COLEMAN, Okla. – When Sean Mulligan’s friend and fellow steer wrestler Levi Wisness passed away, he and other friends wanted to do something to honor his memory.
They started the Nothin’ But Try Steer Wrestling Jackpot in Mulligan’s hometown of Coleman, Oklahoma at the U-Cross arena. This year’s event was May 13th. It paid $14,000 to contestants and raised $4,000 for the Levi Wisness Nothin’ But Try scholarship.
The scholarship has been given as part of the Nothin’ But Try scholarship program since 2009. Awards go to college students who has faced adversity in their lives but refused to give up just like Wisness did in his life. Three other scholarships are given annually.
The program started with college champion Shane Drury’s fight with cancer in 2006. Drury passed away just four months after presenting the first award. In 2009, scholarships were added to honor Wisness, who was a college champion and student director in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, longtime college rodeo coach Betty Gayle Cooper-Ratliff and College National Finals Rodeo qualifier Lee Akin who was injured in a bull riding accident and has spent many years recovering and rebuilding his life.
Mulligan not only produces the event, he was one of nine Wrangler National Finals Rodeo steer wrestlers that participated in the jackpot. Saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell showed the steer wrestlers that he can do more than just ride a bucking horse when he also competed.
The winner of the event was Chase Crane from Boynton, Oklahoma. Crane grew up riding horses but is the first member of his family to compete in rodeo. He has been coming to the jackpot since it started and left this year knowing that he had beaten some of the world’s best.
“It’s an honor to be here with these guys,” Crane said. “It’s always good to take home a win. This jackpot has been a lot of fun and I look forward to it every year.”
Crane’s win on Saturday gave him the confidence to know that his rodeo goals this year are within reach. He will be competing at PRCA events in the Prairie Circuit hoping to qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in 2018.
Other winners at this year’s event include Oklahomans Cole Edge of Durant, Blake Mindemann of Blanchard and Riley Duvall of Checotah and Chris Berry from Valley View, Texas. Sponsors at this year’s event include: Cinch Jeans and Shirts; Cosequin; Zesterra; Dufur Quarter Horses; The Corner Market in Coleman; Groveton Insurance Agency; Sundell Performance Horses; Clay and Marka Mitchell; The Sport Zone and Flying C Rodeo Company.
For more information or to donate to the Nothin’ But Try Scholarships, contact Susan Kanode (817) 307-6336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.