Rule honored as Zoetis PRCA Vet of the Year
Dr. J. Fred Rule, a PRCA Gold Card member who has been caring for the livestock of the Beutler family of stock contractors for four generations, has been voted the Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year for 2014.
Dr. Rule has been the veterinarian for the Elk City PRCA rodeo for 40 years and was the veterinarian on call for the National Finals Rodeo when it was in Oklahoma City. Rule will be recognized at the PRCA Awards Banquet Dec. 4 in Las Vegas and in the arena Dec. 6 during the 56th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“I will be accepting this award on behalf of all those veterinarians who furnish assistance to rodeo animals on a daily basis,” Dr. Rule said. “I’ve been involved with rodeo and rodeo animals for 51 years, since I graduated from Kansas State and moved to Oklahoma. It’s truly wonderful when you have an occupation that allows you to get paid for something you love doing. I’ve been very fortunate to have notable clients and animals. I haven’t a single thing to whine about.
“The really, really rewarding thing is the friends you make along the way, and I’ve got acres of great friends from my years in rodeo. The rodeo and ranching way of life is the best and needs to be preserved. When I was young I competed as a bulldogger. Sometimes they even let me win a little money. I always told people competing in rodeo was my avocation and being a veterinarian was my vocation. I loved it then and I love it now.”
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Dr. Rule had nomination letters sent in from PRCA Gold Card member, NFR qualifier and former assistance manager of the NFR in Oklahoma City, Larry Dawson; 1964 World Champion Steer Wrestler C.R. Boucher; PRCA Stock Contractor Bennie Beutler, three-time PRCA World Champion Roy Duvall; Elk City PRCA Rodeo Board Members and many others.
Larry Dawson said it well, “To be arena director, judge, committee member, or whatever, and have Dr. Fred helping you, as a vet on call, makes any event run better, because one knows he is prepared for the situation, whatever it is. All one needs to do is ask, from professional cowboys, businessmen, racing people, to local ranchers, who’s their choice for the best veterinarian? The majority will say Dr. Fred Rule.”
Other finalists for the 2014 award were Dr. Tony Sheiber of Cody, Wyo.; Dr. Jerry Billquist of Boerne, Texas; Dr. Marty Dean Tanner of Elgin, Texas; and Dr. John Boyington of Phillipsburg, Kan.
The Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year Award was created in 2010 to recognize the dedication of veterinarians across the country to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock. Nominations are submitted by PRCA members and PRCA rodeo committees. The selection committee reviews those nominations for specific contributions to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock, extent of involvement in the sport of rodeo and community involvement.
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