News & Notes from the Rodeo Trail
• Eight-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo pickup man Gary Rempel, 1991 World Champion Bareback Rider Clint Corey and longtime volunteers Fritz Hill and Robin Fletcher will be inducted into the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame on Sept. 7. Rempel started working as a pickup man in Pendleton when the Calgary Stampede stock contracting firm debuted there in 1991 and he’s been back every year since. Corey, now the PRCA’s Supervisor of Pro Officials, won the Mike Currin Memorial Award in 1990 as the highest-earning cowboy from the Columbia River Circuit and won many go-rounds and short rounds at Pendleton over the years. He qualified for the WNFR 18 times, one shy of Bruce Ford’s bareback riding record.
• Announcer Justin McKee, clown/barrelman Flint Rasmussen, past rodeo director Lawrence Bunning and board member Jean Manegre will be inducted into the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo Hall of Fame at the June 30 HOF Barbecue Dinner.
Nominations are being sought for the newly-created Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame. For details about the process and the goals of the organization, visit http://www.wyomingcowboyhalloffame.com
• Three-time and reigning World Champion Bareback Rider Kaycee Feild will be part of the USO/American300 tour visiting Coast Guard facilities on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington during Memorial Day week. Feild, who has been part of the American300 tours since they began five years ago, will be joined in this effort to honor and salute America’s service members by former Miss Rodeo America Maegan Ridley, World Champion Mounted Shooter Annie Ellett, Wrangler Director of Western Events Jeff Chadwick, three-time Purple Heart recipient Col. John Bates (USMC) and Army Lt. Robi Powers of American300 Tours.
• San Antonio Livestock Exposition Inc. – which operates the nine-time PRCA Indoor Rodeo of the Year San Antonio Stock Show – raised $11.8 million to educate Texas youth this year, an increase of a half-million dollars from 2013. The amount represents scholarships, grants, endowments, junior livestock auctions, a youth Western art auction, calf scramble program and show premiums paid out to Texas youth. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $147.9 million for the cause of education, says Keith Martin, the group’s executive director/CEO and also the PRCA’s Chairman of the Board. “We owe the show’s continued success to the support and efforts of more than 6,000 SALE volunteers,” Martin said. “Their contributions of time, energy and skills make it possible to give so much back to the youth of Texas.”
• The Reno (Nev.) Rodeo Foundation distributed 6,000 pairs of shoes to children in need on May 15. Foundation members dropped off clogs at local elementary schools that they had received through their partnership with Kids Inc. Every student from kindergarten through fifth grade at Libby Booth, Mariposa and Nachez Elementary schools received a pair of the shoes as a reward for participating in the Grow Yourself Healthy nutrition education program.
• From May 19-30 (excluding Memorial Day on May 26) more than 900 elementary school students from various schools in Salinas will visit the California Rodeo’s Heritage Museum at 1034 N. Main Street to learn about rodeo history, leather making, weaving, knitting and other Western traditions. The Heritage Museum Committee, chaired by Anne Bramers, will have volunteers talk about the various exhibits in the museum and conduct demonstrations. The Heritage Museum opened in 1979 and is home to an authentic Wells Fargo Stagecoach as well as many other displays unique to the California Rodeo Salinas. For more information, please visit: http://www.carodeo.com/p/About-Us/History/HeritageMuseum.
• Walt Bayes, the father of four PRCA bareback riders – Caleb, Jeff, Davey and Noah – is bidding to become the Republican nominee for governor of Idaho and appeared in the May 14 televised GOP primary debate with incumbent Gov. Butch Otter, State Senator Russ Fulcher and Harley Brown.
• Former PRCA steer roper Gary Kiehne is a Republican candidate in the 1st U.S. Congressional District of Arizona, running against State Representative Adam Kwasman and House Speaker Andy Tobin in the Aug. 26 primary election. The winner of the primary faces incumbent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat.
• Angela Speakman’s book Images of America: Cowtown Rodeo, released in conjunction with the 60th anniversary celebration of the summer rodeo series, features approximately 220 photographs dating back to the early 20th century. “Some we had to nix just because of formatting,” Speakman said, “which was heartbreaking.” Cowtown Rodeo operators Grant and Betsy Harris appeared at a book signing at the Auburn Road Winery on May 17. The book is available through Arcadia Publishing (www.arcadiapublishing.com/9781467121484/Cowtown-Rodeo) or Amazon.com
• Educator J.J. Head, the father of Jenna Beaver and father-in-law of eight-time World Champion Joe Beaver, died May 14 in Huntsville, Texas, at the age of 83. Head worked as a teacher, coach and principal in the Huntsville Independent School District for 22 years and was widely respected for his skills as an educator and also for his kind and caring nature. After retirement in 1989, Head devoted a lot of time to his hometown Walker County Fair Association to promote rodeo, established a rodeo scholarship for the Sam Houston State University rodeo team and a scholarship for students from his First Baptist Church community who would attend SHSU. He was presented with the SHSU Service Award in 2004 for his efforts to give back to the university community.
• PRCA Gold Card Member Ted Smalley, a versatile all-around hand who won numerous tie-down roping and steer wrestling titles in the 1950s, died of cancer May 18 in Burkburnett, Texas. He was 83. Smalley joined the Rodeo Cowboys Association at 18, and although he won his first buckle in bareback riding at the 1951 Ogallala, Neb., rodeo, he enjoyed most of his success at the timed-event end of the arena, with wins in Mobridge, S.D.; Evanston, Wyo.; Buffalo, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M., and Gallup, N.M. Smalley and his wife, Marcia, were well known for their training of top barrel racing horses and riders. He served as a board member with the Rodeo Cowboy Alumni organization. Funeral services will take place May 21, at 10:30 a.m. at Owens & Brumley funeral home in Burkburnett. Memorials can be made to the Red River Cowboy Church in Burkburnett.
• The organizing committee for next month’s Coleman (Texas) PRCA Rodeo is planning a special tribute to ProRodeo Hall of Fame rodeo clown Quail Dobbs to honor his more than 20 years working there. Dobbs, who died Jan. 15 of this year at the age of 72, had earlier been honored by being named an honorary member of the Coleman Rodeo Association.
• To honor the ongoing success of the Parada del Sol Rodeo in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball club is designating its May 30 game with the Cincinnati Reds as Parada del Sol Western Night. The D-Backs are offering discounted tickets to all rodeo fans using the code PARADA.
• The Gooding (Idaho) Pro Rodeo will soon be home to a half-life-sized bronze titled, “Rodeo” by former bareback and bull rider Jeff Wolf of Spanish Fork, Utah. The sculpture was donated by the Rice Family to honor their father and mother, Leo and May Rice. The bronze will be unveiled on Aug. 13, the night before the opening of the 89th annual rodeo.
• The Chicks N Chaps Luncheon on May 16 in Redding, Calif., raised more than $44,000 for cancer research.
• People of all ages with developmental disabilities are invited to take part in the Rascal Rodeo from 10 a.m.-noon June 8, as part of the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show & Rodeo in Union. Organizers expect more than three dozen people to engage in mock rodeo events, including wild cow milking, calf roping, steer roping, bull riding, bronc riding and barrel racing. F