Bad fuel gauge led to truck running out of diesel
Tiany Schuster posts 16.75-second time on new horse
Fastest time Saturday morning product of preparation
BY BRETT HOFFMAN
Special to the Star-Telegram
Barrel racer Tiany Schuster wowed the more than 5,700 fans at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo during a sold-out performance Saturday morning at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum with a blistering time of 16.75 seconds, the fastest time during the performance.
It was a relief for the Krum cowgirl because she rode a horse she had purchased earlier this month and had worked exceptionally hard to prepare for the Fort Worth Rodeo.
But it also was a moral victory. Her truck ran out of diesel in north Tarrant County as she was en route to the renowned rodeo, making it a challenge to get to the arena in time to compete.
I DID MY HOMEWORK BEFORE I GOT HERE. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I COULD HAVE DONE TO PREPARE MYSELF MORE.
Barrel racer Tiany Schuster
The fuel gauge malfunctioned, and she didn’t realize she was running low. Fortunately, she was carrying five gallons of fuel in her rig and her vehicle stopped running near a truck service center.
“The problem was I didn’t have any starting fluid,” she said. “Luckily, I was by the service center depot and they had some ether that helped me get going again.”
With the two-hour rodeo performance rapidly moving along, Schuster arrived at the warm-up area about five minutes before the barrel racing event began.
“All of the [barrel racing] girls were warming up and I just joined in with them,” she said.
Despite the morning’s drama, Schuster had prepared well in advance. She had ridden her horse in the Will Rogers venue for several consecutive nights before making her run.
“I did my homework before I got here,” Schuster said. “I don’t know what I could have done to prepare myself more.”
HE’S JUST A WINNER. HE DOES NOT FIND A WAY TO LOSE. EVERYBODY WANTS TO WIN, BUT THIS HORSE FINDS A WAY TO WIN.”
Tiany Schuster on her new horse JSYK Im Famous
She also had competed in the weekly Stockyards Championship Rodeo in north Fort Worth on Friday night. After making her run at Cowtown Coliseum, she drove her horse back to the Will Rogers complexand practiced during the wee hours of Saturday morning.
“After running at North Side [on Friday night at Cowtown Coliseum], it was 1 a.m. when I got here [to Will Rogers], and then it was about 4 a.m. when I got back home [to Krum] and went to bed. But then, I got up and came here this morning, but almost missed it.”
Schuster praised her new quarter horse, JSYK Im Famous, for rising to the occasion.
“He’s very solid horse,” she said. “He’s consistent. He doesn’t hit barrels.”
Schuster, 38, who grew up in the New Orleans area and moved to Denton County about two years ago, acquired JSYK Im Famous about two weeks ago. The gelding previously was ridden by Florida barrel racer Courtney Roberts.
Schuster said the gelding has proven to exhibit the basic elements of a standout barrel racing horse.
“He’s just a winner,” she said. “He does not find a way to lose. Everybody wants to win, but this horse finds a way to win.”
Houston-area roper’s strategy pays off as Fort Worth rodeo opens
Justin Macha posts fastest time in Friday’s opening performance
Cody Kiser takes first-round lead in bareback riding
Tyler Smith is the leader after one day of bull riding
Rodeo bullfighter Evan Allard gets roughed up by Redrum during the bull riding event at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Friday. Richard W. Rodriguez Star-Telegram
BY BRETT HOFFMAN
Special to the Star-Telegram
When he backed into the box to compete in tie-down roping, Justin Macha didn’t have much information on the animal that he was about to lasso and tie.
When the calf was used in the tie-down roping slack performance Wednesday, the roper missed, which made it difficult for Macha to know what to expect.
Despite that, Macha posted the fastest time in the event during the opening performance of the Fort Worth Stock Show’s traditional Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show Friday night.
“In a situation like that, I try to just look at the animal and just go from there,” he said. “I determined that if she looks good, I was going to treat her like a good calf, but if she looks a little stouter, then I was going to change up my game plan a little bit.”
Fortunately, Macha, who is from Needville, southwest of Houston, was able to make a speedy catch.
And when he threw the calf and made the tie, the animal didn’t strain and kick. As a result, Macha turned in a time of 8.6 seconds.
Friday’s show was the first of 29 PRCA performances at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. The rodeo finals are Feb. 6.
Macha is tied for sixth place in the tie-down roping first round. Jud Nowotny, who competed in the slack performance Wednesday, is ranked No. 1 with a 7.9.
Macha said he was grateful that the calf was cooperative.
“She moved out of there [the box] with a good honest hand,” he said. “So, I got it on her [the rope] as fast as I could. Then, I just tried to handle her on the ground and not give her much air. I didn’t give her an opportunity to do anything else.”
In bareback riding, Cody Kiser, from Carson City, Nev., took the first-round lead with a score of 80 on a bronc named Blessed Assurance, owned by the J Bar J Rodeo Co.
“That horse was a young horse and just bucked super nice,” Kiser said. “I had a lot of fun, and this is probably one of the best performances that I’ve had.”
In bull riding, Tyler Smith, a three-time Wrangler National Finals qualifier, took the lead with a score of 85.5 on a bovine named Say It Ain’t So. In team roping, Blaine Vick of Dublin and Dakota Kirchenschlager of Morgan Mill took the lead with a time of 5.1 seconds.
In barrel racing, Kellie Collier, who is from Hereford, took the first-round lead after turning in a time of 16.63 seconds. Mary Walker, the 2012 world champion from Ennis, is ranked No. 2 with a 16.80. Walker won the barrel racing title at the Stock Show’s ShootOut Rodeo on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Aimee Kaye of Bluff Dale is ranked third in barrel racing after turning in a 16.97 on Friday.
Ennis cowgirl cashes in again to win the ShootOut Rodeo
Mary Walker has won the event the past three years
Her horse, Latte, helped her win four years ago
Aaron Pass of Dallas won the bull riding championship
BY BRETT HOFFMAN
Special to the Star-Telegram
The Fort Worth Stock Show ShootOut Rodeo has made Mary Walker’s wallet $30,000 larger over the past three years.
The rodeo offers each event winner a $10,000 prize. Walker, the 2012 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world champion barrel racer who lives in Ennis, has won the ShootOut title the past three years.
WHEN YOU COME DOWN THAT ALLEY WAY TO MAKE YOUR RUN, YOU ALWAYS WANT TO WIN.
Mary Walker of Ennis
When the title was at stake Thursday night, Walker won the title after turning in a final-round time of 16.628 seconds at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
“When I was back there about to go into the arena and I was about to make my run, I was thinking; I can win this a third time in a row and that’s really hard to do,” Walker said. “When you come down that alley way to make your run, you always want to win. But it’s hard to win a rodeo back-to-back whether it’s a world championship or the ShootOut in Fort Worth.”
Walker said the $10,000 is a big boost in a sport that requires riders to pay entry fees and road costs.
“It pays $10,000, and you are thinking: ‘I sure need that $10,000 to get to the next rodeo and pay entry fees,’ ” she said. “So, you just give it your all, keep your head up and keep trying.”
MY STRATEGY IS TO HAVE THE FASTEST RUN IN THE FIRST ROUND SO YOU CAN COME BACK IN THE FINALS AND BE FIRST TO RUN ON THE GROUND.
Walker also won the first round with a time of 16.669, which proved to help her win the overall title. That meant she was the first of four competitors to make a run in the final round. She said it helped to be slotted first because the ground is in better shape to help her horse make a faster run.
“My strategy is to have the fastest run in the first round so you can come back in the finals and be first to run on the ground,” she said. “That makes a big difference.”
Walker rode her prize horse, Latte, who helped her win the world title four years ago.
“He gave it his all in both runs,” she said of competing in the ShootOut Rodeo. “He’s always better in his second run than in his first run. He just went in there and did his job.”
Walker said a win in Fort Worth is meaningful.
“To me, this is like my hometown rodeo because I live only an hour away,” Walker said.
Walker was among two North Texas competitors who won a title.
Aaron Pass of Dallas, a former Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, won the bull riding title with a score of 90 on a bull named Little Turbo.
Tyler Nelson won the title in bareback riding. Both he and Luke Creasy turned in scores of 89.5 in the final round. But Nelson was crowned as the champion because he had the higher score in the first round, an 86. Creasy had an 84.5.
Trevor Knowles won the steer wrestling title after turning in a 4.0. Dakota Eldridge finished second with a 5.1.
In saddle bronc riding, two-time world champion Cody Wright clinched the title after turning in an 87, a half-point higher than second place Chuck Schmidt. Wright won the rodeo aboard a bronc named Fire Lane.
The ShootOut rodeo format has become popular in recent years at the larger stock shows such as the January National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver. Like the Denver stock show, the Fort Worth organizing committee features a long-running, traditional Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show. But organizers also feature a ShootOut rodeo to offer fans an alternative type of rodeo during the annual stock show.
The Fort Worth Stock Show is 23 days. The traditional PRCA rodeo, which begins Friday night, is 16 days. So, organizers also feature other shows such as Cowboys of Color Rodeo, the Bulls’ Night Out and the ShootOut Rodeo in an attempt to offer fans more variety.
Fort Worth organizers first opted to feature the ShootOut rodeo two years ago. Unlike the PRCA show, which features the seven events such as tie-down roping and team roping, the ShootOut Rodeo features five events. They are bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing.
Each event featured eight competitors. Each rider represented one of eight rodeos, a high-profile rodeo that the competitor won last year. Sarah Rose McDonald, who won the 2015 Fort Worth Show barrel-racing title, was on the Fort Worth rodeo team.
The other rodeos that advanced competitors were to the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo were in Austin, Calgary, Houston, San Angelo, Denver, Reno, Nev., and Cheyenne, Wyo.
During Thursday’s Fort Worth ShootOut, each of the eight riders in each event competed in a first round. When the round concluded, the top four advanced to a final round. During the final round, the rider with the highest score or the fastest time from two rounds won a $10,000 check.
Throughout the rodeo, competitors were interviewed in the arena by either 1988 world all-around champion Dave Appleton or 1973 Miss Rodeo America Pam Minick.
During the prelims, riders who advanced to the finals were asked about their strategy they would use in the final round. During the final round, competitors were asked what it took to win.
Lanham cashes in as his first-night bull rides hold up
Idaho cowboys snags more than $9,200 in Bulls’ Night Out
Wednesday’s best scores were only good enough for second
Opening night of the PRCA rodeo in Fort Worth is Friday
Zeb Lanham celebrates his ride that scored an 87 in the final on Tuesday. His win was worth more than $9,000. Paul Moseley Star-Telegram
BY BRETT HOFFMAN
Special to the Star-Telegram
It is the money that attracts Zeb Lanham to the highly dangerous sport of bull riding.
“Having a regular job where you work your rear off for a little tiny check for $200 or for $600 a week, of whatever it is, maybe $1,000, and then you go and get on a bull for eight seconds and you can win $10,000 riding bulls, that kind of spoils you,” Lanham said. “It is fast money and there’s injuries involved in it, but there’s insurance.”
Lanham earned $9,258 for a making pair of eight second rides at the Fort Worth Stock Show’s Bulls’ Night Out, which ran Tuesday and Wednesday at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
The cowboy from Sweet, Idaho, turned in lofty scores of 86 and 87 on Tuesday, which meant he finished with a two-ride aggregate score of 173. The 173 held up through Wednesday night’s competition.
During Wednesday’s show, Derek Kolbaba, who is from Walla Walla, Wash., turned in the highest aggregate score of the two-hour performance, finishing with a two-ride tally of 169. He posted an 83.5 in the first round and then an 85.5 in the short round.
After all that, Lanham edged Kolbaba for the title, 173 to 169. Kolbaba earned $6,213.
Lanham qualified for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2005 and 2006. But these days, he enters only larger shows such as the Fort Worth Stock Show’s Bulls’ Night Out, which was part of the PRCA’s Xtreme Bulls tour.
He’s also entered in the Stock Show’s ShootOut Rodeo, which is scheduled for Thursday night. He earned a berth as the result of winning the National Western Stock Show Rodeo in Denver.
Each event winner at the ShootOut Rodeo will receive $10,000 and Lanham hopes he is among that elite group. Lanham, 31, said he prefers to ride bulls in a day when there’s lots of prize money at at stake.
“Anymore, I’m just going to these bigger rodeos,” Lanham said. “If I make it to the NFR, if I don’t, no big deal. I’ve already been there.”
Kolbaba, who finished runner up behind Lanham, also is earning lots of fast money riding bulls.
“When you come to Fort Worth, you know you are going to get on some great bulls and go up against some great guys,” he said. “I was happy to come in and get two bulls that kind of fit me and it worked out.”
Kolbaba said he knew he could earn a nice check in Fort Worth if he could stay on his short-round bull.
“I was down there a ways in the long round [after turning the 83.5], so, to get any money, I knew that I was going to have to adapt in in the short round and score higher and it worked out,” he said. “When we come to these type of events, our job is to ride two bulls and it worked out for me here.”
Kolbaba also is billed as an up and coming star on the Professional Bull Riders tour. Last year, he qualified for the association’s World Finals in late October in Las Vegas.
This year, he’s off to a fast start on the PBR circuit. For example, he earned close to $20,000 as the result of winning the PBR BlueDEF Tour show in Denver last weekend during the National Western Stock Show.
He’s also scheduled to compete in the Fort Worth Stock Show’s ShootOut Rodeo tonight. He earned a berth as the result of winning the Reno Rodeo in Nevada last summer.
Jud Nowotny took the lead in the Stock Show’s PRCA Rodeo tie-down roping first round after turning in a time of 7.9 seconds Wednesday morning at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
Billy Hamilton is ranked No. 2 with an 8.3 and Jordan Ketscher is No. 3 with an 8.3.
Cory Solomon, a former National Finals qualifier who won the Cowboys of Color Rodeo on Sunday, is ranked No. 4 with an 8.5. He is tied with defending world all-around champion Trevor Brazile who also posted an 8.5.
The slack performance featured the overflow of competitors who are not scheduled to compete in the main shows.
The steer wrestling slack is scheduled to begin Thursday at 8 a.m. Defending world champion Hunter Cure and former world champion Luke Branquinho are on the card.
The Stock Show PRCA Rodeo’s main performances begin Friday night. The renowned winter rodeo runs through Feb. 6.