The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, in partnership with the Oklahoma Ford Dealers is preparing for the OCA Ranch Rodeo, No. 39 on August 18 and 19 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.
The OCA Ranch Rodeo consists of twelve ranch teams of ‘real ranch’ cowboys that compete in five different events mirroring many of the activities of daily ranch life.
The 2023 participating ranches include: A Bar Ranch, Claremore; Barron-Highsmith Cattle Co. and T and R Ranch, Oologah; Drummond Land & Cattle Co., Pawhuska; Stuart Ranch, Waurika; Daube Cattle Co. & 3C Cattle Co., Ardmore; 4C Cattle & Cross V, Bristow; Burford Ranches, Hominy; Gray G Bar Ranch, Shilder; Quarter Circle 99 Ranch & Rafter D Ranch, Loco; Lazy Rafter Slash Ranch, Lenapah; Trentman Ranch, Pawhuska will team up with Steirwalt Ranch & Cattle Co., Shidler; Whitmire Ranch, Delaware.
The competition is fierce, but the cowboys do not take home much more than bumps and bragging rights. They participate with one goal: to support the Children’s Health Foundation (CHF).
“The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association’s Ranch Rodeo has a close relationship with the Children’s Health Foundation (CHF) that spans 25 years and entails raising more than $630,000,” said Kent Trentman, Ranch Rodeo Committee Chair.
The event has affectionately been called, ‘Cowboys Helping Kids’ because of our long-standing relationship with Children’s Health Foundation.
“We’ve hosted many ‘Miracle Children’ over the years and met their families. Those connections make our mission real and heart-felt for the participating cowboys and the committee that works to coordinate the event.”
CHF funds children’s medical research and treatment for children right here in Oklahoma. The funds raised for CHF in Oklahoma, stay in Oklahoma.
According to Trentman, the Oklahoma Ford Dealers have supported the OCA Ranch Rodeo since the beginning as the presenting sponsor.
“The Oklahoma Ford Dealers believe in our mission and have been extremely loyal and generous over the years,” Trentman said.
The OCA is the trusted voice of the Oklahoma Cattle Industry and works to protect and empower Oklahoma cattlemen today, to serve tomorrow. OCA is the only voice that speaks solely for the cattlemen of Oklahoma and represents beef producers in all 77 counties across the state. The OCA officers, board of directors and membership encourages you to join us in our advocacy efforts to ensure less government intervention, lower taxes and a better bottom line. For more information about OCA membership, the theft reward program or activities call 405-235-4391 or visit www.okcattlemen.org.
The 2023 Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo, presented by Montana Silversmith, will make history in July when youth athletes compete for a near $400,000 projected payout— one of the richest in youth rodeo history.
Hosted by WCRA Division Youth (DY) and The Lazy E Arena, the third edition of the World Championship event will shell out a projected minimum payout of $375,000 to youth rodeo athletes. The WCRA DY championship event will occur at the Lazy E Arena from July 25-29 and is open to any youth athlete ages 19 and under (as of the first day of competition). The 2022 WCJR paid out more than $271,000.
Late entries for the youth world championship are open now and will close on July 12 at Noon CT. Entry fees for the Junior Division (ages 19-13) will be $400, while Youth Division (ages 15-10) will be $300 per entry. All entries will be taken on nextgenrodeo.com.
In July 2022, the Lazy E Arena and the WCRA Division Youth (DY) announced they would join forces on the 2023 Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo. The 2023 event is open to youth athletes competing in 11 disciplines which include – Bareback Riding, Ladies Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping Heading, Team Roping Heeling, Tie-Down Roping, Ladies Barrel Racing, Ladies Pole Bending, Ladies Goat Tying, and Bull Riding. WCJR athletes can enter only one age division and once per discipline. Roughstock events are Junior Divisions only.
All rodeo athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA DY, the VRQ, or event format and payout details should be directed to dy.rodeo or download the WCRA DY app HERE.
About WCRA DY (World Champions Rodeo Alliance Division Youth):
WCRA DY is a culmination of a leaderboard race of rodeo events worldwide. Athletes can qualify for July 2023 $200,000 Added Money World Championship Event at the Lazy E Arena by nominating their rodeo efforts and earning points for the WCRA DY leaderboard positions using the VRQ (Virtual Rodeo Qualifier). Athletes can nominate their rodeo efforts starting May 2, 2022 and have until Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to nominate and earn points. The top 16 on the leaderboard will qualify for the event with no entry fees.
ABOUT LAZY E ARENA:
The Fabulous Lazy E Arena – just southeast of Guthrie and northeast of Edmond/Oklahoma City – was established in December 1984, just in time for the ’84 National Finals Steer Roping Finals. Originator of the E, E.K. Gaylord II had a vision that both the National Finals Steer Roping Finals and the National Finals Rodeo would happen the same time, in the same area, creating the most epic days rodeo had seen. While the plan only worked for one year, as the NFR moved to Vegas in ’85, the legacy and standards E.K. set from the beginning still carry on today. From giving PBR its start to the Timed Event Championship of the World, the Lazy E has hosted world champions, world championships and personalities galore. In 2005, Gaylord sold the property to a partnership from Nevada, and in October 2013 the property was sold to the McKinney Family from Midland, Texas. The ownership group has long recognized not only the tremendous facility, but also the importance of the Lazy E’s place in Rodeo and Oklahoma history. The Family has committed to maintaining the Lazy E as the World’s premier western entertainment facility. Many updates and renovations are taking place at the Arena which will only enhance the lure of the Lazy E to the general population.
The 2023 Cinch Timed Event Championship winner’s circle was a happy place for Oklahoma’s own Cody Doescher. Lazy E Photo by James Phifer
He did it. Oklahoma City’s Cody Doescher won the 2023 Cinch Timed Event Championship, and kept the Ironman of Pro Rodeo crown in the Sooner State for the first time since this ultimate cowboy contest started at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie back in 1985. It took Doescher 10 tries to take the $100,000 champ’s check home, and the 30-minute commute made it easy for family and friends to be there to cheer on their hometown hero.
“This is by far the biggest win of my career,” beamed a breathless 32-year-old Doescher at event’s end. “I’m not rodeoing that hard anymore, so to even be here is a blessing. To come out on top is unbelievable.”
Before now, the biggest check of Doescher’s cowboy career was for $50,000, when he won the team roping at RodeoHouston heeling for Tommy Edens in 2011. The best news about that was a banner bank deposit. The bad news was that Houston was not sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association at that time, so the money didn’t count toward the world standings.
The financial fact that jumps off the page about Doescher’s Timed Event track record is that in nine previous appearances, his total CTEC earnings were $12,500.
“I won a round last year, and have placed in some rounds over the years,” Doescher said. “But winning fifth one year was the only time I’d ever placed in the average before now.”
Doescher changed all that by dragging down a whopping $107,000 at this year’s 39th annual Cinch Timed Event Championship. After a slow start in Round 1, in which he finished 15th, Doescher rebounded with the Round 2 win, and second-place finishes in Rounds 3 and 4. He placed fifth in Round 5 to close the deal, but not before taking the air out of the building with a first-loop neck catch on his last steer roping run right there at the finish line.
When the red-dirt Lazy-E dust settled after 25 runs—five rounds each in heading, tie-down roping, heeling, steer wrestling and steer roping—Doescher’s 312.7 bested the 20-Timed-Event-titan field. California native Russell Cardoza, who now calls Oregon home, was the 2023 reserve CTEC champ at 321.7 on 25 for $25,000.
California’s Lane Karney, who’s big brother to 2020 CTEC titlist Taylor Santos, finished third for $15,000. Nebraska’s Riley Wakefield, who had an impressive showing at his first Timed Event, won $10,000 for fourth. Fellow CTEC first-timer Nelson Wyatt rounded out the top-five 2023 finishers to take $7,500 back to Alabama.
Doescher’s Day Job
Interesting is that this year’s Timed Event top three don’t rodeo for a living, which after years on the road is something new for Doescher and Cardoza. Doescher has a family and a job now. He and his wife, Courtney, have three kids to raise in Paizley, 11, Rance, 7, and Holten, 2.
“I’m a ring man, which means I stand there and take bids,” Cody said of his day job. “I work horse and car auctions all over the country. My auction career is taking off like crazy, and I’m staying super busy with that. I still have a goal to make the steer roping finals once we get a place bought. But for now, it’s about making money and providing for my family.”
It was perfect timing for this windfall win.
“This money is life-changing for us,” Doescher said. “We’ve outgrown the single-wide we live in, and have been looking to buy a place. I couldn’t ask for anything more right now.”
The Difference for Doescher
What was the difference that put him over the top in his 10th trip to the Timed Event?
“For me, it was the mental game,” Doescher said. “To win this thing, you’ve got to draw good, for one. For two, you have to be mentally tough and disciplined. Toward the end, Tyler Pearson told me, ‘Don’t let the moment control you. You control the moment.’ I just tried to relax, do my job and stay out of the moment until it was over.
“What he said really hit home for me after the calf roping, especially going into my three most comfortable events (heeling, steer wrestling and steer roping) right there at the end. That helped my mindset so much. My mind was so much different this year, and it’s unbelievable the amount of support I’ve gotten. The support system of family and friends I have, and the help they’ve given me is unbelievable.”
Now that Cody’s cleared the obstacles that stand between 25 runs and success, he’s in even more awe over what sets this event apart from all others.
“Guys have to get outside their comfort zones at the Timed Event,” he said. “You have to be mentally and physically strong. You have to be able to score, you have to have good horses, and you have to use your horses. This is not just a go-fast deal where you can get lucky. It’s 25 head over three days, and staying mentally strong that long has been a struggle of mine. I finally got it all put together.”
Horse and Human Helpers
Doescher rode Adam Hubler’s buckskin head horse in the heading; his own mare, Ginger, in the heeling; Kyle Myers’ calf horse, Casino; David Reagor’s bulldogging horse, Vanilla Ice; and his own steer horse, Holyfield.
In addition to the horses, there are the human helpers it takes to tackle the Timed Event. NFR heeler Douglas Rich headed and heeled for Doescher in the team roping, and Reagor lined his steer wrestling steers.
Doescher didn’t take the lead until four rounds into the five-round CTEC marathon.
“I just tried to stick to my game plan, no matter what,” he said. “I knew I had to stay aggressive and stick to my game, no matter what anybody else did. All I tried to do, start to finish, was my job.
“I wanted to relax, and not get frustrated or press unless I had to. The plan was to not beat myself, and to just go beat every steer and every calf, and do what I know how to do and not get too far out of my comfort zone. I wanted to rope aggressive, use my horses and be smart, all at the same time.”
Lazy E Local
Doescher’s a lifelong local at the Lazy E.
“This place is unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve been coming to the Lazy E since I was a little kid, and had a lot of success here when I was younger. I love the Lazy E. It’s like a second home to me.”
What did Doescher learn about himself at the 2023 Timed Event that he didn’t know before?
“I learned that I’m capable of being a lot more mentally strong than I thought,” he said. “I wanted to trust in the Lord, know that He’s got me and just be mentally stable.
“If I had to pick one word for this win, it would be ‘blessed.’ To see the names up there (on the past Timed Event champions banners) in the rafters of the Lazy E, and think that I’ll be up there amongst them, is an unbelievable feeling I’ve never had before.”
Cowboy Young Guns
This year’s Jr Ironman presented by WCRA, which is three rounds in four events—heading, tie-down roping, heeling and steer wrestling—was won by a familiar face to longtime Lazy E fans. Arizona’s Ketch Kelton set the new 107.4-second gold standard on 12 head en route to the $20,000 payday, which rewrites the record set by 2022 Jr Ironman Champ Clay Clayman, who won last year’s event in 111.2 seconds.
Kelton was the cute little 5-year-old kid chasing cattle out on the paint pony a dozen years ago at the 2011 Timed Event. He’s the son of Chance and Tammy Kelton, and little brother to big sister Kenzie. Chance Kelton is a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo header, and five-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier. He competed at the Timed Event 12 straight years, from 1999 through 2011.
Missouri’s Clayman finished second only to Kelton in 2023, but the margin of victory was wide, with Clayman finishing 55.2 seconds behind Kelton at 162.6, after taking a 60 in the final round of heading. (buy ambient music)
It was a tight, two-man fight most of the way in the Jr Ironman. Clayman topped Round 1, but Kelton stayed within striking distance at less than three seconds back in second. Ketch countered with the Round 2 win, and took the average lead over Clayman—barely—72.4 on eight run to Clay’s 73.7.
Texan Kreece Dearing topped Round 3, but Kelton took the wheel in the driver’s seat and never took his foot off the gas. He finished second in Round 3, and all told left the Lazy E $21,250 richer. Clayman earned $5,000 for his second-place finish, and Tennessee’s Conner Griffith cashed a $2,000 check for third in the Jr Ironman average.
No stranger to the winner’s circle, Ketch is the reigning National High School Rodeo Association All-Around Cowboy.
“This is my best win so far, because my dad came here and I always came here with him and wanted to be here,” said the 17-year-old high school junior, who competed in the Jr Ironman for the first time in 2023. “I love this event. Doing every event back-to-back-to-back makes it fun.”
Kelton’s Cowboy Village
Kelton headed and heeled on his horse Boone, roped calves on a Brent Lewis-trained horse, and bulldogged on Damian Padilla’s steer wrestling horse. World Champion Header Aaron Tsinigine headed for Kelton in the heeling, and two-time CTEC titlist Kyle Lockett heeled for him in the heading. World Champion Steer Wrestler Pearson, who sat out this year’s Timed Event to get healed up from a broken collarbone, handled Kelton’s hazing.
Ketch attends a construction trade school in the mornings, and the Keltons rope as a family in the afternoons. Team roping is their main event, although switch-ender supreme Ketch can’t quite decide if he’d rather head or heel just yet. They rope a few calves when they can, and leave the steer wrestling to the high school rodeos. In addition to team roping—he’s heading for Denton Dunning this year—Kelton also enters the tie-down roping, steer wrestling and reined cow horse at the high school rodeos.
Ketch says his next goal is to try and defend his NHSRA all-around title. The ultimate, he says, is to “just do what I love.”
“I love the Jr Ironman,” said Kelton, whose young cowboy life has been most influenced by his dad and Grandpa Willy Kelton, “who’s just always been there, and stays so positive.
“I love the Lazy E, and this big, long score. I had a game plan coming in to just catch everything, and get ’em all knocked down with no penalties. We got it done, so that feels pretty good. I have no idea what I’m going to do with this money. But I guess that’s a pretty good problem to have.”
Expect the Unexpected
If there is one thing you can count on at the Cinch Timed Event Championship and Jr Ironman, it’s that anything can happen. The 2023 event had it all, from the impressive success of newcomers to broken ropes for KC Jones and Cole Patterson to witnessing World Champion Header Colby Lovell sprint the length of that 440-foot Lazy E Arena in hot pursuit of winning a grueling game of beat the clock with a salty steer wrestling steer.
We’ve all come to expect the unexpected from the cowboy gladiators handy and tough enough to take on the Timed Event. And that makes for great watching.
The 2023 Cinch Timed Event Championship will return to the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma March 2–4, 2023, and Roping.com is bringing livestream coverage of the event to your fingertips.
The Cinch Timed Event Championship (CTEC) is comprised of five rounds, where each cowboy will compete in five events. New this year, after the first four rounds, the top 15 will return for the fifth round to determine the $100,000 Cinch Timed Event Champion.
“This year, our partners at Select Genes are presenting the Sports Desk, hosted by Dru Stewart,” Roping.com Content Director Chelsea Shaffer said. “This will bring ropers and fans arena-side with all of the personalities driving this iconic event, giving them a taste of what makes the CTEC the true Ironman of rodeo.”
Roping.com will also stream the Jr Ironman presented by the WCRA, an event that awards $20,000 to the top all-around hand in the youth ranks. It pits 10 standout contestants head-to-head in the heading, steer wrestling, tie-down roping and heeling over three rounds to determine the ultimate Jr Ironman.
The event kicks off on Thursday, March 2 at 8 a.m. with a Pro-Am team roping for Cinch TEC contestants. The Jr. Ironman will take the stage at 5 p.m. followed by the first performance of the CTEC at 7 p.m.
Friday, March 3 the second performance of the CTEC, Jr Ironman and third performance of the CTEC will take place at noon, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Saturday, March 4 will start with the fourth CTEC performance starting at noon, with the final Jr Ironman performance following at 5 p.m. and the final CTEC performance at 7 p.m.
The Cinch Timed Event Championship of the World debuted in 1985. In the world of rodeo at that time, cowboys were beginning to specialize in one or two events. EK Gaylord II, builder and owner of the Lazy E, and a few close cowboy friends had the idea to develop an event that showcased the all-around cowboy, the cowboy who could excel in multiple events, and thus the “Ironman of Pro Rodeo” was born.
Pro rodeo’s top 20 timed event cowboys in the world are invited and required to compete in all five timed events—heading, tie-down, heeling, steer wrestling, and steer roping—over three grueling days of competition. There have been minor changes to the format over the years including seven years (1987-1993) where there was a precedent of taking 25 contestants and dropping back to 15 for the championship round. Since then, only one cowboy ranked 12th place or higher going into the fifth round has earned aggregate prize money.
In recent years, numerous high-profile events in professional rodeo have made changes in their competition format. After careful consideration and consulting with our industry partners, the Lazy E is bringing our throw-back format to the 2023 event, with the top 15 in the aggregate returning for the 5th and Championship Round. With a total purse of $200,000, the winner walks away with a $100,000 paycheck and bragging rights. The Timed Event Champion of the World remains an elusive title that only a select few can claim!
Cinch Timed Event History Facts
Over the past 28 years (1994-2022) only 10 contestants ranked 16-20 in the aggregate have placed in the final round, only 3 total have won the final round – in 28 years.
In 1985 the Timed Events was on 30 head instead of 25. Leo Camarillo won the event with a 407.0 on 30 head.
For 7 years (1987-1993) there was a precedent set of taking 25 contestants and dropping back to 15 for the final perf. During those 7 years, 35% of contestants ranked 11-15 in aggregate took home final round money.
In the final performance, the largest move in aggregate placings any contestant has made is 6 places.
Tickets are on sale now for the 46th annual Bob Feist Invitational roping coming to Guthrie, Oklahoma’s Lazy E Arena on April 1 for the fourth straight year.
The world’s richest Open roping, featuring the 125 best professional teams over six rounds, occurs on a Saturday smack in the middle of Wrangler BFI Week, presented by Yeti. In 2023, the extravaganza has been extended to seven full days – March 29 through April 4.
“We paid out $2.88 million in cash last year at Wrangler BFI Week, and look for some record-breaking payouts in Oklahoma now with the addition of three ropings,” said Daren Peterson, who owns the BFI with his wife, Kami Peterson, and Corky and Kristi Ullman.
On Tuesday, April 4, the producers have added brand-new 9.5-Over-40, 8.5 and 7 ropings. In the 9.5, you can be 40 anytime in 2023, and it’s capped at 5.5 heelers. The 8.5 and 7 ropings are pick-or-draw, capped at 4.5 and 4 ropers, respectively, and are progressive after two with age minimums of at 21.
Find schedule details and entry forms for those and the Charlie 1 Horse All-Girl Team Roping and Breakaway, Hooey Jr. BFI Championships, BFI Legends for past BFI ropers over 40, 15.5, 12.5, 11.5 Businessman’s and 10.5-Over-40 ropings at www.bfiweek.com. Entries will be taken on-site with a $100 per team late fee, or postmark by March 1.
And on March 31, in the Equinety Arena (the warm-up arena by the stalls) BFI greats will be giving a free clinic, new this year, to all Jr. BFI contestants. The clinic presented by Smarty is from 10 a.m. to noon (Jr. BFI contestants can also show their back numbers the next morning for free admission into the BFI).
That night, plan to attend the legendary BFI cowboy auction and free welcome dinner with entertainment, now at the infamous Chicken Shack on Rt. 66 in Arcadia, south of the Lazy E Arena. Doors open at 5 and the first team sells at 6 p.m.
Finally, during “The Feist” on April 1 fans can enjoy a brand-new Beer Garden in the Lazy E, featuring world champion calf roper Shane Hanchey’s popular Cajun food truck. Bo’s Boil N Geaux was named after Taylor Hanchey’s NFR barrel horse and offers creole goodies like crawfish, sausage, chicken and shrimp; etouffee and gumbo.
Also, a new Kids’ Corral and Smarty Arena will host jackpots for kiddos that day, including the Future Champions Dummy Roping at 10 a.m. Finally, a Saturday-night BFI after-party is in the works upstairs in the Cantina over the boxes, open to the public and featuring up-and-coming cowboy recording artist Tyler Halverson. The next day, the 12.5 again has $10,000 added, and ropers can enjoy Happy Hour and a cornhole tournament powered by Texas Ranch Sales.
BFI tickets are available in person at the Lazy E box office, by phone at 405-282-RIDE, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. A special BFI rate is available at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Guthrie by calling (405) 293-9595. Visit www.BFIWeek.com for more information.
About Ullman-Peterson Events
The Phoenix-based production company helmed by Daren Peterson and Corky Ullman has owned and produced the Bob Feist Invitational since 2012 and purchased the Reno Rodeo Invitational team ropings in 2015. Founded by notable rodeo announcer and publisher Bob Feist in 1977, the BFI is the richest team roping event for professionals and one of the most prestigious, due to its limited roster and long head-start for steers. The high-stakes amateur, female and youth roping events surrounding the BFI comprise Wrangler BFI Week presented by Yeti – one of the most lucrative Western sporting events of its kind.
The 2023 Cinch Timed Event Championship is right around the corner, and the world’s most talented all-around cowboys will return to battle March 2-4 at the fabulous Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma. These wildly talented and versatile warriors will go head-to-head grueling marathon style in five rounds of heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping to vie for the champion’s check of $100,000. No Western-world cowboy competition is more demanding or prestigious than this one. In the words of four-time Timed Event titlist Paul Tierney, who has two sons in the field again this year, “The Timed Event is a king of kings event.”
“Winning the Timed Event last year was a big, big deal to me—still is,” said 2022 CTEC Champ Erich Rogers of Round Rock, Arizona. “I’m kind of scared this year, like I’m up on stage and I’ve got to perform again. There are a lot of expectations for me to repeat. Do you know how hard it is to repeat at this event?”
This year’s Timed Event fans will be treated to a star-studded field that represents the 20 best all-around hands on the planet from Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Wyoming and Canada. The Jr Ironman will run in conjunction with the CTEC, and showcase the talents of the rising stars of the rodeo world and feature 10 young guns from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
“You don’t go to any other event and work that many events,” noted Rogers, who’s 36. “The Timed Event is one of a kind, and one of the most prestigious events of the year. It’s a battle between the top 20 all-around cowboys in the world who are handy with a rope and can wrestle a steer. We’re all pretty excited to be headed back to the Lazy E.”
The 2017 world champion header has been busy gathering all the help he needs, both horse and human, to tackle the Timed Event test. What he’ll ride in the steer wrestling and who will haze for him in that event is yet to be determined, but he plans to head on his gray mare, Elsa; heel on his 2023 rodeo partner Paul Eaves’ mare Jade; tie-down rope on one of Josh and Spencer Whipple’s horses; and steer rope on Lee and Cody Lee’s horse Balla. Logan Olson will head for Rogers, and Eaves will heel for him.
A couple of cowboys best known in the professional rodeo ranks as world-class headers will make their Timed Event debuts in March. Texan Colby Lovell is the 2020 world champion header, and Canadian Kolton Schmidt is a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo header.
“I’ve gone to all the ranch rodeos, and have worked a lot of events my whole life,” said Lovell, 35, who lives in Madisonville, Texas. “I’ve always wanted to go to the Timed Event, but it’s always been during the ranch rodeo in Houston, and I always rode for my grandpa’s ranch down there. But I figured it was time to try the Timed Event. It’s kind of a bucket-list type thing.”
Lovell actually just started steer wrestling in December. Wyatt Carney’s been bringing him along in the bulldogging, and “I’ve enjoyed learning how to steer wrestle,” Lovell said. “I’ve never done it until now, but I’m putting in the work, so hopefully with a little luck I’ll be ready.”
Steer roping is relatively new to his repertoire, too. “But I’m fixing to really get after it for the next month,” Colby continued. “I head and heel all the time, and I roped calves all through high school and college.”
Most fans think of Lovell as a header, because of that gold buckle and seven NFR back numbers all from over on the heading side. But rodeo insiders know all about his heeling handiness.
“I grew up heeling my whole life until the first year I made it (the NFR in 2010) when I got to rope with Kory Koontz,” Lovell said. “The first time I ever left the house and got to be around guys who were great was with Kevin Stewart and Martin Lucero when I was 15. I was heeling for Justin Davis, and I went and amateur rodeoed with them. A lot of those rodeos were go-twice, so we swapped partners.
“But I like everything being on my shoulders heading. I feel like if I can be prepared, disciplined and have good horses, we will win. If I do my job enough times heading, it’s going to pay off. When we don’t win, I take the blame. I’ve been fortunate to rope with the best heelers in the world. It’s hard to trump that.”
Lovell plans to head on a horse he sold to a friend that they call Festus, heel on Eaves’ Guapo, tie-down rope on Gary Wells’ Kit Brooks and bulldog on Clay Clayman’s gray. He hasn’t yet selected his steer roping mount. Reigning World Champion Header Kaleb Driggers will head and heel for Lovell, who’s a ranch and rodeo cowboy. It’s no surprise that the wide open spaces of the world-famous 440-foot Lazy E arena suit his style.
“I love the Lazy E,” he said. “I’ve been going there forever, and love roping in that arena. I don’t want to miss the barrier there in the steer wrestling, but I like how cattle aren’t trapped and feel like they have a chance to get away. You really get to see good horses in a big arena like that.”
Schmidt’s a native of Barrhead, Alberta, Canada, but these days makes his home in Stephenville, Texas.
“The Timed Event is just something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m not getting any younger, so it’s time,” said Schmidt, 28. “I grew up watching old Timed Event tapes, and always thought it was really cool. There’s so much that goes into competing at the Timed Event. It looks rewarding.
“And the horse side of the Timed Event is a big part of it. It takes so many good horses, and there are so many obstacles to overcome. When you make five runs in five events, you know it’s going to get bad at some point and you’re going to have to get through it and finish it off.”
Like all Timed Event titans, Schmidt has more experience in some events than others. His NFR heading back numbers speak for themselves.
“I’ve heeled a lot, and jackpotted heeling everywhere,” he said. “I high school, college and Canadian rodeoed in the tie-down. I bulldogged in high school and college, and entered a few Canadian rodeos in that, too.
“Steer roping is the event that’s new to me. I’m learning that, and am amazed by it. I love it. It’s something new involving a rope and a horse, and that’s something I don’t get to experience very often. Heeling might be the event I’m most nervous about going in, though. I used to be good at it, but now I haven’t done it in forever.”
Schmidt thought he had all his horses and help lined out, but, “I’ve had some hiccups come up in the last week. I’m getting it all figured out again now.” That’s pretty typical, and he, too, loves the Lazy E. Schmidt looks forward to going back for both the Timed Event and the 46th annual BFI on April 1.
“The Lazy E is like a pasture roping,” smiled Schmidt, who’s heading for Jake Minor at the rodeos this year. “There are no boundaries. Everything’s wide open, which makes it a little wild and good watching.
“I think having the BFI at the Lazy E is awesome also. It’s definitely a change of scenario. We all grew up watching the BFI in Reno. But I like the big arena, the time of year it’s held now, that it’s closer to the house and pays great. There’s a lot to like about it.”
Rogers will wear back #1. Rounding out the 2023 Cinch Timed Event Championship field in order of finish from last year will be Clayton Hass, Russell Cardoza, Taylor Santos, Paul David Tierney, Haven Meged, Roger Nonella, Lane Karney, Cole Patterson, Marcus Theriot, Shad Mayfield, Tyler Pearson, Cody Doescher, Jess Tierney, Kyle Lockett, Seth Hall, Justin Thigpen, KC Jones, Lovell and Schmidt. Rogers, Santos, Lockett, Thigpen, Theriot, Jones and both Tierney brothers are past champions who know what it’s like to come out King of the Timed Event Mountain and take home that $100,000 check.
The Jr Ironman is held during the TEC, and is three rounds in four events—heading, heeling, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. The champ’s check is worth a whopping $20,000. Missouri’s Clay Clayman will return to defend his 2022 title, and will be joined by Connor Griffith, Evan Bottini, Caleb Lake, Wyatt Williams, Jake Holmes, Dylan Hancock, Mason Appleton, Ketch Kelton and Kreece Dearing on the 10-young-gun roster.
The 2023 Cinch Timed Event Championship will feature five performances: Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m.; Friday, March 3, 12 and 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 4, 12 and 7 p.m. The three Jr Ironman perfs will be held Thursday, March 2 at 5 p.m.; Friday, March 3 at 5 p.m.; and Saturday, March 4 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at www.LazyE.com. See you at the E!
WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) and the Lazy E Arena have announced a breakthrough collaboration on the World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR). The two properties will join forces to host the World Championship event in Guthrie, Oklahoma the week of July 24, 2023.
The 2023 WCRA Division Youth (DY) event will award a guaranteed payout of $200,000 and is open to any youth athlete ages 19 and under (as of the first day of competition) in the world competing in 11 disciplines which include – Bareback Riding, Women’s Breakaway Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping (Heading and Heeling), Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Goat Tying, and Bull Riding.
In February 2022, WCRA announced that roughstock disciplines (Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding) in the Junior class were open for nominations along with Ladies Goat Tying and Ladies Pole Bending in all classifications.
“This partnership marks the beginning of a colossal step to growing the sport of rodeo among youth athletes nationwide and allowing them to qualify for a true world championship event,” said WCRA President Bobby Mote. “Being a 4x World Champion Bareback Rider, having the opportunity to grow opportunities for youth roughstock athletes is special and I couldn’t be prouder to help foster and cultivate the upcoming stars of rodeo.”
World Champions will be crowned in all disciplines from both the Junior Leaderboard (ages 19 and under) and the Youth Leaderboard (age 13-15).
Junior World Champions will earn $2,000 each while Youth athletes will be battling it out for the $1,000 World Champion Cash Bonus. The All-Around World Championship cash bonus (Junior= $4,000 Youth= $2,000) and Discipline World Champion Cash Bonus will be awarded based on total points earned from the combined classifications leaderboards.
According to Mote, historically all DY nominations were $25 and the same points were offered whether you won your local jackpot or the legendary IFYR (International Finals Youth Rodeo). Now, youth athletes will have a chance to nominate those local jackpots at a lower price point of $15.00 and receive a lower point scale at DY5.
“What is unique about this partnership is that we have taken the best of two innovative rodeo properties that are designed to provide new opportunities for rodeo athletes and created an even better junior rodeo platform for youth of all ages,” said Dan Wall, Lazy E Arena General Manager. “There are multiple ways to qualify to the 2023 Semi-Finals Rounds and even more ways to win money at this event.”
DY Athletes will have three opportunities to earn a position to the 2023 Championship event with no entry fees:
Athletes can qualify by nominating their rodeo efforts and earning points for the WCRA DY23 leaderboard positions using the VRQ (Virtual Rodeo Qualifier). Athletes have until June 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to nominate and earn points. The top 16 on the leaderboard in each discipline will qualify for the event with no entry fees.
Generic Qualification from a DY Qualifier Series event.
Open Entry (entries will open will be announced at a later date)
Since launching in May of 2018, the WCRA and its partners have awarded more than $12,100,000 in new money to rodeo athletes. All rodeo athletes interested in learning more about the WCRA DY, the VRQ, or event format and payout details should be directed to dy.rodeo or download the WCRA DY app HERE.
About WCRA DY (World Champions Rodeo Alliance Division Youth):
WCRA DY is a culmination of a leaderboard race of rodeo events worldwide. Athletes can qualify for the July 2023 $200,000 World Championship Event at the Lazy E Arena by nominating their rodeo efforts and earning points for the WCRA DY leaderboard positions using the VRQ (Virtual Rodeo Qualifier). Athletes can nominate their rodeo efforts starting on May 2, 2022 and have until Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. to nominate and earn points. The top 16 on the leaderboard will qualify for the event with no entry fees.
About Lazy E Arena:
The Fabulous Lazy E Arena – just southeast of Guthrie and northeast of Edmond/Oklahoma City – was established in December 1984, just in time for the ’84 National Finals Steer Roping Finals. Originator of the E, E.K. Gaylord II had a vision that both the National Finals Steer Roping Finals and the National Finals Rodeo would happen the same time, in the same area, creating the most epic days rodeo had seen. While the plan only worked for one year, as the NFR moved to Vegas in ’85, the legacy and standards E.K. set from the beginning still carry on today. From giving PBR its start to the Timed Event Championship of the World, the Lazy E has hosted world champions, world championships and personalities galore. In 2005, Gaylord sold the property to a partnership from Nevada, and in October 2013 the property was sold to the McKinney Family from Midland, Texas. The ownership group has long recognized not only the tremendous facility, but also the importance of the Lazy E’s place in Rodeo and Oklahoma history. The Family has committed to maintaining the Lazy E as the World’s premier western entertainment facility. Many updates and renovations are taking place at the Arena which will only enhance the lure of the Lazy E to the general population
The 2022 Cinch Timed Event Championship lived up to its wild, wonderful Ironman of ProRodeo self, and did not disappoint in the dramatic and sentimental storyline departments. To take it from the top, Navajo Nation cowboy sensation Erich Rogers earned his first Timed Event title in nine tries. Three-time CTEC Champ Daniel Green decided during his 25th trip to the Timed Event that it would be his last, and left it all in that Lazy E Arena before thanking the fans to one sweet final standing ovation. Missouri cowboy Clay Clayman ushered in a new era in the Jr Ironman by cashing the first-ever $20,000 champion’s check, thanks to a doubling down of the stakes by the World Champions Rodeo Alliance.
Not Just a Team Roper
It was a long and winding nine-year road that led World Champion Team Roper Erich Rogers to the winner’s circle at the 2022 Cinch Timed Event Championship. He’d been close; his best before now being a third-place finish in 2019. But he’d also blown out his right knee in the bulldogging at the 2018 CTEC, a battleground blow that required major reconstructive surgery and rigorous rehab to recover from.
“After all I’ve been through to be here makes this win even sweeter,” said Rogers, who’s 35 now and lives in Round Rock, Arizona. “The Timed Event is one of the greatest events ever. You don’t get to compete against the best 20 all-around cowboys in the world in five different events anywhere else in the world.”
Remember, 2017 World Champion Header Rogers was the reigning champ of the world when those Timed Event injuries took him out of the rodeo draw to fix his ACL, MCL and meniscus. But the 12-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier would not back down from the toughest, truest test that is the Cinch Timed Event Championship.
“The Timed Event is one of the premier events a guy can go to to show off your talent and versatility,” said Rogers, who won this year’s CTEC with 311.3 seconds on 25 head; Clayton Hass, Russell Cardoza and 2020 Timed Event titlist Taylor Santos rounded out the top four Ironmen in 2022. “You’re taking on not only the toughest set of all-around cowboy competitors in the world, but the cattle they bring in for this event also. They’re big and strong and tough, too.”
Erich enlisted helpers and horses to tackle the 2022 CTEC. In the heading, he had his rodeo heeler, Paden Bray, on the back side. In the heeling, he brought in NFR header Logan Olson to spin his steers. Myles Neighbors hazed for him in the steer wrestling.
Rogers rode his own gray head horse, Elsa, in the heading, and Bray’s dun heel horse, Hugh. Rogers roped calves on Kenny Reeves’ little sorrel horse Nubs, and steer roped on Cody Lee’s buckskin that’s named after his wife, Lee Lee. Rogers (and Cardoza) bulldogged on Clay Clayman’s gray horse, Gus.
Rogers was running a flawless race—with no barriers, legs or any other major hiccups—until his very last run of the entire event in the steer roping. Every heart in the building stopped and skipped more than a few beats when Erich’s first loop failed to connect.
“I split the horns,” he said. “By then, it was about getting a time. So when I missed, I was kind of in a panic and got myself into a speed jam. I roped that steer with my second loop, but when I laid the trip, he set up over on the wall. My rope got caught up between the saddle and the saddle pad, and I fell off backwards. I was in a bit of a storm, and my hamstrings were cramping up.
“I knew when I threw my hands in the air that I’d won it. That was one of the greatest feelings in the world after nine years of trying. But I ended the run on my butt and out of breath. There’s nothing easy about winning the Timed Event.”
At Timed Event’s end, Rogers and Bray drove eight straight hours to Houston to rope in their Super Series there, which started on Sunday after Saturday night’s grand finale at the Lazy E. Who did Rogers run into in the cowboy parking lot right off the bat at RodeoHouston but seven-time CTEC titlist and Timed Event King Trevor Brazile himself.
“Trevor told me, ‘Good job and congratulations,’” Rogers said. “Then I showed him the video of my last run, and he said, ‘Man, you really kept the crowd in suspense, didn’t you?’”
The sportsmedicine team kept Rogers’ right ankle taped, and ran the stim machine on his right arm and shoulder before the fifth and final Timed Event performance.
“My whole right side stayed sore after I hoolihaned that (bulldogging) steer in the third round,” Rogers said. “My right shoulder and my right forearm were sore. I had shin splints. I hurt my right ankle about a year ago stepping off of the trailer ramp to get more hay to load our hay bags. I rolled my ankle, and it tends to stay a little sore. But the Timed Event’ll take it out of you even if you’re sound. The Timed Event tests your strengths and your weaknesses.”
The Timed Event tests your heart, too. Rogers wears a gold buckle. He and Bray won the 2020 NFR average, and the team roping at The American in 2021. How does this Timed Event title stack up in such a successful and storied career?
“Winning the Timed Event is right there at the top,” he said. “The Timed Event is one of the premier events in the world. This is right up there with winning a gold buckle and an American win. The Timed Event is just the sweetest event ever.”
The CTEC champ cashes a $100,000 check. In Rogers’ case, it was a grand total of $104,000, including a pair of second-place checks behind Cody Doescher in Round 2 and Taylor Santos in Round 4, respectively.
“The money’s great when you win the Timed Event, but this buckle says you’re the Ironman who competed in five events, outlasted everybody and succeeded,” Erich said. “It means something to me to prove that I can hang with the big boys. Heading’s what pays the bills and I’m a header by trade. But I’m a heeler at heart. And I don’t bulldog very often—only at the Timed Event, or at the Indian rodeos sometimes, if there’s an all-around trailer or added all-around money.”
Rogers, Aaron Tsinigine and Derrick Begay have been magnificent role models for the young cowboys and cowgirls of the Navajo Nation. Rogers’ Timed Event win will inspire kids to dream even bigger now, which also makes him proud.
“The mental part of the Timed Event marathon was the game changer for me,” Rogers said. “I mentally focused on one event and one run at a time, then went on to the next one. I didn’t get caught up in the whole mix or overthink things this time, and that really helped. One run at a time really is the way to go, and this is a win I will never forget.”
This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away
Daniel Green decided during the course of the 2022 Timed Event Championship that he was completing the CTEC course for the last time. The 10-time National Finals Rodeo team roper and three-time Timed Event Champ called it a career after his 25th and last Lazy E run at event’s end. He made a great steer roping run, then held his hands in the air a few extra seconds to savor the moment and share it with the crowd.
“When I won the Timed Event that last time in 2013, I was 40,” said Green, who’s 49 now. “I could still move, and had as much agility and quickness as I’ve ever had. Now I see what should happen, but my body’s just not getting there. I can feel that my athleticism is not where it was. I could continue, but I feel like I’m not as strong as I was.
“I’m going to be 50 in July. It’s OK to say, ‘Hey, I had a great run. What an honor to get to go that many times.’ The Timed Event is a kid’s game. It’s for athletes. Retirement has been on my heart for a while. I actually did it longer than I thought I would when I started. It’s been harder to get ready for it every year. And athletically, I don’t feel like I’m up to my own standard. It’s time to let somebody who’s hungry have my spot.”
Daniel’s also been extra busy at work since his dear dad, Vernon, died on May 5, 2021.
“Dad did all the bidding and ordered all the materials (for their VN Construction Company),” Daniel said. “I just did most of the work. Now that Dad’s gone, I have to handle his side of it, too, and line out all the subcontractors.”
Daniel just passed the test to become a general contractor on February 23 of this year, a couple weeks before the March 10-12 Timed Event. VN Construction is now Green Construction.
Before leaving the Fabulous Lazy E Arena for the last time, Green rode underneath his CTEC titlist banner and took the microphone. Above all, he thanked the fans. Then he high-fived forever Lazy E chute boss Delmar Smith, who’s 95 now, on his way out.
“The list is so long of people who made my 25 years at the Timed Event possible,” Daniel said. “Guys who helped me, people who let me ride their horses. The people here at the Lazy E have always been so gracious and nice to me. The sportsmedicine team that worked on me through the years, and are there to help all the contestants make a difference when we need it.
“I was emotional when I threw my hands in the air on that last run. What a blessing to go out with a good run. Saying goodbye was extremely hard. All the memories in that arena with those fans are extremely special to me. The Lazy E is also special to my family, because we’re originally from Oklahoma. The most prestigious wins in my career were right there at the Timed Event. The Lazy E rolled out the red carpet for me on my way out of that arena for the last time, and I’ll never forget it. I’m so glad my wife and kids were there with me. It really was the perfect exit.”
Green will go down in Timed Event history as one of the rare few who’ve struck more than once for the coveted CTEC win.
“The Timed Event Championship is the greatest event there is,” he said. “It’s the decathlon of rodeo. The ability to do more than one event—to get on different horses and do five different disciplines—takes a lot of versatility. The true cowboy comes out at the Timed Event. You cannot win the Timed Event without being a great cowboy. It’s the ultimate competition among world-class all-around cowboys, and they make it as hard as they can, because we compete on humongous, fresh, strong cattle.
“Are you good enough and strong enough to complete this course that’s the truest test of an all-around cowboy? There’s a reason there have been very few Timed Event champions over the years. The skillset it takes to succeed at this event is rare. Then there’s the mental battle. Sometimes, the negative mental thoughts are overwhelming. But you have to be able to mentally and physically withstand whatever punishment comes your way. The most important run is always your next one at the Timed Event.”
Twice as Nice
After licking his chops the last two years as an alternate, Clay Clayman made it clear he belonged in the Jr Ironman lineup. Great timing, too, as thanks to the World Champions Rodeo Alliance stepping up as the presenting sponsor, the check presented to the Jr Ironman champ doubled to $20,000 in 2022.
“I pretty well set aside a month and a half just to practice for the Jr Ironman because of the $20,000,” said Clayman, who daylighted the field with 111.2 seconds on 12 runs to reservist Dawson Price’s 131.9. “There are a lot of places you can win $10,000, but $20,000 makes a couple years difference. I skipped out on some other events to get ready for this one, and it paid off. I have a truck I ordered that’s coming in a couple weeks, and I just bought a living quarters trailer, too. I needed this money.”
Clayman’s 19, and calls Highlandville, Missouri home. He qualified for the 2022 Jr Ironman with a strong showing at last summer’s inaugural World Championship Junior Rodeo right there at the Lazy E. Clay won both the steer wrestling and all-around titles at the 2021 WCJR. When it comes to his best event, Clay considers it a coin toss between the bulldogging and heeling.
Another highlight of Clayman’s young career is the 2021 National High School Rodeo Association team roping title he won heeling for Cooper Freeman.
“Winning high school nationals was awesome, because it’s hard to get through that event,” Clay said. “But this Jr Ironman win is my biggest win. I knew I could do every event, but I didn’t know if I’d be good enough. I haven’t won very many all-arounds, and that’s what my family’s always been about—my grandpas, uncles and dad have all been all-around cowboys. Their primary event’s been bulldogging, but they team roped and calf roped, too.”
Contestants at the Cinch Timed Event Championship compete in five events—heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping. Jr Ironmen do four of the five—all but steer roping. Clayman enlisted some all-star helpers at his first Jr Ironman. In the heading, Paden Bray heeled. In the heeling, 2022 Cinch Timed Event Champ Erich Rogers headed. Clay’s dad, John Clayman, hazed for him in the steer wrestling.
Clay’s Jr Ironman horse herd was mostly homegrown.
“I rode my grandpa’s sorrel horse Max in the heading, and my palomino horse Shorty in the heeling,” Clayman said. “We bought both horses as weanlings. My grandpa broke them, and my uncle started them in the roping. I bulldogged on my gray horse Gus. I jumped my first steer on him on December 17. I trained him and the hazing horse, Diamond. The Jr Ironman was Gus and Diamond’s third rodeo. I rode Mason Appleton’s bay horse Scooby in the calf roping.”
Gus had a great week at the Lazy E. Clay won the Jr Ironman on him, and Rogers and Russell Cardoza finished first and third in the Timed Event on his back in the bulldogging. Clayman bought Diamond from Appleton, who’s his Chelsea, Oklahoma-based rodeo partner and was his main-man helper at the Jr Ironman.
“Talk about a team player,” Clay said. “Mason saddled for me, warmed up horses for me, cleaned stalls. I couldn’t have asked for better help. And we’ve already planned our circuit rodeos around this summer’s Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo, because I want to be back here at the Jr Ironman again next year. The last week in July is already set aside for that.”
When it comes to career goals, Clayman hopes to one day compete in the Timed Event.
“I made the Great Lakes Circuit Finals in the team roping last year,” he said. “My goal is to also make it in the bulldogging this year. Mason and I are on our (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) permits this year. We want to make the circuit finals this year, so we can count it toward rookie of the year next year and go hard.
“I live four and a half hours from the Lazy E. This is the place, and I come here all the time. The BFI’s here now, too, and I’m heeling for Mason in that again this year. I love coming here. The Lazy E is awesome.”