News & Notes from the rodeo trail |

News & Notes from the rodeo trail

After 16 months, the New York Times’ multi-media project on the Wright brothers by Pulitzer Prize-winner John Branch and photographer Josh Haner is completed and online. The project follows the Wright clan – Cody, Jesse, Jake and Spencer – through the 2013-14 seasons, wrapping up with last December’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It can be viewed here: The piece has already stirred up quite a bit of interest on the Wright family, as two television companies – one on each coast of the country – have been in contact about a potential TV series.

Simon Moore, a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, died March 13 in Elizabeth, Colo. He was 62. Moore had been a PRCA member since 2004. He was a longtime volunteer at the Elizabeth Stampede, and served on their Board of Directors from 1999-2005. He was also the founder and CEO of Town and Country Foods, a company which delivers fresh food products directly to people’s homes. A celebration of life service will take place in Colorado Springs at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, located at 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, March 20 at 2 p.m..

Carl Lee “Swizzle” Schnabele, a PRCA bull rider and saddle bronc rider from 1968-78, died March 7 from injuries suffered in a single-vehicle crash on the Paulina/Izee Highway, 14 miles east of Paulina, Ore. He was 69. Oregon State Police reported that Schnabele’s truck went airborne over a creek on the north side of the road and crashed into a vertical embankment. He was declared dead at the scene. A celebration of his life will take place at the Schnabele Ranch at 1 p.m. on March 21. It will be potluck style with meat provided; visitors are asked to bring a side dish or dessert. Camping space is available at the ranch.

Details are being worked out to stream the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., live online through ESPN3. National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Commissioner Roger Walters says ESPN and the rodeo association began working on the deal after realizing the Casper Events Center had the bandwidth to support streaming the event. Walters told the Casper Star-Tribune that the contract would likely be for two or three years. In the past, the weeklong college rodeo was taped and aired later in the summer on ESPNU. The 67th College National Finals Rodeo begins June 14.

California Rodeo Salinas is hosting an old-fashioned barn dance April 11 from 7-11 p.m. at The Barn, located at 1563 Old Stage Road in Salinas. Tickets are $25 per person and include small bites provided by Outback Steakhouse, a no-host bar and music by Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band. Western attire is welcomed and encouraged. The proceeds will benefit the California Rodeo’s Hall of Fame. For directions, information and to purchase tickets, visit

California Rodeo Salinas and Pendleton Whisky will host an event called “Passport to Pendleton” on April 24. The event will kick off the partnership between California Rodeo Salinas and Pendleton Whisky, while allowing patrons to sample the smooth taste of Pendleton Whisky and additional brands offered by Hood River Distillers. The festivities start at 6 p.m. and will include a hosted bar, full steak dinner prepared by The Grower’s Pub, whisky tasting, a swag bag, music and more. The cost is $75 per person and tickets can be purchased at,.

Cotton Rosser of Flying U Rodeo will be honored at the 2015 Western Heritage Awards, April 17-18, at Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Rosser will be one of two inductees into the Hall of Great Westerners, along with the late John Hughes (1933-2013), the legendary Oklahoma cattleman.

PRCA bareback rider Cody Kiser teamed with barrel racer Carly Twisselman at the Avi Stampede PRCA Rodeo in Fort Mohave, Ariz., to spread the message of “Be Smart, Don’t Start,” in reference to kids using tobacco. Both Kiser and Twisselman are sponsored by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and work hard to influence kids and teens in the rodeo world to say no to all types of tobacco.

The Pratt (Kan.) Community College rodeo team is more than two-thirds of the way through the 2014-15 season, and is currently seeking a full-time men’s and women’s head coach. PCC is conducting a nationwide search, and hopes to announce a new coach by the first week of April. During the search, three-time World Champion Steer Roper Rocky Patterson – a former head coach of the PCC rodeo program in the ‘90s – has taken over as interim head coach.