News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, May 24

by | May 24, 2016

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo announced that its annual commitment to help further the educational and agricultural goals of the youth of Texas exceeded $11 million in 2016. This makes the cumulative contribution since the inception of the program $171.4 million. “Investing in the precious commodity of our Texas youth is very special to us,” said Keith Martin, Executive Director and CEO of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. “The volunteers work so hard during the rodeo and conducting fundraisers throughout the year to make it happen. It is a very proud moment when we make this educational commitment.”

It took more than the usual hard work for the 71st annual Santa Rosa Roundup to enjoy another successful conclusion. In fact, the May 18-21 rodeo in Vernon, Texas, almost didn’t happen. For the rodeo to continue this year, the Santa Rosa Roundup Association (SRRA) needed to purchase the historic Santa Rosa Rodeo Grounds from owner Mary Kay Riley. She entertained other offers, but when those fell through, the SRRA bought the property, which was constructed for the first rodeo in 1946 by the late E. Paul Waggoner. The purchase price was $300,000 – with $100,000 of that being donated by the City of Vernon’s tourism fund. The Santa Rosa Palomino Club held fundraisers, and a GoFundMe online page raised about $50,000.

Miles Hare, a ProRodeo Hall of Fame bullfighter, was inducted into the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Hall of Fame earlier this month. Hare, who worked the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo six times, also fought bulls for many years in Ellensburg before retiring in 2008.

The Bull Riding Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, recently inducted 11 new members. Recognized in the bull riders category were PRCA World Champions John Quintana, Gary Leffew, Jim Sharp, Terry Don West and Tuff Hedeman, along with six-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier Myrtis Dightman. The Kajun Kidd was inducted in the bullfighters category, while Steiner Rodeo Company and Harry Vold went in as legends. Legendary bull Tornado was the lone animal included.

The construction of new fairgrounds in Dickinson, N.D., has been approved, and organizers are hoping the Stark County Fairgrounds will be ready to hold events as soon as next year. Chief among the fairgrounds’ duties will be hosting the mid-summer Roughrider Days Fair and Expo activities. The popular late June and early July event series, which includes a three-day PRCA rodeo, has been hosted at the Dickinson State University rodeo grounds for several years. In addition to Roughrider Days, the new $5.3 million arena will also host the DSU rodeo team.

The Rodeo Education and Character (REACh) program is coming back to Salinas, Calif., May 23-27. This course has been a part of the California Rodeo Salinas’ community outreach for many years, and recently moved from July to May in order to reach more students. In 2016, almost 4,000 elementary school students will experience the Cowboys & Kids program, which takes the concept of the Cowboy Code into the classroom, and includes teaching children about not getting involved in drugs, gangs and bullying activities.

You gotta love that horse, and he has to be one of the best bucking horses going right now. He gives you 100 percent, and you can literally feel that horse under you giving all he’s got and you can tell he loves what he’s doing. You’re either going to be winning on him, or you’re going to be zero and hitting the dirt. He has the biggest heart.

-WNFR Bareback Rider Evan Jayne telling rodeo radio host Rob Matthews about Rafter G Rodeo’s Assault, who he’s won the Mineral Wells (Texas) Rodeo on three times in his career, including in 2016.

Courtesy of PRCA