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News & Notes Archive

News and notes from the rodeo trail, May 18

The Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame in Pendleton, Ore., has named five legends to be its 2017 inductees. Two of those who will be inducted in September are bull fighters, one is a cowboy, another is a long-time volunteer from Happy Canyon’s early years, and the fifth is a current volunteer. The bullfighters are Loyd Ketchum and Joe Baumgartner. The cowboy is steer wrestler and roper Danny Torricellas. From the “early years” category, Ruth Fletcher is being honored. The long-time volunteer is Matt Duchek. Ketchum began his PRCA career in 1987. He worked his first Pendleton Round-Up in 1991 and continued through 2011, taking one year off for an injury. He also appeared at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from 1992-96. Baumgartner began fighting bulls at the age of 16. He went on to work at 14 WNFRs. He worked the Pendleton Round-Up from 1990-2008 and was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2013. Torricellas was born into a rodeo family in Eugene, Ore., in 1951. He came to Pendleton as a member of Blue Mountain Community College’s rodeo team in the early 1970s, and was the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association tie-down roping champion in 1972. He won his first Round-Up title as a steer wrestler in 1975, and repeated that feat in 1979, 1983 and 1994. He was also named all-around champion in 1979. Torricellas also qualified for the WNFR six times as a steer wrestler (1976, 1978, 1980-82, 1984) and three times as a tie-down roper (1978, 1980-81). Fletcher was born in 1901, and volunteered for Happy Canyon for more than 40 years beginning around 1940 as she was getting her children ready for their part in the covered wagon scene. She was asked if she’d help with makeup for the cast, and did so for many years. She later expanded to become the costume repair person and wardrobe keeper. During the off season, Fletcher sewed new costumes needed for the cast. Duchek began his volunteer work for Happy Canyon collecting evergreens for scenery. He was one of the original 10 bartenders when the night show began serving liquor and helped engineer the original stage for the arena concerts. He was elected to the Happy Canyon Board of Directors in 1994, and served as president in 2002-2003. Later he served on the board for the Hall of Fame, and was its president for 2007 through 2009. Among his accomplishments are designing an elevated floor for the orchestra pit, remodeling the back bar in the convention center, sanding and repainting all of the seats in the Happy Canyon Arena, and upgrading all the walkways behind the scenery ...

The San Angelo (Texas) Stock Show and Rodeo Association awarded 15 college scholarships to 14 high school seniors around the region May 11 at the association’s annual banquet in San Angelo. The seniors awarded came from all over the region, from high schools far and wide. The association formed a foundation in 2002 that manages the scholarship program. Since 1987, the association has awarded $1.52 million to 733 seniors. The scholarships are for $8,000 over four years of college. Sierra Gordon, who will attend West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas, and study ag-business also won the Kermit Wendland Scholarship, which is an additional $16,000 ...

Houston Herbert, a student at the University of Tennessee–Martin, is the 2017 recipient of the Franklin (Tenn.) Rodeo scholarship, given to a student athlete at UT-M. He is a PRCA member and bareback rider from College Grove, Tenn., and is majoring in ag-business. This is the second year Herbert has won the scholarship ...

The Franklin (Tenn.) Rodeo takes place May 18-20, and provides a big financial boost to local charities. “We give back to the community,” said Ruth Nicolaus, publicist for the Franklin Rodeo. “This event is put on by the Franklin Noon Rotary Club. The money from this goes to local charities. Over $2 million has been given away over the last 67 years since we started,” Some of the charities involved include Habitat for Humanity, 4-H, Boys and Girls Club and Tucker’s House. “People come to be entertained, but we’re making the world, and our backyard, a better place,” Nicolaus said. “Every night of rodeo we do a food drive and cash donation drive for One Gen Away. They give food to the hungry people of Williamson County.” The rodeo begins at 7 p.m. (CT) each night.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Everyone here is a volunteer, giving back their time. So much work goes into this, but when we heard it was going to be broadcast nationwide, it was even more important to all of us.”

­­­– Santa Maria (Calif.) Elks Rodeo operations manager Matt Rodriguez said in the Santa Maria Times about the volunteers who help put on the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo June 2-4. On June 1, the Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots also is taking place in Santa Maria. The June 3-4 performances of the rodeo will be live-streamed at www.wranglernetwork.com.

 
 
 
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