ARCADIA, Fla. – Joe Frost traveled 2,285 miles to compete at the Arcadia All-Fla Championship Rodeo, and it was worth the long flight.
The 24-year-old Randlett, Utah, bull rider covered Frontier Rodeo’s Back Down for 86 points to win the title and earn a check for $4,258.
“I try to never think about the expenses or traveling, because that’s just part of the job we do,” Frost said. “In my mind, it doesn’t matter if I’m rodeoing in my back yard or getting on a plane for four hours – I make it just about bull riding and not stress about money, because that doesn’t do you any good.”
He didn’t need to stress about his performance in Arcadia. In fact, the ride he made on Back Down not only led to a big check, but also a bit of revenge.
“I got bucked off that bull in Spanish Fork (Utah) last year, and he bucked my brother Josh off at a college rodeo,” Frost said. “So, that was a good one to have again and get him rode – I got some revenge for the family.
“He’s a bull who’s better out of the right-hand delivery, and he’s really fast and a guy has to be moving and hustling or he’ll get ahead of you in a hurry. Winning this makes me feel better that I wasted a chance at $4-5,000 the first time I saw that bull.”
This was Frost’s second trip to Arcadia, as he earned a sixth-place check at the rodeo last year.
“I really like that rodeo – they have a good crowd and (Eight-time World Champion) Donnie Gay is helping announce, and he always adds a little flavor to it,” Frost said. “It’s exciting when you make a good ride with him rambling in the background.”
Surprisingly, this is Frost’s first victory of the 2017 season. Still, he entered the weekend sixth in the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings on the strength of plenty of second- and third-place finishes.
“It’s about consistency and being able to ride every different kind of bull you face,” he said. “I’d rather be second at three rodeos than first at one and buck off at the other two. The name of the game is winning as much money as you can, but it’s nice to get a win now and then.”
Frost, who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER the past three years, missed three months of action last April through June with a blood clot. He’s finished in the top six of the world each of the past three seasons, and is now hoping to have a season full of health.
“I’d like to think the sky is the limit, but I’ve never been able to go a full year, and have always had injuries,” he said. “But my goal is to be the world champion, and to stay fresh and go to as many rodeos as I can.”
Other winners at the $100,266 rodeo were all-around cowboy Nelson Wyatt ($2,759 in tie-down roping and team roping), bareback rider Orin Larsen (87 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Times Up), steer wrestler Kyle Irwin (4.2 seconds), team ropers Nelson Wyatt/Brad Culpepper (5.5 seconds), saddle bronc rider Clay Elliott (87.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Memphis King), tie-down roper Zeb Chapman (9.8 seconds) and barrel racer Taylor Carver (17.31 seconds).
Arcadia All-Fla Championship Rodeo
Arcadia, Fla., March 9-12
All-around cowboy: Nelson Wyatt, $2,759, tie-down roping and team roping.
Bareback riding: 1. Orin Larsen, 87 points on Frontier Rodeo's Times Up, $3,955; 2. Tim O'Connell, 85.5, $3,032; 3. (tie) Ty Taypotat, Clayton Biglow and Mason Clements, 85, $1,538 each; 6. (tie) Tilden Hooper and Chad Rutherford, 83, $593 each; 8. Tanner Phipps, 81, $396.
Steer wrestling: 1. Kyle Irwin, 4.2 seconds, $1,924; 2. (tie) Kamry Dymmek and Lane Chipley, 4.9, $1,548 each; 4. Clint Thomas, 5.1, $1,171; 5. Bob Rohrer, 5.3, $920; 6. (tie) Gary Gilbert and James Davis, 6.0, $544 each; 8. Cody Miller, 6.1, $167.
Team roping: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Brad Culpepper, 5.5 seconds, $2,759 each; 2. (tie) Travis Dorman/Bradley Massey and Jack Andrews/Rodney Melton, 6.0, $2,219 each; 4. Casey Hilley/Mark Gentry, 6.4, $1,680; 5. Hayden Grant/John Hudson, 6.5, $1,320; 6. Cody Reed/Chad Harper, 6.6, $960; 7. Kaston Peavy/Jason Garcia, 6.9, $600; 8. (tie) Rob Toth/Blaine Courson and Nelson Linares/Spunk Sasser, 7.2, $120 each.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Clay Elliott, 87.5 points on Frontier Rodeo's Memphis King, $4,174; 2. Tyler Corrington, 84, $3,200; 3. Jake Watson, 83.5, $2,365; 4. Hardy Braden, 83, $1,530; 5. Wyatt Casper, 82.5, $974; 6. (tie) Taos Muncy and Audy Reed, 81.5, $626 each; 8. (tie) Bradley Harter and Cort Scheer, 80, $209 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Zeb Chapman, 9.8 seconds, $2,292; 2. Caddo Lewallen, 10.0, $1,993; 3. Trent Creager, 10.1, $1,694; 4. Tyler Milligan, 10.3, $1,395; 5. Lane Bateman, 10.7, $1,096; 6. Polo Bacque II, 10.9, $797; 7. Bradley Chance Hays, 11.3, $498; 8. Tim Pharr, 11.5, $199.
Barrel racing: 1. Taylor Carver, 17.31 seconds, $2,311; 2. Brittney Drawdy, 17.34, $1,964; 3. Kassidy Lantis, 17.37, $1,617; 4. Ericka Nelson, 17.47, $1,386; 5. Sally Young, 17.55, $1,155; 6. Patricia Waters, 17.57, $809; 7. Jodi Jansen, 17.62, $578; 8. Margo Crowther, 17.66, $462; 9. Kelley Carrington, 17.67, $404; 10. Tracy Haberlandt, 17.69, $347; 11. Lori Bowden, 17.70, $289; 12. Mandy Amos, 17.76, $231.
Bull riding: 1. Joe Frost, 86 points on Frontier Rodeo's Back Down, $4,258; 2. Corby Sturdivant, 84, $3,265; 3. Boudreaux Campbell, 83, $2,413; 4. Reagan Avery, 80.5, $1,561; 5. Lance Daniel, 80, $994; 6. Guthrie Murray, 77.5, $710; 7. Jade Nixon, 76.5, $568; 8. (tie) Gray Essary III and Josh Frost, 76, $213 each.
Total payoff: $100,266. Stock contractor: Frontier Rodeo. Sub-contractor: Silver Creek Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Lauranne Smith. Timers: Jen Jeanes and Terri Gay. Announcers: Don Gay and Greg Simas. Specialty act: Keith Isley. Bullfighters: Darran Robertson and Blue Jeanes. Clown/barrelman: Keith Isley. Flankmen: Heath Stewart and Matt Williams. Chute boss: Heath Stewart. Pickup men: Jason Bottoms, Too Tall Calhoun, Rex Bugbee and Ryan Bestol. Photographer: Mike Rastelli. Music director: Mark Evans.
For more coverage of the Arcadia All-Fla Championship Rodeo, check out the March 31 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.
Arcadia set to get a new $7 million rodeo arena
This weekend’s Arcadia All-Fla Championship Rodeo will be the last in its historic facility as construction is underway for a new $7 million, 7,796-seat covered arena.
This is the third time the 89-year-old Arcadia rodeo has moved since it began.
“We have outgrown our current location,” said Don Hall, president of the Arcadia Rodeo Committee. “It’s a good problem to have.”
The new arena can fit about 1,600 more spectators than the current one and will have two barns with 100 stalls. The long-term plan is to expand to 300 stalls, Hall said.
In addition to more seating, the individual seats will be twice as wide. Before, seats were nine inches wide, and the new bleachers will allow for 18 inches of space per person.
“Some buy two seats so they can get more room,” Hall said.
Although the arena will be new, the current bucking chutes and roping boxes will be installed at the new site.
Most of the current arena was built in the 1950s, but some was rebuilt following Hurricane Charley in 2004, and discussion for the new facility began shortly after.
“The rest of the structure took a beating and has some twisted components – the wind completely twisted some of the I-beams,” Hall said.
“I never had a doubt (that a new arena would happen). I always say time and patience are your warriors; and if you have the time and patience, you will prevail – if you’re persistent, it will happen.”
The biggest difference fans and competitors will notice is the roof covering the entire arena and grandstands.
“We are limited in Florida because it’s so hot in the summer, you can’t do anything in the heat,” Hall said. “The Fourth of July rodeo used to be the biggest rodeo, but nobody would come because of the heat.”
The tricky part about covering an arena is keeping the support beams out of the way, and Arcadia’s new setup won’t have any poles – but it will have a state-of-the-art skylight system to eliminate shadows that can be troublesome for barrel racers and photographers.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the arena was held in January at the location of the new arena, roughly two-and-a-half miles down the road from the rodeo’s current spot, which will remain in use through October.
The new facility, Mosaic Arena, is named after one of its biggest donors, the Mosaic Company Foundation. Nearly half of the total construction cost is covered by a grant from the foundation and other donors.
Efforts are underway to raise another $2 million for the new arena, but the arena will still open in the fall, even without the $2 million.
The Mosaic Arena is adjacent to the Turner Agri-Civic Center and will work with the county-owned and operated center.
The Arcadia All-Fla Rodeo’s economic impact is huge for the DeSoto County’s 30,000 residents. It’s estimated that 94 percent of the rodeo’s patrons are from outside of the county. The 2014 rodeo attracted 16,000 visitors and generated about $1 million in economic benefits to the area.
“It’s such an economic driver for the community,” Hall said. “We don’t have the population or the draw that Orlando and Kissimmee have, so we have to make an effort to pull people in – but we have very loyal fans.”
Fundraising is an integral part of the Arcadia rodeo’s roots. The rodeo began in 1928 when the local American Legion wanted to raise money for a new building, and the rodeo continued ever since.
Although the rodeo is celebrating its 89th year in 2017, this is the 58th year it has been held at its current facility. From 1938-50, it was held at Ed Welles’ arena – the grandfather of William Welles IV, who went on to become the association’s president.
The Florida Cowboy Museum will have a 2,000-square-foot space inside the arena named after William Welles IV – a former president of the Arcadia rodeo association who died in 2013.
“Any time you move, it’s a difficult decision because we have a lot of history here and we’re doing the best we can to preserve it with an atmosphere that’s similar,” Hall said.
The doors and gates are slated to open in mid-November.
Donations may be made at www.arcadiarodeo.com or by calling 1.800.749.7633.
“When it’s done, I’ll be ready to do a backflip – don’t think I can make it, but I can try,” Hall said.