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Rodeo

Lander – The Lander Old Timer’s Rodeo Association (LOTRA) hosted its first ranch roping jackpot on March 14 at the Association’s arena. The jackpot had 18 ropers from Wyoming and Idaho. 

Ranch roping events focus on quality horsemanship and stockmanship in a competition format that requires teamwork and showcases functional and intricate roping techniques. 

The ropers are assembled in teams of three – one roper to rope the head, one to heel and one to work the ground. The ropers hold a rodear of about 10 head of cattle in the arena and have a maximum of four minutes to head the steer, heel it and stretch it out by both front and hind legs. 

Starting an event

The Lander event grew out of the ranch roping practices held at the LOTRA arena during the winter months and was organized by Leif Videen and Bill Bartlett, both of Lander.

“Leif and I went to the Northern Range Association event in Riverton about a year and half ago, and it was a lot of fun,” said Bartlett. “We were at one of our ranch roping practices one night and decided to host one here as the Northern Range had disbanded. The way things worked out we had two weeks to plan it and it was a bit of a scramble. We put it on Facebook and the jackpot got a lot of interest right away.”

Barlett added, “There aren’t many ranch roping jackpots around here, and the ones we see are based on quick times and less on style and stock handling. The points for the difficult loops make ranch roping competitions unique. They are more like going out in somebody’s herd and keeping things slow as we don’t want the cattle all jazzed up.”

Awarding points

The ropers are given points according to legal catch and type of shot: overhand, side arm, offside overhand, scoop loop, houlihan, turnover, hip shot or backhand. Only leather horn wraps are allowed, ropes must be at least 50 feet in length, and no tie downs are permitted.

Dwight Hill and Travis Allen, both of Driggs, Idaho, served as the judges to call the type of shots thrown and verify points earned. Hill and Allen are both heavily involved with the Teton Basin Ranch Roping Series in Driggs, as well as competing in other ranch roping events. 

“It’s amazing that we had so many participants for an event that wasn’t advertised and had such a short time period to get word out,” Bartlett said. 

Long history

“Ranch roping has its roots going back to the California vaqueros and their stockmanship techniques that they inherited from Mexico and Spain,” Bartlett explained. “The cattle herds were moved to open range in Nevada, Oregon and Idaho, as California made the law that you had to fence livestock on the land, and the vaqueros followed them. The cowboys in that region continue on the traditions of roping stock with big loops and head and heel their calves at brandings.”

The teams were assembled via draw, and first place went to Hill, Videen and Kaden Waddell of Driggs with 69 points. The second place team was Hill, Sam Ingalls of Kinnear and Hollis Givens of Arapahoe with a score of 63. Ingalls, Harley Wilcox of Driggs and Tyrell Jensen of Driggs earned third place with 57.  

Melissa Hemken is a correspondent for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For the 2015 rodeo year, athletes from across the country and around the world are traveling to rodeos in an attempt to come out on top in their respective events. 

Each week, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA) provides an update on the world standings. Barrel racing standings and provided by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. The standings, as of March 23, are as follows:

All-Around

1. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas

2. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb.

3. Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah

4. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo.

5. Clayon Hass, Terrell, Texas

6. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D.

7. JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas

8. Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah

9. Wesley Brunson, Terry, Miss. 

10. Trenten Montero, Winnemucca, Nev. 

Bareback Riding

1. Kaycee Field, Spanish Fork, Utah

2. Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore.

3. Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa

4. Seth Hardwick, Laramie

5. Evan Jayne, Marseille, France

6. Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah

7. Bobby Mote, Stephenville, Texas

8. David Peebles, Redmond, Ore.

9. Luke Creasy, Lovington, N.M.

10. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash. 

Steer Wrestling

1. Seth Brockman, Wheatland

2. Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas

3. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont. 

4. Olin Hannum, Malad, Idaho

5. Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Claif.

6. Beau Clark, Belgrade, Mont. 

7. K.C. Jones, Decatur, Texas

8. Dirk Tavenner, Rigby, Idaho

9. Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss. 

10. Adam Strahan, McKinney, Texas

Team Roping – Header

1. Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont.

2. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz

3. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas

4. Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Ga.

5. Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas

6. Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz.

7. Charly Crawford, Prineville, Ore.

8. Jesse Stipes, Salina, Okla.

9. Nick Sartain, Dover, Okla.

10. Jake Barnes, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Team Roping – Heelers

1. Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev.

2. Travis Woodard, Stockton, Calif.

3. Clay O’Brien Cooper, Gardnerville, Nev.

4. Patrick Smith, Lipan, Texas

5. Kinney Harrell, Marshall, Texas

6. Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz.

7. Shay Carroll, La Junta, Colo.

8. Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas

9. Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, Kan.

10. Billie Jack Saebens, Nowata, Okla.

Saddle Bronc Riding

1. Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La.

2. Spencer Wright, Milford, Utah

3. Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah

4. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M.

5. Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla.

6. Wade Sundell, Colman, Okla.

7. Jake Wright, Milford, Utah

8. Clay Elliott, Nanton, Alberta

9. Bradley Harter, Loranger, La.

10. Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, S.D.

Tie-Down Roping 

1. Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas

2. Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas

3. Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas

4. Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas

5. Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla.

6. Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas

7. Chase Williams, Stephenville, Texas

8. Sterling Smith, Stephenville, Texas

9. Blair Burk, Hermiston, Ore.

10. Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas

Steer Roping

1. Neal Wood, Needville, Texas

2. Mike Chase, McAlester, Okla.

3. Vin Fisher Jr., Andrews, Texas

4. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas

5. Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas

6. Jess Tierney, Hermosa, S.D.

7. Shay Good, Midland, Texas

8. Jarrett Blessing, Paradise, Texas

9. Scott Snedecor, Fredericksburg, Texas

10. Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan.

Bull Riding

1. Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla.

2. Tanner Learmont, Cleburne, Texas

3. Chandler Bownds, Lubbock, Texas

4. Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah

5. Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont.

6. Brennon Eldred, Sulphur, Okla.

7. Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah

8. Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas

9. Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas

10. Trevor Kastner, Ardmore, Okla.

Barrel Racing

1. Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah

2. Sarah Rose McDonald, Brunswick, Ga.

3. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D.

4. Alexa Lake, Richmond, Texas

5. Callie Duperier, Boerne, Texas

6. Fallon Taylor, Collinsville, Texas

7. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz.

8. Meghan Johnson, Deming, N.M.

9. Victoria Williams, Kiln, Miss.

10. Layna Kight, Ocala, Fla.

Casper – In late October the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) and the city of Casper were honored with a national award recognizing the quality of the event.
    The rodeo claimed the title of “Best Collegiate Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event” from SportsTravel magazine. Events were nominated and voted upon by readers of the magazine, which is the sports world’s event publication.
    Six finalists in each category were announced in August. The CNFR was ultimately chosen ahead of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa; the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Johnson City, Tenn.; the NCAA Division II Winter National Championships Festival in Houston, Texas; the NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. and the STIHL TimberSports Collegiate Challenge in Columbus, Ga.  
    “It’s a family event, and appealing to a lot of people and this award shows the community support the CNFR has gotten from Casper,” says CNFR Ticket Chairman John Phillips.
    Criteria for the award included superior organization of and attendance at the event, a superior experience for competitors and/or spectators and the event’s host city or venue serving to enhance the event.
    Other events that won awards were the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Detroit, Mich. as the Best Collegiate Sports Event Series or Circuit and the 2008 Texas vs. Oklahoma football game in Dallas, Texas as the Best Collegiate Single-Sport Event.
    Of the CNFR’s success in Casper, Phillips says, “They like what we have going on here, and the CNFR leadership has told us they’re not looking to move elsewhere.”
    He adds that kids and parents enjoy traveling to Casper. “All the feedback we get is positive. There’s been some competition from other cities with more money, but the leadership likes what Casper does.”
    Casper Area Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Aaron McCreight says a lot of people come from all over the country to participate in or watch the rodeo. “Natrona County and the CNFR committee put on a great show,” he says. “It’s a great event, with nationwide participation.”
    Phillips says Casper is geographically perfect, located in the center of the West, and the weather is mild in June when the rodeo’s held. “A lot of people come from hot weather and humidity, and it’s a real treat for them to come here to compete,” he says, adding that there’s also tourism and other locations to visit and make the trip bigger than the rodeo itself.
    The 2009 CNFR marked the 11th year for the event in Casper. This year’s CNFR welcomed 363 participants from 87 colleges and universities, representing 33 states and four Canadian provinces. The 2009 event recorded a 15 percent jump in ticket sales from the previous year as nearly 19,000 fans flocked to the Casper Events Center for the competition.
    “This national award was the total package of city, county, state, and college rodeo working together to produce a highly successful event that is recognized throughout the United States,” says National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Commissioner Roger Walters. “This monumental achievement of the College National Finals
Rodeo Committee and College Rodeo just goes to prove that together, with one purpose, great things are achievable.”
    Looking to the 2010 CNFR, McCreight says a celebration of the award will certainly be included. Although the nightly performances haven’t yet been laid out, he assures the event will be bigger and better than last year.
    “We’re hopeful that people will follow a winner,” says McCreight. “We hope people who haven’t been for a few years or have never taken part will see they’ve missed out on a big deal, and hopefully they’ll come out and support or sponsor the event.”
    Of the award, McCreight says it’s amazing that an event held in the city of Casper would beat out the other nominees. “Some of those other places have subdivisions the size of Casper, but we still garnered attention and praise on the nationwide level. That’s a testament to every single person involved in the CNFR, including fans, sponsors, participants, coaches and everybody. It’s all hands on deck, and everybody has a piece of this award.”
    Christy Hemken is assistant editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The sport of college rodeo is more than what meets the eye. Many may think of dust flying as broncs begin to buck, or a spur digging into a horse’s side as it rounds a barrel. All of these aspects are true, but there is much more involved, especially for the cowboys and cowgirls of Wyoming colleges. The teams and individuals know that it is about hard work, technique, practice, consistency, the luck of the draw and pushing one’s self and teammates to work to the best of their ability.
    Wyoming colleges are a part of the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, which includes colleges in Colorado and eastern Nebraska. The collegiate rodeo season is split up into two parts – fall and spring.
    With the promise of warmer weather ahead, the spring rodeo season began in Gillette. The team standings from the fall season had carried over, and Casper College was at the top of the leader board out of the men’s teams, which is where they remain. For the women’s teams, Central Wyoming College began the spring season as the team in first, a place they still hold.
One common goal
    There are five rodeos in the spring season, three of which have already taken place, and the Casper College rodeo will begin April 20. With the end of the season approaching, athletes, coaches and teams are working toward a similar goal – the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR).
    To compete in the CNFR, an individual must finish in the top three of their respective event for their region. All points from both halves of the season are compiled to decide the top three individuals in each event, and these competitors also have the opportunity to ride in the finals as the All-Around Cowboy or Cowgirl. If the individual is not in the top three of their events, and is not placed on the team already, the Champion and Reserve Champion All-Around will compete in the CNFR.
    For a team to make it to the CNFR, they must also be first or second in their region. A men’s team will consist of six individuals, and a women’s team will be made up of four individuals. Each of these teams has two more opportunities to grasp on to one of the coveted standings.
    When the season comes to an end at the Laramie rodeo, the results will be presented. It is then that individuals know if their hard work got them to the finals, and the teams will find out if they will be the reigning champions of the 2011-2012 collegiate rodeo seasons.  
Competitive leadership
    The Casper College men’s team, coached by Tom Parker, has found success and points in rough stock riding, and the Thunderbird Rodeo Team is the defending champion team of the Central Rocky Mountain Region.
    “As we look at the past few rodeos, we have seen very positive things come out of this teams. Our men’s team is still winning the region. Our rough stock riders have really stepped up. We haven’t done much with the timed events, but we haven’t drawn very well. The draw can play an important role on team success,” says Parker.
    With the lead of the women’s team, Central Wyoming College is making points from consistency and experience. Head coach Rick Smith and his team are being led by four upperclassmen who have led by example.
    “These girls have been consistent all year. This is one of the strongest teams I have seen. They are great kids and great individuals,” says Smith.
Pressure rises
    “The pressure is starting to build. Anytime you have teams shooting at you like we do, there is pressure to keep doing what we are doing and keep the lead. It isn’t as much team-wise as it is individually. We still have a couple hundred points as a lead. We just need to score about 400 points a weekend and we will be sitting where we want to be,” says Parker.
    The last days, practices and rodeos of the season are drawing near, and Wyoming collegiate rodeo contestants are fighting for the chance to be in the top three of their events. Teams are working hard in practices and in the arena to ensure they keep their ranking, or to give it the fighting chance to be first or second as a team.
    “I have heard before, ‘There are a lot of people in this world who will take, but there are very few people who will give what it takes.’ As a T-bird and as an individual, it is about giving what it takes to reach our end goal,” says Zachariah Phillips, Casper College saddle bronc and bareback rider.
     Allie Leitza is an intern for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2012 Central Rocky Mountain Region men’s team standings:
1. Casper College    3,540.00
2. Gillette College    3,301.66
3. University of Wyoming    2,985.00
4. Eastern Wyoming College    2,805.00
5. Northeastern Junior College    2,510.00
6. Central Wyoming College    2,375.00
7. Chadron State College    1,700.00
8. Laramie County Community College    1,150.00
9. Sheridan College    940.00
10. Colorado State University    335.00
11. Otero Junior College    270.00
12. Lamar Community College    240.00
13. United States Air Force Academy    128.33

Region women’s team standings:
1. Central Wyoming College    2,465.00
2. Northeastern Junior College    1,933.33
3. Gillette College    1,900.00
4. Chadron State College    1,733.33
5. University of Wyoming    1,090.00
6. Laramie County Community College    1,030.00
7. Eastern Wyoming College    786.66
8. Colorado State University    770.00
9. Casper College    595.00
10. Sheridan College    295.00
11. Lamar Community College    265.00
12. Otero Junior College    20.00





Wheatland – Les Gore is remembered by many for his success in rodeo and his contributions to the rodeo world, but his wife, Kay Gore, says, “Rodeo was basically his life.” 

Though Les passed away as the result of a four-wheeler accident in 2016 at the age of 91, the Wheatland rancher was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Nov. 10, 2018. 

“This is a wonderful honor for Les. I wish he could have been there to accept the honor himself, but his family and I all went to Oklahoma to accept it for him,” says Kay. “It’s really a big honor in the rodeo world.”

Rodeo traditions

Les began competing in rodeos very early in his life, starting his rodeo career with the Rodeo Cowboys’ Association (RCA), which is now the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). He purchased his first card in 1950, but Les began competing in rodeos in 1946.

“At that time, there were only 30 rodeos in which to compete,” describes Kay. “Les worked both end of the arena, competing in all three rough stock events, steer wrestling and calf roping.”

Les traveled from Calgary, Madison Square Garden and Boston to San Francisco, Fort Worth, Texas, Tucson, Ariz., Dallas, Texas and Oklahoma City, Okla. 

As a college student, Les won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo in San Francisco, and he kept climbing the rodeo ranks.

In 1949, Les won the amateur bronc riding at Cheyenne Frontier Days – a ride that was memorialized by John Mariani in a painting, as well as a bronze sculpture. 

In a rodeo at Fort Worth, Texas, he won the bareback riding title after winning in all four rounds in 1956 and then won the steer wrestling average at the RCA Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev. 

“At one point in his career, Les had scored on 73 bull rides in a row,” Kay comments. “Les’ first NFR qualification came in 1963, but due to injuries from a rodeo in San Francisco, he was unable to compete.” 

It wasn’t until 1965 that he returned to rodeo, where he won in the first round and then placed in three other rounds. Injuries in the seventh round meant he was unable to compete on his eighth horse. 

“It was a disappointment, but Les shrugged it off, saying, ‘That’s the way it goes,’” Kay explains. 

Diversifying his career

In 1949, Les also took a step to diversify his rodeo career, partnering with Pete Burns and Jim White and forming Summit Rodeo Company. The company provided bucking stock for the first NFR. 

Les briefly sold his share of Summit in 1954, purchasing it back in 1957, along with Pete McKee’s bucking stock. The two operations were combined to form Rocky Mountain Rodeo Company.

“In all, Les spent 10 years providing bucking stock for PRCA rodeos,” says Kay.

When Les turned 55, he decided to stop competing, but he continued to support the sport, directing and judging a number of large rodeos. 

Les also formed the National Old Timers' Rodeo Association in 1979. Known as the Senior Pro Rodeo Association today, Les sat on the association board for many years.

“That’s how obsessed he was with rodeo – he just wanted to keep going,” Kay explains. “Les and I continued rodeoing every weekend.” 

“When the Senior Pro Rodeo started, we continued to stay involved,” she continues. “He continued his success, with many wins. Les finally quit competing at the age of 64, after winning the all-around in bareback and steer wrestling at his last rodeo.” 

Forming bonds

Kay continues the friendships and relationships Les formed through rodeo lasted for many, many years. 

“Les rodeoed with all the world champions through the years,” she says. “He could have been a world champion himself, but injuries always set him back. He broke his leg in 1965, the year he was on track to be the world champion.”

She reflects back on one particular instance that stands out in her mind, when Lane Frost approached the couple as they were sitting in the stands at Cheyenne Frontier Days. 

“Lane came up to us and said, ‘You’re Les Gore. I had to come up and shake the hand of one of the greatest bareback and bull riders,’” Kay reflects, adding that Les and Lane’s father Clyde rodeoed together for many years. “It sure made an old cowboy feel good to have Lane, Clyde’s son, come and shake his hand.”

“Then, Les went down, stood on the chutes and gave everyone a thumbs up. From then on, Les would give everyone a thumbs up when he met them,” she says. “It was fun.”

When Kay looks at the walls of their home, the many honors Les won with the National Old Timers Rodeo Association and more line the walls. At ages 89 and 90, he won buckles recognizing that he had the second oldest Gold Car at the NFR. 

In 2015, Les was inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame, an additional honor that his family cherishes.

Kay comments, “We’re all still involved in rodeo, and this honor is something that gives generations of the Gore family to look back on through the years.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..