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News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail


2014 National Finals Steer Roping

When the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping moves to Mulvane, Kan., Nov. 7-8, it will be the first time a national championship rodeo event will happen in the Jayhawk State. Trevor Brazile leads the world standings, and will be looking for his second straight steer roping world title. If Brazile wins the steer roping gold buckle, it would be his fifth in that discipline, moving him out of a tie for third place with Shoat Webster and into third place all by himself, one back of Everett Shaw (and 13 back of Guy Allen).

Bill Stephens, representing the Crossett (Ark.) Riding Club PRCA Rodeo, is the 2014 Justin Committeeman of the Year. Stephens, an Ag Loan Officer, has been involved with the rodeo for 18 years, and has served on the Board of Directors for the past 12 years. The John Justin Standard of the West Award program, developed in the late 1980s, annually recognizes 100 behind-the-scenes recipients for their outstanding volunteer contribution to their local rodeo, with a grand prize winner being named the Justin Committeeman of the Year. Stephens will be recognized at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.

Canadian bareback rider Clint Laye can only hope that the Great American Cowboy Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., is as reliable a pathway to the Wrangler NFR as it seems. Each of the last four bareback riding champions there went to the WNFR the following year – Casey Colletti twice, Ty Breuer and then J.R. Vezain. Laye can take particular encouragement from Colletti in 2010 (2011 season) and Breuer in 2012 (2013), who earned their first WNFR berths at the end of that season. Laye, who won in Casper Nov. 1 with a 76.5-point ride on Triple V Rodeo’s Lone Bear, is looking for his first WNFR qualification in 2015 after finishing 19th this past season and 26th in 2013.

The late Larry Condon, who qualified for the 1962 National Finals Rodeo as a bull rider and finished ninth in the world, will be inducted into the Indian National Finals Rodeo Hall of Fame Nov. 8 at the South Point Hotel, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas. Condon and former PRCA members Lyle Cochran, C.L. Johnson, Archie Becenti and Gary Not Afraid will be honored at a luncheon in the South Point Arena VIP Bar at 3:30 (tickets are $20) and then recognized in the arena during the final performance of the Indian National Finals Rodeo that night.

PRCA sponsor Boot Barn Holdings Inc. entered the New York Stock Exchange Oct. 30 when it had its initial public offering (IPO) underwritten by J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Piper Jaffray, Baird and Jeffries. Shares for the IPO were originally priced at $16 on five million shares, raising $80 million. The pricing went on the high end of the range of $14-16. However shares entered the market at $19, and the range on the day fluctuated between $17.94 and $19.50. Coming into this IPO, Boot Barn had boasted 19 consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales growth with net sales increasing to $345.9 million in 2014 from $168.7 million in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate of 43.2 percent.

Former PRCA steer wrestler and tie-down roper Ted Cannon of Silver Creek, Neb., died Oct. 26 at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lincoln. He was 92. Cannon served in the South Pacific during World War II and was subsequently part of the occupying force in Japan before returning home to Nebraska to ranch, farm and compete in ProRodeo.

The local American Legion in Drummond, Mont., is replacing the weathered wooden bucking chutes, pens, alleys and back fence across the arena with $20,000 worth of steel before the rodeo takes place next July. It’s the first step in a makeover for the rodeo arena that may cost upward of $100,000. The project will improve the way livestock is loaded into the bucking chutes, while also improving safety throughout the rodeo grounds.

The top rodeo awards for the Mountain States Circuit were announced, based on contestant voting. The Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days won Best Large-Sized Rodeo, the Rooftop Rodeo in Estes Park (Colo.) took best Mid-Sized Rodeo and the Steamboat Springs (Colo.) Pro Rodeo Series was the top Small-Sized Rodeo. The Most Improved Rodeo award went to the Douglas County Fair & Rodeo in Castle Rock, Colo., and the best ground award went to Eagle (Colo.) County Fair & Rodeo.

Larry Mahan was presented with the 2014 Western Horseman Award during the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering, Oct. 24-26 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Tarleton State University’s Rodeo Hall of Fame will celebrate the induction of five new members during the fifth annual steak dinner and auction on Nov. 15 at the Stephenville, Texas, campus. Inductees will include longtime rodeo team supporter Darla Doty, wife of former Tarleton rodeo coach and 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Bob Doty; former Tarleton rodeo team member J.J. Hampton; 2004 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) All-Around Cowboy and national tie-down roping champion and 2005 All-Around Cowboy reserve champion Ryan Watkins; and Wanda Mercer, former vice president of student life at Tarleton and supervisor of the Office of Rodeo Activities. Admission to the event is $80 per couple, and includes a steak dinner. Tickets are still available for purchase through 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, by contacting the Office of Rodeo Activities at 254.968.9187.

Courtesy of PRCA