News and Notes from the Rodeo Trail, Sept. 6

by | Sep 06, 2016 will be simulcasting Steve Kenyon’s announcing from the Spokane (Wash.) Interstate Fair and Rodeo Sept. 9-10 beginning at 7 p.m. (PT) both nights. Kenyon and Butch Knowles will live broadcast the finals of the Justin Boots Playoffs in Puyallup, Wash., at 1 p.m. (PT) Sept. 11.

Janis Anderson, who was inducted into the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Hall of Fame Sept. 1, passed away Sept. 3 as a result of complications from a stroke. She was 80. Anderson is the grandmother to Wrangler National Finals Rodeo team ropers and brothers Riley and Brady Minor. She was riding in the Ellensburg Rodeo Parade with the Rodeo Grandmas Sept. 3, and shortly after the parade concluded Anderson suffered a major stroke. Anderson, Judy Golladay, Peggy Minor Hunt, Lorraine Plass and Chloe Weidenbach made up the Rodeo Grandmas, which were inducted into the Ellensburg Hall of Fame as a group.

The Sept. 2 performance of the Ellensburg Rodeo honored three veterans as part of Patriot Night. The three men, Lt. Col. Jack Powers, Col. Wes Corman and Lt. Col. Ben Hicks, all served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Hicks and Corman waved at the crowd as they went around the rodeo arena in a wagon, accompanied by their families. Powers was not able to attend.

The Ellensburg Rodeo also dedicated the Sept. 4 performance to Cliff Gage. Gage – who had attended every Ellensburg Rodeo – passed away in May, two weeks shy of his 101st birthday. He sat in the same spot every year – seat 1 in row A of section DD, right above the roping chutes. Gage, an Ellensburg native, also competed as a roper, bareback and saddle bronc rider, and bull rider at various points in his life.

Rodeo clown Justin Rumford channeled his days as a linebacker to subdue a rowdy trespasser Aug. 25 at the Range Days Rodeo in Rapid City, S.D. The 275-pound Rumford covered about 30 yards in a short amount of time to tackle 35-year-old Edward Mashburn – who was running around in the arena during the saddle bronc riding. Mashburn was dangerously close to the pickup men, a bucking horse and a rider in front of the bucking chutes. “Right then, I knew it was time,” Rumford said. “I only have two speeds on me – slow and rock and roll, baby. I got him right in the back, just like Clay Matthews. It was a clean hit, and I don’t think I would’ve been fined if I was in the NFL.” Mashburn, who admitted to being “pretty sore for about a week” after Rumford laid him out, also faces a disorderly conduct charge for his actions.

A special presentation was made to the Wright family at the Golden Spike Rodeo, Aug. 27, in Tremonton, Utah, for all the positive attention they have brought to their home state of Utah and the rodeo. Brothers Alex, Cody, Spencer, Jesse and Jake were honored, as well as Cody’s sons Ryder and Rusty – who was unable to attend because of a severe left leg injury – and their brother-in-law CoBurn Bradshaw. “This was a great opportunity to honor them and how they represent our state, and also the industry and the saddle bronc riding event,” said Brent Rose, committee chairman of the Golden Spike Rodeo. Rose said the Wrights and Bradshaw each received custom-engraved pocket knives. At the rodeo, Jesse Wright won the saddle bronc riding event with an 89-point ride on Bar T Rodeo’s Heart of Gold. Cody was third, Bradshaw was fourth, Spencer tied for fifth and Alex tied for eighth.

The Fort Madison (Iowa) Rodeo held its 16th annual Tri-State Special Kids Rodeo Sept. 3. This year, the 249 participants had something new to play with – a full size, animatronic bull with a fur coat and a living, breathing personality. “He’s just for picture taking, because of the mechanics inside him,” said Sharon Orton, assistant chair of the Special Kids Rodeo. “His eyes blink, his mouth opens and closes, and he moves. The sides go inside and out like he’s breathing, and his tail wags.” A dedication sign sat next to the bull with two names on it – Kenny Hartman and Chris Orton. Hartman died in April at the age of 93, and was a Tri-State Rodeo aficionado. Chris was Sharon Orton’s son. He died in April 2015 at the age of 39, due to a blood clot that entered his lung. The Tri-State Rodeo runs Sept. 8-10.

You try to raise your son to be as good as he can be and do the right things. Then when you get the opportunity to rope with him, it’s a neat experience. We try to compete on a level where we can win some money and win some rodeos. Then, when we get out of the arena, we’re father and son.

-56-year-old team roping header J.D. Yates telling the Pueblo Chieftain what it’s like to rope with 21-year-old son Trey Yates

Courtesy of PRCA