Large crowds attend Belton’s PRCA Rodeo
Sunday, 22 July 2012 by Chuck Kelly
A large opening-night crowd at Belton's Annual Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo Thursday in the Bell County Expo Center saw solid performances from cowboys and cowgirls, but the winners of the evening were the bucking bulls of the Lancaster and Pickett Pro Rodeo Company of Fairfield that shut out a dozen contestants trying to stay aboard for the eight-second count.
The top three in saddle bronc riding were all bunched together in scoring. Justin Browning of Sulphur, LA scored a 75 on American Woman. One point behind was Ozona's Dean Wadsworth, who rode Neon Lights. Wes Burns of Clayton, NM took third place with a 71, riding Texican.
Two of the three bareback riders posted scores. Jeremy Mouton of Scott, La., scored 82 points on Choates Cast and Jack Kitaif, also from Louisiana, rode Unforgiven for a 66.
Caldwell steer wrestler Kody Dollery put down his steer in an even 4.0 seconds, a time that may be hard to beat. Derek Stewart of Hearne turned in a 4.8. Brother Loud took third with a 5.0.
The tie-down roping event saw the cowboys all bunched up for the lead. Stephenville's Martin Poindexter posted a 10.4 seconds run and Bart Meek of Alvord was one-tenth of a second behind. DeKalb's Colt Carter was in third place with a 10.9 from Thursday morning's slack competition.
Two team roper duos shared the lead with times of 6.3 seconds apiece --- J.C. Williams of Bridgeport and Justin Paris from Mineral Wells and the team of Celby Schneemann from Big Lake and Lubbock's Jed Middleton.
Granbury's Reagan Dillard took the top spot in the women's barrel racing competition with a time of 16.27 seconds. Last year's Belton runner-up, Annesa Self of Sanger, was right behind with a 16.29. Former world champion Janet Stover of Rusk was third at 16.50.
On Friday's second night of the rodeo there were some lead changes, but not for the bull riders. All the brave cowboys who came out of the chutes were on the ground before the eight-second buzzer. Bulls win again!
There wasn't much action in saddle bronc and bareback competition with no change at the top. Justin Browning kept his lead in saddle bronc riding, and Jeremy Mouton still led in bareback with an adjusted score of 83.
Kody Dollery still held the lead in steer wrestling with his 4.0 Thursday time, but Joshua (Crazy) Clark of Texarkana moved up to a solid second with a 4.2. Cade Staton of Bastrop posted a 4.3.
The top tie-down ropers were bested Friday night when Chase Williams of Stephenville finished in 8.6 seconds. Just behind him, Roy Harris of Bracketville moved into second place with a time of 9.3 seconds. The first go-round leader Martin Poindexter dropped to third with a time of 10.4.
In team-roping competition, Thursday's leaders didn't even make the top five on Friday. Caleb Smidt and Joel Bach of Yorktown and Rhome moved into first place with a time of 4.8 seconds, and barely ahead of the Texas-Louisiana team of Cory Smothers and Tee Luttrell who came in with a 5.3.
In barrel racing, Reagan Dillard (16.27) and Annesa Self (16.29) held on to the top spots, but Jana Riley of Paige posted a 16.37 seconds ride to move into third place overall.
The final night of the Belton Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo saw Huntsville's Jack Aldridge post the top score of 81 points on the final ride of the saddle bronc competition to win the event on a horse called Wild Flower. Aldridge beat the 75 points put up by Justin Browning on Thursday. Lubbock's Wyatt Barstow moved into a tie for third with a 74 on Jack of Diamonds to join Ozona's Dean Wadsworth.
Louisiana's Jeremy Mouton's Thursday night's score of 83 held up to win the bare back riding. Blake Dornak of Cypress rode Aerabella to a 78 for second place.
The 4.0 time put up by Caldwell's Cody Dollery on Thursday held up to win the steer wrestling. Brenham's Craig Cabaness turned in a time of 4.1 seconds to finish in a close second. Texarkana's Joshua (Crazy) Clark took third with a 4.2 from Friday.
In team roping, Caleb Smidt and Joel Bach won in a time of 4.8 seconds, and Cory Smothers and Tee Luttrell placed second with a 5.3, both from Friday's go-round. Scott Nolen of Collinsville and Tim Ross of Lipan finished third with a good time of 5.5 seconds.
In barrel racing, Granbury's Reagan Dillard (16.27), Annesa Self of Sanger (16.29) and Paige's Jana Riley (16.37) finished first, second, and third. Troy barrel racer Tammi Reynolds turned in Saturday's best time of 16.46 seconds to earn fourth place in the event.
Just for the record, ten more bull riders hit the dirt in the arena Saturday, so the final score for this year's Belton rodeo was Bulls-32, Riders-0 for the three nights.
Earlier Saturday, the 2012 Bell County Cowboys and Cowgirls Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held at the Expo Center.
"Over 200 turned out for the 12th year for the prestigious event," said the group's president Jim Howell. It began with an 11:00am BBQ lunch, followed by an auction and the ceremony
This year's inductees included: Dennis E. Bolding, Bobby "Cowboy" Colacino, Steve Creek, Dock Luther Curb Sr., Rocky Edwards, Hollis Hale, Troy D. Hood, Paul Hartley Lanning, Richard McLaughlin, Terry Miller, Royce Rucker, Clinton Shed, A.W. "Shorty" Smith, Ira Southerland and Connie Butler Stermer.