Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo has Stellar Line Up

Susan Kanode


                This weekendís Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo has triple meaning to the bulk of the contestants. Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), money won in Wise Countyís only pro rodeo counts towards world standings, Texas Circuit standings and in the All-American ProRodeo Series.

                Thatís part of the reason there will be Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers and world champions competing at the Bridgeport Riding Club arena. Itís also because there are other rodeos going on this weekend that are easy driving distance.

                This has the largest impact on a contingent of Decatur cowboys including 11-time world champion Trevor Brazile. Brazile won the tie-down roping at the Butterfield Stage Days in 2009 and over $2,000. While itís definitely not the biggest paycheck heís gotten, itís still very important to him.

                ďI like this rodeo because itís close to the house,Ē Brazile said. ďAnd, they have steer roping so I can compete in all of my events. Itís convenient and that makes it fun.Ē

                Brazile will compete in the tie-down roping and team roping during the Saturday night performance. The bulk of the steer roping will be Saturday morning along with barrel racing slack at 8 a.m. where he has the chance to rope and tie three steers.

                The tie-down roping is a list of whoís who in the event. Along with Brazile, Decaturís Clint and and Tuf Cooper will compete. Fred Whitfield, from Hockley, Texas is already a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs and has eight world titles to his credit. They will all be part of Friday morningís slack beginning at 8 a.m.

                Three-time world champion bareback rider Will Lowe has recently returned to competition after having shoulder surgery. He won the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days title last week and will be trying to add to his winnings here. Lowe, from Canyon, Texas, is scheduled for Friday night.

                In saddle bronc riding, Cort Scheer, from Elsmere, Neb., is returning to defend his title from last year. Scheer, a college rodeo standout is currently ranked 8th in the PRCA world standings and every dollar he wins adds to his opportunity to qualify for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR).

                J.W. Harris is undoubtedly one of the best bull riders in the world. He has won back to back world titles and a slew of rodeos along the way. The Mullin, Texas, resident missed the early part of the season with a broken hand. He is thirteenth in the world standings.

                The Womenís Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing has the largest amount of entries at 98. Making the trip from Big Cabin, Okla., will be Tana Poppino who is third in the world standings. Also in the field is former world champion Mary Burger from Pauls Valley, Okla. They will both compete in slack on Saturday morning.

                Joey Bell Jr., became well known on the rodeo circuit for his unusual place of residence. Bell grew up in New Jersey, However, with both parents involved in rodeo and a passion for steer wrestling, he had no problem showing the circuit that he meant business. Bell, who now lives at Malakof, Texas, has qualified for the WNFR five times.

                Once again, bucking stock will be provided by Lancaster and Picket Pro Rodeo Company from Fairfield, Texas. Performances start at 7:30 p.m.






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