News and Notes from the Rodeo Trial, Oct. 3

by | Oct 03, 2016


Timed-event cowboy and Western artist Chance Hays has been tabbed to create an 8-by-5-foot mural in the Grand Lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas during the Dec. 1-10 run of the Wrangler NFR. While Hays has painted original works at the WNFR the past five years, this one, of a buffalo herd on the plains, is his biggest to date, and will be sold to the highest bidder at the end of the rodeo. Hays spent the summer in Saratoga, N.Y., selling his Western paintings and competing in rodeo on weekends; he has qualified for the RAM First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo in Harrisburg, Pa., Jan. 12-14.

Roy Johnson, father of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo tie-down roping qualifiers Mike Johnson and Gary Johnson, passed away Sept. 28. He was 92. Mike has qualified for the WNFR a PRCA tie-down roping record 23 times (1983-97, 2000-01, 2003-08) and Gary qualified for the NFR in 1973 and 1979. Roy was born Aug. 5, 1924, in Henryetta, Okla.

Friends and family of Justin Honken and Justin Luhr are hosting a memorial event in their honor, centered around something they both loved: rodeo. On July 30, Honken, Luhr and their friend Caitlin Breeze died as a result of a boating collision on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho. The memorial rodeo event will take place Oct. 8 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’ Alene, beginning at 9 a.m. For more information about the rodeo, go to

Hendon Construction is in charge of building a new rodeo arena, and Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center members are feeling confident the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston, Ore., will ride into its new home in 2017. Zeno Marvin, general manager for the Umatilla-based contractor, stated the plan is to take an aggressive approach to make sure the arena is complete by August 2017. “I can unequivocally say that we’re going to have a rodeo next year,” he said.

Las Vegas Events announced Oct. 1 that it has launched the new mobile application for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER. Rodeo fans will now be able to fully plan their rodeo experience in Las Vegas, which runs from Dec. 1-10 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. New features in 2016 include enhanced schedule features and a “What’s Hot” category, custom NFR Experience camera function, parking information and maps, Wrangler NFR stats, stock and cowboys content buttons and news & social media feeds. Rodeo fans can also sign up for the “Get Tagged” promotion through the NFR App. The contest allows fans to collect entries into the Prize Barn by attending NFR Experience events throughout the city during the 10 days of the Wrangler NFR.

On Sept. 28, Calgary Stampede was selected as the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association’s 2016 Stock Contractor of the Year. Voted on by members of the CPRA, these annual awards recognize the best-of-the-best in the Canadian rodeo industry. “The hard work and dedication of the rodeo committees makes it possible for us to showcase the animals that come from the Stampede Ranch,” said Tyler Kraft, Calgary Stampede ranch manager. “We are extremely appreciative of them, as well as the competitors who trust us to provide great horses and bulls for their sport.” Calgary Stampede is the primary stock contractor for eight rodeos in Canada and the United States.

On Oct. 2, Cowtown Rodeo of Pilesgrove, N.J., held a golf tournament fundraiser to benefit the Coy Lutz Memorial Scholarship Fund. PRCA bareback rider Coy Lutz, 19, from Howard, Pa., lost his life May 28, 2016, on opening night of Cowtown Rodeo while competing in the bareback riding event. At the golf tournament and auction, Grant and Betsy Harris, along with RJ and Katy Griscom (owners & producers of Cowtown Rodeo) presented Doug and Sabine Lutz with a custom painting of their son, Coy. The piece was created by artist Chance Hayes. More than 100 golfers participated in the tournament, which was followed by a barbeque lunch and auction, attended by more than 200 guests. Thanks to the generosity of the event supporters, the Harris family and Cowtown Rodeo were able to donate $10,000 to the Coy Lutz Memorial Scholarship Fund. Additional contributions to the fund may be mailed to the Lutz family at: P.O. Box 443, Howard, PA 16841.

Traveling the country and fighting bulls is what I do. I make my living basically being a secret-service man for the bull riders.

-Wrangler NFR bullfighter Cody Webster talking with the Purcell (Okla.) Register

Courtesy of PRCA