Hometown Rodeo Good to Nebraska Cowboy

by Jim Bainbridge | Jun 19, 2014
By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Buffalo Bill Rodeo

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. – A home-state cowboy took over the spotlight at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo June 19.

Two-time World Champion Steer Wrestler Dean Gorsuch turned in a time of 3.3 seconds during the morning slack to win the first go-round.

The Gering, Neb., man drew a good steer, and took advantage of it. “I knew he was supposed to be good. I got a great start, and he was good,” he said.

North Platte was his first rodeo back after suffering a torn elbow ligament. The injury happened during practice, and Gorsuch hasn’t competed since he was at the Spanish Fork (Utah) Champions Challenge last month.

The elbow “feels good to bulldog,” he said, “but it hurts to do normal things.” He plans on having Tommy John surgery after the rodeo season ends, and after he has competed at the Wrangler National finals Rodeo. “I gotta make it there first, but we keep trying.”

He’s currently ranked eighth in the world.

Gorsuch also competed on his second go-round steer during slack, but didn’t fare as well. “My second one, I should have done a lot better. I was going to make another fast run, and I should have just slowed down.” His time was 11.1 seconds, too slow to place in the second go-round and in the average.

Gorsuch and his traveling partners, Rhett Kennedy, who is currently leading the second go-round with a time of 3.5 seconds, Gary Gilbert, Josh Peek, and Aaron Vosler, will leave for a rodeo in Pleasant Grove, Utah on Friday, then make their way to Reno, Nev., and then Cowboy Christmas, the Fourth of July run, the busiest part of the pro rodeo season.

Sometimes his sons Taydon (nine), Trell (five) and Teagan (14 months) travel with him, but not on this trip. They’ll stay home with mom Bekah, play baseball, and wait for dad to come home.

North Platte is a special rodeo for him, and as close to a hometown rodeo as he can have.

“I feel like this is my hometown rodeo,” Gorsuch said. “You get to see family and friends, and I love it. My grandpa ranched north of Mullen and neighbored with (fellow NFR qualifier and bareback rider) Steven Dent. I love this rodeo.”

Other leaders from the Thursday night performance are bareback rider Troy Vaira, Richey, Mont., (78 points), steer wrestler Denard Butler, Warner, Okla. (4.5 seconds), Cody Quaney, Cheney, Kan. (9.2), team ropers Chace Thompson, Munday, Texas and Jett Hillman, Purcell, Okla. (5.1), and barrel racers Cindy Gillespie, Ransom, Kan., and Amy Prather, Goddard, Kan., both with times of 17.66 seconds. In the saddle bronc riding and bull riding, the horses and bulls won; there were no qualified rides in either event.

June 19 was Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at the rodeo, and three cancer survivors – Kandi Franklin of Brule, Amberlee Martin of Stapleton, and Terry Martin of North Platte, were honored. All three women went through the Callahan Cancer Center at the Great Plains Regional Medical Center.

Night number three of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo takes place on Friday, June 20 at the Wild West Arena in North Platte. Tickets are available online at, at the NLD office or at the gate.

Courtesy of PRCA