Average leaders: 1. Hunter Lewis, 8.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Stan Branco, 9.0; 3. (tie) Jason Lahr, Dean Gorsuch and Tyler Pearson, 10.2; 6. (tie) Glen Clark and Tommy Cook, 10.4; 8. Jacob Talley, 10.6.

Team roping: Second round: 1. (tie) Brian Dunning/Jesse Jolly and Joel Bach/Allen Bach, 5.6 seconds, $1,799 each; 3. Bubba Buckaloo/Ryan Motes, 5.9, $1,422; 4. Jesse Stipes/Billie Jack Saebens, 6.2, $1,171; 5. Tyler Milligan/Brady Norman, 6.3, $920; 6. Tom Richards/Cesar de la Cruz, 6.5, $669; 7. (tie) Justin Turner/Chase McAlvain and Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 6.6, $293 each. Average leaders: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 13.0 on two runs; 2. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 13.3; 3. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 13.5; 4. Dustin Davis/Will Woodfin, 13.8; 5. Jess Tierney/Jace Crabb, 14.4; 6. (tie) Tom Richards/Cesar de la Cruz and Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 14.6; 8. Chace Thompson/Richard Durham, 14.7.

Tie-down roping: Second round: 1. Blain Cox, 7.3 seconds, $1,989; 2. (tie) Dillon Holder and Shane Hanchey, 7.4, $1,600 each; 4. Josh Peek, 7.6, $1,211; 5. (tie) Blake Deckard, Jake Pratt and Trevor Brazile, 7.7, $692 each; 8. (tie) Reese Riemer and Ace Slone, 7.9, $86 each. Average leaders: 1. Jake Pratt, 15.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Prcin, 16.6; 3. (tie) Cory Solomon and Shane Hanchey, 16.9; 5. (tie) Reese Reimer and Blaine Cox, 17.6; 8. Tyler Milligan, 17.8.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

First round complete in Guymon

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 5:24pm

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Hunter Lewis, 3.4 seconds, $1,946; 2. Jason Lahr, 4.3, $1,692; 3. (tie) Stan Branco and Brad Loesch, 4.4, $1,311 each; 5. (tie) Brandon Volker, Mitchell Gardner and Kyle Irwin, 4.5, $677 each; 8. Dean Gorsuch, 4.9, $169.

Team roping: First round: 1. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 5.9 seconds, $1,924; 2. David Key/Martin Lucero, 6.2, $1,673; 3. Chase Thompson/Richard Durham, 6.3, $1,422; 4. (tie) Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz and Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 6.4, $920 each; 7. Dustin Davis/Will Woodfin, 6.6, $418; 8. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 6.7, $167.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Sterling Smith, 7.2 seconds, $1,989; 2. Jake Pratt, 7.6, $1,730; 3. Michael Otero, 8.0, $1,470; 4. Cory Solomon, 8.1, $1,211; 5. Blair Burk, 8.2, $951; 6. Marty Yates, 8.3, $692; 7. Tyler Prcin, 8.5, $432; 8. Randall Carlisle, 8.6, $173.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Tuf Cooper leads Guymon steer roping

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 3:30pm
Tuf Cooper

Tuf Cooper

Steer roping results
Third round: 1. Ralph Williams, 13.9 seconds, $1,840; 2. Jess Tierney, 15.6, $1,523; 3. Tyrel Taton, 17.4, $1,206; 4. Leo Campbell, 17.5, $888; 5. Marty Jones, 18.2, $571; 6. Slick Ellis, 18.8, $317.

Fourth round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 11.7 seconds, $1,840; 2. Brad Starks, 14.4, $1,523; 3. Will Gasperson, 15.7, $1,206; 4. Chris Glover, 16.6, $888; 5. Fred Brown, 16.8, $571; 6. (tie) Trey Wallace and Chance Kelton, 16.9, $159 each.

Average leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 90.3 seconds on four head; 2. JoJo LeMond, 93.2; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 110.2; 4. Brodie Poppino, 52.7 on three head; 5. Scott Snedecor, 54.5; 6. Chance Kelton, 57.4.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Poppino leads Guymon after Day 1

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 6:34pm
Brodie Poppino

Brodie Poppino

Steer roping results
First round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 14.9 seconds, $1,840; 2. Brodie Poppino, 16.0, $1,523; 3. Dari Suit, 17.5, $1,206; 4. Mike Chase, 17.8, $888; 5. (tie) Blake Deckard, Ora Taton and Jason Evans, 18.0, $296 each.

Second round: 1. Scott Snedecor, 13.9 seconds, $1,840; 2. Shay Good, 16.0, $1,523; 3. Jason Evans, 17.0, $1,206; 4. Brian Garr, 17.8, $888; 5. (tie) Jay Sellers and Brodie Poppino, 18.4, $444 each.

Aggregate leaders: 1. Brodie Poppino, 34.4; 2. Jason Evans, 35.0; 3. Blake Deckard, 36.7; 4. Chance Kelton, 40.5; 5. Rocky Patterson, 42.6; 6. Cody Lee, 43.2.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Barnes closes career with win

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 5:02pm

ALVA, Okla. – Lauren Barnes had secured another qualification to the College National Finals Rodeo in goat tying.

She wanted something more, though. She wanted to win an event championship in her senior season at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She did so at her last regular-season rodeo of a strong career, winning the goat-tying championship this past weekend at Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo in Guymon, Okla.

Northwestern-Logo-200“It felt really great to end on a high note and get that title at my last rodeo,” said Barnes of Buckeye, Ariz. “At first, my goal was to make the college finals. Once I realized I had a chance to win the (regional) all-around, that was my goal. I fell just a little bit short.”

A three-event cowgirl, Barnes returns to the college championship, set for June 14-20 in Casper, Wyo. She’s part of the Central Plains Region-winning Northwestern women’s team, which won half the rodeos in the 2014-15 season.

“I don’t know what it is about our girls team, but we are so close,” she said. “I feel like we’ve got a really strong women’s team. It feels great to have other girls there that are working just as hard as you and excited to do well.”

Barnes finished second in the region to teammate Shayna Miller of Faith, S.D. The two Rangers were runaways in the goat-tying points race. In Guymon, Barnes posted an 8.7-second run to finish second in the opening round, then followed that with a final round-winning 8.2. Her two-run cumulative time of 16.9 seconds was almost a full second faster than the field.

“I got my education because of goat tying and rodeo,” said Barnes, an elementary education major. “It helps me prepare for the rest of my life, and it’s something I’ve really enjoyed doing. I’ve got one more chance at (college rodeo), then go live the rest of my life in the real world.”

Barnes was one of two Northwestern goat-tiers to place in the Oklahoma Panhandle; she ws joined by Tearnee Nelson of Faith, S.D., who placed fifth. Breakaway roper Samantha McGuire of Backus, Minn., placed fifth with a two-run cumulative time of 6.9 seconds, while barrel racers Cassy Woodward of Faith, S.D., and Elli Price of Leady, Okla., qualified for the short round.

Freshman steer wrestler Grayson Allred of Kanarraville, Utah, needed something big to occur in Guymon if he were to qualify for the college finals. It did.

Allred won the first round with a 6.0-second run, then got through a tough steer in the final round in 10.2 to hold on to the second-place spot in the average. The 150 points he earned, though, pushed him to third place in the region standings, earning him a trip to Casper – he beat teammate Laine Herl of Goodland, Kan., by just five points.

In the short round, “I drew a steer that ran a little bit, so I had to stand him back up and throw him down again,” Allred said. “I knew I had to go after them and do something big, or I wasn’t going to make it.”

Three other bulldoggers made the final round: Herl, who finished third; Stephen Culling of Fort St. John, British Columbia, who placed fourth; and Mike McGinn of Haines, Ore. They were joined by tie-down roper Harper Maverick of Stephenville, Texas, who finished fifth in the opening round. At the college finals, Allred will be joined by team roping-header Dalton Richards of Hawkinsville, Ga., who finished second in the region.

The Rangers men have a strong team competing in one of the most competitive regions in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. That’s especially true in steer wrestling, where seven Northwestern cowboys finished among the top 15.

“Every day you go to practice, people are going to push you and make you better,” Allred said.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Muncy is New Mexico proud

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 12:44pm
Two-time world champion Taos Muncy rides Pete Carr's Gold Coast during the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The New Mexico cowboy is a vital part of the Tate Branch Auto Group "Riding for the Brand" team and carries his strong New Mexico ties with him around the rodeo circuit. (PRCA PRORODEO PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN)

Two-time world champion Taos Muncy rides Pete Carr’s Gold Coast during the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The New Mexico cowboy is a vital part of the Tate Branch Auto Group “Riding for the Brand” team and carries his strong New Mexico ties with him around the rodeo circuit. (PRCA PRORODEO PHOTO BY MIKE COPEMAN)

For Taos Muncy, the comforts of his New Mexico home are hard to pass up.

Born, raised and still residing near Corona southeast of Albuquerque, Muncy is a ProRodeo cowboy who makes his living on the rodeo trail.

He’s a two-time world champion saddle bronc rider who has qualified seven times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo over the last eight years – the only year he missed the finale in Las Vegas was because of an injury in 2008. Traveling the country in search of rodeo gold is his dream job, but being on the family ranch for an extended time is, too.

“Time goes too fast, so you’ve got to enjoy your family as much as possible,” said Muncy, who lives on the ranch with his wife, Marissa, and their daughter, Marley, 3, not far from his parents, Blaine and Johnnie. “My family’s pretty tight. That’s the one good thing about rodeoing; I might be gone for 10 days tops, but when I’m home, I’m with them.

“In rodeo, we’re all one big family. It’s a great lifestyle.”

Taos Muncy

Taos Muncy

Muncy also is part of another team, “Riding for the Brand” of Tate Branch Auto Group, which has dealerships in Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs. It’s a great New Mexico bond, which also includes other ProRodeo greats: eight-time world champion tie-down roper Roy “Super Looper” Cooper and two of his sons, Clif and Clint; team ropers Jake and Jim Ross Cooper; and steer roper Marty Jones – all have ties to New Mexico.

“Tate is a big New Mexico rodeo fan, and that’s really neat,” Muncy said. “It’s an awesome team to be part of.”

He is “Riding for the Brand” proudly. As the No. 4 bronc rider in the world standings, he’s off to a hot start to the 2015 season. His goal, as always, is to win his third world championship. In order to do that, though, he needs to finish the regular season among the top 15 to secure his eighth NFR qualification.

In Las Vegas, though, cowboys and cowgirls will battle for an unprecedented purse, with more than $26,000 paying out to go-round winners all 10 nights.

“The season’s going pretty danged good,” said Muncy, who has earned more than $30,000 so far this season. “I haven’t set the world on fire, but it seems like I’ve been real consistent. I’ve been placing and winning checks. As long as I’m making money, I’m happy.”

Money is vital. In addition to paying bills and covering rodeo expenses, money also equals championship points. The contestants in each event who earn the most money at season’s end are crowned world champions.

“I’m tickled,” he said. “My goal every year is to win the world (title), but if I stay in the top five all year, I’m really happy. I’d like a fighting chance when I get to the finals.”

That’s the benefit of having great sponsorship agreements. In his association with Tate Branch Auto Group, Muncy has more than a relationship with a New Mexico business. He has a true partnership and, like anyone who uses the southeastern New Mexico auto group, can take advantage of all the incentives available.

“Taos is a great champion and a great representative for New Mexico, and we’re excited to have him among our ‘Riding for the Brand’ team,” said Joby Houghtaling, the director of operations of the Tate Branch Auto Group. “He can utilize Warranty Forever, a Tate Branch Auto Group exclusive warranty that covers the drive train of any vehicle purchased at one of our dealerships that has less than 75,000 miles.

“We are happy to be involved in rodeo, and we offer discounts to members of all the rodeo associations, whether they’re in the PRCA, the WPRA, college or whatever. We’re committed to rodeo and the cowboys and cowgirls in the sport.”

That works great for any rodeo contestant, like Muncy. He’s spending time at home taking care of duties on the ranch that must be done. He returns to action Friday, May 1, at his ol’ college stomping grounds in Guymon, Okla. He attended Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, just 10 miles from the Guymon rodeo arena.

In fact, he claimed the 2007 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association saddle bronc riding championship while part of the Panhandle State rodeo team. Later that year, he won his first PRCA world championship, becoming just the third cowboy in the history of the game to win a college title and the gold buckle in the same discipline in the same season, joining bull rider Matt Austin and all-around cowboy Ty Murray.

“Guymon is pretty much a hometown rodeo for me, because Corona doesn’t have a ProRodeo and the closest ProRodeo to my hometown is two hours away,” Muncy said. “I still get nervous when I ride there, because I know they’re all watching me … all those great cowboys I looked up to and wanted to be like.”

The Oklahoma Panhandle has a grand history in the game, with 12 world championships earned by cowboys who have ties to the region once known as “No Man’s Land.”

“All those guys helped me quite a bit,” he said. “I could ride broncs, but I wasn’t good enough to do it at this level until I got there and worked with those guys.”

When he’s done with the Guymon rodeo, he’ll return to Corona and handle the tasks around the ranch before committing to the big summer run. Now 27 years old, he understands the importance of taking care of business every time he prepares to ride.

“I don’t do a lot of extra stuff to stay in shape, but I try to stay active,” Muncy said. “I stay plenty active when I’m around the place, because I’m usually running around here pretty good. If there’s stuff on my riding that I need to work on, I’ll dang sure get on my spur board or get on practice horses to keep tuned up.

“When we get to the summer run, especially over the Fourth of July, it helps me a lot when you’re getting on broncs every day. That’s when you feel the best. When you’re riding broncs, you’re using muscles you don’t ever use any other time.”

It all adds up to him living a lifetime of dreams.

“I’ve wanted to be a cowboy as long as I can remember, since I was probably 2 or 3,” he said. “I figured out you could ride animals and get paid. I always thought it would be cool to get on broncs or bulls or calves or sheep. I played football and basketball and other stuff, but all I’ve ever wanted to do was be a cowboy.”

He’s pretty good at it.

Tate Branch-logo

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Rodeo strives to be one of the best

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 10:54am

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – This community is tucked in north Texas is less than an hour’s drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

It’s home to about 6,100 people and one of the fastest growing events in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Hundreds of the greatest cowboys and cowgirls make their way to this small Wise County city each May for the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, at Sunset Retreat Arena, formerly the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.

ButterfieldStageDaysRodeo-LOGO“Our rodeo is special because we get more than 450 cowboys and cowgirls from all over the world who attend our rodeo,” said Susan Miller, an eight-year member of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We get world champions and National Finals Rodeo qualifiers that are part of our show, and they come back every single year.”

That’s a tremendous benefit to the Bridgeport community. Contestants, their families and fans will flock to town for the two-day rodeo, eating at local restaurants, staying in hotels and utilizing fuel stops. In addition, it allows for an easy commute for a few elite cowboys and cowgirls.

“It’s good for our local rodeo contestants, too,” said David Turnbow, chairman of the rodeo committee, referring to numerous NFR qualifiers that live in Wise County, including three-time and reigning world champion tie-down roper Tuf Cooper; his father, eight-time titlist Roy Cooper; and Trevor Brazile, the 21-time gold buckle winner.

“Trevor is just 20 minutes from his house. Besides that, we’re getting a lot of the other big-name contestants. It’s fun for the community to see that, too.”

It’s just one ingredient that makes the perfect stew for the local rodeo. There are many, including a work force of volunteers that strive to make each performance the best it can be.

“We work all year long,” Miller said. “I believe the rodeo gets better every year. We are super proud of the rodeo, but we always know there is room for improvement. Each year after the rodeo ends, we have a meeting to discuss what we could do to make it better.

“That is our goal.”

It’s showing. The Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo is a hot commodity, both for contestants and fans. From an amazing competition to a true family friendly entertainment package, there has been plenty of talk about the Bridgeport rodeo.

“I believe it will be the most talked-about, successful PRCA rodeo for our size of community,” Miller said. “I believe that one weekend per year will continue to be scheduled in many date books across the nation.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Franks named Clarendon College coach

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 5:16pm

CLARENDON, Texas – Bret Franks is a cowboy.

For the past two years, the Guymon, Okla.-born man has served as the Livestock and Equine Center director and ranch horse coach at Clarendon College, a community college in the Donley County seat. Now he’s adding rodeo coach to his list of duties, recently hired to take over the 30-year-old program.

“I feel like the Good Lord led me here,” said Franks, a graduate of Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell and a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in saddle bronc riding. “When the rodeo coaching job came up, it was the perfect fit. It was almost like it was meant to be.”

Bret Franks

Bret Franks

He was raised two and a half hours north in the Oklahoma Panhandle in an agriculture family. He participated in ag-based programs and attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on a livestock judging scholarship. He transferred to Panhandle State on a rodeo scholarship and won the Central Plains Region bronc riding championship while there.

He began a 10-year career in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 1993, qualifying for the NFR as one of the top 15 bronc riders in world standings in 1997, ’98 and 2000. He won the Prairie Circuit saddle bronc riding title twice and was the 2002 National Circuit Finals Rodeo champion.

From 1995-99, Franks served as rodeo coach at his alma mater, guiding the men’s team to the national championship in 1997 and 1998. He did that while also juggling a prolific rodeo career.

“I think the biggest thing I can bring to the kids on the rodeo team is my ability to coach the mental aspect of the game,” said Franks, who lives in Clarendon with his wife, Darla, and their sons, Clint and Cole. “With my 20/20 vision of the past, I can look at the mistakes and struggles I had in the sport, and I can help them deter those problems and challenges before they ever get there.

“I can help them mentally prepare to win.”

Though he slowed down his rodeo career considerably after the 2002 season, he always was close to the game. He was the livestock supervisor and rodeo coordinator for Carr Pro Rodeo from 2005-09, then took a job as assistant manager at Cattlemen’s II Feedlot in Hedley, Texas, just a short drive from his Clarendon home. He worked there for four years until the business closed, then began his duties at Clarendon College.

The institution is the first Texas junior college to have a ranch horse team, which promotes the college and agriculture in ranches and stock horse events. As the Livestock and Equine Center director, he is in charge of all events at the facility, including ropings, barrel racing competitions, bull ridings, clinics and practices, just to name a few. Now he’ll add to that list.

“It’s a big undertaking and a huge responsibility, but I’m really looking forward to everything,” he said

Bret Franks has a powerful career of rodeo experiences to use in order to help teach the young rodeo stars at Clarendon College.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Guymon rodeo to be inducted into hall

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:27am
Crowds pack Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena for the annual Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, which will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame this summer.

Crowds pack Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena for the annual Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, which will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame this summer.

GUYMON, Okla. – Oklahoma’s richest rodeo in Guymon has long been considered one of the best by the cowboys and cowgirls who play the game.

The rodeo world has taken notice.

The Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame during a special ceremony Aug. 8 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The honor is recognition for the work by the local volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo.

Ken Stonecipher

Ken Stonecipher

“This is a huge honor for Guymon, for Texas County and for all the people that have put in so much hard work over the years,” said Ken Stonecipher, the production coordinator for the rodeo and a longtime member of the committee. “I got the call (Thursday) telling me we were going to be inducted, and I couldn’t believe the timing.”

Rodeo action will begin Monday morning and last seven straight days, culminating in the four performances set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.

“Being inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame is an incredible honor for us,” said Jim Quimby, the committee chairman, noting that the committee is part of the Guymon Chamber of Commerce. “We are very proud of our rodeo. We have a core group of people who work all year to put this on, but this is a community event. We wouldn’t have the kind of rodeo we have without our community.”

That community includes all of Texas County and most of the Oklahoma Panhandle. The rugged terrain is home to some of the greatest cowboys in the history of the sport, many of whom still make their homes on the soil not far from the storied arena. It’s the perfect place to test a cowboy’s mettle and talents.

Taos Muncy

Taos Muncy

Texas County also is home to Oklahoma Panhandle State University, which has a strong rodeo tradition. In fact, a number Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world champions have ties to the area, including team roping heeler Jhett Johnson and saddle bronc riders Billy Etbauer, Robert Etbauer, Tom Reeves, Jeffrey Willert and Taos Muncy; together they own 12 gold buckles.

“We call OPSU Bronc Riding U. because there are so many great bronc riders who went to school there,” Stonecipher said. “The reality is there just a lot of great cowboys who have gone to school in Goodwell, but there are a lot of outstanding cowboys and cowgirls who grew up around here, too.”

Each year, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo features a who’s who of top contestants with ties to the Oklahoma Panhandle. This past December, two of those returned home with the reserve world championships: saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, a two-time runner-up to the world champion, and Joe Frost, a senior at Panhandle State who is riding this weekend at the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo, the final event of the 2014-15 regular season.

They all return to Guymon for Pioneer Days Rodeo. This year’s event features more than 950 entries, which bodes quite well for a rodeo of this stature. Not many other professional rodeos have a contestant field that large.

Pete Carr

Pete Carr

“We pride ourselves in being a rodeo for the cowboys,” Quimby said. “We want to have the best hospitality, and we want them to know they’re welcome here. It all comes back to be a huge benefit on our community.”

The induction also says a lot about the labor produced by the hard-working committee.

“Everyone looks forward to coming to Guymon for Pioneer Days every spring, and it’s an honor for our company to be a part of that event,” said Pete Carr, owner of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, one of the top five livestock firms in the PRCA each of the past two years. “Guymon’s rodeo and its surrounding communities have some of the richest history of any place that we have the privilege of working with.

“The fans there are some of the most knowledgeable in the rodeo industry, and they have come to expect an NFR-caliber show during each and every performance.”

So have the cowboys. In August, the rest of the rodeo world will know, too.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

County is Home of World Champs

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 12:37pm

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Wise County, Texas, is quickly becoming the Home of World Champions.

In this 932-square-mile pocket of north Texas are 32 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association gold buckles. This beautiful landscape is quickly turning into rodeo central and has become the perfect home for ProRodeo’s elite.

Trevor Brazile

Trevor Brazile

That’s an awfully effective drawing card for the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, at Sunset Retreat Arena, formerly the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.

This is the hometown rodeo for the greatest names in the game.

Take Trevor Brazile, the reigning all-around champion in Bridgeport. In 2014, he moved his gold buckle earnings to 21, adding his record 12th all-around world title and fifth steer roping championship. He is expected to return for this year’s competition, as are members of his family and his extended family.

Enter Tuf Cooper, Brazile’s brother-in-law – Cooper’s sister, Shada, also competes and qualified for the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in barrel racing. Cooper earned his third tie-down roping crown in four seasons last year. He is the youngest of three sons to Roy Cooper; the “Super Looper” is an eight-time world champ that also lives in Wise County.

Tuf Cooper

Tuf Cooper

In all, this expansive community of 61,000 residents boasts of 103 NFR qualifications, led, of course, by Brazile. Between the NFR and the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, he has 45 qualifications. He is followed by Roy Cooper’s 32, then a tie between Tuf Cooper and steer wrestler K.C. Jones with eight.

The oldest Cooper son, Clint, is a five-time qualifier in tie-down roping, and middle son, Clif, is a four-time qualifier.

“I think getting those big-name contestants is big for our rodeo,” said David Turnbow, chairman of the volunteer rodeo committee that produces the rodeo. “We’ve got some of the greatest cowboys in the world that are just 20 minutes from our arena. It’s fun for our community to see that.”

This is the perfect place to watch talent blossom. It’s one of the reasons members of the Bridgeport community volunteer their time to produce a world-class rodeo in Wise County.

“We want to put on the best rodeo possible, for the fans, for the contestants and for the sponsors,” Turnbow said. “This is truly a community event, and we’re building it for our community.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Rangers women wear region crown

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 3:24pm

ALVA, Okla. – It’s been a long time coming for the Northwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo team.

For the first time in seven years, the Rangers have won the Central Plains Region’s women’s team title, clinching the championship this past weekend by winning the Fort Hays (Kan.) State University rodeo.

Through nine of 10 events – the final rodeo of the 2014-15 season will be this coming weekend at Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo in Guymon, Okla. – the Northwestern women have won five titles.

Stockton Graves

Stockton Graves

“I’m very proud of our women’s team this year,” said Stockton Graves, the Rangers rodeo coach. “We set our goal at the first of the year to win the region, and we’ve accomplished that. We have one more rodeo this season, and we’d like to close that one out with a win.”

That’s highly possible. Northwestern is 849 points ahead of the second-place team, rival Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and nearly 1,100 better than No. 3 Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Winning at least half the events in a 10-rodeo season is a major statement.

“Our team has really worked together, and we try to build each other up,” said Shayna Miller of Faith, S.D., who won goat tying in Hays to clinch the region title. “I’m pretty sure we all had that (team title) on our mind.”

Shayna Miller

Shayna Miller

In Hays, Miller won the first round with a 7.7-second run, then finished second in the final round to win the title with a two-run cumulative time of 15.9 seconds – half a second faster than the field, which included three other Rangers: Lauren Barnes of Buckeye, Ariz.; Elli Price of Leady, Okla.; and Tearnee Nelson of Faith, S.D. Barnes finished tied for third, while Price was sixth.

For the third time this season, Miller led the way for the Rangers.

“She’s had a huge impact on our women’s team,” Graves said of Miller. “She’s scored over 1,000 points in goat-tying. She’s a real hard worker and gives those girls something to look up to. She’s had a big influence on our team.”

That makes a difference, especially on a team that has seen some success in recent years. The last two seasons, the Northwestern women also qualified as a team to the College National Finals Rodeo by finishing second in the region.

“Even though I’m leading it, Karley (Kile) and Lauren have put a lot of points in there,” Miller said. “We wouldn’t be winning the region if it wasn’t for all of us together.”

That’s a great building block for the team’s future. Any time a group sees success, it helps each individual in the group see how the work pays off.

“It gives them some sort of pride and gives us something to look forward to and proves that we can do it,” Graves said. “They take pride in being one of the top two teams in the region and hopefully one of the top two teams in the nation.”

Other short-round qualifiers for the women were breakaway roper Samantha McGuire of Backus, Minn. and barrel racer Sara Bynum of Beggs, Okla. The Northwestern men were led by Laine Herl of Goodland, Kan., who placed in both heading and steer wrestling.

Herl won the short round in steer wrestling with a 5.4-second run and finished second in the two-run aggregate. He and heeler Chase Lako of Hunter, N.D., finished third in team roping. Another two-event star, Tyler Batie of Black Hawk, S.D., placed fifth in bulldogging and team roping, competing with heading teammate Edgar Fierro of Kingfisher, Okla. Another steer wrestler, Grayson Allred of Kanarraville, Utah, finished sixth.

The top Ranger in team roping was header Dalton Richards of Hawkinsville, Ga., who placed second with heeler Ben Whiddon of Southeastern. They finished in a tie for second place in the first round with Herl/Lako, then posted an 11.8-second run to finish second in the short round. Richards sits second in the region heading into the final event of the season.

“I’ve been this close before, so I’m not really trying to think about it too much,” said Richards, who will, “just keep roping my game and see how it goes.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Rodeo queen among elite in Guymon

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:10am

GUYMON, Okla. – Lauren Heaton is quite proud to represent the state of Oklahoma as she travels the rodeo circuit in 2015.

Lauren Heaton

Lauren Heaton

She is the first Miss Rodeo Oklahoma to win the Miss Rodeo America title, and she will be in the Oklahoma Panhandle for the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 1; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.

“I was raised in Oklahoma rodeo,” said Heaton, a 2013 Oklahoma State University graduate from Alva, Okla. “It gave me so much. It created so much of who I am today. I want to take so much of what Oklahomans are. There’s such a spirit to Oklahomans.

“I really hope to take that across the country and showcase that to the rest of the rodeo industry.”

Heaton was crowned last December during the pageant that took place in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. She’s spent the last five months as the sport’s primary ambassador.

Now she’s adding a home state rodeo to her list of events this season.

“We’re very excited to have Lauren coming back to Guymon this year,” said Becky Robinson, a longtime member of the Pioneer Days Rodeo committee. “It was important to us to have the first Oklahoman Miss Rodeo America in Guymon.”

Heaton is one of many rodeo queens who will be part of the festivities. It’s just part of the overall package that is Pioneer Days Rodeo, which will feature seven straight days of competition with “slack” beginning at 8 a.m. through the weekdays – steer roping will take place Monday, April 27, and Tuesday, April 28; team roping, steer wrestling and tie-down roping will be Wednesday, April 29, and Thursday, April 30; and barrel racing will be Friday, May 1.

In all, nearly 1,000 cowboys and cowgirls will be battling through the week for Oklahoma Panhandle cash. Guymon is a major stop on the ProRodeo tour.

Taos Muncy

Taos Muncy

“We take a lot of pride in being a rodeo that the cowboys want to come to,” said Jim Quimby, chairman of the rodeo committee. “We have a great history of more than 80 years, and the contestants know that we’re going to cater to them.”

It makes sense. After all, cowboys with ties to the Oklahoma Panhandle have earned 12 gold buckles: saddle bronc riders Billy Etbauer (5), Robert Etbauer (2), Taos Muncy (2), Tom Reeves and Jeffery Willert join heeler Jhett Johnson as world champions. All six cowboys were part of the rodeo team at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in nearby Goodwell, Okla.

But there are many more contestants with ties to Texas County that are or have been NFR regulars, including two-time reserve world champion saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, another Panhandle State rodeo team alumnus.

“We’re very proud of the cowboys and cowgirls that are from here and look forward to seeing them every year when they come back for our rodeo,” Quimby said. “To me, it shows everyone that we have some of the best cowboys in the world from right here.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Bridgeport benefits from rodeo

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:57am

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Commitment to the community is the key reason several locals are part of the volunteers who orchestrate the Bridgeport rodeo.

“With Butterfield Stage Days, we try to draw some people from all walks of life to come and see what all we have to offer,” said Katherine Hudson, now in her 20th year as one of the volunteers for the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, at Sunset Retreat Arena, formerly the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.

“With the rodeo and the festival, we want to have enough to do to attract not just those who are in the rodeo, but the people who follow the rodeo. We have something for them to do during the day time.”

David Turnbow

David Turnbow

The rodeo will feature a brilliant mix of true athleticism and family entertainment, showcased by the brightest stars in professional rodeo. That includes the likelihood of Wise County world champions like Trevor Brazile and his brother-in-law, Tuf Cooper, both of whom brought more gold buckles home to north Texas in 2014.

But there’s so much more to the rodeo than the incredible competition; for the first time in the event’s history, highly decorated entertainer Troy “The Wild Child” Lerwill will showcase his talents and brand of comedy for the Bridgeport crowd.

“You learn something new every year, and you learn things you can do to make it better,” said David Turnbow, chairman of the volunteer committee. “We want to bring in things that will interest the crowd and try to get the whole community out there.”

When competition and entertainment are combined, it makes for quite an entertaining two days.

“I enjoy putting on something in a small city that brings out a wide variety of people that like to watch but don’t go anywhere else to watch,” Hudson said. “They have a chance at watching a professional cowboy that they might not have seen.”

The local rodeo typically features regular qualifiers to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Take the 2014 event, for example: Three-time world champion Will Lowe won the bareback riding title in Bridgeport, while Brazile – who owns a ProRodeo record 21 world titles – won the all-around crown. Other winners included National Finals qualifiers like saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley and steer roper Chet Herren.

“Our rodeo and the festival downtown are pretty darn huge for the community,” Turnbow said. “Just the tax dollars that this thing brings in is incredible, with people staying in hotels, eating in the local restaurants and stopping at our fuel stations.

“I think the rodeo and the festival goes hand in hand very well and does some great things for our community.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Miller’s mind is on the community

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:16am

BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Like everyone else who volunteers each year to help produce the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo, Susan Miller’s focus is on the community and not for any rewards that might come her way.

She has received one anyway. In 2014, Miller was named the rodeo’s committee person of the year, an honor chosen by her peers as recognition for the time and talents she’s shared as a volunteer.

Susan Miller is one of numerous volunteers who help produce the annual Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, set for May 8-9 in Bridgeport, Texas. (PERSONAL PHOTO)

Susan Miller is one of numerous volunteers who help produce the annual Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, set for May 8-9 in Bridgeport, Texas. (PERSONAL PHOTO)

“I have spent seven years working on this rodeo, not for my own personal gain or to win an award, but for this community to have something special as this successful professional rodeo,” said Miller, whose full-time post is as the marketing director for James Woods Motors in the neighboring Texas communities of Denton and Decatur. “To be recognized for what I would have done to contribute to the success is absolutely awesome.”

The work continues as the committee prepares for this year’s rodeo, the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, at Sunset Retreat Arena, formerly the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.

“Susan has the mentality of getting after it,” said David Turnbow, chairman of the rodeo committee. “I can call her and ask her for help, and she’s all over it. She’ll do anything at any time, and she never complains. The key is she does it with a smile on her face every time.

“It’s good to have people who enjoy volunteering and doing this.”

That’s Miller.

“I’ve always been a community-minded person,” she said. “I’m raising my kids in this community, and I want it to thrive, be prosperous and be a place they can be proud of. The rodeo is just one small part of the overall, picture, but when that event is successful, many other factors in the community during that weekend are also successful.

“I have a son that rodeos, so being involved specifically in this rodeo helps me better understand everything he participates in.”

She also has realized how much work goes into producing the Bridgeport rodeo. The planning began shortly after last year’s event concluded, and the labor has intensified over the last few months. The core group of volunteers handles everything necessary to make the one weekend a year a success. That means a lot of man-hours for each person on the committee.

“We don’t just show up out there on Friday and Saturday night of the rodeo weekend,” Turnbow said. “There are so many little things that take place, from having the right relationships with sponsors to making sure the promotion is done to setting up the arena.

“Everything that seems so flawless during the weekend of the rodeo has taken months to prepare. We wanted to go back to having the concert like we used to have, so having Phil Hamilton come in has been a big change. Somebody had to make sure it all happened.”

The work is a vital part of making sure the community benefits.

“Bridgeport may be a small town, but it is made up of people who have big ideas for our community,” Miller said. “Those ideas are not just talked about; they are considered to be done. We welcome growth, and we welcome new ideas. I think we prosper at the thought of innovation.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

 

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