The American Rodeo 2022 Pictorial Issue

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THE AMERICAN RODEO 2022 PICTORIAL ISSUE

A HISTORIC RIDE Pacheco’s final ride saw solid black bull County Jail leave the chute and immediately spin into his hand. The beast jumped and kicked but could not dislodge PBR’s 2015 Rookie of the Year and 2018 World Champion. by HEATHER MINER

KAIQUE RIDES FOR $2.1 MILLION VISIT WWW.THE-ARENA-PRESS.COM TODAY FOR MORE RODEO COVERAGE


HIGHLIGHT

Seth Hall Winning Overall Champion Tucson Rodeo La Fiesta de los Vaqueros 2022


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

LILLIAN LANDRETH

INSIDE THE ARENA 6

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Welcome back to another issue of The Arena!

For many athletes in the arena, however, dollar signs are not the sole appeal of the sport—and never guaranteed. The grit, perseverance, and sheer hard work required to beat the clock or make the buzzer do not make for easy money. But they do develop strong qualities that this world can never have an overabundance of. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without rodeo, and most others in this way of life will tell you the same. So paycheck or no paycheck, this sport will always be priceless in my book.

$2.1M RIDE

HAY ALL IN DAWSON

SADDLE BRONC

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Saddle bronc rider Dawson Hay comments in his story on page 10 about the amazing advances rodeos have made in payouts, and the opportunity to compete for life-changing amounts of money. Bull rider Kaique Pacheco knows firsthand what that opportunity means after eight seconds earned him $2.1 million, and other winners of The American left with sizable paychecks as well.

PACHECO

CHAMP

14 JESSE

BROWN PUTS TWIST ON

100,000

16 WARD

HAWKINS

18 SUPER HOOPER WINS IN FRONT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS

22 JACKIE CRAWFORD

BREAKAWAY CHAMPION

26 CALEB

SMIDT

TIE-DOWN CHAMP

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IT’S TIME FOR

RILEY WEBB

32 SHELLY

MORGAN

A WIN FOR TEXAS

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We’re pleased to bring you special coverage of The American Rodeo 2022, where history was made on the dirt of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

KAIQUE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

KEVIN CARMONA

thearenapress@gmail.com EDITOR

LILLIAN LANDRETH

thearenapress.editor@gmail.com WRITER

HEATHER MINER

thearenapress.heather@gmail.com SALES DIRECTOR

KEN CARMONA

thearenapress.ken@gmail.com SALES

ASHTYN McKinney

thearenapress.amckinney@gmail.com SALES

BRITTANY COWEN

thearenapress.bcowen@gmail.com

CONTRINUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

RICHARD ROSALES

Cover photo: Kaique Pacheco rides for $2.1 million dollars at The American Rodeo 2022 in AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas. Photo credit: IMAGEHOUNDS™


Our many thanks to the thousands of great rodeo fans that attended The American Rodeo 2022 in Arlington Texas. It’s truly not a rodeo without y’all.

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IN THE

KAIQUE PACHECO HISTORIC PAYDAY $2.1 MILLION By Heather Miner Kaique Pacheco entered the Shootout Round of The American bull

riding competition unsure if he even qualified for the record $2.1 million bonus after Jive Turkey put him in the dirt in 3.49 seconds. But that buck off time was just enough to give the Brazilian one more out, and he capitalized. Pacheco’s final ride saw solid black bull County Jail leave the chute and immediately spin into his hand. The beast jumped and kicked but could not dislodge PBR’s 2015 Rookie of the Year and 2018 World Champion. After the buzzer, Pacheco dismounted deftly to his feet with a fist pump, making the ride look like a Sunday stroll through the park. County Jail and Pacheco together scored 89 points, edging out seven time PRCA world champ Sage Kimzey by just half a point. The American’s unusual setup allows professionals and amateurs regardless of association membership to compete. Riders qualify through events around the country or by surviving several preliminary rounds of competition. Winners are crowned through a king-of-the-hill style format. Any qualifying athlete who competes through all early rounds and then wins their event takes the million dollar bonus, in addition to $100,000 in purse winnings.

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KAIQUE PACHECO CONTINUED In 2021, no competitor took home the bonus, rolling it over to 2022 and into Pacheco’s swollen bank account. Fellow Brazilian Dener Barbosa also had a chance at the bonus but was bucked out of the running by Juju. Already a millionaire with PBR earnings of $3.5 million, Kaique Pacheco now has purses totaling almost $5.7 million.

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IN THE

DAWSON HAY ALL IN ON

ALL OR NOTHING

By Heather Miner

The 23-year-old Canadian Dawson Hay went all in on saddle bronc All or Nothing from Andrews Rodeo to pocket a check for $100,000 at The American Rodeo on March 6, 2022. Hay started the competition strong and improved with each ride, earning a fourth place with 87.5 in the Contender Round and moving into first in the Semi-Finals with an 89.5. His final ride on the big sorrel All or Nothing lit up the scoreboard with 90.5 in the Shootout Round to beat Chase Brooks by just half a point. All or Nothing also bucked Ryder Wright into a championship buckle at The American in 2021.

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Brooks and Hay were the only two of the final four bronc riders to reach the buzzer. The 2020 American champion Wyatt Casper and Ben Anderson both bucked off, leaving a photo finish for the championship. “I was pretty excited about my ride either way, and then I knew I could celebrate,” says Hay, who enjoyed watching The American on TV before he even started rodeoing. “I got to compete


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DAWSON HAY CONTINUED

with really close friends. It’s an amazing rodeo, and cool to compete for that much money in a sport that not so long ago you couldn’t win that much money in.” Bronc riding is a family legacy for the Hays. Father, Rod, qualified for the NFR 20 times through the 90s and 2000s. Older brother Logan finished 2021 in 17th place in the PRCA world rankings. Logan also competed at The American but had to settle for watching his little brother after posting a score of 82.5 in the Semi-Finals. Dawson rode his first bronc at age 15 after growing up riding saddle horses on the family ranch. After joining the PRCA in 2017, Hay earned an invite to the WNFR in 2019 and 2021, finishing with world rankings of 7th and 9th respectively. The 9th ranked Pro Rodeo Canada athlete fought back from serious injuries in both 2020 and 2021. CLICK TO READ ONLINE

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IN THE

JESSE BROWN Puts the Twist on

$100,000

By Lillian Landreth

Steer wrestler Jesse Brown rode several strides out of the box and took his steer down in a swift 3.76 seconds to win the final round of The American on March 6, 2022. This is the 29-year-old’s second consecutive trip to AT&T Stadium. He enjoyed watching The American on TV before he became a serious competitor in 2015, little realizing that a few years later, they’d be making a check out to him for $100,000. His horsepower, a bay gelding called Tyson, was named Nutrena Horse of the Year in 2020 and 2021 and belongs to longtime steer wrestler Curtis Cassidy. Tyson carried Jesse, Curtis Cassidy, and Scott Guenthner through the 2021 WNFR.

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A native of Baker City, Ore., Jesse found that his athletic skill and strength built from playing college football for Washington State University translated to the arena as well. He won Resistol Rookie of the Year in 2017 and made his debut at the WNFR in 2020. Jesse returned to the WNFR in 2021 and has his eyes set on another chance for a gold buckle this season, currently sitting seventh in the PRCA world standings with $23,966. CLICK TO READ ONLINE



WARD HAWKINS

By Lillian Landreth

Brothers-in-law Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins were crowned the 2022 The American Rodeo team roping champions with their final 3.69-second run in AT&T Stadium. This accomplishment comes just a few months after the duo broke a 27-year-old record at the 2021 WNFR with their aggregate time of 54.7 seconds on 10 head. With many of their friends and family watching from the stands in Arlington, Texas—including Hawkins’ newborn daughter, Anne—the team earned a $100,000 paycheck. They were the only pair to stop the clock in the final round, competing alongside the other teams of Clay Smith and Jake Corkill, Kaleb Driggers and Junior Noguiera, and Cody Snow and Wesley Thorpe. Also integral to the keen eye, accuracy, and speed of the winning team was the horsepower. Ward rides a tall gelding Cole E Man “Biscuit”, a former racehorse, who stands several hands higher than Hawkins’ compact gelding named X. But both horses are a matched set when it comes to doing their job and were finished by their riders in the team roping. The Ward/Hawkins team is currently sitting seventh in the PRCA world standings with $20,090.

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IN THE

SUPER

HOOPER

Tilden Wins Back to Back Championships with Support of Family and Friends By Lillian Landreth Tilden Hooper took home his second consecutive bareback riding title from The American on March 6, 2022. With his best friend and fellow bareback rider, Kaycee Field, hollering for him from the chutes, Tilden spurred Frontier Rodeo’s Gun Fire to a 91-point ride in the final round, edging just past Kaycee’s score of 90.5. Gun Fire took the Carthage, Texas, cowboy for a championship ride in the final round of The American in 2021 as well.

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Tilden’s parents, Terry and Patti Hooper, and wife, Melissa, were also cheering from the stands. “When you see a pretty one [ride] you know it,” says Patti. She and Terry go to as many of Tilden’s rodeos as possible, and have never missed a night of the WNFR in his eight years qualifying. “It was fabulous to see him accomplish something that is large on his bucket list—and back-to-back! By the fifth jump, I thought, ‘He’s got this,’ and it was just beautiful.”


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SUPER HOOPER Continued

Dad’s Bootprints, Mom’s Prayers Terry rode bareback horses on the Texas Circuit until he became a family man. Tilden followed in his dad’s bootprints and got on his first bronc in his early teens, much to Patti’s alarm. “We bought a travel trailer and started hauling with him, and it all turned out good.” Tilden qualified for the 2007 College National Finals Rodeo his freshman year at Panola Junior College and won it. Patti paced the floor back home, where she was helping Tilden’s sister, Mia, with her bachelorette party, until she got the exciting news. “At this stage of the ball game, I’m still a nervous wreck. But the live videoing has calmed me a lot,” says Patti. “Now that I can see him get off, that helps. I say lots of prayers.” PATTI, TILDEN AND TERRY AT THE 2018 NFR IN LAS VEGAS Patti laughs now when she recalls her wariness years ago when Tilden wanted to travel with his new college friend, Kaycee Feild, and his family. “We had to talk about it. We met Lewis and Veronica, and they are as good of people as you’ll ever meet. Kaycee stayed down here in the winter, and Tilden went up to Utah in the summer. Kaycee is just like one of our kids, and they are the very best of friends. “Tilden has had so much success and good experiences, and we’ve been blessed. I was proud Sunday [at The American], just as proud as any mom whose children are successful in whatever they are doing.”

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IN THE

“Holy cow, I’m shaking.

This is awesome.

— Jackie Crawford

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JACKIE CRAWFORD W I NS $100,000

LADIES BREAKAWAY CHAMP! By Heather Miner

Stephenville, Texas, transplant Jackie Crawford was the final breakaway roper standing on March 6 in Arlington, Texas, in the Shootout championship. Stopping the clock in 2.26 seconds after just two swings, Crawford earned a check for $100,000, a staggering amount compared to the typical purses in the sport. Riding 8-year-old gelding Peppin Up My Step, called Kevin, Crawford was the only roper of the final four to post a clean time. Kelsi Domer broke the barrier while Sammy Taylor and Harley Pryor had no catches. Crawford is accustomed to winning, no matter the circumstances. She was the first woman to reach $50,000 in the WCRA, win a PRCA World Championship, win a round in the NFBR and one of the first four to qualify for The American in its inaugural year. Only one WPRA member, the late Wanda Bush Harper, has more world championships than Crawford’s 20. One of those titles came in 2020 while Crawford was 38 years old and six months pregnant with her third child. Since joining the WPRA in 2006, the Hall of Fame Inductee has career earnings of over $600,000, almost $50,000 of which came in 2021. In a sport with high overhead, low purses The-Arena-Press.com

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JACKIE CRAWFORD CONTINUED makes professional competition challenging. By contrast, the tie-down roping champion at The American, Caleb Smidt, has been a pro for six fewer years, three world championships, and has career earnings of over $1.7 million. Additionally, breakaway roping is not a standard event at PRCA rodeos, leaving only one event, barrels, for women.

Breakaway Roping Advocate Throughout Crawford’s career, she has been an advocate for inclusion of breakaway roping as a standard at PRCA rodeos. The organization

added breakaway back to the WNFR in 2020 for the first time since 1959. However, it was at a separate event from the rest of the rodeo. Teaching other riders and ropers is another passion of Crawford’s. She and husband, Charly, also a decorated roper, host clinics and train horses. Jackie taught step daughter, Kaydence, age 17, the family business. The mother-daughter duo train, travel and compete together, including at The American, where Kaydence posted times of 2.17 and 2.2. Kaydence won the Contender round but was knocked out of the rest of the competition. Despite the long list of wins in her career, this was the Illinois native’s first win at The American. Following the buckle presentation, Crawford exclaimed, “I finally got it. I finally got it,” while pointing at the award.

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IN THE

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CALEB SMIDT ROPES SECOND WIN AT THE AMERICAN RODEO 2022 By Heather Miner Belville, Texas, tie-down roper Caleb Smidt focused beyond life’s adversities to take home a second championship from The American on March 6, 2022. The three-time world champion’s voice trembled with emotion during the award ceremony while talking about his father watching each calf from heaven, and his family supporting him throughout the competition. This includes brother-in-law bulldogger Rowdy Parrott, who also competed. Smidt told the cheering crowd, “My dad has always wanted to watch me run every calf. And the day he passed away, he got that privilege, ‘cuz he watches me run every one of ‘em. And I know he’s with me. And my family--they’re all here. They support me each and every day no matter what. Win or lose. I’m just blessed.” Since 2014, Smidt has overcome a compound fracture in his right leg that required two surgeries and kept him out of competition for eight months. His horse, Pockets, had fluid on his navicular bone, and his father, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law passed away in 2018. In 2020, he was sent home from the WNFR after a positive covid test. Despite the continued challenges, the 32-year-old and Pockets set a blazing time of 6.87 to best Tuf Cooper’s 7.6 and Riley Webb’s 7.81 to take home the $100,000. Smidt stayed in the hunt throughout the event, taking the top spot in the Contender round in 7.33 and second in the finals with 7.34. Smidt’s first title at The American came in 2019, helping to push the roper’s career earnings to over $1.7 million by the end of 2021. Later that year, he was inducted into the Wharton County Junior College (Wharton, Texas) Athletic Hall of Fame.

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IN THE

IT’S TIME FOR

RILEY WEBB By Lillian Landreth At 18 years old, Texas native Riley Webb already has three trips to The American Rodeo under his belt. During his most recent visit to AT&T Stadium, the young tie-down roper progressed to the final round and a chance at $2.1 million, where he finished third amongst the veteran field of Caleb Smidt, Hunter Herrin, and Tuf Cooper. Another teenager, Devin Young, made the final round as well in the barrel racing. “It may be my first year (in the PRCA), but now that I’ve been pro rodeoing a little bit, it’s just down to whoever does their job best that day,” Riley explains. “It is kind of cool to get down to the four-man round with three guys who made it the NFR many times, and be the guy right there with them.”

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RILEY WEBB Continued

Electric Experience It’s the farthest Riley has advanced in The American so far. He qualified for the rodeo when he won the tie-down roping at the 2021 Junior NFR last July. Riley and his trusty gelding Titus worked their way through The American contender round into sixth place with a 7.92, followed by a 7.50 in the Semi-Finals, which put Riley in third going into the final round.

He finished in third place with a 7.8, and although his gaze was fixed on winning, Riley was still pleased with his runs and experiencing the electric atmosphere of The American again. His family contributed to the excited audience, with aunts, uncles, cousins, and his parents Jennifer and Dirk Webb—the manager of The American Rodeo—all cheering him on. “That magnitude of rodeo that all my family could come to and cheer me on at was really special.” And the excitement wasn’t over for Riley in early March, who left for Arcadia, Fla., soon after The American. There, he secured his first NFR Playoff Series win at the 94th Annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship. The 7.7-second run earned him $4,822 and propelled him into first place in the Resistol Rookie tie-down roping standings.

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Listen to casual conversations about rodeo with a broad range of guests from the industry. Currently sharing interviews with bareback sensation Rocker Steiner, barrel racer and Resistol Rookie of the Year Kylee Scribner, and Snake River Stampeder, and Editor of The Arena Press, Lillian Landreth.

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SHELLEY MORGAN

TEXAS STAR WINS BARREL

RACING CHAMPIONSHIP By Heather Miner

Shelley Morgan of Eustace, Texas, had a stellar showing at The American Rodeo 2022, earning over $100,000 and the title of champion barrel racer. The 50-year-old and HR Fameskissandtell, called Kiss, stopped the clock in 14.609 for their final run to clinch the title. The finale marked the highest finish for Morgan, coming off of an 8th place finish in round one of The American in 2021. Morgan rodeoed with her sister growing up but did not go pro with the WPRA until 2008 after spending eight years as a teacher and basketball coach. Over the years, the rider had many top finishes with 12 championship titles throughout 2021, including the Texas Circuit Finals Year-End Title and the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla. She ended 2021 fourth in the WPRA world rankings and seventh in the average at the WNFR, her third showing in Vegas. Kiss, an 8-year-old flaxy sorrel mare, has also brought home a number of championships and titles including a tie for third in the 2021 Nutrena Horse of the Year and the WPRA Horse With the Most Heart in 2020. The

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Shelley Morgan continued flashy mare with a big white blaze and white flecks across her coat dug deep throughout The American and carried her rider to an exciting win. Her fastest run was a 13.751 during the Contender round. The pair met when Kiss was just a 3-year-old. Kiss reminded Morgan of a previous horse, Short Go, who was the first mount to carry her to the WNFR. This match up has driven Shelley Morgan up the ranks of the WPRA and will likely lead to many more championships. The American held events covering 14 days, culminating in the single richest day in rodeo on March 6. Jordan Briggs and Devin Young rounded out the top three finishers, all Texans, in the barrel race.

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AMERICAN BULLFIGHTERS

DARRAN ROBERTSON, CODY WEBSTER, AND NATHAN HARP ARE THE

THREE BEST FRIENDS ANY COWBOY COULD EVER HAVE.

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HIGHLIGHT

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www.the-arena-press.com is a great place to find intersting

stories and action photography of the great American sport of rodeo.

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Kailee Murdock —Litchfield Park, AZ

Tucson Rodeo La Fiesta de los Vaqueros 2022 Photo credit: The Arena Press / Richard Rosales


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