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Patriot Night Flag Up for Auction at CNR

On Patriot Night, August 18th, Caldwell Night Rodeo will honor the Wrangler Patriot Tour and the America 300.org organization for their work as mentors to United States service members deployed around the world on active duty. During the rodeo, a very special Wrangler Patriot flag will be auctioned off to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to the CNR Military Relief Fund which supports the needs of wounded or fallen service members/veterans and their families in the Treasure Valley. This flag was signed by active duty personnel (some returned home, some still serving and some casualties of combat) all along the 2012 Memorial Day Wrangler Patriot Tour, led by Jeff Chadwick, cowboy and senior director with Wrangler Corporation and America300.org founder and team leader Rob Powers. They were joined by four-time PRCA Champion Bareback Rider Kaycee Field, Nashville singer/songwriter Lucas Hoge and a group of other Western notables.

Now in its 9th year, the Wrangler Patriot Tour was created when Rob Powers and Jeff Chadwick put their heads together to form a meaningful and fitting tribute to the service and sacrifice of our armed forces members during the observance of Memorial Day.

“The Department of Defense asked me to build a tour for Memorial Day to visit our troops on active duty,” explained America300.org’s founder and director Rob Powers. “It had to be fitting for the spirit of the Memorial Day tribute. And I had to come up with something that would appeal to everyone.”

Powers and Chadwick connected and the outcome has been a terrific success.

“Who better to salute the service and sacrifice of our armed forces members?” remarked Powers. “The Western lifestyle is a reflection of what we wanted to portray on this most hallowed of weeks. These people do it for absolutely the right reasons and they are going 23 hours a day.”

Caldwell Night Rodeo is honored to have received this very special flag from Jeff Chadwick. Through the proceeds of its sale, CNR will be able to better support those men and women in need who made the sacrifice to serve our country.

by Terry Lidral

CNR Rodeo News Correspondent


The Power of Pink Flags Stay with Extreme Electric

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For Rowdy and Babette Monroe of Extreme Electric, Inc., the Caldwell Night Rodeo “Power of Pink” flags hanging on their wall have a very special meaning.

It all began in 2013 when Rowdy bid on the “Power of Pink” flag auctioned off in the Caldwell Night Rodeo arena during” Power of Pink” Night. He lost the bid. But he came back the next year determined not to lose. And he has been keeping that tradition for the last three years.

“Breast cancer has touched our lives in many way,” Babette told us. “Rowdy’s mother had breast cancer, as well as my step-mother, sister-in-law and my mother who is a two-time survivor.”

There have also been many of the Monroes’ friends and their families who have had to deal with this horrible disease.

It was early detection that saved the life of Babette’s mother and for that she is extremely thankful. It makes the flags they have purchased all that more meaningful.

“Knowing that the funds we have donated to The Power of Pink through the Caldwell Night Rodeo go to help provide mammograms to local people whom otherwise wouldn’t have access to this first line of defense against breast cancer means so much to us,” said Babette.

Donating to the “Power of Pink” means so much to Rowdy and Babette that last year, when the auction didn’t reach the maximum bid Randy had set for himself, he requested that his bid be changed to raise the purchase price to the higher amount. His request was granted, making sure the “Power of Pink” fund was able to give even more women the opportunity have life saving mammograms.

Rowdy will be there once again on the CNR “Power of Pink” Night bidding on the “Power of Pink” flag. The Monroes hope to have the winning bid. But if the bidding goes above their maximum, they can live with that.

Babette put it this way. “If we don’t win, it will still mean giving support to breast cancer research and providing mammograms for Treasure Valley residents.”

by Terry Lidral

CNR Rodeo News Correspondent


Power of Pink Walk to be a 10 Year Celebration


The Power of Pink Walk is celebrating 10 years of promoting breast cancer awareness and diagnosis. On Saturday, August 12th, breast cancer survivors and their supporters will gather at the Caldwell Night Rodeo in Caldwell to promote breast cancer awareness and diagnosis so that we can “Give Cancer the Boot!”

“It’s all about early detection,” Power of Pink Walk organizer Kathy Ward said. “And getting the mammograms and diagnoses for those who would otherwise not be able to get those services.”

Started to honor the wife of former CNR Board member Bill Allen, the Power of Pink Walk has become an annual event that raises money to provide mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women in Canyon County.

“The original goal was to eventually raise enough money to provide diagnostic services like ultrasounds,” Ward told us. “In 10 years, we have finally reached that goal. It’s a celebration of having gotten what we wished for.”

What started out with about a dozen people has turned into an event that draws more than 200 supporters for the 4.6 mile walk. There are a number of community teams and local businesses who participate, along with strong support from the local medical community.

“Four years ago we added a 10k run at the request of a friend of mine,” said Ward. “We are hoping that local groups will form running teams and come out and join us this year.”

The day includes an auction and a raffle. And for the 10 Year Celebration, there will be a very special surprise auction at the end.

So, come walk and run with the Power of Pink. Help us “Give Cancer the Boot!”

by Terry Lidral

CNR Rodeo News Correspondent


CNR Championship Rodeo Champions Patriotism

CNR Championship Rodeo Champions Patriotism

Spectacular is the word to describe the 83rd Caldwell Night Rodeo’s Patriot Night tribute to the men and women who have served this great country. Spectacular Warhawk plane flyover – with a spectacular live broadcast from the inside of the plane. Spectacular presentation of the colors by the one and only Marine Mounted Color Guard. Spectacular U.S. flag autographed by troops -some returned home, some casualties of war – while on active duty in Afghanistan to be presented and auctioned off. And spectacular rodeo as some of the best cowboys and cowgirls give it their all in their quest to qualify for championship money at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Patriots and CNR fans will want to join the 83rd CNR in welcoming the highly distinguished Marine Mounted Color Guard to the Treasure Valley for the first time in its 50 year history. Mounted on magnificent palomino mustangs, the elite four member troupe’s ceremonial presentation of the colors is a true show of traditional patriotism.

In a dedicated effort of cooperation, CNR and the Warhawk Air Museum have partnered to salute their fans with an exclusive vintage Warhawk flyover. Flown by expert Warhawk pilots, the planes are set to skim the CNR arena for a glorious tribute of unprecedented stature. To make the flyover even more exciting, there will a live broadcast of the action from the back seat of one of the vintage Warhawk planes.

During the Patriot Night rodeo performance, fans will have the opportunity to bid on a rare and unique patriotic item. This United States flag went on the Wrangler National Patriot Memorial Tour to Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012, collecting signatures of service members on active duty, some who returned home, some who died protecting our freedom. This very special flag will be displayed and auctioned off to the highest bidder during the Friday night rodeo.

Patriot Night at the CNR is always special, but this year’s line-up promises to be nothing short of spectacular. It is sure to be sold out early so get your tickets now. Championship rodeo guaranteed.

by Terry Lidral

CNR Rodeo News Correspondent


World Champion Bullfighter Dusty Tuckness Returns


Dusty Tuckness is one of the premiere bullfighters in the world of rodeo. Everybody says so - the bullfighters, the bull riders, the stock contractors and about anyone who has ever watched him dance his way through a bull fight. His stunning record breaking score of 94.5 at the Bullfighters Only Flexfit Invitational in May at Lewiston, Idaho proved what everyone already knew. There’s no one better at fighting bulls in the world of rodeo than Dusty Tuckness.

CNR fans are in for a real treat when Dusty Tuckness, 7-time NFR bullfighter and 6-time PRCA Bullfighter of the Year, will join with CNR fan favorite bullfighter Cody Webster to work the bull riding events for the 83rd Caldwell Night Rodeo.

Tuckness, who was born in Idaho and made a special appearance at last year’s CNR Bullfighters Only performance, is looking forward to returning as a member of the CNR rodeo crew.

“CNR is a top notch rodeo,” Tuckness said. “I was here for the Bullfighters Only show last year. I’m looking forward to coming back to Idaho. I have a lot of family in the Boise-Caldwell area and they will be able to watch me – and great rodeo – close to home.”

Tuckness’ stop at CNR will be squeezed into a schedule that is nothing short of crazy. Managing the travel of being on the Bullfighters Only Tour and being one of the most in demand bullfighters on the PRCA circuit makes for a hectic schedule. But Tuckness wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I grew up wanting to be a bullfighter. I had a passion and desire for it and I made it into a career.”

Tuckness, who has gone on to win his second straight BFO event, the Cavender’s Cup in Decatur, Texas with an impressive 90 point score, is currently atop the BFO 2017 standings.

by Terry Lidral

CNR Rodeo Correspondent


82nd Caldwell Night Rodeo Wrap-Up

82nd Caldwell Night Rodeo Wrap-Up

by Terry Lidral


Every year, it seems that the Caldwell Night Rodeo, already rated as one of THE very best outdoor Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) events in the world, can’t get any better. Yet the 82nd season, as far as this rodeo fan is concerned, raised the bar on rodeo entertainment to a whole new level.

Every night, the full to overflowing crowds were treated to exciting competition by the Who’s Who of the PRCA and the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association, and to the highly entertaining antics and jokes of the very talented NFR clown and barrel man Johnny Harrison, who thrilled the crowd with his comedic trick riding and his courageous stint as “man in the can” for the freestyle bullfighting event.

With the legendary rodeo announcer team of Randy Corley and Hadley Barrett, the sound and music of PRCA Soundman of the Year Benje Bendele and the best stock in the rodeo business provided by Powder River Rodeo and D&H Cattle Company, the CNR once again gave their fans what they always have, the greatest in rodeo entertainment anywhere.

On Tuesday night, fans saw a one-time only performance by the Bullfighters Only Tour that matches the best freestyle bullfighters in the world against fighting bulls bred specifically for their speed and athleticism. Armed with only their agility, athletic skills and bull savvy, the bullfighters displayed their talents, and the bulls displayed why they have a reputation for being mean. CNR bullfighter Cody Webster won the event, showing the crowd what a truly talented bullfighter he is.

There were heartfelt moments like when Trevor Knowles won the CNR Steer Wrestling Championship for the 2nd year in a row, wearing his father’s 1979 CNR All Around buckle in honor of the former CNR champion who is battling a serious illness. And like the introduction of those from the CNR family who are invested in the Power of Pink Night for personal reasons, including CNR Sales and Marketing Manager, Pamela Hayn, who is a breast cancer survivor. And there’s Tyson Durfey, 2016 CNR Tie Down Roping Champ, competing in the pink shirt he wears to promote breast cancer awareness whenever he gets the chance. There was the introduction of Lee Akin, who set the still standing CNR arena bull riding record at 94 in 2002, who has moved to Middleton, Idaho and is continuing his remarkable recovery from a devastating brain injury sustained in a bull riding accident in 2007. And of course there were the introductions in the arena of past and present fan favorites of the CNR, and in the crowd, folks were renewing old acquaintances and making new ones just like it happens every year.

Fans saw heartbreak in every event. Knocked barrels, broken barriers, missed hind feet, helicopter spins-it was all there. And there were those moments of joy when the barrel rocked back up and didn’t fall down, the hand popped out of the rope AT the 8 second buzzer, the calf stayed tied despite the quick wrap… As it is in every rodeo for the cowboys and cowgirls – “You win some, you lose some.”

Being so close to the end of the PRCA season, there were many competitors who were fighting their way up the standings to the National Finals Rodeo, and some were fighting to stay in. That made for some great effort and some nail biting moments all week long, and especially on Championship Saturday Night.

2016 CNR Steer Wrestling Champion Trevor Knowles, who went midway through the championship round, had to wait it out until the bitter end to see if he was going to win the extremely close contest, as did Tyson Durfey who beat the stiff competition to win the 2016 CNR Championship in tie down roping.

Saddle bronc rider Joe Lufkin’s big score of 87.5 on Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic Fringe from Tuesday night didn’t hold for the title as Lufkin was bucked off After Party in the championship round, giving the 2016 Saddle Bronc Riding Championship to Zeke Thurston who did make the 8 second buzzer on Show Me Again.

King Hill, Idaho’s Darby Fox held the lead in the women’s barrel racing to the bitter end until Sherry Cervi beat her out by a fraction of a second to take the 2016 CNR Barrel Racing Championship.

Richmond Champion won the 2016 CNR Bareback Riding Championship with his 8 second ride on Pinball Girl, adding to his score from earlier in the week for a combined high total.

It was a tough week for team ropers with Championship Saturday Night being no different. Header Colby Lovell and heeler Travis Graves were able to put it together for a penalty-free score to win the 2016 CNR Team Roping Header and Heeler awards.

Bull riding is a week-long event, with cowboys competing for a top score over the full 5 nights. Qualified bull rides were hard to come by. The first ride of the week came on Wednesday night when Lonnie West rode Landshark for a score of 78.5. There were 2 more rides over the course of the competition. Jeff Askey rode Savage Moves for 85.5 to win the bull riding event and New Plymouth, Idaho’s Roscoe Jarboe, who is in the top 10 in the current PRCA standings, made an 8 second ride for a score of 81.5 to finish second.

The 82nd year of the Caldwell Night Rodeo may well go down on record as one of the best ever. (The Civies even gave the Rowdies a run for their money – and their Coors.) But, then again, that’s what was said about last year. With packed crowds for all 5 nights, there’s a buzz about expanding the seating capability to handle even more great rodeo fans. How about it all you fans out there, are you ready for the 83rd CNR?

Note: These are purely the reflections of this rodeo fan. If you attended the CNR, yours will most definitely be different. If you didn’t attend this year’s CNR, after reading this, you’ll probably wish you did.

CNR Junior Rodeo Bullfighter – MS. T.J. Hopson

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CNR Junior Rodeo Bullfighter – MS. T.J. Hopson

T. J. Hopson wants to do things other people don’t do. Being a female bullfighter fits that description. When you see her out there in the CNR arena, being female doesn’t make a difference in the way she does her job.

“I like to be more outgoing than anyone,” Hopson told us. “I haven’t seen any other female do bullfighting.”

For Hopson, being in rodeo comes naturally.

“I own horses. I grew up with them,” Hopson said. “I’ve been around rodeo my whole life.”

This is Hopson’s first year as a bullfighter. She is glad that Idaho Cowboy Association’s Novice Bullriding Division allows females to be bullfighters.

“I’m learning from the people I bullfight with. I go out to Kevin and Sheila Hensen’s place and I fight bulls there. I’m learning through experience,” Hopson continued. “I like bullfighting for the adrenaline rush.”

Hopson already has experience with bucking bulls. She’s in her 5th year as a bull rider in the ICA Novice Division. She’s currently in 5th place in the division standings. And she’s not the only girl in bull riding.

“There’s a girl named Haylynne Miller who is 14. She rides steers,” Hopson told us.

For Hopson, it’s all about having fun when she goes out into the arena to fight bulls.

“Mainly I just go out there and have fun. I don’t try to overpower the bull. It’s like dancing,” she explained. “Whichever way you go, the bull goes.”

Seeing the superstar bullfighters of the Bullfighters Only Tour perform on Tuesday night was a thrill for Hopson.

“I thought it was awesome,” she said with an admission that she is a Cody Webster fan. “I like how he can sidestep the animal and how athletic he is.”

Hopson, who is 18 and is a senior at Homedale High School, plans on attending Treasure Valley Community College to work towards a career working with horses.

“I like hands on classes and I like travel,” Hopson said. “I’d like to take a course in horse shoeing and then work in rodeo.”

When asked about continuing in bullfighting, Hopson shrugged and smiled.

“I’m working on it!”

by Terry Lidral


Justin Sports Medicine

Justin Sports Medicine – It’s All About Keeping the Rodeo Athletes Competing

The red trailer sitting unassumingly next to the CNR back pens is perhaps one of the biggest reasons the rodeo athletes are able to perform to the best of their ability night after night and rodeo after rodeo.

Rodeo is a tough game. Pulled muscles, torn ligaments, sprains, breaks, dislocated shoulders, injured knees… The list goes on and on. Most of the time, these cowboys and cowgirls are on the road as soon as the event is over, needing to be ready to compete when they get to the next rodeo on the circuit. That’s why it is so important that there is onsite medical care available to any rodeo athlete who needs it.

PRCA bareback rider Luke Creasy, who was lying on a table wearing ice packs on both knees, is very appreciative of the medical care available on-site. When asked about the importance of having the Justin Sports Medicine trailer at rodeos, he grinned and nodded.

“It’s a necessity for me,” said Creasy. “Sports Medicine is awesome. They guide us in taping and give us all the tape we need. When I messed up my ACL, they diagnosed the knee and gave me a brace. That made it possible for me to still compete.”

Creasy, who has a nondisplaced fracture of the pelvis, decided not to ride in Tuesday’s event. Instead, he went through preventative care in the Justin Sports Medicine trailer.

“Rodeo is day after day. Sports Medicine is the thing that keeps us going. They help us to function. They are here. We can’t get hold of professionals across the country when we’re at rodeos.”

The sports care team is led by Rick Foster, Director of Justin Sports Medicine, who spends over 200 days of the year on the road traveling the rodeo circuit with the cowboys and cowgirls.

St. Luke’s Sports Medicine has joined up with the Justin Sports Medicine team to make sure the rodeo athletes are well cared for at the CNR.

“Those of us from St. Luke’s work on a volunteer basis,” said St. Luke’s rural outreach/rodeo coordinator Kevin Taylor. “I got the rodeo program going. We are in our 6th year. We have 3 athletic trainers and 4 doctors on this team.”

“The doctors are Dr. Robert Walker, orthopedics; Dr. Chris Lawler, sports medicine; Dr. Chad Johnson, orthopedics; and Dr. Ben Tippers, who is a pediatric pulmonologist who likes rodeo,” Taylor told us.

Paetyn Condie, who is a volunteer athletic trainer/radiology technician, is involved in teaching the rodeo athletes about preventative exercises and stretching.

“We do a lot of preventative care for the athletes. We talk to them about injuries and stretches to prevent them. We also do pre-performance treatments.”

Kip Dribnak is the third athletic trainer on the volunteer team from St. Luke’s.

Before Tuesday night’s performance, the trailer was crowded with rodeo athletes going through their treatments, stretches, taping and consultation. Shane Proctor was stretching out his back on a ball. Marcos Costa had ice bags on both knees. Rick Foster was consulting with a steer wrestler who had chosen not to have his dislocated shoulder looked at the night before. And there was a constant stream of athletes going in and out of the door.

“They’ll probably be 40 plus people that we see by the time the night is over,” Taylor said. “We want to make sure that the rodeo athletes know that this is an in-kind service. We don’t charge at all.”

“The PRCA group understands the importance of talking with medical staff,” continued Taylor. ‘The more we can do to help prevent them from getting hurt (or hurt further), the better it is.”

by Terry Lidral


Joe Lufkin and Lunatic Fringe Win Hot Ride of the Night

Joe Lufkin and Lunatic Fringe Win First Ever Hot Ride of the Night

Caldwell Night Rodeo’s got a new tradition – the Hot Ride of the Night, a nightly feature sponsored by Western Heating and Air. And the first ever Hot Ride of the Night gave both the Rowdies and the Civies something big to cheer about.

Sallisaw, Oklahoma’s Joe Lufkin matched up with the multi NFR qualifier saddle bronc Lunatic Fringe for an outstanding score of 87.5 points. The Burch Rodeo stallion is one of the greats in the sport and cowboys know that if they can ride him, they’ll finish in the money, and most likely win the round.

“This was a dream come true,” Lufkin said. “I’ve been wanting to get on that horse for a long time. He’s been on my bucket list because he is one of those horses that is nice to ride but you can be 90 on him.”

Lufkin is just returning to competition from a 10-day layoff to heal a groin tear. It was an impressive way to get back into action.

“I was so pumped to get back on and to ride Lunatic,” he said. “I didn’t have any expectations coming in. You can’t overthink things when you have a horse like that. He’s unpredictable and I just knew if I set my feet and did my job I’d get a good score.”

Lunatic Fringe has a son by the name of Lunatic from Hell who is Livermore California’s Nick LaDuke’s draw for the Wednesday night saddle bronc event. Lufkin will just have to wait to see if his 87.5 score holds up when LaDuke gets his chance at the Hot Ride of the Night.

by Terry Lidral




Caldwell Night Rodeo fan favorite bullfighter Darrell Diefenbach is retired from bullfighting. When he returns to the CNR on Tuesday night, he’ll be on the other side of bullfighting as a stock contractor for the Bullfighters Only freestyle bullfighting event.

Diefenbach will miss being in the arena rescuing the bull riders from the bucking bulls.

“Who wouldn’t miss doing anything at the Caldwell Night Rodeo?” said Diefenbach. “It’s a great place to be. After 14 years of fighting bulls there, they’re like family to me.”

To have more time with his own family, Diefenbach turned in his bullfighting shorts for a stock trailer. He now lives in Oregon on a ranch where he has 35 fighting bulls. And fighting bulls are a whole different breed from the rodeo bucking stock.

“The bloodlines go back to the Spanish bulls,” Diefenbach told us. “These bulls are bred to fight and they’re mean. They have a different size and horn structure, and they have a different look to them. “

“They’re very intelligent animals and they’re fast learners. These bulls are always watching. They never take their eyes off you and they remember,” continued Diefenbach. “Our bulls are fought over and over, and they learn the bullfighters’ tricks. After a while, they don’t take the fake. This makes them hard to fight.”

The Spanish blood in the fighting bulls causes them to be high strung. They become nervous around activity and other animals. If the fighting bulls see too much going on around them, they get “nerved out” and won’t focus on the bullfighter in the arena.

“I’ll load them on the trailer and drive them over Tuesday. I’ll get there just before the event,” Diefenbach explained. “I’ll leave them on the trailer and run them off to fight. That way, they won’t see too much. After the fight, I’ll give them some water and run them back on the trailer and take them home.”

Diefenbach’s fighting bulls were named by his 3 year old son.

“My son came in and said, ‘Mom and Dad, I want to name a fighting bull Easter Bunny,” laughed Diefenbach. “So we did.”

Easter Bunny will be joined by Hulk’s Smash, T Rex and Bed Bug for Tuesday night’s event.

It is Diefenbach’s plan to raise fighting bulls on his ranch in Oregon and to involve his 2 sons in the family business.

“I hope when the boys grow up that this is something for them to be involved in. I’ve started the foundation.”

by Terry Lidral



Lee Akin returns to CNR to Celebrate Life

In 2002, bull rider Lee Akin celebrated a 94 point score that to this day remains the Caldwell Night Rodeo arena record. On Championship Saturday, when Lee returns to the CNR arena, he will be celebrating another kind of victory - the victory of recovering his life after a nearly fatal injury.

In 2007, Lee was having a great career. He had won over a million dollars, been a PBR Finals qualifier 4 times and for 3 years had gone to the National Finals Rodeo. But in March of 2007, Lee’s bull riding career, and nearly his life, came to an end when a bull stepped on Lee’s head.

“Lee was competing at a PRCA rodeo in Montgomery, Alabama on March 8, 2007,” says Lee’s wife Melissa. “A bull’s hoof completely crushed the left side of his skull.”

Doctors did not expect Lee to live. He beat the odds, but was on life support, had brain surgeries and remained non-responsive for a long while. When he did wake up, Lee’s memory was extremely limited and he was unable to talk, walk or care for himself. The bull’s hoof had stepped directly on the language center in the brain, leaving Lee unable to verbalize anything he was thinking.

Over the past 9 years, Lee has made progress in his recovery, but it had been limited until he moved to Caldwell last year to reunite with Melissa to rekindle the relationship they had started in 1999. Lee has been participating in a therapy program called Bal-A-Vis-X and parts of his memory are emerging and his power of speech is returning.

Making a return to the CNR arena to visit his friend Wiley Petersen who was putting on a bull riding clinic there, Lee’s memory started to return.

“Lee stated that he remembered being there many times,” Melissa says. “He was ecstatic and the look on his face was that of coming home.”

But Lee does not remember his arena record bull ride. Fortunately, Caldwell native Kyle Joslin does.

“It was a Mike Corey bull,” relates Kyle. “It was a big red bull that kicked the lights out and blew up high around to the right. He kicked real hard and spun and faded. It was a real flashy looking ride on Lee’s part. It was a strong bull that the judges knew was hard to ride and it didn’t happen much on that bull.”

With the love and support of Melissa, who he married in May of this year, Lee continues on the road to recovery. As he is welcomed back to the CNR, he is not only a champion of the sport of bull riding, he is a champion of life.

Terry Lidral


Flag Carrying Crew Set For 82nd Caldwell Night Rodeo

Flag Carrying Crew Set For 82nd Caldwell Night Rodeo

The flag carriers balanced on the backs of their horses racing around the rodeo arena, banners flying out behind them, are as much a part of rodeo tradition as the cowboys and cowgirls themselves. And it takes great riding skill and horsemanship to perform those duties that the flag carriers make look so smooth and easy.

“The girls have to ride one handed and the flags are heavy, so they have to be strong,” says CNR Board member Nikki Zachary who coordinates the CNR flag carriers. “We hold tryouts for the flag carrying crew”

This year, more than 60 girls competed for 14 available spots on the crew. The competitors were judged on a set of criteria that involved both horsemanship and the performance of the horse they were riding.

One of the major criteria is the ability to ride and control a fast moving horse with one hand on the rein while at the same time carrying a heavy flag in an unwavering upright position with the other. This has to be done with grace, confidence and a smile that projects a great attitude to the audience.

Another important criterion is the willingness to put in the effort and teamwork it takes to bring the rodeo program together.

“The girls who are selected to be flag carriers have to be willing to strive for perfection and to help with all aspects of the duties that go with the job,” Nikki tells us.

As for the horses, they have to be able to adapt to different conditions and have no reaction to the whipping of the flag as they make their trip around the arena.

“The horse has to have a good head about itself and be able to handle crowds, noise, banners, booms, bangs and other animals,” explains Nikki. “It must also get along well with other horses and it has to be easily controllable.”

The biggest honor is carrying the American flag. It is a prestigious job for which the person is chosen based on horsemanship skills and a dedication to the rodeo community. The CNR’s American flag is bigger and heavier than the other banners. Therefore, the girl who carries it must have the strength and horsemanship to gracefully handle the honor of riding with the American flag.

This year, the American flag will be carried by Kallie Roeser-Faust whose dad is an Associate member of the CNR Board. This will be the third year that Kallie has had the honor of presenting the American flag during the opening ceremonies of the CNR.

The flag carriers for the 82nd Caldwell Night Rodeo are:

Danyel Bernard Susie Wyant Kacey Widick Devon Doyle

Keri Tveidt Kylee Wyant Kayla Pascoe Jessica Ashcraft

Kaycee McFarland Jojo Giannini Cassie Nielson

Erica Weissenbuhler Sophie Polensky Dinah Jantz

by Terry Lidral


Cecil Vasser Gets Arena Dirt Ready For 82nd CNR


Caldwell Night Rodeo award winning arena dirt - it’s a big reason that the PRCA cowboys and cowgirls like coming to the Caldwell Night Rodeo. Multiple time winner of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s Justin Best Footing Award, CNR’s arena dirt is considered by contestants to be some of the best dirt on the rodeo circuit.

“The arena dirt at the Caldwell Night Rodeo has always been good,” says 2010 tie-down roping champion Matt Shiozawa.

“We do appreciate the rodeo committees that begin their preparation of ground early, not the day or the hours before the rodeo,” says 3-time CNR Barrel Racing Champion Nancy Hunter.

It’s a big job to prepare and maintain dirt so that the last run on championship Saturday will be as good as the first run of the opening Tuesday night performance. But CNR Board member Cecil Vasser and his assistant, CNR Associate Board member Marv Quenzer, would settle for nothing less.

“We start about 2 weeks before the rodeo begins,” Cecil says. “We rip up the arena and get moisture into the subsoil about 18 inches deep. You’ve got to have ground moisture or you get dust halfway through the rodeo week.”

Cecil knows what he’s talking about. He grew up farming with his dad, former CNR Board member Curly Vasser, who set the standards for CNR arena dirt. When Cecil took over from Curly, he inherited not only the job, but the legacy of the best darned arena dirt in the WPRA.

“We work to meet a happy medium for all the contestants,” Cecil explains. “If the dirt isn’t right, the livestock is not going to perform. Bulls and barrel horses can injure themselves and if the dirt isn’t right, the steers are going to take the cowboys down the arena.”

Cecil and Marv are well underway with this year’s arena preparation. And it’s a sure bet that the arena dirt will be “just right.”

by Terry Lidral


Powder River Broncs Bring Star Power To CNR

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When Hank Franzen pulled his rig into the Caldwell Night Rodeo grounds Wednesday afternoon from Heber City, Utah he had some of the PRCA top ranked bucking broncs on board. Hank and his wife Lori are in their 13th year as stock contractors for the CNR and the broncs they bring never fail to put on a great show.

“We’re bringing Craig at Midnight. He was the Number 3 PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year in 2015,” Lori says. “He’s having another great year and was ridden by Tyler Nelson of Victor, Idaho for a score of 87 points at Heber City, Utah last weekend. Craig at Midnight will be out in the short round. He always seems to do well in Caldwell.”

Another Powder River Rodeo top ranked PRCA horse is Look Again, a saddle bronc that has an 85 percent buck off rate.

“If they can ride her, they can get an 85 to a 90 point score on her. They’ll place in the top,” Lori says.“

Look Again will also be in the short round.

Hank has returned to Heber City to get the second load of broncs for the CNR, with a third load coming in on Saturday. That’s close to 90 Powder River Rodeo broncs ready to bring the power when the gate cracks in the arena.

Two of the horses coming in are what Lori calls amazing.

“Rain Dance and Bob Cat are National Finals Rodeo horses. These 2 horses won rounds at the NFR last year.”

Then there are the bareback horses Lipstick and Whiskey, and Rich and Fancy.

“These horses are phenomenal,” Lori says. “They haven’t been ridden in 4 or 5 trips.”

Besides the 3 loads of Powder River Rodeo horses, Burch Rodeo is also bringing in broncs for the CNR.

“Burch Creek will be bringing some NFR horses, too,” Lori tells us. “They’re bringing 2 more loads of horses in to Caldwell on Sunday.”

The bareback and saddle bronc riding events are always exciting at the CNR. Powder River Rodeo and Burch Rodeo just might be set to raise the bar.

By Terry Lidral


Barrel Racing Champs Nancy Hunter and Fuzz Bid CNR Farewell


It’s not the farewell that Nancy Hunter had planned. She was hoping to give Fuzz, 3-time Caldwell Night Rodeo Barrel Horse Champion, one more chance to win another title. But it wasn’t to be

Nancy and her husband Fred, who is Fuzz’s trainer and Nancy’s traveling partner, had decided to retire Fuzz after the 2016 season. Unfortunately, retirement came after the 4th of July.

“Fred and I had discussed that this would be the last year that Fuzz would run barrels at this level,” Nancy tells us. “We wanted to have him retire healthy and sound.”

Fuzz, who has run his entire 10 year career without injury, has retired in perfect health. It is Fred who developed problems and is scheduled for back surgery.

“It is just too painful for Fred to travel and we are a team,” says Nancy. “So, I released out and Fuzz basically got to retire a few months earlier than planned. Fuzz is healthy, happy, fat and sound, so we met our goal.”

Nancy will truly miss racing Fuzz on the professional circuit. And she will miss competing at Caldwell Night Rodeo.

“It is hard to think I will not ride him in competition again. Fuzz is such a gifted barrel horse and his resume is stellar,” Nancy says. “I truly cherish each and every time we ran down the alleyway at a rodeo. At the beginning of the summer, I realized that every rodeo was his last time being there. It was a bitter pill to swallow.’

“Fuzz has performed very well at Caldwell Night Rodeo,” Nancy continues. “I have some beautiful spurs to show for it. We knew that this would be the last time running in the CNR. I’m sorry to miss it.”

Nancy treasures her very special relationship with Fuzz and their barrel racing career that won close to $500,000.

“Fuzz is a gift, but he was a handful at first. I credit Fuzz’s success to Fred’s skills at training. Fuzz’s attribute is consistency. His runs all looked alike and he stayed true to his training. I think he liked his job!”

She goes on to say, “Fuzz has changed our lives. We had numerous opportunities to sell him and the offers have been mind boggling. But we feel like he is part of the family and we owe him to take care of him for his entire life.”

And that care will involve letting Fuzz do pretty much whatever makes him happy.

“We have a pasture buddy for him. During the day, he hangs out in the pasture, but he is a city boy and likes his stall at night.”

Nancy is not sure what her future holds.

“Short term will be getting Fred through surgery and on the road to recovery. I have a 7 year old horse that is performing well and some younger horses. So we will move forward and hope someday to have another good one.”

And maybe Nancy will be back competing at the Caldwell Night Rodeo. But it won’t be the same.

“We know that replacing Fuzz is a tall order, if not an impossible task.”

By Terry Lidral


Century Roping Teams to Compete on August 14th


On August 14th, some 350 century roping teams are expected to converge on the Caldwell Night Rodeo grounds to compete for an estimated $35,000 in prize money and a set of Montana Silversmith spurs – and the chance to compete during the CNR in the century roping short round.

Since it was started over 20 years ago by then CNR Board members Lyle Buhler and Jim Roeser, the “Doc” Millard W. Ickes Memorial Century Roping – named for Millard Ickes who roped well into his 80’s - just keeps growing in number of entries and money to be won. “We had 311 teams in 2015,” CNR Board member Ryan Buhler tells us. “We anticipate 350 teams for 2016. Teams come from all over the Northwest. Both professionals and amatuers are eligible to enter. We even have some PRCA ropers team up with local ropers to compete.”

“The added money ($10,000) is substantial for this level of roping,” continues Ryan. “The top teams also get the opportunity to compete in front of the large CNR crowds. We bring back the top 20 teams to rope during the first 4 nights of the CNR performance.”

Sponsors for the 2016 event are MWI Veterinary Supply, Zoetis, Simplot, Western Stockmen’s, Crossfire Fencing, SRC Sports, CTI Foods and CNR.

Last year’s century roping champions, Tim Fuller and Jason Eiguren, are local ropers from Lewiston and Fruitland, Idaho respectively.

To be eligible for the century roping event, the combined age of the team must be at least 100 years of age to that date. That means that if a contestant is 20 years old, he has to rope with a partner who is at least 80.

Sign up for this year’s “Doc” Millard W. Ickes Memorial Century Roping begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 14th on the CNR grounds and competition begins at 6:00 p.m.

The public is welcome and admission is free.

By Terry Lidral


Tie-Down Roping Champion Ready to try for Another Title

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Caldwell Night Rodeo Tie-Down Roping Champion Ready to try for Another Title

Chubbuck, Idaho’s Matt Shiozawa has his reasons for looking forward to coming to the Caldwell Night Rodeo.

“First – it’s Idaho!” says Matt. “Secondly, I like the big slack and the outdoor arena. It’s my favorite outdoor arena. And I like the tie-down roping set-up. The arena dirt has always been good and there’s always a great crowd.”

Plus the fact that Matt has won the CNR Tie-Down Roping Championship multiple times.

“The last time I won it was 2010,” Matt tells us. “I started coming to the CNR when I was just a kid. I was 19 years old and I was coming out of high school going into college. I made the short round and moved up to finish in the top half.”

Currently in the 10th spot in the PRCA world standings for tie-down roping, Matt is excited to be moving into the busy month of August.

“I’ve made a good summer run. August is where you really put the pedal down. You can have a run almost every day of the month. It can make or break you. I’m really busy and I like being busy. I don’t have time to think and I can get into a rhythm.”

“Caldwell comes at that time of year where people’s seasons are at stake and the final standings are forming,” Matt continues. “It’s the beginning of the Northwest rodeos and you can always feel that there’s a little more intensity added. It gets really fun from Caldwell on.”

Matt is traveling with his 3 roping horses.

“I have 3 horses that I use in rotation. There’s my mare Alotta and I have 2 geldings, Chuck and Gray Pony. It’s a day to day deal which one I ride. It just depends on how sound they are and how they’re feeling.”

Matt always enjoys the fact that his family joins him for the Caldwell Night Rodeo and this year he hopes his father will be here as well.

“I think it’s obvious how fond I am of the place,” Matt concludes.

by Terry Lidral

Bullfighters Only Adds Fourth Competitor to CNR Performance

Bullfighters Only Adds Fourth Competitor - 6-Time PRCA Bullfighter of the Year Dusty Tuckness - to CNR Performance

Cody Webster and Nathan Harp are one of the best bullfighting teams in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. And when they’re doing their job protecting bull riders from the bulls, it’s all about team work.

But on Tuesday night, August 16th, when they step into the arena for the Bullfighters Only (BFO) freestyle bullfighting competition, it’s every man for himself.

“The guys on the Bullfighters Only Tour work together as teams for bull riding,” says BFO founder Aaron Ferguson, who is excited to have Caldwell Night Rodeo as part of the BFO 2016 tour. “At some point in the year, everyone works with everyone else. Freestyle bullfighting gives these guys an opportunity to compete against each other and show off their skills.”

Bullfighting in the rodeo and freestyle bullfighting are very different.

“They are as different as baseball vs. basketball,” explains Aaron. “Bullfighting in the rodeo is a job. These guys do this sometimes 150 days out of the year.”

That job for the bullfighters is to use their agility, athletic skills and bull savvy to keep the bull away from the cowboy so that he can make a safe getaway. It’s quick and the action is purpose oriented.

“The skills are the same, but freestyle bullfighting gives the guys an opportunity to take the action to a different level. It’s nonstop from one end of the arena to the other and every single show, just when you think they can’t do anything more to surprise you, they can do something you’ve never seen before.”

“It’s the ultimate extreme sport,” continues Aaron who was a skateboarder until he took up the sport of bullfighting at the age of 15. “These guys are modern day gladiators. They are showmen and they do this for recognition, notoriety and a love of the sport.”

For Aaron, Caldwell Night Rodeo and the Bullfighters Only tour is a perfect fit.

“Caldwell Night Rodeo has a rowdy crowd and the bullfighters feed off the crowd encouragement. Our sport will be right up their alley,” says Aaron. “The fans are right on top of the action. People in the front rows will be able to hear the bulls snort and they might even get a bullfighter in their lap.”

For the CNR Bullfighters Only event, Cody Webster and Nathan Harp will be joined by fellow BFO member Evan Allard. And Caldwell Night Rodeo fans are in for an extra treat of a rare 4th freestyle bullfighter for the CNR event. Dusty Tuckness, 7-time NFR bullfighter and 6-time PRCA Bullfighter of the Year will be making a special appearance that no rodeo fan will want to miss.

by Terry Lidral
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