News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, Nov. 16

by | Nov 16, 2015

Silver Spurs Club’s Ned Ross, a 7-year-old bareback horse scheduled to compete in his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER next month, passed away Nov. 13 from colic. The horse was at the RAM Southeastern Circuit Finals Rodeo in Davie, Fla., where he was scheduled to compete Nov. 14. “He had colic and the veterinarian there worked on him for several hours and attempted everything that was possible,” said Steve Whaley, who is the stock contractor and in charge of all livestock for the Silver Spurs Club, based in Kissimmee, Fla. “We did everything we could to save that animal, and it just wasn’t meant to be.” According to Whaley, this was the first horse the Silver Spurs Club was going to send to the Wrangler NFR in roughly 18 years. George Gillespie IV had an 85-point ride on Ned Ross to win the Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots Oct. 3 in Kissimmee. Tim O’Connell had an 83-point ride on Ned Ross to win the first round of bareback riding at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo March 25 in Kissimmee.

For the first time, rodeo fans attending the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo will be able to utilize the complimentary Cowboy Christmas Express for access to the Las Vegas Convention Center, in addition to the nightly round-trip NFR Express service to the Thomas & Mack Center for the WNFR. Starting Dec. 3 and running through Dec. 12, the Cowboy Christmas Express will provide round-trip shuttle service from eight hotel properties to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Service commences at 8:30 a.m. and continues to 4:30 p.m. each day from the following hotels: Aria, Excalibur, Golden Nugget, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, The Orleans, South Point and Treasure Island. Free to the public and now located in the South Halls, Cowboy Christmas will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

As part of a $10 million renovation, city officials in Springdale, Ark., have proposed a plan to upgrade Parsons Stadium – site of the Rodeo of the Ozarks – which includes a roof for the open-air rodeo arena and a livestock pavilion, said Tom Reed, chairman of the Springdale Benevolent Amusement Foundation committee. The proposal also shows new buildings to house ticketing, concessions and restrooms on the north, east and west sides of the stadium. More paved parking also is planned, said Rick Culver, executive director of the Rodeo of the Ozarks.

The Black Hills (S.D.) Roundup Committee will host the annual Wrangler NFR Sendoff Nov. 21 at the Branding Iron. Committee Chairman Justin Tupper said the Roundup’s celebration of rodeo and top area rodeo competitors opens at 6 p.m., with a social hour at 7 p.m. After the autograph signings and informal fun, there will be live music featuring the Wilt Brothers. The two competitors representing South Dakota at the WNFR are saddle bronc rider Chuck Schmidt and barrel racer Lisa Lockhart. The event is free to the public.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyo., and popular television and cowboy music personality Dan Miller have announced that starting in summer 2016, Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue are on tap to perform six nights a week in a live dinner show at the Center. For the past 11 years, Miller’s group has performed in downtown Cody for more than 110,000 visitors from 65 countries. USA Today, Cowboys & Indians magazine, and television channels ESPN, RFD-TV, Great American Country, the Travel Channel and the Outdoor Channel have all featured the Cowboy Music Revue. In total, the band has performed some 1,350 shows together. “The Buffalo Bill Center of the West has set a standard of excellence not only in Cody, Wyo., but throughout the world,” Miller said. “I am very excited and extremely proud of this opportunity to be working with them.”

Bullfighter Scott Byrne, who has worked many co-sanctioned rodeos for the PRCA and CPRA, retired after the 2015 Canadian Finals Rodeo. It was the 14th time Byrne worked the CFR.

PRCA Gold Card member Jesse Clay Evans of Marfa, Texas, passed away Oct. 29. He was 79. Evans was the owner of Evans Ryan Ranch in Marfa. The Evans Ryan Ranch was the location where the world-famous movie Giant was filmed. Evans attended Texas Tech University and Sul Ross State University, where he was a member of the rodeo team. In the 1960s and 1970s, he furnished cattle for various large rodeos and ropings across the country, including the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days.

William Lee Pafford, a former PRCA bull rider and team roper, passed away Nov. 7. He was 68. Pafford began his rodeo career in his teens. After 13 years of riding bulls, he started team roping in his early 30s. Pafford’s celebration of life will be held Nov. 28 at Cadillac Chaparral Steakhouse & Saloon, 22861 Highway 79, Ballesta Rd., Pinal, AZ 85739. For further information, call 520.825.9677. Services start at noon. There will be a benefit meal, silent auction and live band/dancing.

Having Floyd gives me so much confidence going out (to the WNFR) because he was so good there last year. I felt like he was an even better horse this year – all year long – than last year. Words can’t describe how excited I am to go out there another time and ride him with confidence to win.

-Five-time WNFR tie-down roper Cade Swor talking about his horse, Floyd Money, who carried him to 12th in the regular-season world standings

Courtesy of PRCA