ENMU student dies at rodeo

Mike Linn Rolland Ellsworth Jr. — “Rojo,” to his friends — had a contagious, fun-loving spirit. “The memories we have of Rojo are sitting around on our balcony and telling stories and the guy didn’t stop laughing for an hour straight,” said Brett Trembly, president of Kappa Sigma, a fraternity to which Ellsworth had pledged. [...]

Best to hang up his hat after 30 years

By Kevin Wilson In a sense, Wendell Best traded one set of children for another. Best, 70, recently retired from his post as the national director for the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association. He leaves behind 30 years of service to what he considers his extended family throughout high school rodeo. “When I decided [...]

Volunteers help rodeo go smoothly

By Jack King CLOVIS — One night this week Karen McDaniel stayed at the rodeo arena wll past midnight getting a veterinarian for a contestant whose horse was coming down with colic. One night last year she and her husband, Cory, stayed until 3:30 a.m., digging up and repairing a broken water line. But, McDaniel [...]

High Plains Rodeo sees first double mugging

By Eric Butler The double mugging event is new to the High Plains Junior Rodeo Association Finals and it’s proving to be a popular competition. The term has nothing to do with smiling for the camera or accosting someone for monetary gain, but instead means helping a roper tie down a calf. The event — [...]

Rodeoing runs in Cooper’s family

By Jack King Rodeoing runs in Tuf Cooper’s family. His dad, Roy Cooper, has won eight world championships, including one all-around title. His brother-in-law, Trevor Brazil, won the world all-around title last year and is first in Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association this year in steer roping. His uncle, Stran Smith, has made it to the [...]

High Plains Junior Rodeo set for this week

By Kevin Wilson Three decades of the High Plains Junior Rodeo Association comes full circle this week, as the HPJRA Finals will fill a week’s worth of activities. The rodeo, scheduled for Tuesday through Saturday at Clovis’ Curry County Mounted Patrol Arena, has been a part of New Mexico and Texas rodeo since the association [...]

Armitage trying to go out with style

By Kevin Wilson Editor’s note: This is the fourth story in a four-part series on Portales Area Rodeo team representatives in July’s National High School Finals Rodeo in Farmington. Rodeoers previously featured were Lynde Orcutt (Tuesday), Brittany Bennett (Wednesday) and Jaci Sant (Thursday). Kenna Armitage already has her immediate rodeo future sewn up. By the [...]

Sant prepares for third time at nationals

By Kevin Wilson Editor’s note: This is the third in a four-part series on Portales Area Rodeo team representatives in July’s National High School Finals Rodeo in Farmington. Tuesday’s story featured Lynde Orcutt, while Wednesday featured Brittany Bennett. Responsibility’s nothing new to Jaci Sant, and neither is the National High School Finals Rodeo. Sant, a [...]

Bennett can focus solely on cutting this year

By Kevin Wilson Editors note: This is the second in a four-part series on the Portales Area Rodeo team representatives in July’s National High School Finals Rodeo in Farmington. The first story featured Lynde Orcutt. Brittany Bennett spent most of her time at last year’s National High School Finals Rodeo as a queen candidate. This [...]

Roping champ Orcutt readies for finals

Kevin Wilson Editors note: This is the first in a four-part series on the Portales Area Rodeo team representatives in July’s National High School Finals Rodeo in Farmington. Rodeo coach Bobby Grimes said one of Lynde Orcutt’s best qualities is her selflessness on the basketball court and in the rodeo circuit. “She doesn’t get mad [...]