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News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, June 1

California Rodeo Salinas Hall of Fame

California Rodeo Salinas has announced its 2015 Hall of Fame class, with ProRodeo Hall of Famers John Hawkins and Harley May leading the way. Hawkins, the 1963 bareback riding world champion and a five-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, also won a record five bareback riding titles in Salinas (1954, ’58, ’60, ’62 and ’68). May won steer wrestling gold buckles in 1952, 1956 and 1965, and was the president of the Rodeo Cowboys Association from 1957-59. His large Salinas resume includes winning the steer wrestling in 1965, 1970 and 1972, the saddle bronc riding in 1955-56, and capturing the all-around title in 1956 and 1965. Joining Hawkins and May are Harry Rose Sr. – an inductee in the track contestant category – and Salinas committee member Homer Hayward. The induction ceremony is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. July 16. For more information, visit www.carodeo.com.

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo has elected a new president and vice president to the Executive Committee. After serving as vice president/secretary on the Executive Committee for six years, Cody Davenport has been elected president of the organization. “I am honored to be elected as president for such a respected organization,” Davenport said. “The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo serves as a pillar for the community and the state of Texas by supporting youth through their educational and agricultural endeavors.” Additionally, Mark Colaw – who has served as assistant vice president since 2011 – moves into Davenport’s former position as vice president.

David Wibirt, a pickup man from the First Frontier Circuit, was killed May 31 when a drunk driver crossed the median on Highway 59 near Birmingham, Ala., and struck him head on. He was 40. Wibirt, a native of Lake Luzerne, N.Y., was hauling a 40-foot trailer with bulls inside at the time of the accident, and his truck came to rest in an embankment where he was found unresponsive. The driver of the SUV was taken into custody at a local hospital.

For the third straight year, the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up will not feature a flyover from the Air Force. The Air Force recently denied Pendleton’s request, in which the rodeo argued that it met the requirements of being both a national sporting event and a patriotic holiday – the two requirements the Air Force now uses for flyovers. Flyovers had previously occurred on championship Saturday in Pendleton for many years.

The Kittitas County (Wash.) government and the Ellensburg Rodeo Board plan to study how to fix dilapidated seating in the rodeo arena at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds. County commissioners recently approved hiring an architectural and engineering consulting firm to plan how best to replace the seating and related structures, what it would cost and how to pay for it. The non-profit Ellensburg Rodeo Board and county government will contribute $50,000 each to pay for the study. The county owns and manages the arena.

The inaugural Cowboys Kickin’ Cancer event was held over the weekend by the Santa Maria (Calif.) Elks Rodeo to give a group of women a behind-the-scenes tour of the rodeo. Professional cowboys provided lessons in roping, bucking and other rodeo clinics, with the proceeds going to Mission Hope Cancer Center. “You have world champions and hall of fame cowboys, and they’re all doing this to give back to Santa Maria,” said Darci Agin, a coordinator of Cowboys Kickin’ Cancer. Participants were treated to a whiskey and wine tasting as well as a Santa Maria-style barbecue. Cowboys were also auctioned off, with the highest bidder escorted into Saturday night’s show with the cowboy they won in the auction.

Four-time Bareback Riding World Champion Bobby Mote and wife, Kate, have opened a coffee shop in Stephenville, Texas. The name? Rodeo Grounds. Located at 230 West College St., the shop serves espresso and coffee, bagels and pastries for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, oatmeal brownies and smoothies. It even delivers to shops and offices on the downtown square. “We didn’t want a chain store,” Bobby said. “We wanted a friendly, positive place with good food and good people and that’s what people get when they come in here.”

The Kiwanis Club of Clarksville (Tenn.) Rodeo, which was completed May 30, will have a new name starting in 2016. The rodeo will be named after Bill Hoy, a longtime Kiwanis club member who helped to bring the rodeo to Clarksville in 1985. He is also a member of the University of Tennessee Martin Rodeo Hall of Fame.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
I used to go to the rodeo in Mesquite (Texas) with my grandparents. I remember telling my grandfather I wanted to be a bull rider, and he laughed at me. It’s something I had my eye on for a long time.

– Bull rider Tanner Learmont, telling the Fort Smith (Ark.) Times Record about how he got serious about riding bulls at age 14, after playing other sports early in his life.

Courtesy of PRCA