Arena record pushes Peebles to Ellensburg Rodeo triumph
ELLENSBURG, Wash. – After splitting first place in the first round at the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour’s regular-season finale, bareback rider Steven Peebles knew he had a chance to win some big money during the Sept. 6 finals at the Ellensburg Rodeo Arena.
As things turned out, he won even more than he’d hoped for.
Peebles, 21, broke Jessy Davis’ four-year-old arena record with a 90-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Mad Money to win the short round and the two-head average at the Gold Tour rodeo presented by Justin Boots.
“Man, it’s outstanding,” said Peebles, who picked up $1,650 for the short-round win and an additional $3,846 for winning the average to push his earnings to $8,893 for the weekend. “I’m happier than heck to break an arena record at a rodeo like this.”
In addition to the big check, Peebles and Calgary Stampede each received $4,500 for their contribution to the new arena record. (Peebles’ share is unofficial and doesn’t count toward the PRCA World Standings.)
“When I was crawling into the chute, I heard them talking about the bonus for the arena record,” Peebles said. “I listened and smiled and just looked down at my horse, because I knew I had the horsepower to do it. I just thought, ‘I’m going for it.’”
Ninety also turned out to be the magic number for saddle bronc rider Cody Wright, who entered Ellensburg in a similar position as Peebles: inside the Top 15 but looking to gain a little breathing room as the regular season enters its final weeks.
Wright stuck to Flying Five Rodeo’s Spring Planting for 90 points to defeat last year’s Ellensburg champ and reigning World Champion Jesse Kruse for the finals win and the two-head average.
Even though he was facing a familiar foe (including past matchups in Las Vegas and Pocatello, Idaho), Wright said the Flying Five horse threw him a little bit of a change-up in Ellensburg.
“She’s been awesome every time,” Wright said of Spring Planting. “I never had her have those moves, though. She was kind of back and forth out of the gate. She’s usually just around the post, jumping and kicking back around to the right. That’s an awesome horse. My hat’s off to her.”
Steer wrestler Billy Bugenig’s mission to qualify for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo received a big boost in Ellensburg. The 29-year-old California cowboy’s 4.5-second run in the finals was good enough to split third place with Sean Mulligan and earn the top spot in the average and the $3,684 that came with it.
In team roping, the new partnership between Keven Daniel and Caleb Twisselman continued to pay dividends. A 6.3-second run in the finals proved to be enough to push them from third in the average to first and matching $4,046 checks.
Gold-buckle contenders Charly Crawford and Russell Cardoza (who won the all-around in Ellensburg) jumped from eighth place to second in the average Monday.
The team of Joel Bach and Paul Eaves of Millsap, Texas, set an arena record when they won the second round in 4.2 seconds, breaking the record of 4.5 seconds set by Chance Kelton and Bucky Campbell in 2002.
Seth Childers was a surprise contender in the tie-down roping coming into the Sept. 6 finals, and the Cameron, Texas, cowboy finished the job in Ellensburg. He finished third in the short round to defeat Wrangler NFR contenders Blair Burk and Clint Cooper by four-tenths of a second.
The bull riding was won by Tylee Lanham, whose 86-point ride on Corey & Horst’s Blue Northern (the bull who helped D.J. Domangue win the long round at Saturday night’s Xtreme Bulls Tour finale) was the only qualified ride in the short round.
The other champions at Ellensburg were steer roper Chet Herren (22.6 seconds on two head) and barrel racer Lindsay Sears (51.85 seconds on three runs).
With Xtreme Bulls title in hand, Silcox takes aim at gold buckle
ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Wesley Silcox is in a rare group of bull riders who have won both a world championship gold buckle and a Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Tour championship, presented by B&W Trailer Hitches.
What he’d like is a spot in that much more elite subset of guys who have won both titles in the same year.
At the moment, there is just one member of the club – Matt Austin in 2005 – and Silcox has gotten himself in position to join him with his most consistent and least injury-hindered season since he won his world title in 2007.
Even though he was bucked off Burns Rodeo’s Rockin Wolf in the first round and earned no money at the Sept. 4 Xtreme Bulls Tour finale, Silcox had enough of a lead to secure his first Tour title, and he is second in the world standings, less than $8,000 behind RodeoHouston champion Shawn Hogg.
The Santaquin, Utah, cowboy had $37,758 in Tour earnings to edge Clayton Williams, who finished with $36,359.
“It’s been a good season,” Silcox said. “To win the year-end, that’s something I’ve been trying to do ever since I started competing professionally. It’s not the way I wanted to end it, but it still worked out.”
The finale’s big winner was D.J. Domangue, who put together a pair of 90-point rides to win the average title and $21,094. A third-place finish at the Magic Valley Stampede in Filer, Idaho, brought his weekend total to $22,568 and moved him from 16th place in the World Standings to sixth.
Despite leg injury, Bugenig gains ground in steer wrestling race at Pueblo
PUEBLO, Colo. – Billy Bugenig isn’t about to let a little thing like a leg injury interfere with his chance to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time.
Just back on the road for a week and still wearing a brace on his left knee, Bugenig placed in both rounds of the steer wrestling and won the average title at the Aug. 27-31 Colorado State Fair & Rodeo.
His $3,967 in total earnings lifted him from 17th in the world standings to 14th, jumping past Gabe Ledoux, Kyle Hughes and Casey McMillen, and putting him in line for the best season of his eight-year PRCA career. When he followed that win with another at the Sept. 3-6 Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo, Bugenig jumped all the way to 10th.
“I broke the tibia where it connects with the knee at the Casper (Wyo.) Rodeo July 12,” Bugenig said. “When the pain became so bad that I really couldn’t bulldog, I went down (to Dallas) to see Dr. Tandy Freeman.
“On his advice, I took a couple of weeks off last month to rest the knee. I’ve been using a brace, and I was taping it for a while, too. Dr. Freeman said the bone should be pretty solid after six weeks, and it’s been seven. I use the brace now as a precaution and to give me a little confidence. It’s still a little sore.”
Bugenig credits his success at Pueblo to being able to use Wick, the great steer wrestling horse owned by fellow competitors Wade Sumpter and Ken Lewis. He figures he’s won about $15,000 on Wick over the last few weeks and will ride him whenever his schedule coincides with that of Sumpter and Lewis.
“Because I missed a couple of weeks there in August, I’ve going to a few more rodeos than those guys,” Bugenig said, “and I’ll use my own horse for those rodeos.”
Dustin Elliott, the 2004 world champion bull rider, moved a step closer to his first Wrangler NFR qualification since 2006 with a 92-point ride on Four L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Big Iron that nosed out Ryan Shanklin by a single point.
For Elliott, it was the sixth title he has won at a PRCA rodeo this year and moved him up one spot in the world standings, from ninth to eighth, with $71,687. He moved ahead of Ardie Maier, whose 80-point ride at Pueblo left him out of the money.
Trevor Brazile shared the tie-down roping title with Cory Solomon, each completing their two runs in 16.5 seconds. Brazile raised his season earnings in the event to $100,219, which boosted his lead over second-place Stran Smith to $8,007.
It is the 10th consecutive season that Brazile has earned more than $100,000 in tie-down roping.
Brazile was also the all-around champion at Pueblo for the second consecutive year, and with additional checks at Ellensburg, Wash.; Filer, Idaho, and Walla Walla, Wash., Brazile’s total earnings climbed to $220,885, or only about $18,000 below the average end-of-year earnings of the All-Around Reserve World Champion over the last five years.
Brazile’s lead in the all-around standings is $110,409 over second-place Curtis Cassidy through Sept. 7.
The other champions at the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo were bareback riders Wes Stevenson and D.V. Fennell (87 points each), team ropers Colby Lovell and Kory Koontz (11.0 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Scott Miller (85 points) and barrel racers Kelly Schnaufer and Jean Winters (17.57 seconds each).
For the first time since becoming an 11-day event in 2005, attendance at the Colorado State Fair and Rodeo exceeded 500,000. The expo provided 11 days of entertainment to 517,140 people this year, and the 50th annual rodeo was a big part of that success. More than 58,000 people enjoyed the Colorado State Fair entertainment series, including the PRCA rodeo, concerts and monster trucks.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “That made no sense to me in a sport where trying your guts out is paramount. For me, that was a pretty big lesson in learning how to try the proper way. You do have to try as hard as you can, but it’s not just try to the point where you’re counterproductive; you’re not fluid, you’re not thinking and reacting quickly, you’re not in your element, you’re not in the same frame of mind that you’ve always been in.”
– from a Ty Murray podcast, explaining how his parents convinced him he might be trying “too hard” when he suffered a disappointment at a high school rodeo.
• Tierney claims inaugural Badlands steer roping title: It figured that the one member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in the field would claim the inaugural Badlands Circuit Steer Roping Finals in Deadwood, S.D. – even if he is 58 years old. Paul Tierney of Oral, S.D., won round two on his way to a five-head average time of 82.9 seconds on Sept. 4, edging Ora Taton of Rapid City, S.D., by less than a second. They were the only competitors to complete qualified runs in every round. Jay Pixley of Sundance, Wyo., won three rounds and had the rodeo-best run of 11.0 seconds to finish third in the average and assure his first-place finish in the year-end standings. Tierney’s son, Jess, was fourth. Pixley and Paul Tierney have both qualified for the National Circuit Finals Steer Roping next spring in Torrington, Wyo., the first men to make the field.
• Sundell sets arena record in Walla Walla Frontier Days: Iowa saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell won the Walla Walla (Wash.) Frontier Days Rodeo with an 86-point ride on Western Rodeo’s Pine Ridge that broke the arena record of 85 set by Scott Johnston in 1997 and equaled by Heith DeMoss in 2008. Sundell also won the Magic Valley Stampede in Filer, Idaho, and won a round at the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo to finish the weekend with earnings of $7,564 to open his lead over second-place Cort Scheer to more than $17,000 in the world standings. Sundell sprained and bruised his right (riding) elbow in the short round at Ellensburg, but intends to compete this week at Fort Madison, Iowa and at the Justin Boots Playoffs in Puyallup, Wash. Matt Shiozawa of Chubbuck, Idaho, won the Walla Walla tie-down roping two-head average in 16.7 seconds, equaling the arena record set by Fred Whitfield in 2002.
• Frierson pulls off rare double in Ocala (Fla.) Shrine Rodeo: Southeastern Circuit cowboy Alan Frierson pulled off a rare double Sept. 3-4 at the Ocala (Fla.) Shrine Rodeo, winning the steer wrestling in 3.9 seconds and the saddle bronc riding with a 74-point score on Five Star Rodeo’s Dippin’ Wacky. Frierson, primarily a roughstock competitor, nearly doubled his career earnings in steer wrestling with his winner’s check of $1,047. He had $1,211 in steer wrestling earnings through the first seven seasons of his PRCA career.
• Powell re-takes lead in team roping heading standings: Turtle Powell and heeler Jhett Johnson won checks in Walla Walla, Wash., and Filer, Idaho, to move Powell back into first place among team roping headers after a three-week hiatus. Powell has a lead of $1,181 over 2007 World Champion Chad Masters, the closest race in the PRCA World Standings.
• Injury updates: Saddle bronc rider Tate Owens, fifth in the Mountain States Circuit standings, had ACL surgery in Dallas on Aug. 25 and will be out of action for 4-6 months … Bullfighter Jesse Vick suffered a broken bone in his foot and will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks … Bareback rider Eric Swenson is facing surgery to repair a protruded disc in his back. Swenson was 21st in the world standings at the time of the injury … Saddle bronc rider aggravated an abdominal strain at Ellensburg and is questionable for the Justin Boots Playoffs this weekend in Puyallup, Wash.
Sept. 8 Tri-State Rodeo, Fort Madison, Iowa, begins
Sept. 9 Xtreme Bulls Division 2 Qualifying Event, Lewiston, Idaho
Sept. 9 Utah’s Own Rodeo at the Utah State Fair, Salt Lake City, begins
Sept. 10 Prince George ProRodeo, Upper Marlboro, Md., begins
Sept. 10 Jesse James Days Rodeo, Northfield, Minn., begins
Sept. 10 Spokane (Wash.) Interstate Rodeo begins
Sept. 10 Charlotte (Mich.) Frontier Days Pro Rodeo begins
Sept. 10 Lewiston (Idaho) Roundup begins
Sept. 10 Justin Boots Playoffs, Puyallup, Wash., begins
Sept. 11 Cowtown Rodeo, Woodstown Pilesgrove, N.J.
Sept. 15 100th annual Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up begins
Rodeo News and Notes
PRCA loses one of its “shining stars”; Carol Boyles dies at 63
Carol Boyles, executive assistant to three Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association commissioners and one of the most beloved members of the PRCA family, died of cancer at her Colorado Springs home at 2 a.m. Sept. 3, surrounded by her family. She was 63.
Carol came to the PRCA on July 1, 2002, to work for then-commissioner Steve Hatchell and brought professionalism, warmth, humanity and humor to that office for eight years under Hatchell and successors Troy Ellerman and Karl Stressman.
“We have lost one of the shining stars of the PRCA,” Stressman said. “This is a very, very sad day for our entire staff.”
Prior to coming to the PRCA, Carol worked for three years as assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. She had also served as office coordinator and legal secretary for the Colorado Springs law firms of Hogan & Hartson LLP and Sherman & Howard for many years.
Carol is survived by her daughter, Molly; brother Darrel (Bev) Bogart; sisters Sally Moon and Nancy (Jarvis) Barlow, and many other family members and friends.
A memorial service is planned for Sept. 19 at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial contributions be made to the 1400s, an organization founded in 2008 on the tenets of Western heritage and with a commitment to provide funds to those in need. Contributions may be sent to the 1400s, 704 Burke Blvd., Devils Lake, ND 58301.
Mahan sells “Old Goldie” to St. Philip’s College
Larry Mahan has sold the twin engine Cessna plane “Old Goldie” that he used to such advantage in winning six all-around world championships in the 1960s and 1970s. Mahan and long-time friend George Harris, former president of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, sent their planes to St. Philip’s College for a combined $172,240 to be used in the school’s aviation technology program.
“(She) took me from one world to another, both physically and mentally,” Mahan told the San Antonio Express-News, “and helped me become a better competitor. I haven’t been flying (Old Goldie) much lately, and I didn’t want it to sit out there without a purpose. I’m glad it will be in a situation where someone will learn from it.”
RodeoHouston helps provide educational opportunities for veterans
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo continued its commitment to education as a proud sponsor of Texas A&M University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans With Disabilities. The program, which ran Aug. 14-21, provides training and education in entrepreneurship and small business management to men and women injured as a result of military service in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001.
“It is an honor to talk with these men and women about their future business endeavors,” said Skip Wagner, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo president. “Giving back to these veterans by providing educational opportunities is a small thing we can do for a group of individuals who have given more than we can imagine.”
In 2008, the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University joined a consortium, led by Syracuse University, to bring world-class faculty, entrepreneurs, disability experts and business professionals together in a program focused on training veterans in small business ownership. The program is completely free for the veterans, including travel and accommodations. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been a sponsor since the program began at the Mays Business School.
News and notes from the rodeo trail …
J.W. Winklepleck won the bareback riding at the Sept. 5-6 Ouray County Fair & Rodeo while also working the rodeo as the specialty act and barrelman. His 77-point ride on Universal Rodeo’s Snake edged Fred Osman by one point … Cattle rancher and former Oregon state legislator Denny Jones, who will turn 100 three days after the conclusion of the 100th Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up, will be honored at the rodeo with a ride aboard an historic stagecoach in the opening day parade. Jones was born on Sept. 21, 1910, the first day of the first Pendleton Round-Up … The Sept. 4 Badlands Circuit Steer Roping Finals were scheduled to coincide with the historic Miles City (Mont.) to Deadwood (S.D.) Trail Ride. Competitors, trail riders and committee members all shared a chuck wagon feast on Saturday afternoon … The committee for the Oct. 7-9 Dodge Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot, N.D., has added a freestyle bullfighting competition to the show … Joel Bach, the 21-year-old son of four-time Team Roping World Champion Allen Bach, earned a total of $18,700 on Sept. 1 by finishing first in the Best of the Best roping event at the WestStar Ranch in Ellensburg, Wash., with Justin Wade Davis and also third with Britt Bockius … The University of Great Falls (Mont.) has 11 competitors – six men and five women – on its inaugural rodeo team roster. Coach Dick Lyman has UGF set to compete in nine events this year in the Big Sky region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association … A tie-down roping, team roping and barrel racing competition is scheduled Sept. 25 at Latigo Trails Equestrian Center near Colorado Springs in tribute to PRCA cowboy Spencer Miller, who died last November in a car crash at the age of 24. All proceeds will be placed in a restricted fund under the care of the Pikes Peak Range Riders Foundation to support the continued production of the Rodeo Bible Camp, the Little Britches Rodeo and other events held at Latigo. For further information, call Joan Hathcock at 719.466.1096 … Think ProRodeo isn’t an international sport? Counted among the PRCA’s membership are Dusty England, Eric Germany, Dave Canada, Duane France, Tyler Holland, Dan Denmark, Josh Poland and Curtis Spain, not to mention that Trevor Brazil(e) guy.