News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, Aug. 24

by | Aug 24, 2015

Bull rider Bobby Welsh’s bid to return to the WNFR for the first time since 2011 (he is 22nd in the Aug. 24 world standings, about $6,000 out of 15th place) is apparently over. He has a compression fracture of the thoracic spine, and while no surgery is being considered at this time, he will be undergoing treatment for at least the next six weeks. Fellow bull rider Kanin Asay – who sat one spot behind Welsh in 23rd – suffered a concussion at the Canby (Ore.) Rodeo and is questionable to return to action at the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo, which begins Sept. 4.

Thanks in part to California Rodeo Salinas, the California Rodeo Association recently presented checks totaling more than $300,000 to 15 local entities, including Monterey Bay Veterans, Inc., YWCA of Monterey County, Salinas High School Future Farmers of America and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare Foundation. The $300,000 includes not only the money earned by these groups for completing tasks in conjunction with the rodeo, but also ticket donations to non-profit groups for fundraising activities, discounted rentals of facilities, tip monies collected and divided throughout the events and more.

The sign-up date for a chance to sing the National Anthem at the 2015 Wrangler NFR is Aug. 28. Aspiring performers can go to to sign up for one of three categories: rodeo committee, youth and open. From there, fans will have a chance to vote on their favorite in each category. A fourth wild-card category, which is awarded to the performer who receives the most votes outside of the winner in each category, has been added to provide one additional opportunity to perform. Winners will be announced Oct. 7.

The deadline for applicants interested in becoming a flag girl at the 2016 WNFR is Aug. 24. To apply, go to From the applicants, 10 girls are selected to try out – the competition will be held at Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas Dec. 8. Winners are announced on Dec. 9.

Jerry Nelson, owner of Frontier Rodeo, has relocated his basketball team – previously the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks – to Owensboro, Ky. The team won four American Basketball Association titles before leaving that league to join the Premier Basketball League starting in January 2016. The Mavericks are currently on a 92-game winning streak.

The Aug. 20 performance of the Caldwell Night Rodeo benefitted Power of Pink, which raises money to fund mammograms for local women. This year’s efforts raised nearly $45,000, a record for Caldwell.

McCook, Neb., native Mark Harris has published a large-format photography book called “Rodeo Nebraska,” the culmination of eight years of shooting pictures at 82 rodeos in 62 locations. The book is being published by the Nebraska State Historical Society and will be available Oct. 1.

The Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Arena is getting a new sponsor patio. The patio replaces the northeast MM and NN sections of the arena. The area is about four feet off the ground and has a packed gravel surface, for the time being. The rodeo board started taking down the stands in early July and the patio is scheduled to be completed before the rodeo begins Sept. 4.

Rodeo organizers at the Cassia County Fair and Rodeo in Burley, Idaho, teamed up with the Man Up Crusade, a non-profit organization based in Nampa, whose purpose is to bring awareness to domestic violence.Proceeds from the Aug. 20 rodeo were donated to the Mini-Cassia Shelter Haven of Hope in Rupert. Mark Burgess, Haven for Hope’s board president, said the money the shelter receives from the rodeo will go toward maintaining its office and facility, as well as employees’ wages.

After the 10 rodeos of the Steamboat Springs (Colo.) ProRodeo Series, two of this season’s year-end champions won it for the second time in three years. Clayton Van Aken won the all-around title (he also won it in 2013) and saddle bronc rider Colin Stalley took the title in 2015 and 2013 as well. Other year-end winners were bareback rider Colton Onyett, steer wrestler Dax Cathcart, team ropers Travis Bounds and Justin Price, tie-down roper Brice Ingo and bull rider Brian Larson.

We have a big tree to climb, but hopefully there are enough branches to get us up there.

-16-time WNFR team roping heeler Martin Lucero talking about his and new partner Kaleb Drigger’s quest for a WNFR bid

Courtesy of PRCA