News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, May 31

by | May 31, 2016

Longtime PRCA judge and steer roper Kelly Corbin is resting comfortably after recently undergoing heart surgery at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, Okla. In his contestant days, Corbin, 70, qualified for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping five times (1964-67, 1974), finishing in the top five in the world in each of those first four years. He won the NFSR average title in 1966, and was second there in both ’65 and ’67.

Boye Willis “Curley” Clark, a PRCA member from 1970-1984, died Feb. 23. He was 85. Clark worked in the Tucson, Ariz., area promoting team roping in the 1970s with his wife and family. He was a member of the Law Enforcement Rodeo Association, was a decorated sergeant from the Tucson Police Department and worked for Pima County Animal Control.

W.E. “Billy” O’Connor, a former college rodeo champion and a PRCA member from 1993-95, passed away May 20 at Great Plains Health in North Platte, Neb. He was 55. In high school, O’Connor qualified twice for the National High School Finals Rodeo in tie-down roping and team roping. He went on to be a Great Plains Region champion in 1981 while competing for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Pro Rodeo Live will broadcast from the Bennington (Kan.) PRCA Rodeo, June 2-4, starting at 8 p.m. (CT) each night. It will also provide live coverage of the Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots in Spanish Fork, Utah, June 4, with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. (MT). Go to to listen.

Net proceeds from the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up Association’s 2015 Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign were the highest since the program’s inception in 2005. A record $39,604 – $13,473 higher than the previous record – was shared among local organizations to support cancer patients and survivors. The Round-Up Association’s TETWP allocated the 2015 funds between the St. Anthony Hospital Cancer Care Clinic and the Kickin’ Cancer New Beginnings program. In addition, TETWP made a $1,500 donation to the medical fund for breast cancer patient, and Pendleton High School Spanish teacher, Kathryn Youngman.

Rodeo organizers in Cody, Wyo., are installing a Ring of Honor at Stampede Park consisting of 34 names of Cody Nite Rodeo participants who passed through on their way to becoming PRCA world champions in the years since the event began in 1938. Among those rodeo stars are Dan Mortensen, Cody Bill Smith, Ben Johnson, Freckles Brown, Jim Houston, Shane Proctor and Bill and Bud Linderman. Also included are the still-active Dusty Tuckness, the five-time PRCA bullfighter of the year, and Justin Rumford, the three-time PRCA clown of the year. The Ring of Honor should be ready by the 2016 season’s opening day, June 1.

The Jarupa Valley (Calif.) ProRodeo returns June 3 after an eight-year hiatus. The rodeo fell victim to the recession in 2009, but will be back at Rick Thompson Arena, much to the excitement of the community. “The community missed the rodeo,” organizer Laura Bakewell said. “It was a time when we would get together and work as a team. It brought us all together.”

Joni Gray has been announced as the grand marshal of the 2016 Santa Maria (Calif.) Elks Rodeo Parade. Gray is best known for serving as Santa Barbara County Supervisor for the 4th District from 1998-2012. She has been involved with the rodeo since the age of four, when she rode her horse, Ol’ Ace, in the parade.

Ever since we were little, we’ve done a whole mess of events. We’ve done as many events as we could. Dad always said the more events you could do, the better of a cowboy it makes you. Just to be successful in more than one event at a rodeo is a lot of fun and teaches you a lot.

-Shade Etbauer, son of two-time World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Robert Etbauer, telling rodeo publicist Ted Harbin how he and his siblings – older sister, Chancy, and older brother, Trell – were raised in rodeo. Shade, 23, won the saddle bronc riding at the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Okla., with an 85-point score on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness

Courtesy of PRCA