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April 18, 2014

RODEO INSIDER: Bearkats ranked No. 1 in NIRA Southern Region

HILLSBORO — After winning last weekend’s Hill College Rodeo, Sam Houston State is ranked No. 1 in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southern Region men’s team title race.

Sam Houston has earned 3,620.5 points and No. 2 ranked Hill has 3,573.83.

Sam Houston is on pace to qualify for the June 15-21 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. The top two teams in the region will advance to the Casper championships after the regular season concludes on April 26 at the Wharton Junior College Rodeo in Wharton.

The April 11-12 Hill College Rodeo was the ninth of 10 regional shows scheduled for the 2013-2014 regular season.

In bareback riding, Sam Houston’s Dustin Cole Jackson is ranked No. 1 in the regional title race with 837 points. Sam Houston’s Bill Tutor is ranked No. 3 with 800.5.

Tutor also is ranked No. 7 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2014 world bareback riding title race with regular season earnings of $20,913. Tutor finished second at the April 4-5 Walker County Fair & Rodeo with a score of 81, two points behind winner Trey Taylor.

A versatile cowboy

While competing at the National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes on Friday, April 11, at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, veteran rider Roy Carter and a horse named Scoots Lead Free turned in a second round score of 215 in the 4-year-old open division. That helped the duo advance to the open semifinals with a two-ride tally of 432. The open semifinals is scheduled for Friday, April 18. The finals, which is the middle jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series, is scheduled for Saturday, April 19.

On Saturday, April 12, Carter, who lives in Crockett, was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame at Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum. Carter was a prize winning PRCA bull rider in the 1970s. He also is a notable bucking bull owner. He has helped supply bucking bulls at major events on the PBR circuit.

A close race

The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo saddle bronc riding title was a photo finish between two cowboys.

When the title was at stake during the final round on Saturday, April 12, Jacobs Crawley and Cody Wright tied with scores of 83. But Crawley, who is from Stephenville, won the title by edging Wright in the semifinals 79-77, at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla. Crawley earned $12,386.

The National Circuit Finals is the PRCA’s World Series for riders who thrive on the regional level. Crawley, who is from Stephenville, represented the Texas Circuit, which is among 12 geographic regions that determines champions each year.

Three bareback riders tied during the finals with 84s. They were Bobby Mote, Joe Gunderson and Caleb Bennett. But Bennett clinched the title by winning the semifinals with an 84.

Other champions were tie-down roper Josh Peek, team ropers Ty Blasingame (header) and J.W. Borrego (heeler), bull rider Parker Breding, barrel racer Gretchen Benbenek and steer wrestler Kyle Irwin.

CBR update

After winning the Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge on April 12 at Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum, Trey Benton III is ranked No. 5 in the Championship Bull Riding 2014 title race. Benton has 814 points. Aaron Pass of Mesquite is ranked No. 1 with 1,080 and Sage Steele Kimzey is No. 3 with 1,069. At the Hedeman event, Benton conquered three bulls during the two-hour show. He tied for third in the first round with an 87.5 and then won the semifinals with a 90.5. In the four-man finals, he was the only cowboy who stayed on for the eight seconds count and he turned in a 92.5. Benton earned $20,750.

This weekend, the tour stops at the South Point Hotel Arena in Las Vegas.

PBR update

Tennessee cowboy Cody Nance won the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series tour stop in Billings, Mont., on April 13 and earned $35,016. Nance, who won titles earlier this year in Fresno, Calif., and Tacoma, Wash., is ranked No. 8 in the world title race with 4,155 points. Two-time world champion Silvano Alves earned $18,675 after finishing second in Billings. Alves is ranked sixth in the Ford Series world title race with 4,310.87 points. Guilherme Marchi, the 2008 world champion, is ranked No. 1 with 5,691.68, and Fabiano Vieira is No. 2 with 5,550.

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 bchoffman777@earthlink.net.

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All proceeds from the Team Big George Wiffleball Tournament will go to George Ancira, above, to support him in his battle with cancer.

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