by William J. Bechaver
SAN ANTONIO– One of the biggest rodeos in Texas wrapped up last weekend in San Antonio. Our southern Colorado cowboys racked up fast times and raked in the dough, giving San Antonio something to remember besides the Alamo. While living in south Texas, I went to a different professional rodeo almost every weekend, and in some weekends, it was actually possible to attend three different P. R. C. A. Rodeos in three different towns, all within one county. Texas takes rodeo seriously, and none is more serious than the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, held each year in February.
Wade Sumpter, the steer wrestler from Fowler, was serious about winning when he competed in the third round this year. The competition was tight, so although he had a blazing time of 3.8 seconds, he finished in a 3-way tie.
In the final round of bull dogging, La Junta’s Ken Lewis “reined” supreme. He finished the round in the top position, with a time of 3.9 seconds. His total on four head was an amazing 17.3 seconds, an average of just over 4.3 seconds on each run he made! Even so, he only came in fifth in over-all time. That’s serious rodeo!
The team roping duo of Wade Kreutzer of La Veta, and J. D. Yates of Pueblo, posted four times that would blow the competition away in other rodeos. With a total on four head of 25.5 seconds, they finished well in the money to make the trip to San Antonio worth the effort, and make the long journey home a little more enjoyable.
Our home-town boys weren’t quite ready to call it a week. Both Sumpter and Yates went on to have outstanding performances in the steer wrestling at the acclaimed San Angelo Texas rodeo a few days later. So, in leaving Texas, our local competitors were able to come away with some prize money. But more importantly, they brought a great deal of pride to those waiting at home for them, and all of us here in our little corner of Colorado.