Talent Aplenty At 101 Ranch Rodeo
Sure, the thrills and chills of any
rodeo can be
found in the mano a mano contest between animal and rider but there
are many other components that go into making a rodeo the
awe-inspiring spectator sport it is.
Two men who give their all to the overall show are Jeff Kobza and
Kobza is a member of that special breed who risk their lives to save
a fallen rider — the bullfighter. Schmidt is a horseman
extraordinaire, a man who has learned his craft to a level far
beyond most can even hope to achieve.
The two men will put those in-credible talents to serious use this
weekend at the 101 Ranch Rodeo.
Kobza is a highly acclaimed bull-fighter who has been several times
honored for his work in the arena. The winner of the Turquoise
Circuit Bullfighter of the Year award, he uses a cowboy-saving
technique that combines unruffled courage and superb athletic
Always a crowd pleaser, Kobza leaves the audience spell-bound each
Prior to obtaining his profession-al bullfighting card, Kobza was a
member of the PRCA and a bare-back rider. "I've always been a rodeo
cowboy," the former high school wrestler and football player says
A devoted runner and weight lifter—two disciplines needed to get a
man ready for the job he and his fellow bullfighters perform — Kobza
works rodeos year round. And in the arena, his quiet class
trans-forms into a dynamic, sizzling performance.
Schmidt, too, exudes athletic ability. Married (to wife Eileen)
and the father of a son. Sterling, the trick rider/musician resides
on a ranch in Crawford, Ok. where he trains horses and runs a few
head of cattle.
Schmidt first began performing at rodeos in 1966. Since that start,
he has taught himself how to trick rope along with improving his
vast knowledge of riding.
Schmidt's act involves trick roping standing astride his Roman
team — Tonka and Thunder — as well as a Liberty Act. In that portion
of his performance, Schmidt's horses have complete liberty in the
Actually, three horses get into the show. The third, Spider, is a
spare and is ridden by wife Eileen. Only Tonka and Thunder are in
the Liberty Act.
Eileen has another all-important
function in the glittering performance — she designs and makes all of her husband's colorful costumes.
Schmidt's musical talents take a backseat to no one either. An
accomplished musician, the gifted cowboy plays the fiddle, guitar
and clarinet. He plays all of them by ear.
In 1978, Schmidt recorded an album entitled "Dreams Paradise." He
now has three albums for sale.
So go ahead and watch and cheer and marvel at the abilities of the
cowboys and cowgirls who battle in the arena against the best stock
that can be had but remember, that won't be the whole show.
There is talent and courage aplenty just waiting to be appreciated
by the rodeo fans.
Just ask Jeff Kobza or Neal Schmidt. Or anyone else who understands
just how much these two give to the thrill of the event.
Old West Gunfighters A Part Of 101 Rodeo
Movie actor and "veteran gunfighter"
Clint Jones will return for
the 1986 101 Ranch Rodeo days.
Jones and his "Old West Gunfighters" have been a fixture of the
rodeo days in Ponca City for several years, appearing at various
businesses throughout the final day of the three-day event.
On Saturday, Aug. 9, Jones and his troupe will put on their live action shows at 11 a.m. at Gibson's- noon at J.W. Cobb-s Family Restaurant followed by a show at the Golden Corral. They will then
perform downtown at 1:30 p.m. at Fourth and Grand and at 1:45 p.m.
at Second and Grand. The 4 p.m. show will be at Safeway in Pioneer
This year the gunfighters will make their debut at the world famous
101 Ranch Rodeo, performing at 7:30 p.m. each night. They will give
away pictures to children following their gunfights.
Jones has appeared in a number
of movies, such as "Where the Red Fern Growns," "Hard Times,"
"Semi-tough," "Charge of the Model Ts,' "Creature from Black Lake,"
"Oklahoma Bound," and "Fighting Mad."
He is now writing several screen plays for TV and theatrical
Jones's live action shows during rodeo week will feature
"fisticuffs," falls, shootouts, special effects and "lots of old
U.S.'s Top Performers Will Ride In The 101
More than 100 competitors from across the nation will don boots and
chaps Aug. 7-9 for the 26th annual 101 Ranch Rodeo.
The event welcomes some of the top men and women in the professional
rodeo ranks as well as several area residents who are entered.
Activities kick off Thursday, Aug. 7 and performances continue each
evening, starting at 8 p.m., through Sunday. Advanced tickets cost $4
for adults and $2 for children ages 7-12. Children under six years
old will be admitted free. All area financial institution, major
grocery stores and western stores in Ponca City have tickets
Tickets purchased at the gate prior to a performance will be $6 for
adults. Children's prices remain the same.
"People dream of being cowboys when they are young," Ponca City
Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Melanie Norris explains when
asked why the rodeo attracts such large audiences each year. "Rodeo
is a glamorous sport. There is an element of risk and it is some-
thing that is out of the ordinary for most people.
"And the 101 Rodeo gets some of the top PRCA and WPRA performers
in the nation. Some of the biggest names in the business will compete here."
There is also considerable prize money at stake for the competitors
and, because the 101 Ranch Rodeo is a sanctioned event, points
earned here add on to the individual's qualification totals for the
National Finals Rodeo.
More than $15,000 is available during the rodeo to the competitors.
That includes $1,300 in added money.
Norris and the rest of the Ponca City Chamber of Commerce staff work
along side the 101 Ranch Rodeo Foundation in organizing and running
the event each year.
"The Rodeo Foundation is made up
of 17 members who actively promote and put on the rodeo," Norris explains. "And it is a lot of work.
"We try to target two groups with the rodeo — those who attend
rodeos all the time and those who would like to see one but never
get the chance. We also changed the date of the rodeo (in 1985)
to the end of the week of the Grand National Motocross races so
that the people who are here for that can get the opportunity to
see a rodeo.
"The event attracts people to the area. Over the three-day run, more
than 6,000 people will attend the rodeo. Another benefit to the community is that the civic organizations of Ponca City run the
"The money they make on concessions
goes back into the community."
Fans can also get in on the money giveaway. Three times per night, a
drawing will be held with cash prizes handed out. All one has to do
is buy a program to be eligible. Winning numbers are drawn from
those on each program.
As he has since the rodeo's
inception in 1960, Walt Alsbaugh will
once again serve as stock contractor. Alsbaugh, from Alamosa, Colo.,
began his career in rodeo as first a "pickup man", then a performer
and finally a contractor.
Alsbaugh was one of the first members of a group that organized to
protect the cowboy during and after events and helped establish the
standard rules of rodeo.
Another longtime hand at the 101 Ranch Rodeo also returns this year
Dr. Charles "Bud" Townsend, professor of history at West Texas
State University in Denton, Texas is
beginning his 39th year of announcing rodeos. Many of those years
have been spent with the Alsbaugh Rodeo Company.
Dr. Townsend is a nationally known professor of Western History who
began his rodeo career as a bull rider when he was 14 years old. He
financed his college education with earnings derived from the rodeo
The multi-talented educator/announcer also has another large credit
— Dr. Townsend has won a Grammy Award for his liner notes on the
album "Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys: For The Last Time." The
album was the first to be admitted to the Cowboy Hall of Fame and
Western Heritage Center.
The annual 101 Ranch Rodeo
Parade will be held Saturday starting
at 2 p.m. in downtown Ponca City. The rodeo's clowns, band, saddle
clubs and Shriners are featured.
There will also be a new
attraction each night at the performances. Alsbaugh is bringing his
racing buffaloes. Teams will compete in the buffalo races each
evening between the seven events (bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, team
roping, calf roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling) of the
Also prior to the start of each performance, Clint Jones of Old
West Productions and Annie and The Plainsmen Gunfighters will
conduct a show beginning at 7:30 p.m. each night.
coronation of the Rodeo's Queen will be held Saturday evening
at the Rodeo Grounds and the presentation of the Sonny Shultz
Memorial Award to the All-Around Cowboy will immediately following
the end of the final performance Saturday night.
The award is named in honor of Sonny Shultz, a former Miller
Brothers 101 Ranch Rodeo clown and bull fighter.
"The Chamber also wants to re-mind everyone that they should dress
Western starting Monday for the rest of the week," Norris adds.
The Chamber also has souvenirs and T-shirt available. Among the
souvenirs are limited edition gold 101 Ranch Rodeo belt buckles.
THE ALL-AROUND Cowboy
trophy will be presented by Cody Shultz after
the finals of the three-day 101 Ranch Rodeo on Saturday night. The
trophy is donated each year by the Carl Shultz family and Mrs.
Agnes Freeman, in honor of Sonny and Loris "Shorty" Shultz. Sonny
Shultz was a former rodeo clown and bull fighter, who began his
career on the 101 Ranch at the age of six. Assisting Cody Shultz
with the presentation will be George Roby.
It Will Be 'HORSE vs. HORSEPOWER' At 101 Ranch
classic confrontation of horse vs. horsepower will take place
Thursday and Friday night at the 101 Ranch Rodeo.
At the conclusion of the barrel racing event each
night, in which cowgirls race the clock around a course outlined by
three barrels, five of the country's top motocross riders will
attempt to beat the horses at their own game.
Each night five different
riders on various motorcycles ranging from 50cc pee wees ridden
by eight-year-olds, to 125cc expert class team riders will race
the clock and the cowgirls to settle the score. If victorious
they will be awarded a 101 Ranch Rodeo commemorative belt
buckle. If not, they will just have to prove themselves on the
track against 1,500 fellow motocross riders.
Kim Mardis, the only local barrel racing entry, will
be riding Sportie Go Go, a sixteen-year-old quarter horse gelding.
Although Sportie is older than most of the riders he will go up
against, Mardis said there is no way a motorcycle could ever beat
him through the barrels.
Motorcrossers who have grown up
around horses agree it will be a very close race, although some
of the California motorcrossers, who exhibit a substantial
amount of self confidence, say their only concern is stepping in
The event is expected to generate a great deal of
excitement between the two rivaling sides. Promoters say the event
will be the subject of more friendly wagers, debates and challenges
than any rodeo or motorcycle race in Ponca City history.
Officials say the event was originally planned as a
way to give motocrossers a taste of rodeo competition and a way to
give rodeo fans a look at motorcrossing.
Because both sports rely
heavily on agility, speed and timing, the contest has turned out
to be a very natural form of competition, according to a
26th Annual 101 Ranch Rodeo Opens Tonight
The rodeo, much like other sports with rich tradition, is a
traveling world of cowboys, wild broncs, danger and high cash
Cowboys and rodeo livestock companies follow a full year's calendar
of events from one town to the next and one coast to the other.
Ponca City's annual 101 Ranch Rodeo is this weekend s stopping point
for many cowboys and cowgirls traveling America's professional
Walt Alsbaugh has been a rodeo livestock breeder for 41 years and
travels the circuit year-round. During the cold months rodeo events
shift to southern states such as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. He
said he spent only six days in his home town of Alamosa, Colo.,
This weekend Alsbaugh's livestock will be at the 101 Ranch Rodeo and
two other rodeos in Wyoming and Colorado. He says two-thirds of his
nearly 2000 head of livestock are bred on the Alsbaugh spread.
Bucking horses and bulls are bred much like race horses. It takes
careful breeding to produce a good animal for the rodeo he said.
Rodeo livestock has to be substituted often because of fatigue from
travel. Alsbaugh's livestock company goes to about 160 rodeos every
year so there is plenty of shifting of stock.
Some animals acquire a reputation among cowboys on the circuit The
animals are randomly assigned to contestants be-fore each event so
in some cases the assignment of livestock has an influence on the
outcome of the event since each has its own personality. Although
they all possess a certain amount of ruthlessness, some may be more
spirited than others.
Professional cowboys and cowgirls on the circuit do not draw
salaries from sponsors in most cases. They pay living expenses and
rodeo fees through prize money income. Some cowboys have been known
to earn up to $100,000 per year while others exist from event to
event. This year's top money winner is barrel racer Charmayne James
who is expected to compete locally this weekend, Alsbaugh said.
The 101 Ranch Rodeo offers approximately $45,000 in total prize
money. The list of contenders vying for a share of the pay off
includes several world champions and others who are considered to
be top prospects for championship honors this year.
One of the top riders expected to compete Friday night is Monty
"Hawkeye" Henson of Mesquite, Texas, who will compete in the saddle
bronc competition. He is a three-time world champion with career
earnings of almost $600,000.
Marvin Garrett of Aladdin, Wyoming, who is slated to ride in the
bareback competition Thursday night, is expected to take top honors
at the 1986 World Championships. He has won over $200,000 in prize
money during his rodeo career.
Alsbaugh said professional rodeo athletes start competing at a young
age in "little britches" rodeos and some continue through the prep
and amateur ranks. Professional cowboy's careers vary. Alsbaugh said
some last longer than others. "There is a team roper who is still
competing at 82," he said.
The 101 Ranch Rodeo
starts tonight at 8 p.m. and will be held through Saturday. Events
include team roping, wild cow milking,
bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel
racing, calf roping and bull riding.
A gun fight and a roping exhibition is planned to precede the
competition each evening at the rodeo grounds, and the annual 101
Ranch Rodeo parade will be on Grand Avenue at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Special events to follow the main rodeo include barrel race
competition between barrel racers on horseback and motorcross racers. The event, which is done in cooperation with
motorcross officials is to settle growing debates over which form of
transportation is quicker through the barrels.
Another special event to be held this year is the buffalo race. The
race will be among local people racing buffaloes across the arena.
Alsbaugh says the animals are not very predictable. They may run,
stand still, roll over or buck. "Buffalo races are always
interesting" he said.
Admission each night is $4advance and $6 at the gate for adults and
$2 for children 7-12. Children under seven get in free.
Cowboys, Cowgirls Competing For 101 Ranch Rodeo
The first round of the 26th annual 101 Ranch Rodeo was held Thursday night at the Ponca City Rodeo Grounds where the first batch of
cowboys and cowgirls took their best shot in an effort to win a
portion of the $45,000 overall purse.
Officials estimated 3,000 spectators filled the stands to watch
the .athletes square off in competition ranging from bull riding to
Approximately 80 competitors from throughout the mid-western and
western states rode in one of seven paying events last night. In all
240 rodeo athletes will make an appearance during the three night
Action continues at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the rodeo ground
at Ash and Prospect.
Fans also were entertained by a number of less competitive special
events on the program such as the buffalo race, the motorcycle
motocross barrel race and a riding and roping exhibition.
The buffalo race was a test of buffalo riding skills possessed by
Ponca City rodeo fans. Five people were recruited into risking
their precious health by "racing" a wild buffalo across the arena.
The race was over in a matter of seconds when only
one rider was left atop her bucking beast. By process of elimination
she was declared the winner.
Fans were given the opportunity to witness the "world's first"
motocross barrel race Thursday night when racers from the National
Motocross Association Championships, which is also taking place
this week, attempted to beat barrel racer's times through the
barrels with their high-powered dirt bikes.
By the end of Thursday night's rodeo session the top cowboy and
cowgirl contenders were revealed. The athletes competing in the 101
Ranch Rodeo paid up to $50 in entry costs. In many cases competitors, who were disqualified or penalized in last
night's competition, lost the chance of gaining a return on their
investment because of a misjudgment, bad timing or plain bad luck.
Mistakes made in the rodeo game can be costly to hopeful cowboys and
Results from Thursday's Bareback riding
competition was a tie for first place between Lonnie Miller of Wichita Kan. and Jim Meigs of
Canon City, Colo., with 75 points each. Gary Phillips of Jenks,
Okla., took second with 71 points.
The results from the calf roping event included first place winner
Greg Winham of Rush Springs,
Okla., with a 12.0 second time and Jerry Dotson of Pryor with a 21.4
time, which was good enough for second place.
Joe Spearman of Emory, Texas, won Thursday's saddle bronc riding
competition with 80 points. Clay Jowers and Deke Lathem of Kaycee,
Wyo., tied for second with 72 points.
Tommy Combs of Checotah, Okla. won Thursday's steer wrest-ling event
with a time of 8.0 seconds. Greg Mindemann of Apache, Okla., took
second with a 14.8 time.
The team roping event was won by Tee Woolman of Llano, Texas, and
Bob Harris of Gillette, Wyo., with a time of 7.6 seconds. Robert
Etbauer of Goodwell, Okla., and Jim Nichols of Texoma, Okla., took
the runner-up spot with a 10.2 second time. Ace Berry of Oakdale,
Calif., and Billy Drake of Fort Supply, Okla., turned in a time of
11.3 seconds for third place.
Amanda Barnes of Charleston, Ark., and Marilyn Denham Lowry tied for
first in the barrel racing event with times of 17.81 seconds. Lynn
Flynn of Charleston, Ark., took second with a 17.87 time.
Clayton M acorn of Stigler, Okla., won the bull riding event with 65
points, and Johnny Chavez of Bosque, N.M., took second with 57
Top Rodeo Performers Named
The 26th addition of the 101 Ranch Rodeo came to a soggy close last
night as competitors in the final rounds galloped, bucked, slipped
and splashed their way through the muddy arena.
Sporadic showers which moved through Ponca City Friday and Saturday
may have been welcomed by gardeners and farmers, but they made life
a little more sloppy for the rodeo cowboy.
In spite of the mud, Roy Duvall of Checotah was named overall
cow-boy at the end of Saturday night's performances.
Roy Cooper, eight time world champion calf roper from Durant, said
it was a good rodeo and he thought there was a good crowd turnout.
Cooper, who competes in up to 100 rodeos per year, won the calf
roping competition at this year's rodeo. Following his Friday night
calf roping performance, he prepared to fly to Gillette, Wyo. for
another rodeo appearance Saturday.
conditions hindered contestants' efforts for high marks in the
competition, although some turned in winning performances anyway.
Brad Mattox a rider from Wichita and one of three riders who tied
for first-place in bareback competition, said he was pleased with
his ride in Friday night's muddy conditions largely because he drew
a spirited bronc that he could score high
points with. Mattox, who rode a horse named Sage Hen into a top spot
in the standings, said he has been on a cold streak lately because
he was getting mounts that were hard to score points with. "It's
like anything else," he said, "you have to have good a dancing
partner to do well."
Sage Hen is a high spirited bronc difficult to ride. The points
cowboys are awarded in bareback riding are partly based on how
difficult it is to ride horses they draw. So a cowboy who rides a
difficult horse successfully can score higher points.
Mattox, who was in the three-way tie for first place at the end of
Friday night's action, said he didn't think he would end up
winning the overall event but thought he would at least place.
Also tying for first-place in bare- back competition were Jim Meigg
of Canon City, Col., and Lonnie Miller of Wichita.
Walter Alsbaugh, 101 Ranch Rodeo livestock contractor, said "muddy
conditions have an influence on cowboys' scores because it slows
everything down and hinders the performance of the animals.
He said contestants who per-formed in dry conditions Thursday night
have the advantage, but that's the way it has to be because you
never know what the weather will do.
Saturday was the final day of rodeo competition and festivities in
Other winners included Joe Spearman of Emory, Texas, who won the
saddle bronc competition; Roy Duvall, first-place in steer
wrestling; Amanda Barnes of McCune, Kan. in barrel racing; and Mike
Wing of Dalhart, Texas, first-place in bull riding.
In team roping. Tee Woolman of Llano, Texas, and Bob
Harris of Gillette, Wyo. took first place.
At 2 p.m. the annual 101 Ranch Rodeo Parade was held under
threatening skies in downtown Ponca City. Crowds lined the streets
to watch a colorful line of queen candidates, politicians,
musicians and roundup clubs on horseback.
For many the 1986 crowning of the 101 Ranch Rodeo queen was the
highlight of Saturday night's rodeo show. Judges selected this
year's queen from four candidates competing for the honor.
Top Riders, Ropers Collect Rodeo Money
The cowboys and cowgirls who placed in the overall standings in the
26th annual 101 Ranch Rodeo were paid up to $962 in cash prizes at
the end of Saturday night's competition.
The total prize list came to
approximately $45,000 which was used
to award 42 top performing competitors at the rodeo competition.
The top placers in the saddle bronc riding contest were: Joe
Spearman of Emory, Texas ($962), Matt Reed of El Dorado, Kan.
($721), Hawkeye Henson of Mesquite, Texas ($481), Marty Forster of
McCoy. Colo. ($120), Spark Bewley of Phoenix ($120).
Winners in the steer wrestling event were: Roy Duvall of Checotah
($950), Stan Williamson of Kellyville ($594), Jimmy Hiner of Coweta
($594), Mitch McMullan of Helotes, Texas ($237).
Winners of the bull riding event were: Mike Wing of Dalhart. Texas
($806), Mark Stulley of Phillipsburg, Kan. ($604), Joe Wimberly of
Mineral Wells, Texas ($402), Gene Owens of Big Cabin ($201).
The winners of the bareback riding competition were: a tie for
first between Lonnie Miller of Wichita ($616), Jim Meigs of Canon
Colo. ($616), and Brad Mattox of Wichita ($616). Second and third
placers were: Milburn Outhier of Weatherford ($102), Charles Bow-man
of Sperry ($102).
The calf roping placers were: Roy Cooper of Durant ($914), Rasys
Forrest of Ponca City ($756), Bob Nunn of Apache ($598), Greg Winham
of Rush Springs ($441), Tom Walker Wynnewood ($283), Greg Ash of
Miami, Okla. ($157).
The top placers of the team roping event were: Tee Wpolman of Llano,
Texas and Bob Harris of Gillette, Wyo. ($853 each), Bret Tonozxy of
Fruita, Colo. and Bret Boatright of Conway Springs, Kan. ($640
each), Rich Skelton and Charles Pogue both of Electra, Texas ($426
each), Jim Nichols of Texoma and Robert Etbauer of Goodwell ($213
The top finishers in the barrel racing event were: tied for first
Amanda Barnes of McCune, Kan. ($558), Dana Cogburn of Guthrie
($558), Lynn Flynn of Charleston, Ark. ($415), Susan Gilbert of
Marana, Ariz. ($337), Christy Gatlin of Marion, Ark. ($207), Lacy
Cates Hattisburg, Miss. ($155).
Melanie Gipson of Pryor was named queen of the rodeo Saturday. She
is the 22-year-old daughter of Ed and Donna Gipson of Pryor.