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News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail, May 5, 2014

Sammy Matthewsby ProRodeo.com | May 05, 2014
Sammy Matthews, the 2012 California Circuit bull riding champion, lost his left ear May 4 when he was stepped on by the bull he had been riding at the Riverdale (Calif.) Rodeo. The force of the contact destroyed the helmet Matthews, 22, was wearing and sheared off his ear. He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in nearby Fresno for treatment. “He is doing OK,” said his father, Evan Matthews, on the afternoon of May 5. “He is about to go into surgery. They will not be able to reattach the ear. They are going to try to build up the cartilage (for a prosthetic ear).” …

PRCA barrelman and specialty act Tim Lepard recently spent five days in Tupelo, Miss., helping victims of the devastating tornadoes that caused widespread damage in the southeastern United States. Lepard, who lives 20 miles from Tupelo in Pontotoc, Miss., loaded chain saws, shovels and rakes into his truck and went to work helping those who needed it in residential areas, as well as helping to clear debris off the highways and roads. “It was chaos,” Lepard said. Tim Lepard and chainsaws
“The Tupelo Public Works was asking people to help. I started walking along the highway, with the chain saw, cutting. I’d come to a tree, cut it, and keep on walking.” The tornadoes in Mississippi reportedly resulted in seven deaths and tens of millions of dollars in damage in Tupelo alone. …

Tim Lepard and chainsawsRobert “Bob” Chambers, a renowned PRCA announcer who worked the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up for 23 years and twice drew the assignment for the National Finals Rodeo (in 1973 and 1981), died April 28 at a care facility in Pendleton. He was 90. Chambers competed in bareback riding and bull riding for 12 seasons before starting his announcing career in 1953 at the amateur level. He joined the PRCA in 1958, debuting at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show and Rodeo in Union, a relationship he would continue for 36 years, until his retirement in 1994. In his peak years, he would announce as many as 27 rodeos and travel more than 30,000 miles. “The 1970s and 80s were a special time for the Pendleton Round-Up when Bob, our hometown guy, was the voice of the rodeo,” Pendleton President Tim Hawkins told Butch Thurman in a radio interview. “He was one of the very best in the game at the time and we were very fortunate to have him, not only as our announcer, but as a member of our community.” Chambers was inducted into the Pendleton Round-Up Hall of Fame in 1989 …

Rush ColeThe winning submission for this year’s Rodeo de Santa Fe (N.M.) poster and advertising campaign came from local artist Rush Cole, a lifelong horsewoman. Her original painting, “American Rodeo: It Always Begins with a Prayer,” embraces an important aspect of the cowboy ethic and way of life. Rodeo fans around the world know that rodeos often start with a few words of inspiration before the cowboys get out in the arena for the competition. “Art has never been just what I do; for me, it is who and what I am,” Cole said. …

As part of Chadron State College’s “Big Event” service project, a group of student, faculty and staff volunteers visited the Old West Trail Rodeo grounds in Crawford, Neb., on April 26 to remove debris and paint part of the facility …

A grassroots effort led by Kristen Daulton has succeeded in bringing back the Flagstaff (Ariz.) Pro Rodeo to Fort Tuthill County Park after a five-year hiatus. Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort is the presenting sponsor and there are nearly three dozen local businesses which have stepped up to make sure the June 27-29 PRCA event is a success. “I didn’t realize just what went into an event of this caliber,” Daulton told the Arizona Daily Sun, “in just getting people to believe that I had the capability to bring the rodeo back, that it was a real possibility and not just a dream.” …

Tiffany Pierce of Lufkin, Texas, drove home a 2014 Ram truck as the winner of the raffle put on by the Angelina County Benefit Rodeo a week ago. Southern Dodge and Jeep in Lufkin donated the vehicle for the cause and more than 40,000 raffle tickets were purchased at $5 apiece …

The centennial celebration of the Clovis (Calif.) Rodeo last week ended up with record crowds totaling 45,000, despite the rain and wind that hit the rodeo over two days …

This year’s Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo poster design was selected in a public vote and the honor went to PRCA photographer Molly Morrow, a resident of Ellensburg. “Having my photograph of Parker Breding’s 90-point ride in Ellensburg be selected for the 2014 Ellensburg Rodeo poster is a thrill,” Morrow said. “Not only was it exciting to capture Parker riding Big Bend/Flying 5 Rodeo’s athletic bull, Avatar, it was so great to relive the moment as a spectator. It is a treat to be able to see and photograph world-class cowboy athletes and livestock here in Ellensburg.” …

Cord and Jet McCoy wrapped up their third appearance on “The Amazing Race” Sunday night when they were eliminated from the CBS-TV reality series on the 10th episode of Season 24. Of the 10 legs of the race in which they competed, the McCoys finished in the top two six times, with two leg victories. They finished fifth overall. “We ran as good of a race as we could run with our character and integrity intact,” Jet McCoy said. “We got to meet some good people, and we got to see some beautiful, beautiful places that I don’t think we would’ve ever gotten to see otherwise. I have no regrets.”

Former PRCA bareback rider Ross Cooper, identified by Billboard as one of the rising stars of the Americana music genre, has just released a new album, “Give it Time,” (http://ross-cooper.com), which has traces of country, rock and blues. Cooper says that he tries not to generalize his sound. “Sometimes I think it’s best to not try,” he said. “Honestly, I’ve been called Americana because it can sometimes encompass everything under its umbrella, but it’s country. It’s rock and roll, and rootsy, which is to me what Americana is. So, that’s the answer I’m going with.” …

Ross Cooper

Courtesy of PRCA