July is always a great month and a turning point for many contestants in the rodeo world. It affects young and seasoned veterans in the industry with the great Fourth of July run, as well as the other large rodeos that take place during July, including the International Youth Rodeo in Oklahoma, National High School Finals in Wyoming and the Little Britches Rodeo in Colorado. For some, it is the end of the year finals for the youth events. For the pro rodeo contestant and pro ropers, it is the year’s turning point because of all of the big money up for grabs at the major rodeos and ropings.
Idaho’s Garrett Smith made history when he became the first three-time National High School Finals Rodeo All-Around Cowboy while competing in six events. Kyle Partain has an article in this issue covering all of the action. One of Ropers Sports News’ neighbors split the title in the Bareback Riding and that was Clayton Biglow of Clements, Calif. He split with Shane O’Connell of Rapid City, S.D. Congratulations to all of the kids and their parents who placed at the youth rodeos this past month. Clayton also won the Bareback Riding at the International Youth Championship in Oklahoma. What an accomplishment, congratulations to Clayton.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Over the last month I have had a lot of fun bragging on the BFI winners, Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith. This was such a win for these two accomplished cowboys and was well deserved. They roped a great roping and the rest of the field did not make it easy for them to win. They had to work at it and in the process broke an arena record in the average. They both rope so good and the conditions at the BFI fit their horsemanship and roping skills to a tee. Congratulations again to this team of outstanding ropers.
- - - - - - - - - - -
I attended the final day of the Salinas Rodeo to catch the short-round. Wow, there is just something about that place that makes you feel like this is the real thing. I actually had the feeling that I wanted to start roping all over again just to come back to Salinas one more time. I soon got over that feeling when I thought of the traveling again and the training plus saw some of the other cowboys running to the airport to jump on chartered planes to make it back to another rodeo Sunday night. I forgot how much fun that was. NOT!
That arena at Salinas was always one of my favorites and was one of the reasons why the first BFI was set up with the same kind of conditions, long score (35’) and big cattle. It is so neat to see the timed events there with the long score and I remember the years that rubber was not allowed on your saddle horn. Only cotton rope wrap. You learned how to take a double dally in those days. To see 6.7 runs over that long score lets you realize how team roping has changed and how talented the ropers of today are.
This year’s short-round in the team roping was good watching as out of the top 12 teams, only one team missed. The rest all clocked in a time and most of the runs were fast. Derrick Begay and Cesar de la Cruz came back in third with a time of 35.1 on four head and stopped the clock at 7.7 for a total of 42.8 on five. This brought up Coleman Proctor and Matt Kasner with a 34.9 on four. They were 11.6 on their fifth steer giving them a 46.5. The team that came into the short round in the lead was Spencer Mitchell and Dakota Kirchenschlager with a 34.9 on four head. They clocked in an 8.4 which put them second with a 43.3 on five head, just .5 seconds behind the winners Begay and de la Cruz. Spencer and Dakota got a good check for second in the average and had won the first round with a record breaking run of 6.7. Tate Kirchenschlager and his partner, Will Woodfin came back in the third round with a matching time of 6.7 to claim the round.
The Gold Card Roping is always good watching at Salinas as it brings out the who’s who and the legends of Pro Rodeo. When it was all said and done, Hank Brown and Gary Ford won the event with Brian Costa and Sonny Cowden winning the incentive division where the team must equal 125 combined age. The names that topped the list included some of the best of the best in the roping world and brought back many memories.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Everyone is enthusiastic about the newly launched Agribusiness and Western Lifestyle radio show hosted by Alexis Bloomer on channel 80 Sirius XM satellite radio. This can be heard Monday thru Friday from 6-7 PM EST and will bring you all kinds of western lifestyle happenings around the horse and rodeo world. Also on Channel 80, ProRodeoLive is going to be broadcasting some of the top rodeos and will give a play by play with Steve Kenyon and other guest commentators such as Wade Wheatley and Butch Knowles and maybe even myself from time to time. So if you’re on the road, tune into Channel 80 on SiriusXM radio at 3pm PST to catch the new show and watch for ProRodeoLive showing times of special rodeos. They did Salinas Rodeo live and it was well liked by many listeners.