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Midnight Run

By Wrangler Network contributor Charlie Coon

On his 10-hour overnight trek from Guymon, Okla., ProRodeo steer wrestler and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) average champion Les Shepperson has his dog in the cab for companionship and two inseparable horses in the back of the trailer. Those two horses are Dillon and Bugs and the same horses Les won the average with at the Wrangler NFR in 2012. Fellow road warrior and summer traveling partner Luke Branquinho rode Dillon at the 2012 Wrangler NFR with Les hazed atop Bugs to finish first overall and collect his fourth world champion’s buckle.

There have not been a lot of big wins for Les since but he keeps at it inch-by-inch and rest stop to rest stop. Chris LeDoux indeed had it right when he sang: “It ain’t the years boy it’s the miles.”

Les let us tag along for part of the ride late Saturday night:

Dillon on the right and Bugs at left in the video are well-known to all ProRodeo steer wrestlers because the bond between the horses, who share no blood relation, is cemented such that they are almost always at each other’s side.

‘Travels with Charlie’ is a biweekly series of features by Charlie Coon produced exclusively for the Wrangler Network. Using the penname Curtis Scott, Mr. Coon has provided stories for the past 20 years to such outlets as The History Channel Magazine, American Heritage and the Denver Post. He is based in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he serves as coordinator for the state of Wyoming’s cowboy marketing program. Coon and cameraman Mike McCrimmon put together news, sports, and human interest features on a semi-regular basis for TV stations in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota.