BOOT HILL CASINO CHAMPIONSHIP RODEO SERIES
By John Teagarden
The Linn County Fair PRCA Rodeo, August 9-10, will again be one of the stops for the Kansas Championship Rodeo Series. “The series is designed to attract both rodeo contestants and fans to the 14 Kansas PRCA Rodeos that make up the series”, stated Dr. R. C. Trotter, Dodge City, chairman of the Kansas Association of Rodeo Committees (KARC).
The Kansas Series, now in its 7th year, is sponsored by the Boot Hill Casino and Resort and has been renamed the Boot Hill Casino Championship Rodeo Series. At each rodeo stop, the top 6 contestants in each event receive points. Contestants must participate in at least 8 of the series rodeos to be eligible for year-end awards.
“At the end of the 2013 rodeo year, $13, 200.00 plus trophy belt buckles will be divided among the top two contestants in each of the seven rodeo events, thanks to the Boot Hill Casino sponsorship”, according to series chairman Trotter.
“Our rodeo has participated in the Kansas series since the beginning in 2007”, said Linn County Rodeo Chairman Charley Johnson. Prescott. “Last year a majority of the eventual series winners competed at Mound City, so it is definitely attracting rodeo contestants from several states to Kansas and our rodeo”. A number of area contestants have been winners in the series in the past including Jeff Miller, Blue Mound, Trenton and Tyler Johnson, Mound City, Cole Wilson, Kincaid and barrel racer Jeanne Anderson, White City.
2013 Boot Hill Casino Championship Rodeos and dates:
Bennington - May 30 - June 2013 Garden City - June 6 - 8, 2013
Strong City - June 6 - 8, 2013 Pretty Prairie - July 17 - 20, 2013
Manhattan - July 25 - 27, 2013 Abilene - July 31 - August 3, 2013
Halstead – August 9, 2013 Dodge City-July 31 - August 4, 2013
Mound City – August 9 - 10, 2013 Phillipsburg - August 1 - 3, 2013
Eureka - August 16 - 18, 2013 Coffeyville-August 14 - 17, 2013
Topeka -August 23 & 24, 201 Longford - September 6 & 7, 2013
NEW ARENA BLEACHERS GREET FAIR SPECTATORS
By John Teagarden
Linn County Fair and Rodeo spectators will be greeted by a complete new arena renovation at the 2013 fair. The 1950’s built wooden bleachers on pipe frames have been replaced by state of the art aluminum seating. Also a new energy efficient stadium lighting system has replaced the old lights that date back to the 1970’s.
“Obviously this is a HUGH improvement for our spectators, both comfort and safety wise”, stated fair board president Kelly Carbon, Mound City. The bleachers are a closed deck system that meets all industry codes as far as hand rails, handicap seating and safety fencing above the 10 row seats. Knee room between each row is increased 7 inches compared to the old bleachers.
The stadium type lighting system features 4 banks of lights on steel poles. The new lights will provide three times the brightness and for about 1/2 the energy use of the old system according to representatives of Musco Lighting , Des Moines, IA.
Fair officials have been concerned for several years about the aging of the old bleachers and lighting system and potential replacement costs according the Carbon. Last winter, with the help of county officials and legal counsel, a state statue was discovered that allows county commissioners to assess a tax levy up to 0.5 mil per year for long term capital improvements of county fairgrounds.
The estimated $325,000 of improvements are financed on a lease/purchase agreement. According to county officials, the 0.5 mil tax will cost an average household about $5 to $7 per year and less than 2 cents per acre on farm ground. Estimated pay off time is four years.
HISTORY OF 1950’S BLEACHERS RECALLED
By John Teagarden
When the previous arena bleachers were built on the Linn County Fairgrounds in the early 1950’s, they were undoubtedly “ahead of their time” in size and construction. Old historical pictures of the original fairground grandstand show a wooden structure possibly dating to the 1900-1910 years. The 1950’s bleachers were on a welded pipe frame and the largest in the area.
No written record of the 1950’s bleachers has been found by the present fair board. And the men that constructed the bleachers are no longer with us. However, a few “old timers” (me included) that were kids in that period can piece together bits of oral history regarding their construction.
O.R. “Cowboy” Richards is remembered as the lead welder on the project. Cowboy Richards was a both a horseshoer and welder, and he was good at both crafts. He probably used a pipe line welder with a hand crank starter. The salesmen that bid on the new aluminum grandstand this spring all commented on the strong design and quality welds on the 60 year old pipe frames.
Weaver Richards, Cleveland, Mo, is Cowboy Richard’s son. “I was only 1 or 2 years old when those bleachers were built, but I can remember Dad talking about the Mound City Rodeo and his pride in having a hand in building the bleachers and helping get the rodeo started”.
Cowboy Richards was living near Blue Mound at the time and had help from several men from that area. Brothers Eyman and Dale Cobbs, Bush City, speculate that their dad, Wayne Cobbs, and uncle Clair Cobbs, were on the crew along with Curly Wright and Charley Hogan. “All of these men were about the same age and interested in the rodeo”, recalls Dale Cobbs.
The 134 year old Linn County Fair, started in 1870, is passing another historical period in its evolution with the installation of new bleachers and lights. The local county fair remains one of the strongest fairs in Kansas because of decades and generations of dedication and support by the Linn County Fair community.
FREE ATTRACTIONS PLANNED FOR MIDWAY
By John Teagarden
Five free attractions are set for the 2013 Linn County Fair midway and arena. Two new events, the 1st Annual Car, Bike and Rock & Roll Show on Saturday, August 10 and a NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) approved Barrel Race, Thursday, August 8th will join the Gospel Music Show, Rutlader Cowboy Church and Linn County Idol Contest.
Cars, Bikes and Rock & Roll Music
“New and exciting with tremendous potential” is how Car Show chairman Kevin Amer, Mound City described the car and bike show. The show will run from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday, August 10. Tens classes of exhibits are planned, five for cars and five for bikes and motorcycles. The entrants will be judge the show with trophies for each class.
Live Rock & Roll music will be furnished by the band H30 (aka Johnny Rampage) from 11 am to 3 pm. “A number of local businesses and individuals have joined in sponsoring trophies”, stated Kevin Amer. “The show really received a boost when Frank Pedersen and his crew with Frankenstein Trikes, Olathe and Pleasanton, volunteered their support and expertise”. For complete show information go to www.linncountyfair.org.
The Kansas 01 district of the NBHA will sponsor an Open 4D Barrel Race Thursday evening, August 8th. Warms up races will begin at 6:00 pm followed by the race classes at 7:00. District 01 barrel racers from11 eastern Kansas counties are expected to compete for the $500.00 added races. Classes include Pee Wee, 3D Youth, and Open 4D. Complete information at www.nbhaks01.com or phone 217-306-4025.
Gospel Music Show
The Contemporary Gospel Music Show featuring Dusty Workman is Thursday, August 8 at 8:00 pm. This event will be preceded by the Ice Cream Social at 7:00 pm. Activities will be at the Blair Building on the midway.
Outpost Cowboy Church Band
The Rutlader Cowboy Church was formed at the Rutlader Outpost south of Louisburg, KS in September, 2008. The church, which meets on Tuesday evenings, has grown to nearly 150 members. Pastor Carl Garrett will conduct a Cowboy Church service at the Linn County Fair on Friday, August 9 beginning at 6:00 pm.
The ten member Outpost Cowboy Church Band will perform during the Cowboy Church Service. The band is lead by Tresa Mote, music director/minister. Tresa is also one of the pianist at Nall Ave Baptist Church in Prairie Village, KS and is rhythm guitar/keyboard player for a country band, Clover Road, out of Joplin, MO.
Make plans to attend the Linn County Fair August 3-10 and enjoy several of the free shows
Largest Payout and Lawn Mowers feature at Demo Derby
A lawn mower demolition class will be a new feature of the 2013 Linn County Fair Demolition Derby, August 3rd at 7:30 pm. “This class has been popular in the last few years, especially among younger contestants,”, said Regina McDermith of Grand Stand Attractions, Mechanicsburg, IL. McDermith’s GSA is the long time promoter hired by the fair board to produce the demolition derby.
“The demolition derby features our largest prize money pay out ever at over $6000.00”, states derby chairman John Morse, Centerville. Car classes include Modified Old & New Iron, Stock 80’s and newer cars and a compact car class. Both the Old & New Iron and the Stock Car classes will pay $1000.00 to win and $600 and $400 for 2nd and 3rd place. Prize money for the compacts will be $800-$400-$200 for the top 3 places.
Make plans to attend the annual Linn County Fair Demolition Derby, Saturday, August 3rd at Mound City beginning at 7:30 pm.
The “Plummers” are coming to the Mound City Rodeo August 9th & 10th
By John Teagarden
The bucking bulls at this year’s Linn County Fair PRCA Rodeo, Mound City, will come with ancestral lineage that can be traced for generations. The bulls furnished for the rodeo by New Frontier Rodeo Company of Gypsum, KS will all be closely related and have been selected for the bucking ability for more than sixty years.
To fully appreciate the effort and years behind this line of cattle, we need a brief history lesson. They are known as “Plummer Bred” or simply as “Plummers” in the bucking bull industry. They are named after rodeo producer Charlie Plummer (1920-1986), Sayer, OK. Charlie Plummer began producing rodeos in the 1950’s and was known for bulls that “bucked and had a lot of fight in them”.
According to Charlie’s former wife, Rose Plummer Lamb of Madill, OK, the Plummer’s breeding program took a big step forward in 1963 with the purchase of some bucking stock from rodeo producer Tom Harlan (1907-1994) of Kellerville, TX. Tom Harlan began producing roping and riding events in the Texas Panhandle area in the 1940’s. Harlan developed his line of bucking bull using Brahma, White Park and Longhorn cattle.
The White Park cattle are a small, hardy, ancient breed from England with white coat and dark pigmentation on the nose, ears, eyelids and hooves. Although many of Charlie Plummer’s original bulls and females were gray, black or reddish brown Brahma looking, the classic Plummer line recognized today by PBR and PRCA rodeo fans are white speckled or spotted bulls with black muzzels and eye pigmentation.
“We made several trips to Tom Harlan’s over the years to buy his genetics” said Rose recently. “The specks definitely came from Tom’s breeding”. Today Rose Plummer Lamb is a spry 81 year old lady that still goes to work every day as hostess at the LaGrande Restaurant in Madill. She served as Rodeo Secretary for Plummer Rodeos for more than 20 years. “I remember one July 4th that we had rodeo stock at Magnum, OK, Canadian, TX and three junior rodeos the same weekend”. Among her fond memories of her former life is being selected as Secretary of the Year seven times by the contestants of the SCA (Southwest Cowboys Association).
Both Tom Harlan and Charlie Plummer took great pride in their breeding programs, line breeding bulls that bucked to daughters of bulls that bucked. Following Plummer’s death, his estate dispersed his herd at the Sayer, OK Rodeo Arena in 1986. By then, several men in the rodeo industry were recognizing that the bucking ability was a heritable trait. That day, the Charlie Plummer and Tom Harlan genetics were passed on to breeders and rodeo producers including Bennie Butler, Elk City, OK, DeLayne Long, Lyndon, KS, Freddie Cordell, Kellyville, OK, Ronnie Roach, Cache, OK, Darrel Hargis, Henrietta, TX, Elmer Anderson. Guthrie, OK, Dillon Page, Ardmore, OK, Larry Kephart, Lawton, OK and Jimmy Crowther, Gypsum, KS. All of these men or their descendents are major players in the bucking bull industry today.
Now, fast forward to 2012 and Mound City’s rodeo producer, New Frontier Rodeo Company and Jimmy Crowther with a little more history thrown in. First, meet Richard Nevels, Hutto, TX. For the past seven years, Nevels has served as Area Coordinator for the National Deployment Office, responsible for the northeast, southeast and south central United States. Nevels, originally from Dodge City, KS, rode bulls at Plummer Rodeos in the 1970’s and 80’s along with Jimmy Crowther. Nevels also maintains a select set of Plummer cows. Like Crowther, Nevels was intrigued by the genetics and the “story” behind the Plummer bloodline. And few know the story better than Nevels, starting with Tom Harlan, continuing thorough Charlie Plummer to the present day bucking bull industry. He was at the Plummer Dispersal Sale in 1986. Nevels also visited Tom Harlan at his Kellerville, TX ranch several times and purchased a set of bulls from Harlan in 1983.
“Jimmy Crowther was a top bull rider. Jimmy also started accumulating bucking stock and producing rodeos while still competing in the 1970’s”, recalled Richard Nevels. “Back then, most cowboys headed to the rodeo dance after the last bull was bucked. But Jimmy was following Charlie around after the rodeo or sitting on a tailgate visiting with him, learning all he could about bucking bull bloodlines. Jimmy was very interested in acquiring one of Charlie’s top bulls to start his own breeding program. However, Charlie didn’t part with his top end genetics”. That all changed one night in 1978.
“I was up at Charlie’s rodeo at Hardtner, KS on a Sunday night”, recalls Jimmy Crowther. “And like I always did when we parted, I asked him when he was going to sell me a good bull or two. Charlie just laughed and waved me off. Back then, Hardtner was always on a Sunday and Monday night. Late Monday night after the rodeo, Charlie called me at home and said “I’m going to sell you bull #75 (later named Road Warrior) and two other bulls for $4500.00 if you can have the money here by 8:00 in the morning”. “I asked him what the other two were and Charlie said “It doesn’t matter, they buck, so make up your mind”. “I called a friend at Medicine Lodge, KS and he took his trailer and a check for me to Hardtner before Charlie changed his mind. I found out later that Charlie had a land payment due on Tuesday and must have figured I was the only sucker that he knew”.
“About two years later, I was order buying cattle at the Hutchinson, KS sale barn when six freshly dehorned Brahma looking heifers came through the sale ring. They had Charlie’s CP brand on them, but Charlie never dehorned anything, so that threw me off for a while. Finally I realized those were probably “Plummers” and got the last bid. They weighed 660 pounds and cost 48 cents. I traced them back through two cattle traders and found out these heifers had originated at the Sayer, OK sale barn. Sayer was Charlie’s home, so I was convinced they came from him”.
“It was Jimmy’s friendship with Charlie Plummer and his sincere interest in breeding that caused that sale of #75 to be made to a 23 year old cowboy back in 1978”, continues Nevels. “Several older men had asked Charlie to price his top bulls. Perhaps Charlie sensed that Jimmy Crowther would be a “keeper of the flame”. “With the three bulls in ’78 and the six heifers in ’80, Jimmy had a several year head start on other breeders who bought the genetics at the 1986 dispersal”.
Crowther bred the six heifers to #75 Road Warriors in 1981 and got his first Plummer calves in “82. He bought two young bulls at the Plummer Dispersal in 1986, #111 (Mr. Twister) and #40 (a spotted bull later names Top Gun). “I bred the Road Warrior daughters to #111 Mr. Twister and have been keeping the line pure since then, states Crowther. “One time I asked Charlie why he didn’t name his bulls and he said it doesn’t matter, they won’t come when you call them anyway”.
So how has the Jimmy Crowther breeding program performed over the past 30 years? Let’s ask one of the most knowledgeable figures in the industry, PRCA Rodeo Announcer Justin McKee, Lenapah, OK. McKee has also served as the PBR TV Commentator for the past 12 years and established his own breeding herd in the 1990’s. “Jimmy started with Plummer bloodlines. Those bulls and cows were mean and inbred and produced buckers. Jimmy has continued the Plummer/Harlan line for thirty four years, carefully choosing the sires he used and culling the females that didn’t produce buckers. This has fixed the bucking gene in his cowherd. Today, Jimmy Crowther has the purest Plummer breeding of anyone in the bucking bull industry. And the percentage of his bull calves that buck is through the roof compared to anyone else in the industry".
"For all practical purposes, through line breeding and inbreeding, Jimmy Crowther has developed a pure breed of cattle”. Jimmy Crowther doesn't need the limelight or ever brag. Instead, he lets his bull's ability speak for his efforts”, continued Justin McKee.
And speak they have. Bones, the 2008 PBR Bull of the Year, was sired by Bone Collector who was produced by Jimmy Crowther. Bone Collector was a grandson of #75 Road Warrior, the original bull purchased from Charlie Plummer
The Mound City Rodeo will not feature many of Frontier Rodeo’s most elite bucking stock. ‘The top 5% of the herd is reserved for the finals round at the largest rodeos and PBR events”, states Crowther. “But with several hundred head of buckers to pick from, the stock at Mound City will be plenty “juicy”. The set of bulls headed to Mound City have had 98 outs at PRCA rodeos in Kansas and Oklahoma so far this year with 7 completed rides. That equates to a 92% buck off”. Crowther said to especially watch for #530 Gray Squirrel, #454 Dark Shadow, #107 Cruel and Unusual and #431Wee Man.
Plan to be at the Linn County Fair Rodeo at Mound City Aug. 9 & 10 and check out the rodeo stock of New Frontier Rodeo Company.