News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail, May 22 or by calling 511 while in Wyoming.

Dean Gorsuch, a two-time PRCA world champion steer wrestler (2006, 2010), was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington on May 12. Gorsuch received a certificate in welding and joining technology from EWC. In the fall of 2016, Gorsuch was added to the ranks of welding faculty at EWC. “I just love this place,” said Gorsuch in the Star-Herald (Scottsbluff, Neb.) May 19. “At other schools, it’s easy for students to get lost. Here at EWC, we get to know you, care about you, and put our hearts into ensuring your success.”

Billie Roy (Bill) Stephens, of Stephens Brothers Rodeo Co., passed away May 4 in Ontario, Ore. He was 77. Stephens was a PRCA Gold Card member and he and his family provided livestock to many collegiate and PRCA rodeos over the years, including the National Finals Rodeo from 1974-78 and 1981-89. Stephens Rodeo sent 86 animals to the WNFR, consisting of 28 bareback horses, 27 saddle bronc horses, and 31 bulls. There will be a celebration of life party in Stephens’ honor on June 10, at Kimball Park, 618 Irving Street, in Caldwell, Idaho, at the corner of Kimball and Grant, from noon to 3 p.m. (MT). Contact Tim McNarie at for more information.

Kelley LaCoste, a former veteran PRCA bullfighter and clown, passed away May 11. He was 69. LaCoste worked the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton five times in the 1970s and 1980s as a bullfighter, and was chosen to work the CFR as a barrelman/clown from 1991-93. LaCoste retired from bullfighting in 1982 to concentrate fully on his clown acts.

Matthew Hughes of West Plains, Mo., was hired recently as the new rodeo coach and faculty member at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, N.M. “Our rodeo team has responded extremely well to the new coach,” said Thomas W. Newsom, president of Mesalands. “We are very excited to have Matt leading our rodeo team, becoming a new faculty member and joining our community.” Hughes has competed in the rodeo arena since he was 7 years old and has been around all aspects of the sport. Specifically, Hughes has several years of experience in the business side of rodeo. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in public relations from Missouri Valley College (Marshall), and was the assistant rodeo coach at Missouri Valley College for the last two years.

The late Hadley Barrett headlines the 13-member, 2017 class that will be inducted into the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame in Ainsworth. Barrett, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1999, passed away March 2, 2017, at age 87. The induction ceremony will take place June 10 in Valentine.

I like highlight reel (rides) and highlight wrecks, they’re both the same to me.

– Bull rider Shane Proctor told the ProRodeo Sports News about his career.

Courtesy of PRCA