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News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, May 26

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo announced that it will distribute a record-breaking $12.2 million to Texas youth this year, mostly through scholarships, endowments and grants. In addition to the 18-day stock show and rodeo event, money is raised throughout the year with events such as a golf tournament, the Boots ’N Shoot shooting competition, barbecues and galas. “It is this moment in the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo that gives us the greatest joy – helping educate the youth of Texas,” Keith Martin, executive director and CEO, said at the organization’s annual membership meeting.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors approved a $228.1 million budget in a special meeting on May 21. The authority’s special events budget is being increased by 44 percent to $13 million. Officials said the increase is due to the new agreement signed with the PRCA to keep the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for another 10 years.

Four-time World Champion Bareback Rider Kaycee Feild said he has been cleared by his doctor to return to competition at the June 19-27 Reno (Nev.) Rodeo. He’s been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip March 31. Feild, who has won the last four bareback riding gold buckles, is seventh in the world standings with $34,432 – about $11,000 behind leader Bobby Mote. Feild was in first place at the time of his surgery.

ProRodeoLive.com will be broadcasting live from the Spanish Fork (Utah) Wrangler Champions Challenge, presented by Justin Boots, May 30. PRCA announcer Chad Nicholson will anchor the coverage, starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

The Bull Riding Hall of Fame hosted its inaugural induction ceremonies May 9, at Tejas Rodeo in Bulverde, Texas. The six bull riders in the class were Don Gay, Jim Shoulders, Freckles Brown, Harry Tompkins, George Paul and Larry Mahan. Bullfighters Skipper Voss and Wick Peth were also inducted into the Hall of Fame. For more information, go to www.the-bull-riding-hall-of-fame.com.

Dr. George C. Alexander II, DVM, a Gold Card member from Thornville, Ohio, passed away April 29. He was 83. Alexander was a past president of the Indiana Ropers and Doggers Association, and was a member of the Rushville Elks Lodge for more than 40 years.

John Rae Powell of Eldorado, Texas, a Gold Card member, former team roper, steer roper and calf roper, passed away May 15. He was 90.

Larry (Shane) Fields of Las Vegas, a former PRCA bull rider and team roper, passed away March 9 in a car accident. He was 35.

The Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up Hall of Fame has been selected for the 2015 Best of Pendleton Award in the Museums category by the Pendleton Award Program. It is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Pendleton area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

Six honorees will be inducted during the 20th anniversary celebration of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame next month in Medora. Dunn City, N.D., cowboy Doug Hansen, who made history with his dominance of the Badlands Circuit in 1985, has been named a Modern-era Rodeo inductee in the Hall, along with Joan Hecker-Lennick of Bismarck. The pair will be inducted at 1 p.m. June 20 at Tjaden Terrace in Medora with Pre-1940 Ranching inductee Christen Burnstad; Modern-era Ranching inductee James Mrnak, of Bowman; Pre-1940 Rodeo inductee Ben Johnston, of Watford City, and the NDCHF legacy award recipient Virginia Eck, of Bismarck. The keynote speaker will be rodeo author and Great Western Trail national director Sylvia Mahoney, of Fort Worth, Texas.

The Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Hall of Fame has matched area artists with supporting sponsors for their fourth annual fundraiser, Drums of Fame. The HOF is partnering with the Ellensburg Rodeo Association Board to establish a permanent museum for the Hall and an associated main rodeo business office. The 25 sponsors each donate monetarily to the fundraiser, and are associated with one of 25 Yakama Nation-made tribal drums. Area artists are matched to each sponsor-drum, who then create a work of art with the animal-hide-and-wood drums. The artists’ handiwork will be unveiled to the public July 11 at the Clymer Museum and Gallery in downtown Ellensburg. Each drum will be auctioned off Sept. 3 at the Hall of Fame’s induction banquet to raise additional funds for the building project.

Larimer County (Colo.) will spend more than $1 million to replace the jumbo scoreboard in the Budweiser Events Center near Loveland, and install a digital ribbon board around the sides and three new screens at the ends of the arena. The new technology, which will keep the center “new and fresh,” will be installed in July to debut during the Larimer County Fair and the PRCA rodeo in August, according to public works director Marc Engemoen.

The Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up once again partnered with the Rotary Club of Red Bluff to award 12 area high school students $1,000 scholarships. For 25 years, the Rotary Club has raised money through local fundraising activities, with the majority of funds for the scholarships in recent years being generated through beer sales at the annual Red Bluff Round-Up.

The South Louisiana Mid-Winter Fair and Rodeo Association Board of Directors has announced a new partnership with Jerry Nelson’s Frontier Rodeo Company. This is the first time in more than 40 years that a new rodeo producer has put on the event in Lafayette.

A rodeo-themed feature film is being shot in Louisiana this month about a city girl “who falls in love and learns to barrel race.” The working title? Rodeo and Juliet. It will air on the Hallmark Channel in December, says director Thadd Turner.

Reno Rodeo officials unveiled the official poster for this year’s event May 21. The artwork was done by WNFR barrelman Ash “Crash” Cooper. A total of 250 limited edition prints are available. They’ve been signed and are now on sale through the Reno Rodeo Office, 1350 N. Wells Ave. The Reno Rodeo is June 18-27 at the Reno Livestock Events Center.

The 22nd annual Casey Tibbs Match of Champions Bronc Ride will take place June 6 at the Casey Tibbs Arena at the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Fort Pierre (S.D.). The event benefits the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center. In addition to a steak fry, music and evening bronc ride, there will be events taking place earlier in the day at the center, including a branding party and stick pony races.

Former Feather River College (Quincy, Calif.) saddle bronc rider Jon Copsey was honored at this year’s commencement ceremony May 22 as Alumni of the Year for 2015. Rodeo coach Jesse Segura nominated him for the honor and he was selected by FRC president Kevin Trutna. Copsey served in the United States Marine Corps, and suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2008. He now is training to become an Olympic cyclist, and hopes to make it to the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Crystal Springs Rodeo – held June 25-27 near Clear Lake, S.D. – will celebrate its 70th anniversary this year and all three performances will be produced by Midcontinent Communications and shown on Midco Sports Network at 9 p.m. June 30 and July 1-2.

Sierra Dawn Thomas, a barrel racer from Roy, Utah, was eliminated from the CBS hit show Survivor’s season finale May 20 after making it to the final five.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
There was a lot of standing water and it was muddy, but there were a lot of die-hard fans who showed up to the rodeo on Sunday night. I really kind of expected it to be empty because of the weather, but the fans turned out for it.

-Team roping header Coleman Proctor telling radio personality Rob Matthews about the wet conditions at the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Okla., May 24. Proctor and partner Jake Long won with a time of 5.3 seconds.

Courtesy of PRCA