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Rodeo news & notes, July 23

Bareback riders Kaycee Feild, Jessy Davis, Tilden Hooper and Joe Gunderson will take a break from competing in the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days on July 26 to go visit the troops at nearby F.E. Warren Air Force Base. “The Western Community knows that it’s the work our Armed Forces perform on a daily basis that allows us to rodeo,” Feild said, “let alone enjoying the freedoms that come with being Americans. It’s something we all feel strongly about.” For the past three years Feild has been part of the Armed Forces Entertainment American300 Wrangler National Patriot Memorial Day Troop Tour, that has gone to combat outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also joins George Strait as the lead ambassador for the Wrangler National Patriot program which raises funds for our country’s fallen and wounded service members and families …

ProRodeoLive.com will air coverage of the championship round at Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days at 12:30 p.m. (MT) on July 29 with Steve Kenyon and Butch Knowles behind the microphone … Sixteen-time World Champion Trevor Brazile and Dr. Ken MacRae, the winner of the 1998 Justin Committeeman of the Year Award, will be inducted into the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Hall of Fame on Aug. 31. Brazile won the all-around title at Ellensburg in 2003, 2006 and 2009 …

PRCA Gold Card Member Ernie Love died on his ranch east of Manhattan, Kan., on July 22, just two days after learning that he had been selected for induction into the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame. He was 78. Love was a true all-around hand, winning PRCA rodeo titles in bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping and saddle bronc riding during his career, and he continued competing in senior rodeos, winning his last bull riding competition at the age of 61. He also served two years as a judge at the Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo …

Lehi, Utah, bull rider Travis Atkinson, 17th in the final world standings a year ago, suffered a sublaxation (partial dislocation) of his left shoulder while competing in Sheridan, Wyo., on July 12 and is out indefinitely …

The Rusty Wright who won the saddle bronc riding title at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo., is the son of two-time World Champion Cody Wright and the nephew of recent NHSFR champions Jake Wright (2007) and Spencer Wright (2008). That’s three Wrights from two generations in six years …

Wrights II: Rusty’s younger brother Ryder Wright won the bull riding at the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo June 30 in Gallup, N.M. …

Wiley Petersen and 2004 Bull Riding World Champion Dustin Elliott have launched BullRiderCoach.com, offering training videos, articles and their more than 40 years experience as contestants to help bull riders who are looking to “improve their riding or just simply looking to get into the sport.” …

The Horse Heaven Round-Up in Kennewick, Wash., will be part of the Big 4 Rodeos Association this year for the first time – replacing the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo in the lineup with the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up, the Lewiston (Idaho) Roundup and the Walla Walla (Wash.) Frontier Days. The four rodeos are held over a three-week span and offer a $4,000 Best in the Northwest Award to the contestant who accumulates the most points while competing at all four rodeos. “We are excited to become a member of the Big 4 Rodeos and join the legacy established in 1953Ride With The Legend Vote Today for the National Day of the Cowboy,” said Mike Casey, president of the Horse Heaven Round-Up …

As the National Day of the Cowboy approaches its eighth annual observance on July 28, there have been a couple of important milestones reached this summer. Wyoming and California have become the first two states to pass a NDOC proclamation in perpetuity and the organization’s cowboy flag project has 27 states taking part; the flag has also flown over Desert Cowboys in Iraq and Afghanistan and has flown to the International Space Station and back …

While Executive Director Ray Morrell says the decision to move the corporate offices of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame from Bismarck to Mandan was “mainly for economic reasons,” the extra space will bring an added benefit. Morrell plans to use the space for additional interpretive displays and new outreach programs to better serve the NDCHOF museum in Medora. “The corporate office needs to be indicative of what we represent,” Morrell told the Bismarck Tribune. “People can walk into the office and feel and see what the North Dakota Hall of Fame is all about.” …

Central Wyoming College in Riverton will choose a new head rodeo coach from a short list of three PRCA members – Drew Schrock, Andy Carter and Charlie Gorzalka. Schrock served as an assistant coach at CWC under Rick and Lynn Smith, who left at the conclusion of the 2012 season to take over the coaching jobs at Cochise (Ariz.) College. Gorzalka is an assistant coach at Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas) and Carter is the head coach at Three Rivers Community College (Poplar Bluff, Mo.) … Kevin Culhane, a member of the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo committee for 10 years, was inducted into the rodeo’s Hall of Fame on July 17 and his father, Don Culhane, the owner of a local dairy, was named grand marshal for the rodeo parade in Mitchell, S.D. “Kevin was part of the group that revitalized the rodeo in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and he has done some great things for the community after serving with the committee,” Corn Palace Stampede Chairman Jim Miskimins told the Mitchell Daily Republic

Liz Kesler, who organizes the annual (and highly popular) Cowboy Reunion each December  in Las Vegas has presented a check for $7,000 to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund and an additional check for $4,000 to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Cowboy Reunion brings together past champions and members of the PRCA to celebrate the sport’s rich traditions and history during the final days of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The 2012 Cowboy Reunion will be held at the Orleans Hotel on Dec. 13-15 …


Luke Perry, left, Western Wishes founder Donnalyn Quintana and Stephen Baldwin combined to make a major success of the “8 Seconds to Glory” fundraiser July 21 at Little America in Cheyenne.  Luke Perry portrayed Lane Frost in the 1994 movie “8 Seconds” and Stephen Baldwin played Frost’s best friend (and fellow World Champion Bull Rider) Tuff Hedeman.

The original Western Wishes, founded in 1994 by Donnalyn Quintana, held an 8 Seconds movie cast reunion and gala dinner on July 21 at Little America in Cheyenne, Wyo., to mark the 20th anniversary of both Western Wishes and the film’s premiere. There were wish story presentations by actor/director Luke Perry, who portrayed the late World Champion Bull Rider Lane Frost in the movie, and actor Stephen Baldwin, who portrayed World Champion Bull Rider Tuff Hedeman, along with one by Hedeman himself. Guests viewed a screening of a musical tribute to both past and present Western Wishes recipients, showing wishes being fulfilled with rodeo stars and country music legends. The reunion was emceed by Great American Country commentator Justin McKee and there was musical entertainment by Susie McEntire, Susie Dobbs, Rhonda Gunn and John Wayne Schultz

Cactus Ropes has launched a new website (www.cactusropes.com), featuring updated graphics, content and shopping options …

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo awarded scholarships totaling $240,000 to 43 deserving Texas FFA members during the Texas FFA Convention held in Corpus Christi, Texas at the American Bank Center on July 12.

Liz Kesler, right, and Rollie Gibbs presented Cindy Schonholtz, Program Manager for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund with a check for $7,000 at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductions representing proceeds from the 2011 Cowboy Reunion.  The Cowboy Reunion is held in Las Vegas each year bringing together past champions and members of the PRCA to celebrate our great history and raise funds for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.  The 2012 Cowboy Reunion will be held at the Orleans Hotel on December 13-15.

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