OGDEN -- Is the heat coming?
Regardless of the weather, things will be hot at Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, which kicks off its five-performance run today in Ogden Pioneer Stadium.
Since switching stock contractors in 2005, Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo has been nominated four times (2006, 2008-10) as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's medium rodeo committee of the year ($3,000 to $9,999 added money per event).
In 2008 and 2009, Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo was named the best rodeo in the PRCA's Wilderness Circuit, which includes Idaho (south of the Salmon River), Nevada and Utah.
For starters, three roughstock riders -- each a $100,000 winner Sunday in their respective event at Calgary Stampede's "Showdown Sunday" -- are entered in Ogden's 78th annual rodeo.
Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo ranked No. 59 ($146,680) out of 570 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeos staged in 40 states and three Canadian provinces during 2010.
Clint Cannon, of Waller, Texas (bareback riding), Chad Ferley, of Oelrichs, S.D. (saddle bronc riding), and Shane Proctor, of Mooresville, N.C. (bull riding), are 2011 Calgary Stampede champions expected to compete at Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo.
Timed-event slack was run Tuesday and today, with the rodeo wrapping up Monday since July 24 is on Sunday this year.
Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, which has 557 contestants (counting doctor and vet releases and notified turnouts) -- 113 fewer than last year -- is one go-round in each event except tie-down roping and team roping, which is two rounds, plus an aggregate payout.
Two of the best Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's stock contractors -- Stace Smith Pro Rodeos and Korkow Rodeos -- are bringing their top horses and bulls to town for the 78th annual rodeo.
Additional stock contractors are Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo, of Athens, Texas, Robinson Pro Rodeo, of Mars Hills, N.C., and Three Hills Rodeo Inc., of Bernard, Iowa.
Stace Smith, of Athens, Texas, is a seven-time PRCA stock contractor of the year (2004-10) and also hauls bulls to Professional Bull Riders, Inc. events. Korkow Rodeos and Robinson Pro Rodeo are also PBR stock contractors.
Stace Smith Pro Rodeos bucked three bareback horses, five saddle broncs and two bulls at last December's Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Korkow Rodeos, of Pierre, S.D., had one bareback horse and two saddle broncs selected for the $5.875 million WNFR.
Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo bucked two bareback horses, two saddle broncs and a bull, Robinson Pro Rodeo had one saddle bronc and nine bulls -- including the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's 2010 bull of the year, After Party -- and Three Hills Rodeo Inc. had three bareback horses, three saddle broncs and two bulls at the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Eight of nine PRCA and Women's Professional Rodeo Association defending world champions are entered in the 78th Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo: Trevor Brazile (all-around cowboy, tie-down roping and team roping, header); Bobby Mote (bareback riding); Dean Gorsuch (steer wrestling); Patrick Smith (team roping, heeler); Utah's Cody Wright (saddle bronc riding); and J.W. Harris (bull riding).
Sherry Cervi (women's barrel racing) did not enter the rodeo.
Defending Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo champions who are entered include: Jared Smith (bareback riding); Ronnie Fields (steer wrestling); Heith DeMoss and Tyrell Smith (saddle bronc riding); and Angie Meadors (women's barrel racing).
Unlike many of us, rodeo cowboys don't get summer vacation.
If they want to make the prestigious 53rd annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Dec. 1-10 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, summer is a steppingstone to their December destination.
Of the PRCA's 570 sanctioned rodeos in 2010, nearly two-thirds of them occurred during the summer. Contestants could be after more than $12 million during the lucrative summer run, which started with the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo in June and concludes with the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up in September.
Of the current leaders in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and WPRA, Brazile (all-around cowboy, $188,228, and tie-down roping, $69,641); Will Lowe (bareback riding, $77,130); Luke Branquinho (steer wrestling, $73,211); Taos Muncy (saddle bronc riding, $75,888); Proctor (bull riding, $102,178); and Brittany Pozzi (women's barrel racing, $100,834) are entered in Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo.
Notable Utah and Idaho contestants who are ranked in the top 20 of the world standings in their respective events:
* All-around cowboy -- 9. Steve Woolsey, Payson, $37,954; 10. Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, $36,272; 14. Jake Hannum, Plain City, $31,573; 15. Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, $31,414.
* Bareback riding -- 3. Kaycee Feild, Payson, $70,214.
* Steer wrestling -- 10. Olin Hannum, Malad, Idaho, $36,542.
* Saddle bronc riding -- 2. Cody Wright, Milford, $70,764; 5. Jesse Wright, Milford, $42,410; 15. Jake Wright, Milford, $28,098.
* Bull riding -- 4. Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, $55,328; 5. Steve Woolsey, Payson, $53,972; 17. Travis Atkinson, Lehi, $40,216.
* Women's barrel racing -- 5. Jody Sheffield, South Weber, $59,952.
Other big-money Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeos that have started or get under way this week include Days of '47 Rodeo, Snake River Stampede, California Rodeo Salinas, which is a Wrangler Million Dollar Tour Gold Rodeo, Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo -- a Wrangler Million Dollar Tour Silver Rodeo -- and Cheyenne Frontier Days, which is a Wrangler Million Dollar Tour Gold Rodeo.