by Jim Bainbridge | Aug 02, 2015
By Ruth Nicolaus/For the Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo committee
PHILLIPSBURG, Kan. – Joe Lynn Robison is about to own a Phillipsburg rodeo buckle, even though he’s never been to the north central Kansas town.
That’s because he called dibs on it if his son-in-law, Heith DeMoss, ever won it.
And DeMoss, of Heflin, La., just did.
The saddle bronc rider rode Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Painted Desert for 86 points to win a check for $2,414, along with that coveted buckle from Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo, and Robison will be delighted.
“My father-in-law put in a bid for that buckle probably four years ago,” DeMoss said. “My brother (Cody DeMoss) won it (in 2011) and was showing it off, and my father-in-law said, ‘if you ever win it, I want (that buckle).”
It was the second time he’d ridden Painted Desert, with the same results.
“He’s a little horse, and he jumped out there fairly quick,” DeMoss said. “He got to rolling, and I got in time with him.”
He’d ridden the horse about six years ago in Dallas, winning the rodeo on him then. “I’ve always had a good track record with him, and I knew he was a formidable opponent.”
DeMoss, who is ranked 13th in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings, hopes to qualify for his seventh Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this December, but this year there is an obstacle in his way. He tore the ACL in his right knee on July 4th.
“It was a freak accident,” he said. “I knew it right away. I heard a big pop, and I couldn’t move it.”
He’ll ride with the injury until after the Wrangler NFR in December, then get it fixed. It hurts, but he blocks it out, and remembers the advice his father, Mike, gave him before he passed away in May of this year.
“Dad always told me no matter what you got going on, you can always block it out for eight seconds, and that’s what I do.”
DeMoss figures he’s competed in Phillipsburg the last four or five years, and it’s because of the excellent bucking horses Beutler and Son Rodeo Company bring to town. The rodeo “used to not be on the list, but anymore I try to enter any of Bennie Beutler’s rodeos that I can.”
The tie-down roping title was split between three-time and reigning world champion Tuf Cooper and 11-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Jerome Schneeberger. Each tied their calves in 8.5 seconds to win checks for $2,021.
The Phillipsburg rodeo is a favorite of the Cooper family, which includes Tuf’s brothers Clint and Clif, and their dad, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame member Roy “Super Looper” Cooper. “Phillipsburg, Kansas (rodeo) is one of my dad’s favorites,” Tuf said. “He loved it. There are a lot of memories here. It’s one of the ones we grew up at.”
Tuf Cooper, who rode his horse Big Slick on Wednesday night at the rodeo, has a different approach to his competition this year. The Wrangler NFR will pay out substantially more to the contestants there, which changes his game plan. “I’m rodeoing financially smarter,” he said. “Instead of going to the rodeos that are further away and might pay more, I’m going to the closer ones. Like this week,” he said, “there are three good rodeos (in Kansas, including Abilene and Dodge City). I hit all three, when normally I would just come to Phillipsburg and Dodge. I’m trying to make some money instead of win a million (dollars) and spend a million.”
The other 2015 champions were bareback rider Jake Brown, Hillsboro, Texas (86 points), steer wrestler Ryan Swayze, Freedom, Okla. (3.6 seconds), team ropers Adam Rose, Willard, Mo., and Walt Woodard, Stephenville, Texas (4.1 seconds), barrel racer Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas (17.11 seconds), and bull rider Brennon Eldred, Sulphur, Okla. (80 points).
The big checks for the Tough Enough to Wear Pink program were awarded Aug. 1. Including matches from sponsors, $13,961 was donated to the Phillips County Relay for Life and to local cancer patients. The total amount donated since the Phillipsburg rodeo began its pink campaign is $63,948.
Courtesy of PRCA