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Rodeo results

Oklahoma cowboys fared well at the 76th annual Elk City Rodeo of Champions this weekend.

Out of seven events, four of them were won by Okies.
Team ropers Mike Bacon, Boswell, and Joseph Harrison, Overbrook, won their event, as did barrel racer Tana Poppino of Big Cabin.
Steer wrestler Brandon Volker, Alva, won his event, and Weatherford’s Corey Navarre wrapped up the bull riding title with an 84 point ride.

For Navarre, his eight second trip on the Beutler and Son Rodeo bull branded 0516 went well. “He was fun to ride, and it felt good to make the whistle and be in first place.”
Navarre, who is the only cowboy to ever qualify for the National Finals Rodeo, the PBR World Finals, and the College National Finals Rodeo all in the same year (he did it in 1998 and 1999), is a veteran in a sport that favors youth. A native of Louisiana, he became a PRCA member in 1998 and has qualified for four National Finals Rodeos and eight PBR World Finals. There are advantages to age, the 37 year old cowboy said, and one of those things is experience. “Going down the road, being in every situation possible, it’s probably an upper hand” over his younger fellow competitors.

This may be Navarre’s last year of competition. “This will likely be my farewell tour,” he said. He’s not sure yet, though. “I didn’t want to say I was going to retire and then show up at a rodeo somewhere next year.”

His family is part of the reason for leaving the rodeo road. It gets harder to leave home every time. “It’s easy and fun during the summer, when I load my family up in the motor home and take them with me, but this time of year, it’s pretty tough, especially when (his daughters) are going to their first day of school.”

When he does retire, though, it won’t be from rodeo entirely. He and his wife Melissa, an accomplished trick rider and rodeo secretary, have two young daughters, ages eight and four, who are also learning to trick ride.
For steer wrestler Brandon Volker, the Elk City rodeo might be his last rodeo for a few months.

The Alva man turfed his steer in 3.6 seconds to win the rodeo, and now it’s time to stay closer to home. He and his wife Lacey are expecting their first child, a girl, in late September. “I think I’m pretty much done,” he said. “I’ll sneak off to a few amateur rodeos in a couple of weeks, but I’m staying close to home.”

Ranked sixth in the Prairie Circuit, Volker is riding a horse he trained himself. Hollywood, a nine year old gelding, was a team roping heel horse who ran fast enough that Volker switched him to the steer wrestling. It took all of last year to season him, and now Hollywood has helped Volker to qualify for his first ever Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, to be held in Duncan, in October.

Elk City’s Lane Wilhelm scored 70 points in the bull riding to win fifth place.

Other champions at the 76th annual Rodeo of Champions include bareback rider Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas (86 points), saddle bronc rider Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. (87), and tie-down roper Sterling ...

SWODA offering vision help

Healthy eyes are something most people take for granted. But there are millions of elderly people in this country who have severe vision impairments. These impairments could be treated and corrected, but many of the elderly can’t afford the treatment they need.

South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Aging Services, in cooperation with area optometrists, will be providing reduced cost eye exams and eyeglasses to elderly individuals in your area.

In order to qualify, participants must be 60 years of age or older, and/or an ADvantage consumer, live in Beckham, Custer, Washita, Roger Mills, Kiowa, Greer, Harmon, or Jackson counties, meet certain income and resource guidelines. Elderly and/or disabled ADvantage applicants must not be case managed by any agency other than SWODA Aging Services Case Management. Applications can be made, from September 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015, by contacting Tangela Henry at 1-800-627-4882 extension 126. SWODA ADvantage consumers will need to contact their SWODA Aging Services Case Manager.

Verification of income and resources will be required, such as tax records, bank statements or Social Security check stubs. All information will be held confidential. SWODA Aging Services would like to thank all optometrists who have agreed to participate in working together to find solutions to ...


Veteran bullfight retires

A longtime pro rodeo bullfighter fought bulls for the last time of his career at the Elk City rodeo this weekend.

Bullfighter Lance Brittan will leave the arena after a nineteen-year career as a bullfighter.
The Severance, Colo. man got his start as a bull rider at age nineteen, and quickly progressed to bullfighting.

From there, his career blossomed; he began freestyle bullfighting, qualifying for the Wrangler Bullfight Tour in 1998-2000 and winning the Championship in 1999.

Bullfighting appealed to him immediately, and provided a different rush than riding bulls did, Brittan said. “It’s a totally different adrenaline rush. Riding bulls, you get that rush for two or three minutes leading up to and after the ride. For bullfighting, you have that adrenaline rush throughout the whole event, and you get paid for it.”

The Elk City committee presented him with a framed artwork and a custom-made coat during the Saturday night performance. “I can’t think of a better place than Elk City, that I’d rather retire at. These guys are the salt of the earth. They took me in and made me feel at home. I can’t think of a better place to call it quits than here.”

His wife Cami and daughters Madison and Morgan were able to join him in Elk City. “I told my wife a month ago,” he said, “we are taking the girls out of school and coming to this rodeo. The people are fantastic.”

Brittan won’t miss the pain, injuries and travel, he said, but he will miss the people. “It’s the friendships I’ve created, not only with committees but people in the communities. They adopt us and make us part of their families one time a year. And I have a lot of cowboy friends. It’s pretty special.”

Brittan will continue to run his construction company after his retirement from bullfighting, and promises to meet up with his rodeo friends in Greeley, Colo. each year.

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