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JACKSON HOLE

2013 SouVeniR

pRoGRAM

puBLiShed By

ee FR

Rodeo


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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

Inside the

JACKSON

HOLE Published by

2

RODEO

P.O. Box 7445 Jackson, WY 83002 (307) ­733-2047 www.jhnewsandguide.com PUBLISHER: Kevin Olson PROJECT EDITOR: Richard Anderson PHOTOGRAPHY: Photo editor: Price Chambers Contributing photographers: Bradly J. Boner, Jaclyn Borowski, Price Chambers, Travis J. Garner, Alexandria Mihale, Michael G. Seamans COPY EDITORS: Richard Anderson Mark Huffman EDITORIAL DESIGN: Lydia Redzich WRITERS: Richard Anderson, Ben Graham, Mike Koshmrl, Johanna Love, Miller Resor, Brielle Schaeffer, Lindsay Wood DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Adam Meyer BRAND MANAGER: Amy Golightly AD PRODUCTION MANAGER: Caryn Wooldridge ADVERTISING ARTISTS: Lydia Redzich Kara Hanson Jenny Francis ACCOUNT COORDINATOR: Heather Best ADVERTISING SALES: Karen Brennan Chad Repinski Tom Hall Matt Cardis PREPRESS: Jeff Young

MICHAEL G. SEAMANS / NEWS&GUIDE

A pair of barrel racers warm up in the late afternoon sun in the Heritage Arena.

Springtime Rush . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 It takes weeks of preparation to make the Jackson Hole Rodeo run without a hitch.

Rodeo Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The sport is full of curious terminology.

Older than Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Keeping the state’s oldest sport alive for more than a century.

Stirrups and Sparkles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Rodeo royalty gets decked out to serve as ambassadors for the sport.

Growing up in the Arena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Dedication, practice, teamwork pay off with a rodeo rush.

Western Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The Jackson Hole Rodeo is gold mine for photographers.

The Big Pay-off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 It isn’t buckles, saddles or checks that motivates rodeo.

The Cowboy Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Humane animal treatment at the rodeo is a priority.

PRESS FOREMAN: Greg Grutzmacher

The Code of the West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

PRESSMEN: Dale Fjeldsted Johnathan Leyva Mike Taylor

Here Comes the Judge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

CIRCULATION: Pat Brodnik Kyra Griffin Hank Smith Jeff Young

It’s Wyoming’s official state code.

Few people challenge the calls of rodeo veteran Hal Johnson.

Autograph Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Collect the signatures of your favorite rodeo stars. COVER PHOTO by Jaclyn Borowski


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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

Springtime Rush

4

It takes weeks of preparation to make the summer’s Jackson Hole Rodeo run without a hitch.

By Richard Anderson

S

pringtime in Jackson Hole means putting the skis away, tuning up the bike, waiting for the mud to dry out and enjoying the lull between the busy winter season and the busier summer. Unless you’re Philip Wilson, owner of the Jackson Hole Rodeo, in which case you’re hustling double-time. Wilson let out a laugh when asked what he has to do in the spring to get ready for another summer of rodeo: breaking in the roping cattle, sorting out which bulls to use, tending to livestock, tailoring the diet of each animal, getting the rodeo grounds cleaned up, opening the concessions stand and offices, getting the event’s national and international marketing ducks in a row, and getting all the trucks and trailers and other equipment in shape so events run smoothly right out of the chute. “We try not to reinvent the wheel,” Wilson said, “to just go with it. The contestants like it the way it is ... so we’re staying pretty close to the same drawing card we had before.” There will be at least one change, however: In addition to the traditional schedule of rodeos each Wednesday and Saturday night from May 25 (Memorial Day weekend) through the end of August, Wilson has added Friday night events all August. There also will be a Friday night rodeo on July 12, and four nights of rodeoing July 3-6. “It was kind of not our decision,” Wilson said of his new

PRICE CHAMBERS / NEWS&GUIDE

During the spring, there’s little time to rest for Phil Wilson, owner of Jackson Hole Rodeo, as he readies stock, equipment and employees for another busy season at the rodeo grounds.

schedule. The Teton County Fair Board, which manages and schedules the fairgrounds, including the rodeo arena, wanted to bring some roping and other events of its own to the valley in September. Usually, Wilson’s outfit continues to run the show there until the second or third week of September. “So we’ve just changed it a bit,” he said of his schedule. “We’re a strong card for the community. We want to continue that, to help the community have rodeos at the right time of year, so people can catch it when they come to Jackson Hole.” And catch it they do: Last year, he said, 35,000 to 36,000

people came to JH Rodeo’s evening shows, 25 to 30 percent of whom are foreign visitors, mostly from Europe and Asia. Last year, every Wednesday night rodeo sold out, and erlier this year, in May, Wilson reported advanced ticket sales were up from 2012. In fact it’s gotten so he’s been lobbying the fair board and the Teton County/Jackson Department of Parks and Recreation to boost the capacity of the arena. “Right now we have only 2,300 seating capacity,” he said. “We hope to increase that by four or five hundred, so we can grow.” Entertaining crowds that big two, three or four times a week takes a dedicated crew,

Wilson said. “I’d like to think our payroll is just two or three,” he said with a chuckle, “but in the summer, when we’re fully staffed, we’re running 40-plus people.” There’s judges and stockmen, people running concessions, people selling and taking tickets and doing security. “It takes a lot of people to do what we do at the rodeo,” he said. “Without the help we have, we’d be in big trouble. “We do a lot of preplanning for things we hope never happen,” he said. “People think we just rush in with all our stock, but it takes weeks of preparation. Once it starts, you can’t stop to get it running right.”


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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

Rodeo

REFERENCE Rodeo is full of all sorts of unusual slang and terminology. Here are a few examples and definitions.

Bailing Out: Getting off the animal the best way you can Bufford: An animal that’s easy to ride, rope or throw Dally: The twist in the rope around a saddle horn after a cowboy has caught his animal Header: In team roping, the cowboy who ropes the steer around the horns, head, or neck Heeler: The cowboy who ropes the hind legs of the steer Honda: The eye at the end of a rope though which the other end goes to make a loop Honker: An animal that’s hard to ride Hung Up: Getting stuck in the rope or stirrups after being thrown by an animal Pickup man: Cowboy on horseback who assists bareback and saddle bronc riders Pigging string: Soft rope calf ropers use to tie an animal’s feet Trash: An animal that bucks with no set pattern Union Animal: An animal that bucks until the sound of the 8-second whistle, then quits

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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

OLDER

than

Jackson

6

Cowboys and businessmen have kept the state’s oldest sport alive for more than a century.

JACKSON HOLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Spectators watch a bucking bronc and rider from around the judges’ stand at a rodeo from Jackson’s early days.

By Miller N. Resor

A

t the turn of the 20th century, Jackson was not yet officially a town. In addition to Jackson, Wilson and Kelly, settlements such as Elk, Grovont, Zenith and Cheney dotted the land on either side of the Snake River, from north of Jackson Lake 50 miles or more to the southern fringes of the valley. Nevertheless, neighbors from thoughout this spread-out community would come together on holidays and special occasions for horse races and bucking contests held beneath the Grand Tetons. The 5-mile relay race was the most popular event, but half-mile, quarter-mile and Roman races — where a rider stands atop two horses — were regular contests, too. Ranchers

brought their unbroken horses for bucking competitions, and brave ranch hands took turns trying to tame the beasts. Eating, drinking, music and gambling were popular side activi-

ties at these festive gatherings. In 1911, three years before Jackson was officially incorporated, the first organized rodeo, “Jackson Hole’s Frontier Rodeo,” premiered on a

property just west of today’s Town Square. The show, put on by a mix of early Jackson businessman and cowboys, was held every Labor Day weekend continued on page 7

JACKSON HOLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Professional women rodeo competitors Rene Hapley, Fox Hastings, Rose Smith, Ruth Roach, Mabel Strickland, Prarie Rose Henderson and Dorothy Morell.


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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

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thereafter. Again, horse racing was a favorite sport, but more bronc and even steer riding were included, too. The show became so popular its owners took it on the road, and it was even compared to “the Daddy of them all,” Cheyenne’s famous Frontier Days. But an era of two world wars and the Great Depression interupted the good times. After World War II, rodeo was slow to make a comeback. Various dude ranches would host a few events, but it was Walt Callahan who really revived it with Saturday night rodeos right by the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson. These rodeos were festive summer affairs popular with the tourists. Each dude ranch would transport its guests in to watch local cowboys give bronc riding and roping displays. Between the Stagecoach and the banked hillside to its west, along the side of a boarded fence in front of Wilson’s only bar, spectators would cheer on cowboys from their dude ranches and mingle with other guests. In the ’60s, Bill Saunders bought Callahan’s stock. He continued to run the rodeo in Wilson until Jackson town officials told him “if he didn’t move the rodeo into town they would contract another contractor to put on a rodeo in town,” said Hal Johnson, who has worked the rodeos since the 1950s and still serves as a judge today. Saunders willingly moved to the town rodeo grounds, which sat in about the same location they do today. Since then little has changed, aside from the owners. Johnson and a partner, Bob McConaughy, owned it for a while, bringing back bull riding and adding a second show on Wednesday nights. “The crowds got bigger,” Johnson said. “The sport grew and it was remarkable to be a part of. We were drawing such a big crowd, the few bleachers they had couldn’t handle them.” In 1971, Johnson sold his shares to McConaughy who then sold it to two-time world champion Jim Houston, a bareback rider later inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. In the ’80s, it then passed to another future hall of famer: five-time world champion bareback rider Bruce Ford. But Ford ran the rodeo for only a year before selling it back to McConaughy and his new partner, Russ Moses, who ran it for 26 years. The Wilson family, most prominently Philip Wilson, the patriarch of a historic Jackson family, runs the rodeo today. He took control in 2010 and in 2011 celebrated the centennial of organized rodeo in Jackson Hole. Johnson said that for a good rodeo to come together all the elements must “gel.” “Without healthy animals, without young cowboys and without people in the grandstand, you don’t have a show,” he said. Fortunately, all those elements are in place today, and rodeo still thrives in Jackson.


2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

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Stirrups and

sparkles

Rodeo royalty gets decked out to serve as ambassadors for the sport. By Johanna Love

B

efore the bulls leap out of the chute, before team ropers start swinging their lariats, the first rodeo participants each night are the royalty. The rodeo queen and several princesses gallop out of the gates, effortlessly riding around the arena while holding American and Wyoming flags. They shine from tiara to boots with wholesome beauty and raised-in-the-saddle skills. They range in age from 2 to 19. After the Grand Entry, many of the girls work their way through the crowd, explaining things like the historical roots of each rodeo event or some of the intricacies of the rules. They answer questions, pose for photos and cheer for the competitors. Maarissa Mason, 19, the 2012 Teton County Fair and Rodeo queen, said that when it comes to explaining bull riding, she has her speech down. “There is a cowboy who has to stay on a bull for 8 seconds, and it’s the craziest 8 seconds you’ve ever seen,” she rattled off. “It’s all a game of balance and timing. If they do stay on, there’s two judges. Each one gives up to 25 points to the bull and how it bucks and spins and jumps, and 25 to the cowboy, how he rides, how high his heels go, how good he looks.” Getting to be a rodeo princess means winning that privilege at the annual Teton County Fair and Rodeo Royalty Pageant, set this year for June 15. Girls must model a Western outfit, give a speech, be interviewed about themselves and their equine knowledge, and then ride a prescribed pattern in the rodeo arena. A good princess “has to be confident,” Mason said, “able to speak in front of crowds. You have to be energetic, bubbly, able to ride a horse, obviously, and you have to be a good role model. You can’t get into trouble.” Styles are changing these days, Mason said, so cowgirls don’t have to spend as much time curling and teasing their hair, but they’re always decked out at the rodeo in boots, belt, hat, crown, jeans, blouse and sash. Desiree Bridges, queen in 2010, said her experience as royalty helped her poise, riding and self-esteem. “I gained so much confidence in myself,” she said.

BRADLY J. BONER / NEWS&GUIDE

Teton County Fair and Rodeo candidates in the future princess and peewee princess categories watch the modeling and interviews of 2012 junior princess contestants at the Wort Hotel.

PRICE CHAMBERS / NEWS&GUIDE

Sydney Judge, Desiree Bridges and Erin Heffron prepare for the Teton County Fair Rodeo Queen Pageant in 2009.


2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

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Growing up

arena

IN the

Dedication, practice, teamwork pay off with a rodeo rush.

K

By Brielle Schaeffer

ateri Van Patten pulled off her designer cowgirl boots and pulled on her work boots in the Heritage Area on the Teton County Fairgrounds. She kicked off her spurs, readied a pink goat string and mounted her mare, Jelly Bean. Van Patten, 15, a member of the Jackson Hole High School Rodeo Club, was getting ready to practice goat tying that day — but not in her good boots with the intimidating shark faces on their sides. “My Grandma would kill me if I wear $400 boots to rodeo in,” she said.

Atop Jelly Bean, she sprinted across the arena, quickly dismounted, flipped over a baby goat and tied it up. Then she did it again. And again. The Jackson Hole High School Rodeo Club practices weekly throughout the spring and fall to get ready to compete in summer weekend rodeos all around the state and in Idaho. It’s a lot of hard work and time spent practicing, but for Van Patten and her club cohorts, the rodeo lifestyle is a rush. “If you win or get a second faster, there are a lot of rewards in it,” said the Jackson

Hole High School junior. The club’s seven high school members and two middle school members are keeping the rodeo tradition alive. “There’s no way I could not rodeo,” 16-year-old Sydney Judge said. “I love horses. I’ve been around them since I was itty bitty.” While rodeo is an individual sport, there is a sense of camaraderie among teammates and competitors. At a recent high school rodeo event, Judge forgot her flag for breakaway roping — a necessity for the event wherein a roper tries to lasso a calf as fast as possible. A fellow teammate, Levi Wilson, took off his white sock and let her use it as a flag, she said. “Rodeo people are different than everybody else,” Judge said. Judge, the club’s president, is hoping to go to a rodeo college like her older brother and eventually go pro. “It’s a lot of hard work,” she said, “but it’s the best time of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Club officer Claire Andrews, 15, also a junior, agrees rodeo is about teamwork. “You can’t do anything without the team behind your back,” she said. But it’s also about the relationships with continued on page 10

Photo by Cameron Nielson / The Jackson Hole Catalogue®

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continued from page 9

the horses. Andrews’ is named Missy. “Riding my horse is where I’m happy,” she said. “We’ve had our moments, but I love her to death. She’s my pride and joy, my baby. I don’t know what I would do without her.” Rodeo Club vice president Keith Holmes, 17, a high school senior, comes from a long line of ropers. That’s why he continues the tradition, he said. “It’s slowly dying out,” he said. “It’s kind of sad, but I don’t think it will completely die.” Lee Judge, the club’s adult sponsor, has hopes the sport will endure. “Cowboys have been around for a long time in the United States,” she said. “It’s just such a part of who we are. It’s part of what Jackson Hole is.”

JhhS Rodeo Club members Sydney Judge Keith Holmes Claire Andrews Nikki Lynes Kateri Van Patten

Makayla Park Justin Rowe Dylan Grant Kylie Wilson

PRICE CHAMbERS / NEWS&GUIDE

Bull rider Cody Moucha, of Cody, is attacked by the beast he was just bucked off at the 2006 Jackson High School Rodeo at the Teton County Fairgrounds.

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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

WESTERN

Views

PRICE CHAMBERS / news&guide

Tanner Judge and Shane Scott chase down a steer at the Jackson Hole Rodeo. The team ropers hit their targets with a time of 13.95.

JACLYN BOROWSKI / NEWS&GUIDE

The Teton County future princesses wave to the crowd at the Teton County Fair Rodeo in 2012.

PRICE CHAMBERS / news&guide

Tucker Wilson slides off his sheep after a long ride during mutton busting.


2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

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TRAVIS J. GARNER / NEWS&GUIDE

KC France, of Ogden, Utah, tapes his riding arm to help prevent injury before competing in the bareback bronc event.

TRAVIS J. GARNER / NEWS&GUIDE

Team ropers Pete Feuz and Klay Mangis race after their calf in an attempt to rack up points.

BRADLY J. BONER / NEWS&GUIDE

Chance Hartley hangs on to his not very happy bull during the first Jackson Hole Rodeo of the 2010 season.

PRICE CHAMBERS / news&guide

Cache Hill gets a nice ride out of Socks at a Saturday night rodeo. He earned 65 points from the judges for his efforts.


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The

big pay-off 2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

It isn’t buckles, saddles or checks that motivate rodeo athletes.

R

By Lindsay Wood

odeo ropers and riders don’t risk their lives for money, buckles, saddles or glory. No, they gladly hop on the back of a bronc, bull or barrel horse for love of the sport. If they win a prize, that’s a bonus. For barrel racer and Jackson native Joey Moss, 44, rodeo has been a family affair since she can remember. “All my life,” she said, “I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to make a horse my friend and teach it something through respect.” A member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, she was brought up at the Jackson Hole Rodeo, making lifelong friends and even winning a few saddles, buckles and bucks. “There’s definitely big money in it,” Moss said. “Depends on how far you want to go.” Pinedale’s Butner brothers — Tanner, 16, a saddle bronc rider and team roper, and Shawn, 17, a bull rider, calf roper and team roper — are professional hopefuls who are honing their skills in high school competitions and at the rodeo grounds. They too come from a long line of cowboys and cowgirls. Both have been infatuated with rodeo since they were toddlers. Tanner remembers seeing his cousin ride broncs. He knew it was what he wanted to do too. “That’s what I think about all the time,” he said. Shawn never got to see his grandfather, Gene Pearson, ride bulls, but photographs gave him the encouragement to try his hand. “Nobody in my family really

rode bulls except my grandpa,” Shawn said. “I kind of became a fan.” The brothers’ talents have earned them significant cash awards and fancy belt buckles. Last year Tanner took the top ranking for saddle bronc riding in the Jackson Hole Rodeo and earned $2,653. After his 18th birthday this August, Shawn will go for his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association permit. In a couple of years, Tanner plans to do the same. But the money in professional wrangling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask 1984 Wyoming State Rodeo highpoint champion Mark Nelson, of Jackson. Nelson, 48, traveled all over the Southwest to ride broncs, but managing winnings wasn’t his strength. Entry fees sap rodeo paychecks, too, he said. An average payout for Nelson was about $238 per win. “You don’t make a lot of money,” he said. “You gotta win it to get it.” Nelson’s first contact with rodeo was as a little kid. “I thought the guys were cool,” he said. “I thought riding broncs and pretty girls came hand in hand.” In reality, rodeo and broken bones are more likely to go hand in hand. Both of Nelson’s legs are screwed together, as is one of his thumbs. But these riders don’t let fear take over. “Not being able to do it anymore is probably the most terrifying,” he said. Pete Feuz, 55, has broken his hand and six ribs and torn his rotator cuff, but he keeps roping.

PRICE CHAMBERS / NEWS&GUIDE

Buckle winner and rodeo veteran Jim Hill routinely brings his A game to Jackson Hole.

“I just have never given injury a second thought,” he said. Instead, the 2002 U.S. Team Roping regional champ and Jackson native keeps his eyes on the prize. He’s won saddles, belt buckles and, one time, $6,000 for roping steers. But his most treasured win was a buckle from the team rop-

ing event at the Cecil Jensen Memorial Rodeo in 1999. Jensen was a mentor to Feuz and a friend of his father, Albert. Feuz won the memorial event roping with his childhood pal, Tony Saunders, riding a horse he bought from Saunders. “To me that was one of my continued on page 16


2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

16

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PRICE CHAMBERS / NEWS&GUIDE

The buckles given to rodeo winners await their shining moment at the rodeo grounds on a Saturday night. continued from page 15

favorite wins,” Feuz said. “It was almost kind of a spiritual thing.” For professional bull rider Buskin Wilson, 36, of Jackson, winning the 2001 Brent Thurman Memorial Rodeo is the achievement that sticks in his mind. Thurman was killed in 1994 after being stomped by a bull known as Red Wolf. In 1997 Wilson had his highest marked ride — 93 points ­— on the same animal. “To turn around and win his memorial was pretty cool,” said Wilson, who last year earned top standing for bull riding in the Jackson Hole Rodeo. - Walk-in care clinic for acute illnesses, minor For years he supported his family on rodeo earnings. He’s a family man now, running a business, Hidden Basin Outfitters, but care-clinic wounds and clinic the treatment of bone, joint - Walk-in for care acute illnesses, minor Walk-in for acute illnesses, minor he still rodeos when he can. The passion never dies. and other injuries wounds and the treatment of bone, joint of bone, joint wounds and the treatment “We come from a ranching background,” Wilson said. “When you’re around it all the time, it’s just something you do.” - On services: and other injuries andsite other injuries

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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

The CowboyWay Humane animal treatment at the rodeo is a priority. By Mike Koshmrl

I

t doesn’t look like rodeo’s a grand old time for the calves, steers and bulls. Calves are chased down, roped, contorted and pinned; they are frantic and must be terrified. Bucking broncs and bulls perhaps don’t have it quite as bad, but they still have a pesky human attached to their backs and they clearly aren’t too happy about it. But animal treatment at the rodeo is actually closely regulated — by both an unwritten code and an actual rule book. The goal, simply, is to be humane. “It’s the same as how you’d treat your dog,” said Jackson resident Brandi Wilson, a cowgirl who is married to bull rider Buskin Wilson. The Jackson Hole Rodeo adheres to the 288-page Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association’s rule book. An entire section of the book is devoted to treatment of rodeo animals. Thirteen rules listed in the section cover

everything from proper use of a cattle prod to how spurs must be dulled to safe techniques for tie-down roping. Break the rules or hurt an animal — even inadvertently — and you get fined: $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third. “If you cut any animal while you’re riding it, you’re fined,” said Buskin Wilson, co-owner of the Jackson Hole Rodeo. “It just could be an accident, so you want to pay attention to all of your equipment.” Even if an animal isn’t hurt by the competitor, there are other regulations that ensure proper, humane treatment of horses, cattle and other rodeo critters. And there’s an unspoken code that they are all treated with respect. Wilson recalls seeing a young bull rider get bucked off his mount. In frustration, he threw his helmet at the bull. “Boy, he was fined lots,” he said. “You

can’t disrespect any animal.” In Canadian rodeo, Wilson said, bucking bulls are treated with such respect that the cowboy’s feet are prohibited from touching them when they’re being mounted in the pen. “When you stepped over them to let them know you’re coming, they didn’t want your foot on them, they wanted your knee on them,” Wilson said. “And I feel the same way.” Away from the rodeo arena, cowboys and cowgirls are inclined to treat their animals with the utmost care and respect, Brandi Wilson said. “With the animals — bulls or horses or livestock — we make money off them, too,” Buskin Wilson said. “What’s unspoken about that is that it’s our livelihoods," he said. "If someone were to beat your truck, well, you wouldn’t let that happen.”

TRAVIS J. GARNER / NEWS&GUIDE

Josh Gilmore, a livestock handler for the Jackson Hole Rodeo, pushes bulls toward the chute line in preparation for the first bull-riding round of the night. Everyone is expected to treat stock with respect at all times.


2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

Code oFthe weSt In 2010, the Wyoming Legislature passed a Senate File that made the Code of the West the official state code. The 10-point code is Jim Owen’s summation of his 2004 book, “Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West.” Simple and succinct, the philosophy asks of each individual the following:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

18

It's a big day tomorrow. Do you know where your breakfast is?

LiVe eACh dAywith CouRAGe. tAKe pRide inyouRwoRK. ALwAyS FiniShwhAtyou StARt. dowhAt hASto Be done. BetouGh,But FAiR. whenyou MAKe A pRoMiSe,Keep it. Ride FoRthe BRAnd. tALK LeSSAnd SAy MoRe. ReMeMBeRthAt SoMe thinGS ARen’t FoR SALe. KnowwheReto dRAw the Line.

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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

HERE COMES

THE JUDGE

Hal Johnson has been working rodeo for long enough that few question his calls in the arena. By Ben Graham

W

hen a bucking bronco barrels out of the chute at the Jackson Hole Rodeo, all eyes turn to the blur of hooves, boots and chaps. But to rodeo judges there are fine points in the 8-second tumult of man and horse that separate winners from losers. And it takes a trained eye to spot them. For starters, a rider’s heels must be in contact with the animal���s shoulders from the time it leaves the chute till its front hooves hit the ground in the arena. The technique is known as “marking out” and applies to bare-

back and saddle bronc events. It takes only a split second, but it’s a challenge for cowboys and for judges. “A lot of new judges won’t see that,” Jackson Hole Rodeo owner Phil Wilson said. But those who have been around the arena for a while know what to look for. That includes Jackson Hole Rodeo stalwart Hal Johnson, who has more than 20 years experience as a judge. “If one of your legs pops up, that’s no score,” Johnson said. “You disqualify them. It’s the one thing that riders get the maddest

at judges over. I’ve had kids there in Jackson that swear they had their feet up there.” Like a good ref in any sport, he isn’t swayed by complaints. “The older riders, they don’t question it,” Johnson said. “They just take it and discuss it with themselves.” Another detail judges look for is whether the animal clips the side of the chute as it leaps out. That would merit a redo if the cowboy wants it. Two judges stand on either side of the continued on page 20

LIFE

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2013 JACKSON HOLE RODEO SOUVENIR PROGRAM

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continued from page 19

gate to look for such fouls. A horse and the rider are scored based on a 50 point system — 25 maximum for each. The scores from the two judges are then combined so that the final tally is out of 100. An animal draws a higher score the more violently it bucks. Sometimes a cowboy can make his ride look more active by making exaggerated movements, but savvy judges are wise to that. "We call that the old trick of flopping and flipping all over the animal,” Wilson said. On the other hand, a rider can earn more points by being more active on the saddle. This is known as “spurring.” That’s a lot for judges to keep in mind, but Johnson’s history runs deep, which lends more weight to his judgments. He owned the operation in the late 1960s and early ’70s. He also worked as a pickup man for 28 years, meaning he managed horses and bulls and helped rescue the broncs and cowboys when their rides were over. In all that time he has never seen a 100-point ride. The scores at Jackson’s rodeo tend to come in far below that. “We’re generally looking at the mid 70s,” he said. The easiest competition to judge is bull riding, he said. “There’s less that can go wrong,” Johnson said. “Bull riders don’t have to spur out, all they have to do is stay on.” That’s all.

ALEXANDRA MIHALE / NEWS&GUIDE

Rodeo judge Buddy Nowlan keeps an eye on the gates as rough stock riders saddle up in the chute.

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Gill Ave.

Fla

8 Deloney Ave.

E. Broadway

Center St.

TOWNOFJACKSON

14

5

Meadowlark Ln. South

9

Park

Loop

Eagle Village Shopping Plaza

9

11

High School Rd

7

18

w no

ve. gA

Kin

Cache Dr.

Snow King Ave.

12

S

16

Willow St.

r.

JH RODEO

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34

Flat C re

Virginian Ln.

Scott Ln.

6 Powederhorn Ln.

Way

alo Buff Maple Way

7

13

17

Simpson Ave.

Hansen Ave.

King St.

way

ad W. Bro

Pearl Ave.

Glenwood St.

To Teton Village

Millward St.

Jackson St.

1 10

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11. St. John's Family Health and Urgent Care 12. Lift 13. McDonalds of Jackson Hole 14. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort 15. Right to Life 16. Jackson Hole Trail Rides 17. Boot Barn 18. JH Whitewater

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