News & Notes from rodeo trail |

News & Notes from rodeo trail

Thomas Robert Tate, who qualified for the 1971 National Finals Rodeo in saddle bronc riding, finishing 15th in the PRCA world standings, passed away Dec. 14, 2015, in Cimarron, N.M. He was 67. Injuries forced his early retirement from rodeo in 1976. Memorial donations may be sent to Maverick Rodeo Club, PO Box 81, Cimarron, NM 87714.

Samuel Russel McDowell, who was a pickup man at the 1971-72 National Finals Rodeos, passed away March 3 at Kalispell (Mont.) Regional Medical Center. He was 86. McDowell was also selected to be a pickup man at the 1973 NFR, but a heart attack sidelined him. Although he would continue to work as a pickup man, it was on a limited basis. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at

Barrel racer Ruth Haislip, a three-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (1998-2000), passed away March 13. She was 63. Haislip, a former college champion, finished a career-best fourth in the 1998 world standings aboard the great mare Go Royal Scarlett.

Robert (Bob) Nordtome, a PRCA Gold Card member and former calf roper, steer roper and steer wrestler, passed away March 10 in Fort Sumner, N.M. He was 88. In the early 1960s, Nordtome went into partnership with Jack Bloxham and Don Sterling to form the Big Sky Rodeo Company, a stock contracting company that existed until 1969. Nordtome also worked for the Arizona Livestock Board, where he served as a captain in the criminal investigation unit. He operated Silver Buckle Horse Ranch, where he trained and showed horses. He was inducted into the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame in 2011.

Two Ft. Hays (Kan.) State University students have been awarded scholarships courtesy of the Phillipsburg (Kan.) Rodeo Association. MariKate Crouch, Scott City, Kan., and Matt Rezac, Onaga, Kan., have both received $500 scholarships for their schooling at Ft. Hays State. Bronc Rumford, the rodeo coach at FHSU, speaks highly of both students. Rezac “is a good horseman,” he said. “He can handle a rope and has a ton of talent.” Crouch, from a rodeo family, “ropes and rides well. She’s always at practice and is always upbeat. They are both very coachable. When you tell them something, they’ll go work on it.” Since 1997, the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association has awarded scholarships to FHSU students who compete in rodeo.

The Tri-State Rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa, has a new chairman of the rodeo committee. Josh Denning is replacing Bob Huffman, who held the post for three years. Both men have been around the rodeo for a long time, as they both grew up in Fort Madison. Denning is currently in his 17th year as a member of the rodeo committee.

The Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center’s project manager will have to find a way to cut at least nine days off the current schedule if construction is going to be finished in time to host the Umatilla County Fair – including the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston – in 2017. A construction schedule presented by Rob Drier of Frew Development Group shows the first event date for the rodeo arena and barns as Aug. 17. Problem is, the rodeo is scheduled for Aug. 8-12. The options will be to either speed up construction, or push the rodeo back.


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