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News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail, July 21

George “Tex” Martin, a five-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, passed away July 13 of a heart attack. He was 83. Martin went to the NFR as a bareback rider three times (1962, 1964 and 1966) and also as a saddle bronc rider twice (1960-61). He won the all-around title at the College National Finals Rodeo in 1953 while attending Sul Ross University (Alpine, Texas). Martin retired from rodeo in 1971, and was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2000. In 1974, Martin took a position as agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for Rainier (Wash.) High School. In 1986, he was voted “Ag Teacher of the Year” for Washington State. A memorial service will take place at the Rainier High School gymnasium July 26 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Rainier High School Tex Martin FFA Scholarship Fund, Rainier School District, PO Box 98, Rainier WA 98576.

PRCA judge John Kissel was released from a Denver hospital July 20 after suffering nine broken ribs and a punctured lung when he was run over by a bucking horse July 12 at the Cattlemen’s Days Rodeo in Gunnison, Colo. Kissel, 64, is out for at least a month, and says he won’t return to action until he feels healthy enough to move around the arena. “I’m very blessed, and I know there were a lot of people praying for me,” Kissel said.

Cody Kiser, a 23-year-old bareback rider from Carson City, Nev., is the newest spokesperson for The Oral Cancer Foundation, which promotes healthy habits and encourages people to stop the use of chewing tobacco. “Right now, I’m pursuing rodeo as a passion of mine, and if at the same time, I can do some good in the world and set the right example for young kids who might look up to me, then I’m honored and eager to do so,” said Kiser, who wants to keep kids away from tobacco. Brian Hill, the founder and executive director of the Oral Cancer Foundation, says Kiser is a great fit as a spokesman. “We are excited to partner with Cody and venture into the rodeo arena, because we believe we can make a real difference there.”

Shirley Lucas Jauregui, a trick rider who performed with her sister, Sharon, will be inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame on Oct. 23 in Fort Worth, Texas. Jauregui and her sister performed at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and in Albuquerque, N.M. They also did movie contract work, doubling for names such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Jones, Betty Hutton and Grace Kelly.

Native American roughstock rider Jackson Sundown, who was a champion in the early days of the Pendleton Round-Up, was honored by the Nez Perce Tribe on July 18 in Meridian, Idaho, at a reception to mark the induction of the cowboy into Idaho’s Hall of Fame for 2014. Sundown died in 1923 at the age of 60. His memorial is located at Slickpoo Mission Cemetery near Jacques Spur, Idaho.

The Mandan Rodeo Days and surrounding celebration won the Governor’s Travel and Tourism Award at the 2014 North Dakota Tourism Conference. “Tourism is one of North Dakota’s largest industries, and an important contributor to our growing economy,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in an online statement. “The leaders recognized today are key reasons why visitors enjoy legendary experiences when they come to North Dakota.” It was the first time that the Mandan Rodeo Days has received the award.

Cheney, Wash., the home of the recently completed Cheney Rodeo, is now dealing with potential fire danger, as a fire which has already consumed 13,000 acres to the southwest of the city continues to burn quickly. About 280 firefighters are working the fire, which is burning about 15 miles southwest of Cheney.

Courtesy of PRCA