Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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October 25, 2013

BRETT HOFFMAN: Two PBR shows offering milestone celebrations for fans

Athens — Two popular western riding shows are offering fans milestone anniversary celebrations on the weekend of Oct 25-27.

They are the 20th annual Professional Bull Riders World Finals in Las Vegas and the 60th Roping Fiesta in San Angelo.

But each show has its own type of fan.

The PBR championships pulls in the same type of people who follow NASCAR. The Roping Fiesta will lasso dyed-in-the-leather rodeo fans.

Many of the PBR aficionados have no rodeo, ranching or agricultural background, but they can get into bull riding because of its simplicity. A rider attempts to stays on a bull for eight seconds, plain and simple.

“It does not take a massive education about bull riding to follow it,” said Pam Minick, a longtime TV commentator who helped with the PBR broadcasts in the 1990s. “It’s also an extreme sport. Fans come not wanting to see anybody have a wreck, but they sure want to be there when it happens.”

The PBR World Finals was scheduled for Oct. 23-27 at Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center. The show is featuring 35 competitors including Decatur cowboys Mike Lee, the 2004 world champion, and Silvano Alves, who is attempting to become the first athlete to win three consecutive PBR world titles.

Alves, a Brazilian, entered the World Finals ranked No. 1 in the Built Ford Tough Series world standings with 10,917.75 points. North Carolinian J.B. Mauney was ranked No. 2 with 10,379.25, and Brazilian Joao Ricardo Vieira was ranked No. 3 with 8,788.73.

The world champion will receive a $1 million bonus when the World Finals concludes on Oct. 27.  

In San Angelo, the Roping Fiesta devotees are purists who appreciate a great cow horse and a cowboy who can handle a rope. They’re the same people who travel to Fort Worth each Memorial Day Weekend for the Windy Ryon Memorial Roping. And by the way, the renowned Ryon Roping celebrated its 40th anniversary in May.

“Roping fans take as much pleasure in watching the horses work as they do the cowboys,” Minick said. “They appreciate the heritage of western sporting events. Cowboys still rope a steer today the same way that they did 120 years ago.”

The organizers of the Oct. 25-27 Roping Fiesta have invited the sport’s elite such as six-time world champion Cody Ohl of Hico and two-time world champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur, who will compete against each other in the match roping. Last year, Cooper earned $33,800 after beating Ohl and finishing second in the Invitational Calf Roping competition.

Texas Junior College rodeo update

On the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southern Region circuit, Sam Houston State’s men’s team is ranked No. 1 in the team title race with 1,518 points after competing in the first three rodeos of the regular season. Trinity Valley Community College is ranked No. 6 with 595.5.

In the regional women’s team title race, McNeese State is ranked No. 1 with 801.5 points. TVCC is No. 8 with 107.

Top stock named

On the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, the bucking horse Maple Leaf, owned by the Frontier Rodeo Co., tied Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting for the Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year award. Frontier Rodeo’s Full Baggage is the Bareback Horse of the Year, and Powder River Rodeo’s Shepherd Hills Tested is the Bull of the Year.

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

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