Texas Cowboy Reunion Directors (left to right) Don Welch, Fareed Hassen, Roger Clark, Kevin McCright, Jim Astin, GM Matt Mueller, and Dennis Braden in front of the TCR Guest Cabin with the TCR's Most Improved Rodeo award from UPRA.
By Audra Arendall
For the past 86 years, cowboys have gathered in Stamford, Texas for the Texas Cowboy Reunion. Will Rogers called it a "real celebration in a real cow town" and that still holds true today. Each year, the directors and chairmen work together to produce an extraordinary rodeo.
In 2015, the Texas Cowboy Reunion became part of the United Professional Rodeo Association. The UPRA is a combination of several long-standing successful regional associations with great rodeo history across the southern United States.
The UPRA is made up of over 1,800 Cowboys and Cowgirls from all over. They travel to UPRA sanctioned rodeos earning points to qualify for the UPRA Finals at the end of the rodeo season, with the chance to earn added money along the way. Each year members of the UPRA cast their vote for several awards including Rodeo of the Year, Committee of the Year, Most Improved Rodeo of the Year, and New Rodeo of the Year.
The Texas Cowboy Reunion was voted Most Improved Rodeo in 2016. The UPRA does not give voters any direction, they just ask the contestant, "What rodeo has been the most improved rodeo of the season?" said UPRA Rodeo Announcer West Huggins. Stamford competed against over 200 other UPRA sanctioned rodeos across the southern United States. "In my history as a contestant, we chose this award for committees that improved on hospitality, arena conditions, added money, livestock, performance quality, crowd size and which committee just tried the hardest," said Huggins.
The 86th TCR saw lots of new changes, including a new General Manager at the reins. GM Matt Mueller changed things up a bit, by adding new events, such as Women's Breakaway. TCR Director Dennis Braden set up a hospitality tent that catered to contestants each night of the rodeo, making them feel welcome. On the third night of the 86th TCR, the crowd was the largest Friday night crowd in the last 5 years, and on the final night, the rodeo office reported an unofficial Saturday night attendance total of a near capacity crowd of 5,000!
"It also seems to me that when you have an award chosen by the contestants and sell-out crowds; you're moving in the right direction," added West, who is also the TCR Rodeo announcer.
Not only was the Texas Cowboy Reunion voted Most Improved Rodeo, they are now the #2 Highest Paying UPRA Rodeo in 2016. This is based on the total payout ($67,440) from the rodeo (added sponsor money in the pot, plus contestant entry fees). "This great achievement is all in thanks to our remarkable sponsors, rodeo fans, and contestants," said TCR General Manager Matt Mueller.
In September, long time TCR Directors Jim West and Ray Kinney retired and Matt Mueller and Kevin McCright became new Directors. The TCR now has Honorary TCR Board members in which West and Kinney will be the first members.
As the newly refined board prepares for the 87th Texas Cowboy Reunion, many improvements are already in the works. They plan to fix and update the bucking chutes in the arena and they would like to add a video screen.
In 2016, the TCR also added match horse races, it was hit and an event we will definitely see back on the schedule of events. James Decker, chairman for the match horse races and the chuck wagons, said the Texas Cowboy Reunion has always been very important to him because of what it represents. "It's not just a rodeo; it's a cowboy reunion--a historical celebration of the cowboy legacy that is integral to the history and development of West Texas. Stamford, Texas is tremendously blessed with its history and its connection to the TCR and the Swenson Ranches, said Decker. "86 years of TCR history are in the books, and now I can't wait to see what the next 86 years will hold."
So get those phones and calendars out and clear your schedule because the dates have been set for the 87th Texas Cowboy Reunion - June 28, 29, 30 and July 1, 2017!
JUNE 28, 29, 30 and July 1, 2017
2016 #2 Highest Paying Rodeo is the TEXAS COWBOY REUNION in Stamford, Texas!
86th Texas Cowboy Reunion Presented By Capital Farm Credit
Title Sponsor- Capital Farm Credit
Official Truck Sponsor- Star Dodge & Dodge Ram
Official Beverage Sponsor - Bill Reed Distributing Co.
Top Hand Sponsors- Chad Dodson Roofing and Wal-Mart
Feed for the Animals- Nutrena
Calf Scramble- Event Sponsors- Chic Wilfong
Cowboy Symposium-Event Sponsors- Stamford Tire & Appliance; Wallace Emerson; Gem Drilling
Saddle Sponsors- Bailey Toliver Chevrolet and Wal-Mart
1st Carl Hopkins & Brand Cude (Saddle)
2nd- TJ Bohlender & Dee Bland
Ranch Horse Competition
Saddle Sponsors- First Bank Texas, Buckle Sponsors- Wilson Trailer Mfg., Inc, Spur Sponsors- Wingrove Oilfield Services Event Sponsor- Circle Bar Ranch; Jerry’s Waterline Service; and Rike Real Estate
1st-Mark Voss, Swenson (Saddle)
2nd-6666 Ranch (Buckle)
3rd- Circle Bar Ranch, Colton Daniels (Spurs)
Wild Cow Milking
Buckle Sponsors- Star Dodge & Dodge Ram; Haskell Feeds; Edward Jones (Gary & Connie Decker), Added Prize Money- Larned’s Sale Center; J & K Cattle Co; Haskell Vet Clinic
3rd Bonner Voss
Wild Mare Race-
Event Sponsors- SFI Dozer; Compass Bank; Mathis & Sons;
Anders Paint & Body (Johnny & Cindy Anders)
Saddle Sponsor-Oman Cattle Company, Buckle Sponsor- Ag Crop Insurance, Event Sponsor- Jim & Nancy West; Ray & Ann Kinney; Clark & Cobb; Duggan’s Auto Supply;
3rd-Karren Ray (Saddle)
Pioneer Calf Roping (Breakaway)
Saddle Sponsors- Big Country Electric; Buckle Sponsor- Capital Farm Credit; Spur Sponsor- Don Welch Family
1st-Dave Brock (saddle)
2nd-Johnny Johnson (buckle)
3rd-Johnny Scott (spurs)
Pioneer Calf Roping (Tie-Down)
Saddle sponsor-Pate’s Hardware & Lumber; Buckle Sponsor- Doug & Lisa Terrell; Spur Sponsor- Joe Allen’s Catering
1st-Kirk Stowers (saddle)
2nd-Raymond Hollabough (buckle)
3rd-Kyle Jumper (spurs)
Buckle Sponsor- Midway Plumbing (David Ratliff) and Event Sponsor- Cox Livestock (Bill & Susan Cox)
1st-Cassidy Boggs (buckle)
Buckle Sponsors- Stamford Pump & Supply (Robert & Barbara Wingrove)
Added Money- Cliff House; and Star Dodge and Dodge Ram
1st-Omar Martinez (Buckle)
2nd- Dylan Ray
3rd- Tyler Taylor
Buckle Sponsors- Stamford Insurance Agency; Added Money- Nelson Farm and Ranch;
and The Drug Store
Buckle Sponsor- SGDA Law Firm (James Decker)
2nd- Treyson Antonick
3rd- Preston Burr
Buckle Sponsors- Raymond & Liz Hollabaugh added money-Capital Farm Credit
Tie Down Calf Roping
Saddle Sponsors- Spitzer Animal Health
Open Barrel Race
Saddle Sponsors- Hargrove Crop Insurance;
Buckle Sponsors- Tankersley Funeral Home (Sam & Tena Tankersley)
Buckle Sponsor- Quality Implement co., L&M Farms (Matt & LeeAnn Mueller)
1st-Andrew Livingston & Colton Lee (Buckles)
2nd-Cody Russell & Coy Brittain
3rd-Cory Kidd & Martin Lucero
Memorial Steer Riding
Buckle Sponsors- American Electric Power; and D-D Western Ware
1. Hudson Smith, Hamlin
2. Ethan Arendall and Mason Mueller, Stamford
1. Brooks Griggs Bell (previous buckle winner)
2. Stetson Koenig (buckle winner), Stamford
2. Case Beeson
Parade- E.C. Tool Company & Supply
Theme: You Should've Seen It In Color
Category Theme: The entry that most embraces the Parade theme.
1st - Country Elegance float - won $100 & rodeo tickets.
2nd - Lueders American Legion float - won $75.
3rd - Sagerton Hee Haw float - won $50.
Transportation: The best automobile, vehicle, motorcycle, golf cart, o
r other mode of transportation entered in the Parade.
1st - 1957 Ford Fairlane owned by Carl Brock of Anson- won $100 & rodeo tickets.
2nd - 1965 Chevy Malibu owned by Robert Wingrove of Stamford - won $75.
3rd - Farm Bureau of Haskell's kids driving power wheels - won $50.
Best in Parade: The best float / entry of the Parade (judges decision).
1st - Sagerton Pirate float - won $150 & rodeo tickets.
Riding Club: The best riding club also sets the pivots Wed. night at the rodeo.
1st - Lone Star Ladies - won $100.
Special Attractions- Wes-T-Go & Chillerz; Chad Dodson Roofing; and Walcott Enterprises
Stamford EMS- KVRP
Sanitation- Knox Waste Service
Contestant Hospitality Tent- Joe Allen’s Bar-B-Que & Catering; Haskell Feeds; Spitzer Animal Health;Pitchfork;JR & G Farm; Jerry Waterline; 6666; R.A. Brown Ranch; TSCRA (Scott W.); Wellington State Bank; Stamford Floral; Faulks Air Conditioning; Purina; Stamford Tire; Wilson Motors; Kelly Williamson; Duggan’s Auto; SMS; Hargrove Insurance; Chic Wilfong
BBQ Cook-Off Results
Event Sponsor- Edward Jones (Gary & Connie Decker); Ben E. Keith Grocery Division; Lawrence Hall; Cooper Insurance; Kinney-Underwood Funeral Home; Rike Real Estate
All Around TCR Cookers (Tony, Chico and Rochie)
Runner Up Birds Cooking Team
1st Birds Cooking Team (Jeremy Jones)
2nd Josh Jackson
3rd Cass Walters
4th TCR (Tony, Chico, & Rochie)
5th Chris Garcia & Tommy Jiminez
1st HMK Cookers
2nd Wesley Woodard
3rd Birds Cooking Team (Jeremy Jones)
4th Cass Walters
1st Tommy Jiminez
2nd Chris Garcia
4th Ricky Cruz
5th Wesley Woodard
Chuckwagon Cook-off Results
Event Sponsors- Edward Jones (Gary & Connie Decker); Texas Hunt Lodge of Kerrville (Aaron & Joanie Bulkley); Cash Saver Grocery of Stamford; Farmers Cooperative Society of Stamford; SGDA Law Firm (James Decker); Sovereignty Abstract & Title Company Inc. (James Decker)
1-Break-Away Wagon, Stamford
2-Goode Ranch, Hamilton
3-West Texas Rehab Center, Abilene
4-RTS Chuckwagon, Lampasas
Matched Horse Race Results
Buckle Sponsors- Big Country Crop Insurance; Track Sponsors-5D Construction (Gary & Connie Decker); Event Sponsors- Texas Hunt Lodge of Kerrville (Aaron & Joanie Bulkley); Edward Jones (Joe McMeans and Cole Wilson); Oreana Communications (Jessica Decker); SGDA Law Firm (James Decker); Sovereignty Abstract & Title (James Decker); Reed Beverage of Abilene; Swenson Land & Cattle
1-Holly Williams (Buckle Winner)
Consolation Bracket Winner: Sydney Arthur