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Equine

The Thrill of Rodeo

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By Phillip Kitts

Rodeo fans and enthusiasts thrive on the thrills and excitement that is connected with the top names and associations in rodeo. There is no doubt these associations are the highest levels of sport and the pinnacle for athletes.

The question is how many people know there are feeder systems in rodeo that often develop great rodeo talent? These same feeder systems become careers for many talented rodeo athletes. To better understand all of this, let’s break down rodeo a little.

As we have talked about in the past, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association includes two types of competitors, the tour athletes who have their sights set on the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, and the circuit cowboys who tend to rodeo on a more regional level. The PRCA has 13 circuits that stretch across the United States, as well as into Canada. Circuit athletes compete within their region with the goal of making the assigned circuit finals. If they can win their circuit for the year, they receive an invite to the NFR Open which is in July in Colorado Springs. Winning the NFR Open may not be as prestigious as winning at the NFR, but it does carry a lot of clout in the rodeo world and comes along with a healthy payday.

To read more, pick up a copy of the October issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Equine

Equine Emergency Preparedness

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By Dr. Garrett Metcalf

There will come a time for every horse owner or trainer to experience an equine emergency situation. Horses like to harm themselves because they are prey animals. They only know that if something is scaring them they run away as fast as possible and it doesn’t matter what is in their way. These behavior traits often lead to emergency situations and hopefully this article will help horse owners be more prepared in those situations. This is making it difficult for equine owners to get emergency help and making it difficult for the currently practicing equine veterinarians to keep up with the demand, especially in emergency situations. The need for owners and trainers to be more prepared for emergency situations is rather important for the health of the horse and the health of your veterinarian. Most solo practitioners cannot be on call that much or at all after hours leaving most owners with the options of referral to a 24 hour facility or to manage the problem themselves until the next day. The goal of this article is to help horse owners to be prepared as they can be for emergency situations when they arise.

The equine veterinary community is experience a rather tough situation with the lack of graduating veterinarians entering the equine market. The latest statistics from American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has found that only 1.3 percent of veterinary students start work in the equine field directly out school. There are 4.5 percent that enter an internship but out of this total amount roughly half this group will not continue working in equine practices by five years. To add to the problem more than 60 veterinarians are retiring from equine each year in the United States and this is expected to grow at a rate of three percent each year. To put another way there are on average 4,000 veterinary students that graduate each year and only 150 of them are entering some form of equine field with only 50 entering directly into practice.

To read more, pick up a copy of the November issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Equine

Giving Back in Rodeo

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By Phillip Kitts

Around the rodeo world, the countless stories of good deeds and support of others is enough to fill a book. It always seems the rodeo community and the roots of the rodeo family have a deeper understanding of taking care of their own.

In the same breath, just looking around the world, one can see the droves of complaints about the youth of our nation and the so-called cancel culture. The fact is, the complaint between generations probably goes back farther than just the current generation, but it just seems to have become more profound in recent years.

In the end of September, and first part of October, a group of youth made a very quiet but profound statement that they refuse to be categorized with the masses. To understand this quiet stand, one must acknowledge the platform where it begins.

The Southern New Mexico Fair and Rodeo has a rodeo that continues to grow and flourish as a large part of a week of activities. This rodeo includes a night of Ranch Rodeo, two days of professional rodeo and a barrel race. Each year, this rodeo committee looks for more ways to highlight the western lifestyle and the roots of America. In 2022 when the committee recognized there was a need to dedicate an evening to rodeo fans who face special challenges, they accepted the task and developed something special. Thus, the New Mexico State Fair and Rodeo Exceptional Rodeo was born.

To read more, pick up a copy of the November issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Equine

The Cowboy Capital of the World

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By Krista Lucas Wynn

It is hard to believe summertime is already over, which means the 2023 professional rodeo season is coming to a close. Each and every year it always comes down to the very last day, Sept. 30, for contestants qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association season runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. One of the last rodeos of the season is always the Cowboy Capital of the World pro rodeo, in Stephenville, Texas. This year, the annual event was Sept. 22-24, making its debut at a brand new venue.

Previously conducted at Lone Star Arena, this year’s pro rodeo was at the brand new fairgrounds, just five miles outside of town. It was the consensus with timed event and roughstock contestants alike that the new location was a welcomed change.

It goes without saying rodeo competitors want to be trending upward, not downward at this critical time of year. Bareback rider Kade Sonnier has been doing just that. The rookie, from Carencro, La., won the bareback riding at the Cowboy Capital of the World with a score of 84.5 on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Fox Hole Gunner for $1,545.

This moved him up into second in the world standings, with Leighton Berry hot on his heels. Berry was also right behind Sonnier in Stephenville with a score of 83 points for second place.
Overall, steer wrestling is a big brotherhood, and there is definitely quite a bit of shuffling going on toward the end of the rodeo season in the standings.

To read more, pick up a copy of the November issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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