The Athens Review
It’s a big deal to win RodeoHouston. First place pays $50,000.
And winning takes place on a big stage before thousands of fans who pack Reliant Stadium to watch the rodeo finals and a popular performer in concert.
Five Texas competitors clinched titles on March 16 after winning a tournament competition called the BP Super Series. They were bareback rider Tom McFarland of Bowie, steer wrestler K.C. Jones of Decatur, bull rider J.W. Harris of Mullin, tie-down roper Fred Whitfield of Hockley and team roping header Justin Davis of Madisonville.
Other winners were Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, saddle bronc riding; Clay Cooper, of Gardnerville, Nev., team roping heeling; and Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah, barrel racing.
Another RodeoHouston cash cow was the Super Shootout. That competition was March 9 and it featured the sport’s elite in three bucking stock riding events and barrel racing. Each champion received $25,000.
Mary Walker of Ennis, the defending world champion, clinched the barrel racing title. Other $25,000 winners were Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., bareback riding; Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, saddle bronc riding and Wes Silcox, Santaquin, Utah, bull riding.
The Houston Rodeo is an invitational, all-star competition. It mostly features Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association stars. However, it is classified as an independent rodeo and earnings do not count in the PRCA world standings.
Many of the same contestants who competed in RodeoHouston also will saddle up for the April 5-6 Walker County Fair Rodeo in Huntsville. That rodeo will be approved by the PRCA and earnings will count in the 2013 world standings.
Stace Smith of Athens will provide the stock for the 2013 Huntsville Rodeo.
Defending Professional Bull Riders world champion Silvano Alves, a Brazilian national who lives in Decatur, earned $35,640 after winning the Fresno, Calif., tour stop on March 17.
Alves clinched the title despite being bucked off in the 10-man final round. He entered the finale with the lead and remained in the No. 1 spot after the other nine finalists were also disqualified.
Alves finished with a two-ride score of 174.75. L.J. Jenkins finished second with a 171.5.
This weekend, the tour is in Albuquerque, N.M., where riders are competing in the Ty Murray Invitational. The show is named after the seven-time world all-around champion from Stephenville.
National cutting horse update
The National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes, which features the second jewel of the sport's Triple Crown Series, is scheduled for March 28-April 20 in Fort Worth. For more information, visit www.nchacutting.com.
Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram over the past quarter century. Email him at email@example.com.