Will Rogers Stampede Update

Thanks to Ted Harbin for the updates from the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Oklahoma

Northcott, Markham rope Claremore title

By Ted Harbin/for the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo

CLAREMORE, Okla. – It’s been 17 years since Steve Northcott last roped at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 

It’s about time he returns. 

On the night of May 29, he and his partner, Cale Markham, stopped the clock in 5.0 seconds to win the team-roping title on a damp final night of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo. A short-lived but heavy thunderstorm passed over Will Rogers Stampede Arena shortly before the rodeo was to begin, but the wet arena didn’t bother the winning tandem. 

“I actually got here early enough that I came out to the arena and checked the (conditions),” said Northcott, 46, the 1996 world champion from Odessa, Texas. “The ground is really sandy, and I knew the weather was going to get bad. I still thought the footing was going to be good no matter how much rain it got. 

“It was a little muddy in front of the roping box, but out where the run actually happened the arena was in great shape.” 

Markham, a header from Vinita, Okla., got his rope on the steer quickly, turned the animal for Northcott, who stopped the clock on the run. Markham and Northcott were six-tenths of a second faster than the runners-up – Jesse Stipes/Buddy Hawkins and Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens. 

“Cale actually turned him where the ground is real good,” Northcott said. “It was a lot easier shot for me than it would have been in the mud.” 

It’s a great way to kick start the new partnership. 

“We started roping together at the Guymon (Okla.) rodeo the first of May,” he said. “We’re planning on roping all summer long and try to make the Finals.” 

That’s the perfect sentiment for a cowboy that decided to return to the rodeo trail after many years away from the game. 

“For some crazy reason, I decided to do it again,” Northcott said. 

He likes the idea of having a talented partner in Markham, who is about half his age but has a strong pedigree. Not only has the Oklahoma cowboy excelled at the local level, he also has qualified for the RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in heading. 

“I was that age one time, and I was awfully confident in my roping, too,” Northcott said. “To do good at the professional level, you’ve got to have one of those young kids in front of you, or it’s tough to do it. 

“My goal is to make the National Finals Rodeo one more time, then maybe do it again.”

Schlegel finds Sadie’s Gal to his liking

By Ted Harbin/for the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Joel Schlegel has found a young lady to his liking. 

Sadie’s Gal is a 9-year-old dark brown mare from the Dallas-based livestock firm of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo. On May 28, Schlegel matched moves with the horse for 84 points to take the bareback riding lead during the second performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo. 

“I got on her in Bay City (Texas) earlier this year and won that one,” said Schlegel, 27, of Burns, Colo. “She’s a really good horse that went to the National Finals Rodeo a couple years ago. She’s not the most famous one of Pete’s, but you can dang sure place on her anywhere she’s at.” 

Carr is one of the most recognized stock contractors in the sport, having had more animals selected to the Wrangler NFR each of the past three years than any other livestock producer in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. 

“When you get a horse like that, you have a shot to win every time if you do your job,” Schlegel said, noting that the score is based equally on a cowboy’s ability to ride and the animal’s ability to buck and kick. 

This is the Carr firm’s fourth year producing Claremore’s rodeo, now celebrating its 70th year. The Will Rogers Stampede also is the two-time reigning PRCA Small Rodeo of the Year. 

“I haven’t been to this rodeo in a few years, but I’d heard how good it is, especially now that they have Pete as the stock contractor and the horses he has,” Schlegel said. “Sometimes you enter a rodeo because it’s a good rodeo. If it’s enjoyable and fun, you tend to steer that way because there are so many rodeos going on.

“If you have a chance to come to one you like, you dang sure come.”

The Colorado cowboy has found several rodeos to his liking in 2016. Not only did he win in Bay City, he also collected the win on another Carr horse in Nacogdoches, Texas, in late March. He sits 44th in the world standings with the bulk of the big-money rodeo season remaining. 

“I feel like this is the best I’ve ever ridden in my life,” Schlegel said. “I’ve had a lot of bumps and bruises over the years when I was in my early 20s that has held me back a little, but I feel great. I hope I can catch a lick and see if that gets me to the (National) Finals.” 

For now, though, he’s enjoying his run through Oklahoma.