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News and notes from the rodeo trail

by Tracy Renck | Oct 22, 2018

PRCA Stat of the Week

Trevor Brazile has won 67 total number of go-rounds at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping in his career which is a PRCA record. Brazile won his rounds in team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping. Brazile will compete at the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping Nov. 2-3 in Mulvane, Kan., and in tie-down roping at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Dec. 6-15 in Las Vegas.

  • In addition to the Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo, will livestream the Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo, from Heber City, Utah, Nov. 1-3. The livestream begins at 9 p.m. (ET) nightly. The RAM Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo on will livestream Nov. 8-10 in Louisville, Ky. The livestream begins at 7:30 p.m. (ET) each night. For more information about go to
  • The Wrangler Gold Buckle Gala is scheduled for Dec. 3 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas honoring the 2018 Legend of ProRodeo Keith Martin. RSVP no later than Nov. 26. Reserve your tickets today by calling 719.528.4732 or buy online at 6 p.m. Doors Open – Silent auction; 7 p.m. Welcome, invocation, dinner; 7:45 p.m. Silent auction closes; 8 p.m. Live auction; 8:20 p.m. Legend of ProRodeo Award. All times are Pacific. Tickets are on sale for $100 a person or $900 for a table of 10. Tickets must be purchased by Nov. 26. For more information or to be added to the Gala mailing list email or call 719.528.4732. All proceeds benefit the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy.
  • Dan Ackley, a steer wrestler who qualified for the National Finals Rodeo three times (1977-79) and went on to be a rodeo judge, rodeo producer and arena director, passed away Oct. 1. He was 71. In 1978, Ackley placed third in the average and third in the world standings. He and his wife, Judy, were inducted into the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2010 for their work as participants, officials, volunteers and contestants at the Ellensburg Rodeo each year since the 1970s. He also was involved with the Christensen Brothers’ stock contracting company. As the proprietor of DJ Classics with Judy, Ackley became known throughout the Northwest and the United States as an expert in creating custom lamps, decorative Western-themed towel and coat racks, fire pits, bars, and table-and-chair sets. Before his rodeo career, he played football at Boise State in Idaho. He also loved to hunt and fish. After he quit rodeo as a contestant, he served as a chute boss and arena director.
  • Last month, bareback rider J.R. Vezain suffered a broken back that required surgery and has left him with mobility issues from the waist down. He is undergoing rehabilitation in Houston. All the while, expenses from the injury continue to add up.Multiple orgazinations are raising money to donate to Vezain. “The rodeo industry is one big family, and when one of our family members is down, we all need to pick them up,” said Pete Carr, owner of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “We put on rodeos, so my heart told me that the next rodeo we produce could be a benefit rodeo for the Vezain family. All the proceeds from the Stampede at the Ike rodeo in West Monroe (La.) will go directly to J.R. and (wife) Shelby.” Stampede at the Ike will take place Jan. 4-5. The Breeder’s Connection online also is hosting a benefit for J.R. Vezain and Shelby. There is an online bucking horse sale Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. (CT), two front-row, 10th-round Wrangler NFR tickets donated by the Harry Vold family will be up for auction, a benefit raffle and more. Details at

    Vezain is undergoing rehabilitation at the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital.

  • Tarleton State University’s Rodeo Hall of Fame will celebrate the induction of three new members during the ninth annual steak dinner and auction Nov. 3, at the Twisted J in Stephenville, Texas. The inductees are Bradley Harter, Kim Todd Hodge and Tommy Houston. The annual event, which benefits Tarleton Rodeo’s scholarship fund, begins at 6 p.m. (CT) with a reception and preview mixer, followed by the induction ceremony, dinner and live auction. Admission to the event is $50 per person and includes dinner. Tickets are available for purchase through 5 p.m., Nov. 2, by contacting the Office of Rodeo Activities at 254.968.9344 or 254.968.9187. Harter, a saddle bronc rider, is a 10-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. After high school, he attended Wharton County Junior College for two years before transferring to Tarleton. In his four years of eligibility with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), he qualified to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) four times earning Reserve Saddle Bronc Champion honors in 2003. Hodge grew up in Colorado where she began her rodeo career competing in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association and high school rodeos. Hodge competed her first two years in the NIRA at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M., and then transferred to Tarleton as a junior. She competed in barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping. Houston, current operator and manager of the Houston Ranch in Bluff Dale, Texas, accepted a rodeo scholarship at Texas Tech, but traveled with members of the Tarleton Rodeo team, including Tooter Waites, Randy Majors, Charles Bitters and Bobby Hungate. Taking honors such as the all-around hand at the West Texas State University rodeo in 1967 and twice winning the Texas Tech calf roping and the Tarleton Rodeo calf roping in 1967, he was no stranger to the winner’s circle. He went on to win the American Quarter Horse Association’s World Calf Roping Title in 1981.
  • On Oct. 20, the Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame inducted its 2018 class in Twin Falls. The class included horseman Jackson Sundown, nephew of Chief Joseph, was posthumously honored for his phenomenal performances in the rodeo arena. Sundown was the first American Indian to win a world title in the Saddle Bronc Championship at Pendleton, Ore., and is a member of the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame. Other 2018 inductees of the IRHOF were Ernie Sites, ProRodeo Hall of Famer Dee Pickett, Judi VanDorn Thacker and Joni James Smith. Smith and her mother, Karen Laven James, both won Miss Rodeo Idaho and Miss Rodeo America titles. As for Idaho’s rodeo duos, Shawn Davis, a ProRodeo Hall of Famer and three-time world champion saddle bronc rider, and his son, Zane Davis also were inducted. Shawn Davis coached the College of Southern Idaho’s rodeo team for nearly 40 years and now lives in Congress, Ariz. Other father and son duos included Arty Tyler (posthumously) and Bob Tyler, and Casey Bequeath, who passed away recently, and Cody Bequeath. Husband and wife duos include Jim and Karen Fain, and Stevia and Kirk Webb. Also inducted were Everett Prescott (posthumously) and his daughter, Sheri Prescott Arkoosh.
  • On Oct. 18, officials at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Neb., announced that rodeo will become the 10th intercollegiate athletic program at the Norfolk-based college beginning in fall 2019. “Rodeo is a popular sport across the region among high school students. Northeast Community College wants to give those students the opportunity to pursue their passion to take part in the competition the sport offers while earning their college degree with us,” said Kurt Kohler, dean of student life and athletics in an article at “Also, with agriculture as the college’s largest academic program, rodeo is a natural fit and is relevant to the curriculum that is offered.” Kohler said the program will provide additional student-athletes opportunities to compete for Northeast. “We want to give all of our student-athletes the chance to compete in the sport they love, whether its basketball, soccer, volleyball or whatever it may be. Rodeo is one more opportunity for our student-athletes to learn the many invaluable lessons that sports teach them, while also providing them a quality education.”

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