News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail, Feb. 2

Effective April 1, steer wrestling will join the other timed events in making prize money for the average champion 150 percent of the go-round payouts at a multi-round PRCA rodeo. The rule was amended during the Jan. 26-27 PRCA Board Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo.

John Walter of Kirksville, Mo., was in the process of forming a new company, Championship Pro Rodeo, at the time of his death on Jan. 3, and the Licking (Mo.) PRCA Rodeo has signed a contract with that company to serve as the stock contracting firm for its Memorial Day weekend event. “We are committed to carrying out John’s dream of providing first-class PRCA rodeos,” Steve Dawson, a member of the Licking Chamber of Commerce and a long-time friend of Walter’s, told the Licking News. Championship Pro Rodeo, formerly known as Robinson Pro Rodeo, will also provide stock for upcoming PRCA rodeos in Granite Falls, Minn.; Wahoo, Neb., and Ashland, Mo., under the guidance of General Manager Zach Craig.

The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo grounds received a $13 million improvement in the form of new state-of-the-art buildings. A new 200,000-square-foot cattle barn sits on the site of the old barn, but has better utilization of the space. The new barn has its own arena, and also has a much higher ceiling and better fans and blowers, meaning better air-flow and more fresh air.

More than 900 people gathered for the 12th annual Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame banquet on Jan. 31. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Benny Reynolds and Sonny Linger. In addition, five legends of rodeo were inducted into the Hall of Fame: Shawn Davis, Bob Ragsdale, Buck Brannaman, Darryl Crowley and John Wrzesinksi. The event was founded in 1998 to honor Montana’s professional rodeo champions. A brick and granite “Wall of Fame” was constructed in the shadow of an 18-foot bronze statue of Billings’ own seven-time World Champion Dan Mortensen in front of Rimrock Auto Arena.

The Fort Worth Stock Show installed four 16-by-9-foot screens that hang high in the middle of Will Rogers Coliseum, making the action and replays easier to see for those in attendance. “Everybody can see a lot better,” said Brad Barnes, general manager of the Stock Show. “We can get a lot better replays. It’s just a lot tighter.” Barnes said the close-up shots help fans learn the details about the different rodeo events.

Fallon, Nev., has created a sign to honor three-time and defending World Champion Team Roping Heeler Jade Corkill. Corkill, a native of Fallon, has won the last two world titles with Clay Tryan, and won the 2012 title with Chad Masters. All three of the championship years are denoted on the sign, which has had to expand with each new title. “Hope this sign has to get taller! Love my hometown for all their support; it makes it all worth it,” Corkill posted on his Facebook page, along with a picture of the sign.

WNFR roughstock cowboys Cort Scheer and Casey Colletti were instructors at the Garden City (Kan.) Community College rodeo school Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Both men are former GCCC students, and returned to teach a bareback and saddle bronc riding school at the Horse Palace Indoor Arena on the Finney County Fairgrounds. The rodeo school was created in 2006 to give young people an affordable opportunity to attend a clinic and learn the proper methods of riding bucking horses while helping the rodeo team raise scholarship money.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Aerosmith will kick off rodeo week in Salinas, Calif., with a live concert at the Salinas Sports Complex on July 10. Tickets for the show go on sale Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at the Salinas Sports Complex Box Office at N. Main Street in Salinas. The box office is open for walk up purchases Feb. 12-13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by visiting California Rodeo Salinas takes place July 16-19.

The Pony Express Rodeo Committee in Eagle Mountain, Utah, donated $1,000 to the Utah Code 4 Foundation, in honor of Sgt. Cory Wride. Wride was killed by gunfire through his windshield on Jan. 30, 2014, while sitting in his patrol vehicle after stopping to check on a pickup truck that had pulled over. The contributions will be put toward building Cory B. Wride Memorial Park.

Susan Sillavan-Forbes, manager of the Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo in Rosenberg, Texas, has been named 2015 Fair Manager of the year by the Texas Association of Fairs and Events (TAF&E) at their annual convention and trade show on Jan. 10.As fair manager, Sillavan-Forbes has overseen the operation of the fair and PRCA-sanctioned rodeo for the past six years. The award is given to the person who demonstrates superior leadership and professional achievement from among a statewide market of fairs, festivals and events, including the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and Rodeo Austin. Sillavan-Forbes is a fair industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience.She is coming off the most successful year in Fort Bend County Fair & Rodeo history, breaking records for attendance (exceeding 200,000), generated revenue and cumulative auction monies (surpassing $2 million). “This was an outstanding year for us,” Sillavan-Forbes said. “I am deeply grateful for the recognition. It as honor and gratifying to achieve for our fair.”

Courtesy of PRCA