COLEMAN, Okla., (May 11, 2015) – Ace Campbell had a smile on his face that would have made Levi Wisness proud after winning the Nothin’ But Try Steer Wrestling Jackpot at the U Cross Arena on May 9.
The event raised money for a scholarship given to a National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association member in honor of Wisness. In spite of hours of rain before, during and after the competition 37 steer wrestlers made the trip to the small community of Coleman, Okla.
Campbell won the two preliminary rounds with time of 4.4 and 3.6 respectively. He had the advantage coming into the finals where a 7.5 placed him fourth and gave him the overall title. His total of 15.5 earned him $4,168.
Originally from Robertsdale, Ala., Campbell now lives in Colbert, Okla. He made the move last August after quitting working in the oilfield. Not only did that move put him in a better location to pursue his passion of steer wrestling, it gave him the chance to spend more time with his grandparents Harold and Heather Strange who live in Colbert.
Horsepower is key in steer wrestling and Campbell’s win came aboard a new mare that he purchased just three weeks ago from Ty Wood. The gray mare they call Bunny was nearly flawless through all three rounds. Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifier Sean Mulligan, who organized the event was also hazing for Campell.
“This was a great event,” Campbell said. “The weather probably hurt it this year but it should just grow. The cool thing about it is Sean does it all to benefit others.”
Campbell graduated from the University of West Alabama in 2012 with a degree in business administration. He is a two-time qualifier for the College National Finals Rodeo who is now making a name for himself in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. For Campbell, who has competed at rodeos and jackpots across the nation, this win was special because it was close to his home.
“My grandparents got to watch every run I made here,” he said. “It is a joy for me to have them in my life and for them to see me win this was special. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them while I was growing up in Alabama, so we are making up for it now.”
Dane Hanna who qualified for the NFR in steer wrestling 2010 and Wade Sundell, a six-time qualifier in the saddle bronc riding helped Mulligan with the event. Hanna was also a traveling partner of Wisness who lost his life way too soon in 2008. The 1999 world champion steer wrestler, Mickey Gee provided auctioneering services and even entered the steer wrestling.
When it was all said and done, over $4,000 was raised for the scholarship. Additionally an auction was held to benefit Julie Mankin who has written stories and publicized rodeo since she graduated from the University of Wyoming. Mankin attended school with Mulligan and his wife Bryel (Zancanella) Mulligan.
“My goal was to raise as much money as we had added in the jackpot,” Mulligan said. “We topped that by a little. With the weather the way it was, I think that’s tremendous. We couldn’t have done it without the sponsors and this community. It’s for a great cause and we just want it to grow.”
A random draw put the steer wrestlers in teams of four with the winners earning the Cosequin Team Incentive of $1,000. That team included Campbell along with Hanna, J.D. Struxness and Sean Thomas.
A Nothin’ But Try Award was given to Royce Johnson who had absolutely no luck. Johnson got $300 cash and a trailer kit from Equimedic USA.
Sponsors included Will Cook and Flying C Rodeo who donated the steers and contributed to the added money. Cinch Jeans and Shirts, Dufur Quarter Horses, Pro Earth Animal Health, The Sports Zone, Groveton Insurance, Cosequin, The Corner Market in Coleman and the Wisness family also contributed.
“To have Levi’s family get behind us really means a lot and lets me know how much this means to them,” Mulligan said. “It’s rewarding to see the generosity of others make an event successful. Everyone contributed in some way and we are very thankful. We’re going to work hard to make next year’s jackpot even better.”
Final result of the Nothin’ But Try Steer Wrestling Jackpot for the Levi Wisness scholarship:
Round 1: Ace Campbell, 4.4 seconds, $1,150. 2, Casey Martin, 4.5, $945. 3, Sean Thomas, 5.1, $750. 4, Jake Hettinger, 5.3, $443. 5, Cole Edge, 5.5, $355. 6, Cody Kroul, 5.6, $197. Round 2: Ace Campbell, 3.6, $1,150. 2, James Taylor, 4.1, $945. 3, Daniel Adams, 4.8, $750. 4, Casey Martin, 4.9, $553. 5, Torri Johnson, 5.5, $355. 6, Dane Hanna, 5.6, $197. Final Round: 1, James Taylor, 5.3, $600. 2, Chance Howard, 5.8, $450. 3, Sean Thomas, 7.4, $300. 4, Ace Campbell, 7.5, $150. Overall Winners: 1, Ace Campbel, 15.5, $1,718. 2, James Taylor, 18.6, $1,422. 3, Sean Thomas, 18.7, $1,125. 4, Chance Howard, 20.0, $829. 5, Daniel Adams, 23.5, $533. 6, Casey Martin, 24.0, $296.