JoJo LeMond & Marty Becker set arena record at Sisters Rodeo, win at Livermore | TSLN.com

JoJo LeMond & Marty Becker set arena record at Sisters Rodeo, win at Livermore

SISTERS, OR – It was JoJo LeMond’s plan to take most of this year off from team roping to spend more time with his family and work on developing his half-share of a ranch 30 miles outside of Andrews, TX. A wildfire changed all that.

Six weeks ago, the 20 sections owned by LeMond, his wife, Blair, and another family burned in a grassfire that decimated thousands of acres of Texas landscape. LeMond suddenly had no grazing land, no fences and “nothing to do.”

LeMond is not a guy who believes in the concept of luck. “There are bad days and better days,” he said, and when the fire hit, he didn’t waste a lot of time bemoaning his fate. The family still had a place to live in Andrews, and he still had a career in rodeo.

LeMond got on the phone with Canadian heeler Marty Becker, who had stayed with him in Texas last fall, when LeMond was still thinking about staying on the rodeo road, and asked him if would consider being his partner for the rest of this year.

Becker didn’t hesitate, and the results in their first two rodeos of this year provide abundant evidence why he jumped on board so readily.

LeMond and Becker won the first round at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo June 9 with a time of 4.5 seconds, breaking the arena record of 4.6 set 15 years earlier by Speed Williams and Dennis Gatz, and finished second in the two-head average behind Chad Masters and Jade Corkill (9.9 seconds to 10.0). Both teams shattered the arena record of 10.5 seconds set by Brandon and Mike Beers in 2007.

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The next day, LeMond/Becker put down a time of 4.6 seconds at the Livermore (CA) Rodeo, and that stood up to win the event by six-tenths-of-a-second over Wrangler NFR veterans Riley and Brady Minor.

“I have always wanted to rope with Marty,” LeMond said. “In my mind, he is one of the top three heelers in the world, maybe the best, and I think we can be a very good team. We believe in one another, and we are approaching this like we have a legitimate shot at making the Wrangler NFR.”

LeMond, 28, has qualified for the NFR in each of the last three years with three different partners (Cory Petska, Randon Adams and Martin Lucero), and he certainly knows what it takes to make it to the sport’s biggest stage.

LeMond and Becker won the rodeo in Rosenberg, TX, and won a round in Pasadena, TX, last fall before LeMond decided to take his hiatus, so he had $3,144 in 2011 earnings entering the June 9-12 weekend. Becker, who has recently roped with Keven Daniel and Speed Williams, is 30th in the world with $14,332 while LeMond sits 50th with $8,636.

“Actually, I didn’t go to that many rodeos last year (his 58 was seven fewer rodeos than any other NFR qualifier), and I still made it,” LeMond said. “I believe this is the beginning of a really good partnership.”

• Ryan Gray’s long, frustrating wait to get back in top form seems to be over. He won the bareback riding at the June 11-12 Livermore (CA) Rodeo with an 86-point ride on Growney Brothers’ Beaver Fever to earn $2,109. Gray just returned to PRCA competition a few weeks ago after three months of rest and recovery from a lacerated liver he suffered during last December’s Wrangler NFR, and another couple of months on the sideline with a separated rib. He earned his first check ($199) at Silver City, NM, a week ago and is now prepared to go all out to make a return to the Wrangler NFR. “Everything’s possible,” Gray told the Bend Bulletin. “The thing about the summertime is there’s so much money to be won in a short amount of time. Usually we’ve gone to 15 rodeos by the time June starts. There are more than 50 rodeos between now and the end of September.”

• Bobby Mote won two more all-around titles over the June 10-12 weekend. He won at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo with sixth-place finishes in the bareback riding and team roping, then won the Livermore (CA) Rodeo by finishing in a tie for fifth in the bareback riding ($375) and sixth in the team roping ($1,283). Oddly, it was the third all-around title in four during the last month in which Mote, a four-time world champion bareback rider, earned more money in the team roping with partner Mike Beers than he did in his specialty. A further irony? The only all-around title he failed to collect this weekend, at Union, OR, went to Beers, who added to his team roping earnings by winning a round of the steer roping.

• Record reclaimed: Jesse Kruse, who set the saddle bronc riding arena record at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo in 2009 with an 86-point ride, then lost it to Scott Miller a year ago when Miller won with an 87, has now reclaimed a share of the record. Kruse rode Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting, for 87 points and the win in the final session of the rodeo June 12.

• Tie-down roping lead changes hands, but stays in the family: A second-place finish at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo and a fifth-place check at the Livermore (CA) Rodeo was enough to lift Tuf Cooper into first place in the tie-down roping world standings. He is $1,749 ahead of older brother Clint Cooper, who had held the lead since Feb. 7.

• The Brazile Watch: Trevor Brazile, sprinting toward his record ninth all-around world championship, put up three more wins over the June 10-12 weekend. He won the tie-down roping and all-around titles at the Mesquite (TX) ProRodeo Series in Resistol Arena and claimed his sixth steer roping championship of the season at the Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo in Garden City, KS. The steer roping win was a display of sheer dominance. Brazile won the first round, second round and the three-head average; his time of 33.4 seconds was two seconds faster than runner-up Shay Good. Brazile’s earnings of $122,154 are nearly $12,000 ahead of last year’s pace when he set a single-season money record.

SISTERS, OR – It was JoJo LeMond’s plan to take most of this year off from team roping to spend more time with his family and work on developing his half-share of a ranch 30 miles outside of Andrews, TX. A wildfire changed all that.

Six weeks ago, the 20 sections owned by LeMond, his wife, Blair, and another family burned in a grassfire that decimated thousands of acres of Texas landscape. LeMond suddenly had no grazing land, no fences and “nothing to do.”

LeMond is not a guy who believes in the concept of luck. “There are bad days and better days,” he said, and when the fire hit, he didn’t waste a lot of time bemoaning his fate. The family still had a place to live in Andrews, and he still had a career in rodeo.

LeMond got on the phone with Canadian heeler Marty Becker, who had stayed with him in Texas last fall, when LeMond was still thinking about staying on the rodeo road, and asked him if would consider being his partner for the rest of this year.

Becker didn’t hesitate, and the results in their first two rodeos of this year provide abundant evidence why he jumped on board so readily.

LeMond and Becker won the first round at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo June 9 with a time of 4.5 seconds, breaking the arena record of 4.6 set 15 years earlier by Speed Williams and Dennis Gatz, and finished second in the two-head average behind Chad Masters and Jade Corkill (9.9 seconds to 10.0). Both teams shattered the arena record of 10.5 seconds set by Brandon and Mike Beers in 2007.

The next day, LeMond/Becker put down a time of 4.6 seconds at the Livermore (CA) Rodeo, and that stood up to win the event by six-tenths-of-a-second over Wrangler NFR veterans Riley and Brady Minor.

“I have always wanted to rope with Marty,” LeMond said. “In my mind, he is one of the top three heelers in the world, maybe the best, and I think we can be a very good team. We believe in one another, and we are approaching this like we have a legitimate shot at making the Wrangler NFR.”

LeMond, 28, has qualified for the NFR in each of the last three years with three different partners (Cory Petska, Randon Adams and Martin Lucero), and he certainly knows what it takes to make it to the sport’s biggest stage.

LeMond and Becker won the rodeo in Rosenberg, TX, and won a round in Pasadena, TX, last fall before LeMond decided to take his hiatus, so he had $3,144 in 2011 earnings entering the June 9-12 weekend. Becker, who has recently roped with Keven Daniel and Speed Williams, is 30th in the world with $14,332 while LeMond sits 50th with $8,636.

“Actually, I didn’t go to that many rodeos last year (his 58 was seven fewer rodeos than any other NFR qualifier), and I still made it,” LeMond said. “I believe this is the beginning of a really good partnership.”

• Ryan Gray’s long, frustrating wait to get back in top form seems to be over. He won the bareback riding at the June 11-12 Livermore (CA) Rodeo with an 86-point ride on Growney Brothers’ Beaver Fever to earn $2,109. Gray just returned to PRCA competition a few weeks ago after three months of rest and recovery from a lacerated liver he suffered during last December’s Wrangler NFR, and another couple of months on the sideline with a separated rib. He earned his first check ($199) at Silver City, NM, a week ago and is now prepared to go all out to make a return to the Wrangler NFR. “Everything’s possible,” Gray told the Bend Bulletin. “The thing about the summertime is there’s so much money to be won in a short amount of time. Usually we’ve gone to 15 rodeos by the time June starts. There are more than 50 rodeos between now and the end of September.”

• Bobby Mote won two more all-around titles over the June 10-12 weekend. He won at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo with sixth-place finishes in the bareback riding and team roping, then won the Livermore (CA) Rodeo by finishing in a tie for fifth in the bareback riding ($375) and sixth in the team roping ($1,283). Oddly, it was the third all-around title in four during the last month in which Mote, a four-time world champion bareback rider, earned more money in the team roping with partner Mike Beers than he did in his specialty. A further irony? The only all-around title he failed to collect this weekend, at Union, OR, went to Beers, who added to his team roping earnings by winning a round of the steer roping.

• Record reclaimed: Jesse Kruse, who set the saddle bronc riding arena record at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo in 2009 with an 86-point ride, then lost it to Scott Miller a year ago when Miller won with an 87, has now reclaimed a share of the record. Kruse rode Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting, for 87 points and the win in the final session of the rodeo June 12.

• Tie-down roping lead changes hands, but stays in the family: A second-place finish at the Sisters (OR) Rodeo and a fifth-place check at the Livermore (CA) Rodeo was enough to lift Tuf Cooper into first place in the tie-down roping world standings. He is $1,749 ahead of older brother Clint Cooper, who had held the lead since Feb. 7.

• The Brazile Watch: Trevor Brazile, sprinting toward his record ninth all-around world championship, put up three more wins over the June 10-12 weekend. He won the tie-down roping and all-around titles at the Mesquite (TX) ProRodeo Series in Resistol Arena and claimed his sixth steer roping championship of the season at the Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo in Garden City, KS. The steer roping win was a display of sheer dominance. Brazile won the first round, second round and the three-head average; his time of 33.4 seconds was two seconds faster than runner-up Shay Good. Brazile’s earnings of $122,154 are nearly $12,000 ahead of last year’s pace when he set a single-season money record.

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