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Oklahoma Bull Rider’s Family Enjoys his Win

by Jim Bainbridge | Aug 13, 2016
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Inter-State Rodeo committee

COFFEYVILLE, KAN. – After three nights of no qualified bull rides, the ice was broken during the final performance of the Inter-State Rodeo at Walter Johnson Park

Three bull riders made the eight-second buzzer, and the first of them, Guthrie Murray, came out on top.

The Miami, Okla. cowboy scored 83 points on the Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Make My Day to win the buckle and a check for $1,876.

It was a welcome ride for the 24-year-old cowboy, who took a several-month break from pro rodeo to sharpen his fundamentals.

“I wasn’t riding very good,” he said, “so I’ve been getting on practice bulls, focusing on getting better.”

And it must be working. He won a check last week at the Abilene, Kan., rodeo and now in Coffeyville.

He had his own cheering section in Coffeyville on Aug. 13. It’s about 55 miles from Miami, Okla., to Coffeyville, and his wife, Tess, parents Shawn and Latisha Henderson, and various aunts, uncles, and cousins were in the crowd. “I have a whole entourage out there,” he said, pointing to the stands.

But the proudest family member was his Poppy, Gale Bachman, his mother’s dad. Poppy rode bulls when he was young, but Guthrie’s mother wouldn’t allow him to till he was eighteen. Then Poppy was there to help his grandson.

“He probably looks like a Cheshire cat, smiling,” Guthrie said of his grandad.

Now that he’s won some checks, Murray’s focus is on the RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, the PRCA regional championship held in Duncan, Okla., in October. He’ll have to compete at a minimum of eight more Prairie Circuit rodeos to qualify, and be in the top twelve, but his check in Coffeyville will help. Murray was the 2012 Prairie Circuit champion.

Coffeyville cowboy Jake Long won his hometown rodeo.

The number three heeler in the WEATHER GUARD PRCA World Standings, along with his header Luke Brown, were one-tenth of a second faster than the second team to win in an arena that he’s competed in since he was a kid.

Long and Brown had a time of 5.1 seconds on Aug. 12 to win a check for $2,428. Their run at the Inter-State Rodeo wasn’t in front of thousands of people, but it was just as anxiety-inducing as the runs the cowboys have made at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, at which Long has competed five times and Brown eight times.

“I don’t know why,” Long said, regarding the anxiousness. “I’ve roped at the (Wrangler National) Finals five times, and I don’t ever get nervous there, but for some reason, I was here.”

Long came to the Inter-State Rodeo as a kid, and even competed in the arena in Coffeyville. As a competitor in youth rodeo, the leaders in the standings would rodeo in the arena.

The 32-year-old cowboy hadn’t competed at the Inter-State Rodeo since 2009, and it was a great opportunity for his family to see him rope close to home. His parents, Pam and Randy Weatherby and Cricket and Lynette Long, come to the Wrangler NFR, “and that’s an awesome experience,” he said. “But for everybody that can’t come out there, for them to be able to drive a couple of miles and come watch me, and have their support, that means a lot. It’s a big deal.”

“I’ve got a lot of history here. I’ve watched this rodeo my whole life.

Other champions crowned were bareback rider Frank Morton, Wright, Kan. (81 points); steer wrestler Wade Steffen, Richmond, Ill. (8.6 seconds on two head), tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett, Apache, Okla. (7.6 seconds); saddle bronc rider Kobyn Williams, De Berry, Texas (82.5 points); steer roper Guy Allen, Santa Anna, Texas (24.9 seconds on two head); and barrel racer Paige Willis, Goshen, Ala. (17.36 seconds).

On Friday night, the 2016 Inter-State Fair and Rodeo queen and princess were crowned. Winning the queen title was Meredith Taylor. The 19-year-old cowgirl is a resident of Mound Valley, Kan., and will start her second year of college this fall at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami. She is studying farm and ranch management with an equine emphasis. She is the daughter of Bill and Melinda Taylor.

The princess tiara went to Addison Criner of Coweta, Okla. The nine-year-old girl will be a fourth grade student at Porter Consolidated School, where her favorite subject is math. She participates in 4-H is a barrel racer, and shows pintos and Ponies of America. She is the daughter of Brad and Lori Criner.

The dates for the 2016 Inter-State Fair and Rodeo are tentatively set for August 5-12. For complete results from all fair activities, visit the website at FairandRodeo.com.

Courtesy of PRCA