News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, June 27

by | Jun 27, 2016

The Wrangler Network will be live-streaming the Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede July 2-3, with coverage starting at 1 p.m. (MT) both days. Log on to to watch.

Wayne Lewis, a bull rider who qualified for the 1959 National Finals Rodeo, passed away March 4 at Midland Memorial Center in Midland, Texas. He was 81. Lewis finished 11th in the 1959 bull riding standings with $7,599, including a win at Fort Worth. He was sixth in the average with a 1,220-point score on seven head, when a 210-point maximum scoring system was in use.

Douglas Reed Schwartz, a former rodeo director for the Clark County Fair & Rodeo in Logandale, Nev., died from injuries sustained in a pedestrian-vehicle accident June 22 in Elko, Nev. He was 58. Schwartz first became involved with the Clark County Fair in 1994 as the assistant rodeo director. In 1996, he was elected to serve as a member of the Clark County Fair board of directors. In 1998, Schwartz was appointed by the board of directors to fulfill the position of rodeo director of the Clark County Fair & Rodeo, where he worked to bring the Logandale Rodeo to national prominence. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. July 1 at the Logandale LDS Stake Center. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. June 30 at Moapa Valley Mortuary, and at 9:30 a.m. July 1, prior to services at the Stake Center.

Powder River Rodeo’s Cut the Cards, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo saddle bronc, died June 23 at the age of 30. The horse was of the Tooke bloodlines, and has sired more than 30 WNFR offspring, including Miss Congeniality, a two-time PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year (2005, ’07) and Craig at Midnight, who was third in the 2015 PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year voting. Cut the Cards was buried next to ProRodeo Hall of Famer and World Champion Khadafy Skoal on the Franzen ranch.

News & Notes June 27

PRCA Hall of Fame Stock Contractor Neal Gay celebrated his 90th birthday on June 25 with more than 100 people in attendance in Terrell, Texas. Family and friends gathered at Gay’s Rafter G Rodeo Ranch to join in commemorating the milestone for the legendary rodeo stock contractor. Gay formed the Mesquite Championship Rodeo in 1957 along with Jim Shoulders and six other partners. Photos and video can be viewed on the Rafter G Rodeo Facebook page at

With the 129th World’s Oldest Rodeo set to kick off June 28, Prescott (Ariz.) Frontier Days appears poised to enter a lease that will ensure that the rodeo has a home in Prescott for at least another 25 years. Prescott Frontier Days Board Member Mary Ann Suttles attended the Prescott City Council’s June 21 study session to discuss the lease that has been proposed between the city – the owners of the Prescott Rodeo Grounds – and Prescott Frontier Days, the event’s organizers. Under the terms of the draft document, the lease would run for 25 years, with a possibility of a five-year extension in the 22nd year. Although no vote occurred at the study session, both Suttles and council members voiced support for the draft agreement.

The Crosby (Texas) Fair & Rodeo’s Tough Enough to Wear Pink committee continued its community-wide support of breast cancer prevention, patient support and treatment programs at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital by recently presenting a check for $135,000 to support the hospital’s Pink Heals Foundation. The money was derived from the committee’s annual Bras for the Cause fundraiser, held in February. The Tough Enough to Wear Pink committee has donated a total of $551,500 to the American Cancer Society and the Pink Heals Foundation Fund since 2006.

Granny May Arena, home of the Rooftop Rodeo in Estes Park, Colo., is now outfitted with new Priefert bucking chutes. The 90th edition of the Rooftop Rodeo is set for July 6-11. “Last year, we used a Priefert set from our stock contractor, Cervi Rodeo Company, and from all indications, it was a great success,” said Ben Vigil, president of Estes Park Western Heritage. “The Priefert chutes allowed us to be fast and professional, and we were able to produce great entertainment for our fans.” The Rooftop Rodeo has won the Small Rodeo Committee of the Year award five times (2003, 2006, 2008-10).

California Rodeo Salinas will host its 29th annual Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering at 1 p.m. July 17 at Sherwood Hall in Salinas. The headliner this year is Dave Stamey, well-known in the Western music world for his talents, and a past crowd pleaser in Salinas. Larry Maurice will also be performing, and Monterey County poet Clem Albertoni will be emceeing the event. For more information, call 831.320.5939 or email

During the 2015-16 school year, Reno (Nev.) Rodeo volunteers visited at-risk elementary schools in Washoe County for the Reno Rodeo Reading Roundup literacy program, which focuses on the three R’s – reading, rodeo and responsibility. This year, the program visited 25 schools, serving nearly 1,700 local children, and has reached more than 40,000 children since its inception. “The program engages with first graders who are able to pet a horse, get a hug from Miss Reno Rodeo and give a high five to Smokey Bear, who joins in on the fire safety presentation,” said Francine Donshick, Reno Rodeo Reading Roundup chair. “This effort was launched in 2001 as a way to promote literacy, and has since distributed over 80,000 books to local youngsters.” The Reno Rodeo Association, in collaboration with the Reno Rodeo Foundation, provides the children with two new books to take home, tickets to the Reno Rodeo and a Reno Rodeo Reading Roundup pencil pocket for school.

PRCA team ropers Zac Small and Wesley Thorp won the Bob Feist Invitational team roping event in Reno, Nev., June 20. Small, 21, and Thorp, 20, won with a time of 42.71 seconds on six head, and split $130,000. Small is fifth among headers in the June 27 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings, and Thorp is third in the heeling.

Out here in ProRodeo, they don’t care who your daddy was, and what he won. I know I have to prove myself. I just have to keep putting in the time and effort and stay dedicated. I’ve succeeded at every level, and it would mean everything to me if I could win a gold buckle.

-Marcus Theriot, who won the 2016 NIRA all-around and tie-down roping titles at the College National Finals Rodeo, and two national championships at the high school level. His father, Herbert, was the 1994 tie-down roping world champion.

Courtesy of PRCA