News & Notes from the rodeo trail |

News & Notes from the rodeo trail

According to Clovis, Calif., business development manager Shawn Miller, the economic impact of the Clovis Rodeo each April is nearly $7 million. Attendance at last week’s 102nd annual event was estimated at 45,000, with another 10,000 spectators on hand for the April 23 Rodeo Parade. “We had capacity crowds four days in a row enjoy all the rodeo events,” said Greg Gillard of the Clovis Rodeo Association.

The Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth inducted its new class earlier this month, and it includes nine-time World Champion Ty Murray and Jeff Medders,owner of Geronimo Productions, which has televised PRCA rodeos for many years. For the full class, go to

The Reno Rodeo Association presented a $159,663 check to the Reno Rodeo Foundation April 21. The money goes toward helping children and families in northern Nevada, and also provides scholarships to the University of Nevada, Reno. Organizers also announced that the Reno Rodeo Parade is moving to Midtown and will be June 18 …More than 900 pints of blood were donated to the Central California Blood Center’s 16th annual Clovis Rodeo Blood Drive April 20. Since the blood drive’s inception, more than 13,000 donors have contributed blood, making it the largest single-day blood drive in the nation, rodeo officials said.

Cindy Bahe has returned to her position as director of the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center, in Fort Pierre, S.D., after a short stint as the director of communications for the South Dakota Bar Association. In March, Bahe announced she was leaving her position as director of the CTRC and Mattie Goff Newcombe Conference Center after five years in the job so she would have more time to be with her family and friends. “It (the SDBA) just wasn’t the right fit for me,” Bahe said.

Robert (Bob) Keirnes, a former bull rider and PRCA Gold Card member, of Fort Collins, Colo., passed away April 4. He was 85. Keirnes got his PRCA card in 1952 and competed until 1964.

Billy Paul Lawrence, a PRCA Gold Card member, team roper, roughstock rider and stock contractor, passed away April 4 in Amado, Ariz. He learned to ride horses at an early age and rodeoed all over the United States. At age 15, he competed at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was an original member of the Cowboys’ Turtle Association.

Shortly after riding in the Lakeside (Calif.) Rodeo Parade on April 23, local horsewoman Diana Cavender was killed when her horse spooked, lost its balance and rolled on her, hitting her head against the pavement. Cavender was a member of the renowned Escondido (Calif.) Mounted Posse, and was described by one of the members as being the best and most experienced rider in the group, a horse trainer by trade. They were leaving the parade and were riding on the asphalt when, according to a member of the group who witnessed the accident, something spooked Cavender’s horse: “It reared and spun and flipped on its side.”.

A parachute jumper was injured when his landing went awry while performing at the Gold Country Pro Rodeo in Auburn, Calif., April 23. According to onlookers, he overshot the landing site at the Gold Country Fairgrounds and came down on or near a fence while carrying the American flag prior to the National Anthem and grand entry. When the Auburn Fire Department arrived at the scene, the injured man was already in the standby ambulance, Fire Capt. Robert Zaucha said.

Rodeo announcer Mike Mathis, of Lufkin, Texas, was presented with the John Justin Standard of the West Committeeman of the Year award in the arena during the final performance of the April 20-23 Angelina County Benefit Rodeo in Lufkin.

Independent filmmaker Justin Koehler says he’s close to wrapping up a documentary film about six-time Saddle Bronc Riding World Champion Casey Tibbs. Koehler has been working on “Floating Horses: The Life of Casey Tibbs” – which doesn’t yet have a release date – mainly by himself for more than a year and a half. PRCA saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere will be playing the role of Tibbs.

The Jefferson County (Ore.) Fair is looking to fill the position of event coordinator, and welcomes applications from interested parties. For further information, visit and click on human resources, job opportunities.

Resistol, official hat sponsor of the PRCA, has released a new product called the RideSafe, a protective cowboy hat designed to prevent head injury for Western horse riders of every age. The RideSafe is a modified and reinforced cowboy hat, complete with a chinstrap, and can be purchased at

Wyoming Public Radio won three regional Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association. WPR News Director Bob Beck won the best sports reporting award for his feature on bullfighters Darrell Diefenbach and Dusty Tuckness and their importance to the safety of bull riders. It’s the third time Beck has been honored with a Murrow. “We have a great newsroom with fantastic reporters, and it’s a thrill to be honored with three very prestigious awards,” Beck said.


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