by Justin Shaw | Sep 05, 2016
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Rodeo of Champions committee
ELK CITY, Okla. –An Elk City cowboy thrilled his hometown crowd this weekend.
Nate Perry scored 83.5 points to win the Rodeo of Champions in the town in which he grew up.
Perry was aboard Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Make My Day, another hometown “boy,” for the second time within a month. “I actually got on him a couple weeks ago in Coffeyville (Kan.), and he bucked me off. But I got a little revenge on him last night. He’s a good bull of Bennie and Rhett’s (Beutler and Son Rodeo.)”
Perry, a 2009 graduate of Elk City High School, has been a PRCA member for seven years but this was only his third time to compete at the Rodeo of Champions. Injuries, including a collapsed lung, broken ribs, broken ankle, and recovery from hip surgery have kept him from entering the rodeo three of the past four years.
Perry won his first check at the Elk City Rodeo of Champions in 2009 and it was enough to fill his PRCA permit (cowboys need to earn $1,000 before they can become full-fledged members).
“You talk to people (at home), and they ask how you’re doing,” he said. “You can tell them stories all day long, but when it comes down to it, they want to see what you’re about. You want to show out good at your hometown.”
“Anytime you can show off in front of your hometown crowd, it sure enough makes you feel good.”
Perry is ranked seventh in the Prairie Circuit standings, the PRCA’s regional designation of rodeos in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. He will compete at the RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in Duncan, Okla., for the second time in October.
He is the son of Daryle and Carrie Perry, and the brother of Micah and her husband Marte Mullens, He was the only bull rider to make a qualified ride throughout the entire rodeo.
California cowboy Teddy Athan isn’t quite sure what to do right now.
The 30-year-old bareback rider has never been in this situation before.
He’s 18th in the PRCA world standings, sitting just three holes out of the top 15 in the world, who qualify to compete at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Dec. 1-10.
And his big win in Elk City, Okla. at the Rodeo of Champions just helped him get a bit closer.
The Livermore, Calif. man scored 84 points on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Foxy Lady on September 3 to win $2,788.
This is the first year he’s competed in Elk City. He’s traveling with fellow bareback rider Luke Creasy, and “we’ve been entering everything big,” he said. “Because of the rodeo count (cowboys are limited in the number of rodeos they can count towards the Wrangler NFR), I can’t go to just small rodeos. We’ve been going to as many of the big rodeos as we can, and Elk City fell into the category for us.”
Athan has been rodeoing on and off for a dozen years, and injuries are one of the things that have kept him from the Wrangler NFR. This year has been better. “Staying healthy is the main part,” he said. “I’ve been drawing really good horses. I won Odessa (Texas) this winter, and everything fell together from there.”
With the rodeo season ending Sept. 30, he’s traveling hard, hitting as many rodeos as possible. And if he makes it to the Wrangler NFR, it’ll be very special. “It would be a lifelong dream that finally happened. It would be something spectacular.”
He chooses not to look at the standings, however.
“I’ve had to quit looking,” he said. “I’m definitely trying to take it one day at a time and make it count. There’s not a whole lot I can do about what the other (bareback riders) get done. There’s only a very small part of rodeo I can control, and that’s what I do. I can’t control what my horse does, and I can’t control what everybody else does.”
But that hasn’t stopped his family from making plans for the Wrangler NFR. “We’re from California, so there’s not a whole lot of arrangements. It’s only a six- or eight-hour drive (to Las Vegas). But we’ve been talking about it a lot. We’re waiting to see how it all plays out at the end of the year. I’m trying not to get too excited about it.”
The other champions at the 78th annual Rodeo of Champions were saddle bronc rider CoBurn Bradshaw, Beaver, Utah (83 points), steer wrestler Dru Melvin, Hebron, Neb. (4.2 seconds), team ropers Cole Morgan, Ada, Okla. and Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla. (5.2 seconds), tie-down roper Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. (9.3 seconds), and barrel racer Tracy Nowlin, Nowata, Okla. (15.95 seconds).
More information can be found at www.elkcityrodeo.com.
Courtesy of PRCA