After four days of furious and high powered rodeo action, the Clark County Fair and Rodeo wound up its 2014 contests on Sunday, April 13 in Logandale, Nevada. A stop along professional rodeo's Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, the rodeo once again hosted the best of pro rodeo, all vying for valuable points towards qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) and World Championships.
Among the 2014 champions are some of the best in pro rodeo right now. Guys like bareback rider Steven Peebles; the Oregon cowboy finished second in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World standings in 2013 and has been at the top of the standings nearly the entire 2014 campaign thus far. Guys like Cort Scheer, the Nebraska saddle bronc rider who has been on fire all year, also found their way to the top in Logandale.
Also in the mix were a pair of Nevada team ropers. Two-time and reigning World Champ Jade Corkill did not rope the title in Logandale but he and partner Clay Tryan came very close. The championship team roped two steers in 9.6 seconds, a scant one one-hundredth behind champions Jake Barnes and Junior Nogueira. They earned $2,964 each, inching closer to the number one spot in the current standings. They now trail leaders Dustin Bird and Paul Eaves by just over $3,500.
Clay Cooper is also a world champion team roper having won seven titles with Barnes in 1980's and 1990's. He won the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in 2013 and returned with a different partner, Chad Masters, in 2014. Masters, a two-time World Champ himself, and Cooper placed in a go round in Logandale to earn $1,523 each. Cooper is now ranked 19th.
Of a field of about 15, Corkill and Cooper were the only Nevada cowboys to scratch at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo.
Pro rodeo cowboys now shift their attention to the "spring run" in California, beginning April 16 at the Red Bluff Round-Up.
Oregon cowboy Steven Peebles conquered Growney Brothers' horse Gypsy Soul for 88 points and the win in Logandale. He earned $5,140, extending his lead in the PRCA World standings.
California cowboy Blaine Jones scored a huge victory in the steer wrestling. He turfed two steers in 10.7 seconds, about a second and a half faster than closest competitor, Dirk Tavenner. Jones also won the first go round with a 4.9 second run. His total Logandale earnings were $3,316, bumping him to 31st in the current PRCA World standings.
Perhaps one of the most exciting new teams to watch in pro rodeo this year is the duo of seven-time PRCA World Champ Jake Barnes (pictured) and rookie Junior Nogueira. Nogueira recently moved to the U.S. from Brazil and is already climbing the ranks of pro rodeo with help from his "American father" Barnes.
In Logandale, the pair held off Tryan and Corkill by just one tenth of a second for the two-head win. They roped their steers in 9.5 seconds. They won $3,622 each.
Because Nogueira started the year on his PRCA permit, his early winnings did not count toward the World standings. However, the young cowboy has climbed to 25th in the standings since earning his card while Barnes is ranked seventh.
Saddle Bronc Riding
Nebraska's Cort Scheer started the 2014 year off hot and has not cooled down yet. Riding Sankey Rodeo Company's Sign Language, he posted 84 points.
The mark was enough to tie with Wade Sundell for the title in Logandale. Sundell rode Growney Brothers' Holy Hoppin Hell. Each cowboy took home $3,712.
Scheer is ranked second in the World standings behind Cody Wright. He's won over $35,000 this season already.
Sundell is ranked fifth.
Tie Down Roping
Clint Robinson won the tie down roping in Logandale. The Utah cowboy placed in both go rounds, stopping the clock at 18.4 seconds on two calves.
Robinson was just one tenth better than Tuf Cooper, the man he trails in the PRCA World standings right now. Robinson won $4,311 in southern Nevada.
Dylan Vick Hice claimed the championship in the bull riding. The California cowboy, who works as a stunt man when not riding bulls, rode Growney Brothers' Wish This for 82 points.
“It’s hard to try to rodeo and work in movies,” Vick Hice told www.prorodeo.com. “It’s kind of a dilemma, but not a bad one … nothing I would ever complain about. There have been times when I have had to give movies precedence, because it pays better and that is probably my long-term career.
“But now that I’m having some success in rodeo it (the Wrangler NFR) is definitely in the back of my mind, and I want to fulfill my childhood dream. I know I only have so many years as a bull rider. I’ve turned down a few movie jobs, a couple of Westerns in Canada and Mexico, so that I could stay on the road and rodeo."
Vick Hice earned $4,620 for the win and has jumped to 19th in the PRCA World standings.
(Vick Hice is shown at the Fort Mohave Xtreme Bulls in March 2014.)
WPRA Barrel Racing
Sheena Robbins rode her great gelding Shorty to the Logandale victory. The gelding, shown at Tucson this spring, is registered as Bar D Mr Dual Olena and is 13 years old this year.
"We had an OK winter," said the Fresno, California cowgirl. "I only go to a few of the buildings, just the big ones and we won good checks at San Antonio and Houston!"
The big win in Logandale almost didn't happen. Robbins, who qualified for the WNFR in 2009, hit a barrel at the Oakdale Rodeo in slack and had a flat tire en route to Logandale.
"I was pretty discouraged after hitting a barrel at Oakdale slack; we usually do really well there," said Robbins. "We couldn't get the lugs loose and had to limp it to tire shop."
Making it to the rodeo with just enough time to warm up for her run, Robbins changed her usual routine.
"I just tried to enjoy my horse and do my job," she said. "It paid off cause he was running hard and worked really smooth."
Robbins had nothing but praise for her horse.
"He is such a blessing," she said. "I'm very excited about the spring run and rolling into summer. Shorty usually likes this time of year!"
Robbins is currently 45th in the Women's Pro Rodeo Association (WPRA) World standings.