News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail, Jan. 17

by | Jan 18, 2017

The PRCA and its sponsors held the draft for the 2017 Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots Jan. 13 at Coors Field in Denver. There were representatives from seven sponsors on hand – Wrangler, Justin Boots, Coors, RAM, Resistol, B&W Trailer Hitches and Polaris RANGER. Teams were created with a combination of keeper selections from the 2016 rosters, as well as cowboys and cowgirls who were drafted. The top six competitors from the 2016 world standings have been placed on teams, with the top five from the 2017 world standings rounding out the rosters. Those rosters will be available Jan. 18 for the first WCC event of 2017, in Rapid City, S.D., Feb. 1. For more information on the WCC, go to

For the second year in a row, Grant Denny, the older brother of WNFR bareback rider Wyatt Denny, was the winner of the slalom competition at the 43rd annual Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Jan. 16. Denny clocked a 27.75-second time to edge fellow bareback rider Joel Schlegel (28.46). Saddle bronc rider Jesse James Kirby of Dodge City, Kan., won the Stampede for the second-consecutive year. Best crash of the day went to 2017 Miss Rodeo Canada Ali Mullin. There were 92 cowboys and cowgirls participating in the event. The Cowboy Downhill is held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, and began in 1975. The Downhill has become a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, which provides financial assistance to injured PRCA cowboys. JCCF President & CEO Cindy Schonholtz attended the Downhill, and said that more than $6,000 was raised through a silent auction and merchandise sales.

Steve Kenyon of is broadcasting the Xtreme Bulls Division 1 event in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 17-18. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT) each night.

Team roping header Kaleb Driggers, who finished second in the 2016 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings with $230,284, recently passed $1 million in PRCA career earnings with $1,002,170. He is the 147th cowboy to reach that milestone.

Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Board President Jeff Faltus gave an update on the Ellensburg Rodeo during the Jan. 14 Royal Court coronation banquet. Announcer Justin McKee and rodeo clown JJ Harrison will be back for the 2017 Ellensburg Rodeo, which will be held Sept. 1-4, along with 15-time and reigning PRCA Specialty Act of the Year One Arm Bandit. A concert in the arena will be added to the weekend lineup with country singer Ned LeDoux performing, and Zach Hinson opening, Faltus said. The rodeo board is involved in efforts to improve the county-owned rodeo arena. Supporters will seek funding from the state legislature this year. The rodeo board has agreed to contribute $100,000 annually to the project over the next 20 years, with the county contributing $250,000 annually for 20 years, Faltus said. The county and board also are seeking support from the city of Ellensburg.

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo inducted long-time volunteers Billy W. Schieberle and Dora Salinas into its Hall of Fame Jan. 12. They will be featured, along with 52 previously recognized individuals, on the walls of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will be open during the 68th annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, Feb. 9-26.

2017 has been good. Kind of the way the last round went (at the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo), lit a fire like I hadn’t had in a little bit and I’m hungrier than ever.

– 2015 saddle bronc riding world champion Jacobs Crawley, talking to Pro Rodeo Roundup about the new season and his second-place finish in the 2016 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings after he failed to mark his horse out in Round 10.

Courtesy of PRCA