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rodeo

Pro Rodeo CEO: Masks Required At National Finals Rodeo

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Powder River Rodeo
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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Rodeo fans planning to attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas next month will be required to mask up.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association this week announced that the organization will be following Nevada’s guidelines for mask use during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas and Mack Center and at The Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

Masks will be required to enter either event, although proof of vaccination will not be necessary.

“It’s not been unknown to the public that there was a mask mandate for the entire state of Nevada,” PRCA CEO Tom Glause told Cowboy State Daily. “So in that regard, it’s not that surprising.”

While Glause said the organization had hoped the governor of Nevada might relax the mandate in time for the event, he said officials are glad the rules are not tighter.

“We’re thankful that it’s no more restrictive, and that there’s not a vaccination mandate, or a testing policy in place,” he said.

The Wrangler NFR showcases the top 15 contestants in the nation in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Last year, the event was held in Arlington, Texas, where public health restrictions were not as tight, although there were some mandates in place.

“We obviously had to work through these issues last year at the NFR in Arlington, Texas, with a testing policy for contestants and a mask mandate there as well,” Glause said. “But Las Vegas thought it was important to let the fans know, because there were rumors out there that it may be more restrictive.”

Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings. That means that masks will also be required on the free shuttle buses that run from the 24 sponsor hotels to the Thomas & Mack Center.

“The other good news is there’s not a social distancing requirement with the mask mandate for entrance, nor is there a capacity limitation,” Glause said. Rodeo is big business in Las Vegas during the month of December. 

In 2019, the last time the NFR was held in Las Vegas, more than 168,000 people attended the event over its 10 days. The National Finals Rodeo has sold out more than 330 consecutive performances in Las Vegas, according to PRCA officials.

This year’s rodeo event will run December 2-11, with the Cowboy Christmas gift show opening a day earlier.

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Former Wyoming Cowboy Tom Glause Named Head of Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

As long as he can remember, Tom Glause wanted to be a cowboy.

“I tell everybody I’m a cowboy at heart and a lawyer by trade,” the new CEO of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association told Cowboy State Daily. “And this is really the culmination of a lifelong dream — to be able to lead the organization that I grew up admiring and competing in.”

Glause, a longtime Wyoming resident, joined the PRCA staff in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as chief operating officer and director of rodeo administration in May of 2015, but stepped into the association’s top spot in August of this year as the interim head. He was officially announced as the new chief executive officer just last week.

Prior to his stint at the PRCA, he had served as Wyoming’s insurance commissioner under Wyoming Govs. Matthew Mead and Mark Gordon.

But Glause’s roots are in rodeo. He attended Casper College and the University of Wyoming on rodeo scholarships as a saddle bronc rider. He is a current PRCA “Gold Card” member — a privilege reserved for 10-year PRCA members age 50 or over — and was previously a PRCA contestant.

He also served as president of the PRCA’s Mountain States Circuit for six years and has served on the board of directors for Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Because of his long experience with the organization, Glause said he is aware of the challenges facing the PRCA.

“COVID has caused us to rethink the way we view the world, the way we view our ideals, our ideas, our thoughts and our passion,” he said. “It presented challenges, but I think that the PRCA met those challenges head on.”

According to Glause, the organization lost about 15% of its members due to COVID, but gained about half of that back this year. And where other sports had to cancel events, rodeos did not see such a major impact.

“We had about 300 events last year,” he said, “and we’re over double that this year – we’re almost back to 2019 level. So we will look forward to getting back to where we were in 2019 and then growing from there.”

Rodeo is a family affair for Glause. His son Seth Glause is a four-time National Finals Rodeo qualifying bull rider, and currently the head rodeo coach at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. He was named Central Rocky Mountain Region Coach of the Year for 2021. 

So for the Glause family, as for many in Wyoming, rodeo is much more than just a sport — it’s a lifestyle.

“We live this every day, we practice our trades, and then we get to come to the competition,” Glause said, praising the volunteers, the cowboys and cowgirls and the contractors who make rodeos possible.

“It takes many, many people to put on a rodeo,” he said. “You have the contestants, you have the stock contractors, you have contract personnel, you have the communities, but you also need the sponsors and the fans.”

An exciting aspect to Glause’s new position at the PRCA is a new partnership with the Cowboy Channel.

“We have the ability now through Patrick Gottsch and the Cowboy Channel to really showcase our sport to the world, and our lifestyle,” Glause said. “And the public really relates to the Western lifestyle right now — so we’re excited for the new frontier that lies ahead that we’re able to tap through television.”

As a longtime Wyoming resident, Glause is honored to represent the long-standing tradition of Wyoming cowboys in the PRCA.

“There are so many great cowboys in Wyoming, that the list goes on and on and on,” he said. “And I want to thank Governor Gordon, Governor Mead, Director of Travel and Tourism Diane Shober, and the Legislature for getting behind rodeo and in supporting our athletes from Wyoming.”

Glause’s focus right now is on the National Finals event coming up in December in Las Vegas.

“All lights are green for the NFR,” he said. “We’re excited to be back in Vegas and looking forward to another great rodeo this year.”

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National Finals Rodeo Moves From Vegas To Texas

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Powder River Rodeo
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, faced with restrictions because of the coronavirus, is moving from Las Vegas to Texas for this December’s performance, the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association announced this week.

The Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, home of the Texas Rangers, will host the National Finals Rodeo from Dec. 3-12, marking the first time a non-baseball event has been held at the park.

The usual venue for the NFR, the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, is not available for use this year because of coronavirus restrictions in place in Nevada which limit crowds at indoor events to no more than 50.

The Globe Life Field can seat 40,300 people and under Texas health restrictions, crowds at indoor events must total no more than half of a facility’s seating capacity. The Thomas & Mack Center’s capacity is slightly less than 20,000.

Organizers of the 2020 NFR confirmed the rodeo will comply with all health and safety protocols for attendees.

“We are so pleased to be at this amazing stadium for the most celebrated event on the rodeo calendar,” George Taylor, chief executive officer of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), said in a news release. “We are committed to delivering a spectacular event for our fans and we are thrilled to be in Texas for it.”

Safety measures will include a the required use of facemasks at all times while inside the stadium. There will also be additional hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout the building.

Seats will be sold in groups of four, with separation between groups. Contact-limiting measures, such as delivering tickets to telephones and other mobile devices, will be implemented throughout the event.

There will also be metal detector screenings and a no bag policy at entries on performance nights.

“We are honored that the PRCA selected Globe Life Field to host the 2020 Wrangler Nationals Final Rodeo and are thrilled to be a small part of bringing this world-class event back to Texas,” said Neil Leibman, chief operating officer of the Texas Rangers, in a news release.

The NFR was born in Texas and the first three years of the event were held at the Dallas State Fairgrounds beginning in 1959.

Years later, the event moved to Las Vegas and has been staged at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV in Las Vegas since 1985.

Tickets for the rodeo will go on sale to the public on Sept. 25. via texasrangers.com/NFR.

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Gordon, Wyo Rodeo Heads Announce Six Largest Rodeos Are Cancelled In 2020

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Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and representatives from the state’s largest rodeos announced today that six of Wyoming’s large rodeos and events will not take place in 2020. This decision factored in economics, health concerns and logistics. 

The cancellation decision was made collectively and includes the Thermopolis Cowboy Rendezvous PRCA Rodeo in late June as well the Cody Stampede, Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo in Casper, the Sheridan WYO Rodeo and Breakaway Roping, Laramie Jubilee Days, and Cheyenne Frontier Days, all scheduled for July.

“This hurts. I grew up with rodeo and it is part of Wyoming’s fabric and our culture,” Governor Gordon said. “All the rodeos impacted today are fabulous events. It is with a heavy heart, and only after many long discussions with these fine folks on ways we could make large-venue rodeos work, did we realize that it just wasn’t going to be possible this year.”

The Governor and his staff met with rodeo committee members from Cody, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Laramie, Casper and Cheyenne over the past several weeks to consider potential social distancing measures, entrance and exit plans, and other possibilities to ensure safely staging rodeos, parades, carnivals and concerts.

Flanked by representatives of all six rodeos, the Governor said that after several weeks of evaluation, discussions, and considerations of every possible scenario, it was clear that there was no safe or economically viable path forward at this time for these events.

“The health and safety of our fans, volunteers, contestants and first responders is our primary concern.” the Governor emphasized. “I know what this means for rodeo, for our communities and to Wyoming’s summer. The financial and emotional impacts are immense. But it’s the right thing to do. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure smaller rodeos and events will still be able to occur.”

While these six Western celebrations are not possible in 2020, there is a statewide commitment to returning stronger than ever in 2021. A video message from organizers of all six events can be found here.

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Hillsdale’s Brody Cress in it to win it at NFR, but always supporting Wyoming

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Brody Cress of Hillsdale, Wyoming is in it to win it at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this week.

The Team Wyoming Saddle Bronc rider currently leads the aggregate standings. But the big stage doesn’t stop him from supporting Wyoming kids.

On Sunday he was part of a contingent of NFR cowboys and cowgirls that had lunch at Southpoint Hotel sharing activities with more than 20 kids battling cancer as well as other life-threatening illnesses.

The ‘Golden Circle of Champions’ group attended the fourth-round performance Sunday night in Las Vegas and Cress tied a gold scarf to his vest showing support for the children he’d spent time with earlier in the day.

The Hillsdale, Wyoming saddle bronc rider is having a great finals with more than $50,000 banked, placing in every round, but he says meeting the golden circle children put into perspective what really matters in life

Casper photographer named PRCA Photographer of the Year

in News/Agriculture/arts and culture
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By Mike McCrimmon

A Casper photographer has been named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association photographer of the year for a third time.

Dan Hubbell, owner of Hubbell Rodeo Photos, was named the winner of the award during ceremonies at the PRCA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas on Dec. 4.

Hubbell first won the award in 2000, its inaugural year, and again in 2018.

Hubbell’s rodeo photos today are known throughout the world, but he admitted that in his early days, he had a lot to learn.

“I had no idea what I was doing,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “A guy (would be) riding a bucking horse and I’d just pull the trigger. I didn’t have any idea about timing or anything.”

Other rodeo photos provided the inspiration that led him to sharpen his skills, he said.

“Going into it after looking at images that you thought had impressed you, you kind of had an idea of what they liked,” he said. “For instance, of the calf roper roping a calf and then he’s stepping off, hanging in that stirrup and that horse is in the ground. You knew a bronc had to be stretched out. It was easier said than done sometimes.”

Helping Hubbell figure out what photos cowboys might like to see is Hubbell’s wife Linda, who runs the photography business.

“I enjoy meeting the contestants, talking to contestants, seeing what they like,” Linda said. “They tell me what kind of pictures they like, what they don’t like and I pass it on to him.”

The Hubbells are now taking pictures of rodeo cowboys whose parents were photographed competing in rodeos in past years, Linda said.

“You see the guys who he took pictures of and you start to see the kids come along,” she said. “And they think that’s pretty neat. They’re like ‘My dad had Hubbell photos on the wall and now I finally get a Hubbell photo.”

Hubbell’s photos are also popular with rodeo competitors who like to see shots of their past performances, she added.

“You have world champions who never bought a picture, they went to the (National Finals Rodeo” five or six times and never bought a picture,” she said. “Now all of a sudden, they’re at the end of their career and those pictures mean something.”

“You’ll have a buckle or a trophy here and there and a saddle, but the images, you can say ‘That’s the way I rode right there,’” Dan said.

Hubbell believes his interest in photography might have stemmed from his mother.

“Mom took pictures, a lot of them,” he said. “So that might be where it really started.”

Midwest rancher recognized for years of rodeo

in Community/Agriculture/arts and culture
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A Midwest rancher and longtime rodeo cowboy has been inducted into the Rodeo Historical Society’s Hall of Fame.

Frank Shepperson, who capped his years in the rodeo with a world championship steer wrestling title in 1975, was inducted in ceremonies held Nov. 8 and 9 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Shepperson said he got involved in the rodeo while working on his family’s ranch.

“When you live on a ranch and you break horses for a living and you’re trying to get a little extra money, it just is natural,” he said. “My father also rodeoed.”

In his school years, Shepperson claimed the national high school title for bronc riding and went on to be a member of the University of Wyoming rodeo team in 1961, when the team won the national college championship.

Shepperson said it was his mother who encouraged him to compete in as many rodeo events as possible.

“When I was a freshman in high school, I filled out my (rodeo) entry form and showed it to my mother,” he said. “The high school rodeo was in Gillette, 90 miles away. She said ‘If we’re driving 90 miles for a damn rodeo, you better get in the bullriding, too.’ That’s the only thing I hadn’t entered.”

Shepperson said he was flattered to have been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame.

“I’m humbled and honored to join a lot of my friends and family and heroes that are already in this,” he said.

Cody Stampede makes it to ProRodeo Hall of Fame

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Cody’s Stampede Rodeo, one of the premier events in professional rodeo, has been inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

The rodeo, now 100 years old, was named to the hall in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Aug. 3.

The induction proves how good the Stampede Rodeo is, said Mike Darby, co-president of the Stampede’s board of directors.

“We have a great, great rodeo,” he said. “We have the best contestants, the best stock, the best contractor. We’re deserving of it. Our town is behind us, our sponsors are behind us.”

One of the driving forces behind the creation of the Stampede Rodeo was Caroline Lockhart, who had a major hand in organizing the rodeo 100 years ago.

Lockhart was also the first woman to serve on the Stampede’s board. She was also the only woman to serve on the board until this year’s appointment of Jerri Gillett.

“We just work as a team,” Gillett said. “They don’t single me out like a trophy woman. They just treaty me as one of the guys.”

Friends, admirers remember Frost on 30th anniversary of his death

in Community/arts and culture
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Friends and admirers of the late bull rider Lane Frost shared their memories this week of Frost’s death in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo arena 30 years ago.

Frost was 25 years old when he died from injuries he suffered in the Frontier Days championship go-round of 1989. 

Dr. Skip Ross, a Cheyenne physician, said physicians and medics on hand at the rodeo could not understand why Frost did not stand up when he fell after dismounting the bull named “Takin’ Care of Business.” The bull had hit him in the back.

“It was an exciting finals day and Lane made a great ride,” he said. “We couldn’t figure out why he didn’t get up right away. The bull was standing on his chaps and kind of had him trapped. And he had one shot at him and hit him the left ribs.”

Ross said the ribs collapsed, tearing an aorta.

“I went in with the ambulance and worked on him for about an hour and a-half,” he said. 

“We really needed a chest cutter to open his chest and we didn’t have that. And you’d have to do that in the first five to 10 minutes to save him. But we’ve made some great changes since then.”

Tuff Hedeman, a longtime rodeo cowboy who frequently partnered with Frost, said he remembered the day of Frost’s death vividly.

“We went a lot of places together and did a lot of things together,” he said. “He was just a magical guy who was gone too soon. This is the 30thy year and it’s still just as fresh today as it was then. I remember every detail of that day. It was the roughest day of my life.”

River Mossberg, preparing to enter high school in Cheyenne this fall, is already a nationally recognized bullrider, having competed in the Junior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. He said Frost is the bullrider who inspires him the most.

“It’s my dream to have my poster on some little kid’s wall just like I have his on mine,” he said.

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Reride

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CSD Cowboy Vocabulary Reride
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A cowboy is given a second chance to ride a bull or horse, called a reride, on a new animal if his first ride was affected by equipment failure or if the livestock did not buck sufficiently. 

Used in a sentence: “Cody DeMoss only scored a 53 in his first bullride, but he was given a reride because the bull did not buck well.”

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Pickup Men

in Community/arts and culture
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Pickup men are two cowboys on horseback who help roughstock riders dismount after their ride and then escort the bull or horse to the exit gate.

Used in a sentence: “The pickup men rode alongside Will’s bull to help him dismount after his 8-second ride.”

Dubois celebrates ‘National Day of the Cowboy’ this weekend

in Travel/Tourism
National Day of the Cowboy Celebration Dubois, Wyoming
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A weekend of celebration dedicated to an iconic American figure is on tap in Dubois this weekend as the town holds its annual “National Day of the Cowboy” celebration.

Every year, the day of commemoration first recognized 2005 is held on the fourth Saturday of July. In Dubois, that celebration takes the form of a rodeo, parade and special events that may not be seen at just any community event — like the “cowhide race.”

“You hook a cowhide by rope to a horse and the horse pulls you around (an arena) and you have to stay on for a set amount of time,” said Randy Lahr, an official with the celebration. “It’s not easy. You won’t see me doing that.”

The cowhide race is just one of several events occurring during the weekend.

The celebration kicks off Friday night with Dubois’ regular Friday Night Rodeo, held every Friday through the summer.

The rodeo is considered a working ranch rodeo, which means competitors are working cowboys from ranches in the area, Lahr said.

“It’s a totally different rodeo,” he said. “It’s put on by all of the dude ranches and the people who come to the dude ranches are involved.”

On Saturday, events will kick off with a parade through downtown Dubois in the afternoon and a chuckwagon serving coffee and biscuits beginning after the parade.

Later, a “poker run” will lead participants through and around Dubois.In a poker run, participants ride to pre-determined spots to collect playing cards. The person with the best poker hand after a certain number of stops generally wins a prize.

While poker runs are most often associated with motorcycles, in this case, riders will be on horseback, Lahr said.

The cowhide race will follow the poker run, as will a whiskey, wine and beer tasting. The day will wrap up with a concert titled “Romancing the West,” which presents a history of the West in song.

Also running through the weekend is the annual Headwaters National Art Show and Sale in the Headwaters Center.

On Sunday, a session of cowboy church will be held and the chuckwagon will again offer coffee and biscuits.

The celebration is under the direction of the Dubois Western Activities Association, which was created this year to oversee the National Day of the Cowboy, the community’s chariot races, usually held in the fall, and its pack horse race in June.

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Roughstock

in arts and culture
CFD Rodeo vocabulary lesson rough stock
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Roughstock is the term used to refer to the events in which cowboys ride bulls or horses (saddle bronc riding or bareback bronc riding). Points are awarded for both the performance of the cowboy and the bull or horse he is riding. Rides last 8 seconds and during that time, the cowboy can hold on with only one hand — if he touches the animal with his other hand, he is disqualified.

Used in a sentence: “I only like to watch the roughstock events at a rodeo.”

Today’s Cowboy Vocabulary word is: Go-Round

in Community/arts and culture
Cowboy Vocabulary Go-Round
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A Go-Round is essentially what it sounds like: A round of competition at a rodeo.

Cheyenne Frontier Days features three go-rounds: Two preliminary rounds lasting four days each and one championship round, also called a “short go” because it lasts only one day.

Competitors earn money in preliminary rounds with good performances. The cowboys with the highest earnings for the preliminary go-rounds advance to the championship. The cowboy with the highest earnings for all three go-rounds in his events wins the championship.

Used in a sentence: “Tom did well in the first go-round, but didn’t finish his ride in the second go-round, so he missed out on the short go.”

Volunteers lead cattle along I-25 for Frontier Days Rodeo

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It’s one thing to manage the herds of tourists that descend on Cheyenne for Frontier Days, but quite another to manage the herds of cattle that are the stars of the world’s largest outdoor rodeo.

On Sunday, dozens of volunteers did just that, escorting more than 500 Corriente steers from a pasture north of Cheyenne to the Frontier Days Park in the rodeo’s annual cattle drive.

The volunteers on horseback, including Gov. Mark Gordon, ran the cattle along Interstate 25 and some Cheyenne streets to the pens at the arena in preparation for the rodeo that begins Saturday.

Cody marks 100 years of the Cody Stampede Rodeo

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Cody is celebrating two things during this long holiday weekend — Independence Day and the 100th anniversary of its world-famous Cody Stampede Rodeo.

Launched as a one-day event in 1919 by community leaders as a way to celebrate the opening of Yellowstone National Park’s eastern gate, the rodeo now runs for five nights and is considered one of the top rodeos in the world.

“As far as in the western world and the world of rodeo, Cody, Wyoming, is way up there on the list,” said Dan Miller, a longtime television rodeo announcer. “It has $480,000 (in prize money) and you get one chance at that here. When you put it in the contest of Cheyenne (Frontier Days), you put it in the context of Pendleton (Roundup in Oregon), the other rodeos, Cody holds its own.”

This year’s event, also featuring parades a craft fair and entertainment, began June 27 with a concert, followed by a professional bullriding competition and then four nights of Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association-sanctioned rodeos.

The events at the rodeo have changed significantly from its first years, said Robyn Cutter, with the Park County Archives.

“They had a lot of different races early on,” she said. “The chariot races, the wild cow milking contests, the different races that we don’t have today. But it’s been very exciting to see how it’s grown and changed over the years.”

Meet the young Wyoming bullfighter whose ‘life calling’ is cowboy protection

in News/Tourism/Agriculture
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Bull riding is one of the most popular events in rodeo. But it is really two events in one.

The bulls and bull riders share the arena with highly skilled bullfighters whose work begins when the ride is done.

While bull riders were out in the arena four times during last week’s College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, the bullfighters were out more than 100 times. And hometown hero, bullfighter Wyatt Mason — a Casper, Wyoming native — was in the arena 135 times looking out for his fellow cowboy.

“It’s just been a calling of mine ever since I could walk,” said the CNFR bullfighter Wyatt Mason.

Fellow bullfighters Josh Rivinious and Nathan Harp joined Mason in the arena serving as life saving partners to bull riders and artful distractions for the 1,500 pound bulls with whom they tangle.

College National Finals Rodeo in Wyoming: Special Olympics

in Community/Tourism/Agriculture
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On the last day of the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming contestants help put on a Special Olympics version of the competition for area special olympians.

The Special Olympics at the CNFR is attended by rodeo athletes from around the country — many of whom participate every year.

Miles City, Montana’s Haven Meged — who won the College National Finals Rodeo tie-down roping title — said, “To see the participants smile is pretty cool. We’re fortunate. They are happy to be here.”

And you could tell Haven Meged was happy to be there too.

Chadron Coffield, a participant in the College National Finals Rodeo, is a freshman at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyoming. Coffield was paired with one special olympian and said of his friend, “We had a lot of fun today. He got to experience new things and it is just a blast to see him have fun.”

Taylor Munsell, a participant in the College National Finals Rodeo, is from Northwest Oklahoma State. Taylor Munsell said, “It’s a great experience. Everyone should come out and try it.”

Priscilla Dowse, the CEO and President of Special Olympics Wyoming, said, “Our athletes are champions. We know that. And for them to have the opportunity to create the bond and spend that time together — everyone benefits. We have athletes who come out every year and wouldn’t miss it for anything and we have rodeo champions who not only want to win a championship but to have the opportunity to participate in this.”

Priscilla Dowse went on to say, “In fact, we have some champions who stay in touch with our athletes. It’s all about relationships and coming together.”

Branding Day in Wyoming: Ranchers and rodeo stars at work on 3J Ranch

in Community/Agriculture
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Branding day in Wyoming means hard work, comrade, tradition and stewardship. At the 3J Ranch in central Wyoming, it also means catching glimpses of real cowboys (and rodeo stars) at work.

It’s a special day in a much glamorized slice of Wyoming life.

And they say, “To be a cowboy, there’s no better job in the world.”

Last Thursday was a big day on the 3J Ranch. It was branding day. A day that was delayed more than a week by wet conditions. The cattle were gathered on a beautiful morning west of Casper, Wyoming and the 3J Ranch tradition dating to the early days of Wyoming statehood was carried out by many friends and Johnson family members.

Casper College rodeo coach Jhett Johnson led the massive branding effort. Jhett Johnson, a bonafide cowboy and rodeo star earned a world champion’s gold buckle for team roping in 2011. His son, Kellan Johnson, is a real deal cow hand and rodeo star too. Kellan Johnson won the 2018 college national title in rodeo for the same event.

Between the backdrop and the cowboys, it’s hard not to feel like you are walking into a photo shoot with a bunch of Marlboro men. They are keeping the traditions of the west alive in ol’ Wyoming and passing their knowledge on to the next generation of ranchers while they’re at it.

Wyoming’s own takes the reins at the PRCA

in News/Agriculture
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The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) is gaining new leadership from the Cowboy State. Cheyenne’s Tom Glause is now on board as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Rodeo Administration for the PRCA, which is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Until his appointed at the PRCA, Glause served as State Insurance Commissioner under Governor Mead and Governor Gordon. 

Glause knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a PRCA contestant. He rodeoed in college (at Casper College and the University of Wyoming) and became a card-carrying PRCA cowboy, riding bucking horses and team roping. And his son, Seth, is a four-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier as a bull rider.

Miraculous Wyoming cowgirl: “God is good.”

in Community
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By Chuck Coon, special to Cowboy State Daily


One month ago we brought you the miraculous story of a Kaycee, Wyoming cowgirl, Dakotah Winsor, who survived a fiery wreck on a lonely stretch of highway between Casper and Shoshoni.

Be sure to watch this update featuring a remarkably upbeat Winsor who says, “I’m really, really blessed and so thankful that I do have that relationship with Christ.”

A six-week checkup at UCHealth in Denver showed Dakotah Winsor’s wellness way above expectations and the 20-year-old Kaycee, WY cowgirl who survived a fiery two-vehicle crash on the way home from a barrel racing event felt compelled to stop in Fort Collins earlier this month to support her Central Wyoming College rodeo team.

Winsor’s neck injury and immediate aftermath of being moved without a brace should have been, by all accounts including that of neurosurgeon Dr. Wayne Gluf, fatal or at the very least resulted in paralysis.

She is instead walking with the aid of crutches because of a broken ankle and very thankful for support shown by hundreds of people. A passerby pulled her from the wreckage and the pickup became completely engulfed in flames along the highway between Casper and Shoshoni.

Dakotah credits Christian faith which is constantly revived by listening to evangelist Joel Osteen. In addition to offering positive news yesterday in Denver, Dr. Gluf, who is a career veteran of the U.S. Navy, also took a look at a few goat tying videos of Dakotah and said she should be fine to get back in the arena by fall.

He did suggest she might consider taking up chess instead…

That is not going to happen.

Miraculous Wyoming cowgirl recovering after suffering “100% fatal” neck injury

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By Chuck Coon, Cowboy State Daily

Dakotah Winsor’s little dog perished along a lonely stretch of highway between Casper and Shoshoni in late February and the 20-year-old is struggling with that loss while her family and friends are thankful Dakotah is alive and able to walk after sustaining a neck injury that doctors in Denver say was “100 percent fatal.” The lead surgeon, in fact, told the Winsor family he’d only seen that specific injury in autopsy rooms.

The Kaycee, Wyoming cowgirl was driving back to school at Central Wyoming College in Riverton from a barrel racing event in Wright when her rig jackknifed on a patch of black ice and was blasted into a ball of fire by a propane truck. Passersby pulled Dakotah from the wreckage believing she had not survived. Paramedics and firefighters arrived and did their jobs prior to a flight-for-life to Casper. The truck driver wasn’t hurt.

Dakotah’s parents knew their responsible daughter would call or text immediately upon arriving in Riverton but when she didn’t mom Kelly Winsor’s instincts screamed that something was terribly wrong. They eventually spoke with a state trooper friend in Kaycee and he confirmed the young woman was seriously injured and had been flown to Casper where it was quickly determined another flight was in order this time UCHealth’s Trauma Center in Denver.

The Winsor family was with Dakotah through it all and Kelly spoke about the ordeal after returning to Kaycee this week. She allowed our usage of photos that have chronicled her daughter’s miraculous recovery since the flight to Denver. She is now in a rehab program in Casper.

Dakotah plans to rejoin the Central Wyoming College nursing program and Rustler rodeo team next fall running barrels, tying goats and may be adding breakaway roping to her repertoire. She is rooted deeply in her Christian faith and the entire family is overwhelmed by all who’ve offered helping hands and financial support since the accident which thanks to a 1998 steel Titan trailer left Dakotah’s horse uninjured.

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