Abilene Rodeo Champs Crowned


Australian wins bareback riding; saddle bronc champ is also college champ


Abilene, Kans. – August 5, 2017 – The cool weather in Abilene this weekend was a welcome relief for rodeo fans, and the stands at the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo were full.

The cooler temperatures were also refreshing for the contestants, with champions crowned in seven events.

Australian native Anthony Thomas won the bareback riding.

Thomas, who now lives in Palestine, Texas, scored 79 points on Andrew Rodeo’s Phantom for the win and a check for $1,367.

It was a horse he had been anxious to get on. “It’s a good old horse,” he said. “He’s been a great horse for a long time. I’ve been watching him for the last few years, and I’ve always wanted to draw him. I finally got my chance today.” The fifteen-year-old gruella has been selected to buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo twice, and can be treacherous in the bucking chute. “He’s kind of dangerous in the chute,” Thomas said. “He’s an old horse who knows his job, and he can flip on you and hurt you if you don’t do your job right. But we got out of there clean, and it was good. He did his job and I was able to do mine.”

Anthony, who grew up in Derby, Western Australia, left in 2012 and spent a year in Canada before coming to the United States, and this year of rodeo hasn’t been his best. “It’s had its ups and downs,” he said. He had reconstructive surgery on both hips in January to repair nerve damage, which caused him to have no feeling in his legs while he was riding. He returned to competition at the start of March. “It’s been a long process coming back, but we’re right in the middle of the season now. Things have started coming together really good.” Thomas is currently ranked first in the Prairie Circuit, pro rodeo’s regional designation of rodeos in Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. He is the 2011 Australian Professional Rodeo Association bareback riding champion.

The saddle bronc riding champion for the 2017 rodeo was a 21 year old cowboy, Preston Burr, who made an 86.5 point ride aboard Andrews Rodeo’s Slappin Leather.

Preston Burr, Strafford, Texas, wins the saddle bronc riding at the 2017 Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene, Kan. Photo by Fly Thomas.

It was a re-match for the Stratford, Texas cowboy, who got bucked off the horse three years ago in Altus, Okla. “I didn’t get along with her very well,” in Altus, he said. “I was pretty happy to draw her here. She’s really good. She has a big move out of the chute, and sucks back.”

Burr is the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo saddle bronc riding champion as a student at  New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M. He’s spent much of his pro rodeo season in Canada, honing his skills. “I rodeo with Clay Elliott, and he took me up there. I got to go to some big bronc matches, and it’s really helped my bronc riding a lot. Up there, the horses are really good and there are some really good rodeos.”

He qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in the bareback riding, but after breaking a wrist and rupturing vertebrae, he switched to riding saddle broncs his senior year of high school.

Last year was his rookie year, but it wasn’t a good one. He tore his PCL at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, and spent three months letting it heal. “It’s one of those deals, you just have to lay on the couch and let it heal. It’s a bummer to lay around all the time.”

After his win in Abilene, Burr is headed home to Texas, for a little relaxation, roping and golfing. .

Other 2017 champions include steer wrestler Stockton Graves, the 2006 world champion from Alva, Okla. (4.7 seconds), tie-down roper Reese Riemer, Stinnett, Texas (8.0 seconds); team ropers Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla. and Billie Jack Saebens, Nowata, Okla. (4.7 seconds), barrel racer Dona Kay Rule, Minco, Okla. (17.62 seconds) and bull rider Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Ida. (90.5 points).

Next year’s rodeo will be August 1-4, 2018. For complete rodeo results, visit ProRodeo.com. For more information on the rodeo, visit WildBillHickokRodeo.com.


Final Results,  Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo – Abilene, Kansas August 2-5, 2017


All-Around champion: Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla. – steer wrestling and team roping

Bareback riding

  1. Anthony Thomas, 79 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Phantom; 2. Tanner Phipps, Dalton, Ga. 76.5; 3. Nate McFadden, Elsmere, Neb. 72; 4. Hunter Carter, Athens, Texas 71.5;
  2. (tie) Taylor Broussard, Estherwood, Texas, JC Hester, Jr., Queen City, Mo. and Justin Pollmiller, Weatherford, Okla. 70 each.

Tie-down roping

  1. Reese Riemer, Stinnett, Texas 8.0 seconds; 2. Cooper Martin, Alma, Kan. 8.7; 3. Tyler Milligan, Pawhuska, Okla. 8.8;  4. Cheyenne Stanley, Wapanucka, Okla. 8.9; 5.  Cody Huber, Albia, Iowa 9.0; 6. Ace Slone, Cuero, Texas 9.2; 7. Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas 9.3; 8. (tie) Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas and Blane Cox, Cameron, Texas 9.4 each.

Steer wrestling

  1. Stockton Graves, Alva, Okla. 4.7 seconds; 2. Cole Edge, Durant, Okla. 4.8; 3. (tie) Rowdy Parrott, Mamou, La. and Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla. 5.0 each; 5. TJ Hall, Devine, Texas 5.2; 6. Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla. 5.4; 7. (tie) Clay Mindemann, Salina, Okla. and Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La. 5.6 each.

Saddle bronc riding

  1. Preston Burr, Strafford, Texas 86.5 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Slappin Leather; 2. Bradley Harter, Loranger, La. 84.5; 3. Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Fla. 83.5; 4. Blaise Freeman, Snyder, Texas 82.5; 5. Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb. 81.5; 6. Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas 81; 7. Louie Brunson, New Underwood, S.D. 80; 8. Dean Wadsworth, Ozona, Texas 79.5.

Team roping

  1. Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla./Billie Jack Saebens, Nowata, Okla. 4.7 seconds; 2. Charly Crawford, Prineville, Ore./Joseph Harrison, Overbrook, Okla. 5.0; 3. (tie) Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala./Trace Porter, Leesville, La. and Marcus Theriot, Poplarville, Miss./Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla. 5.2 each; 5. Tyler Wojciechowski, Hico, Texas/Jake Smith, Broken Bow, Okla. 5.3; 6. (tie) Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn./Travis Graves, Jay, Okla. and Casey Hicks, Poplar Bluffs, Mo./Braden Harmon, Mustang, Okla. 5.4 each; 8. (tie) Jake Orman, Prairie, Miss./Will Woodfin, Marshall, Texas and Ryan Reed, Farmington, Calif./Cody Pearson, Tucson, Ariz. 5.7 each.

Barrel racing

  1. Dona Kay Rule, Minco, Okla 17.62 seconds; 2. Ceri McCaffery, Dupree, S.D. 17.68; 3. Jane Melby, Burneyville, Okla. 17.71; 4. Sidney Forrest, Lipan, Texas 17.73; 5. Laura Kennedy, Quitman, Ark. 17.74; 6. Cayla Small, Burneyville, Okla. 17.75; 7. (tie) Tracy Nowlin, Nowata, Okla. and Holly Wright, Gruver, Texas 17.82 each; 9. Korrina Hughes, Glenwood, Iowa 17.87; 10. Ericka Nelson, Century, Fla. 17.91.

Bull riding

  1. Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Ida. 90.5 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Unicorn; 2. Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, Texas 87.5; 3. Brady Portenier, Caldwell, Ida. 87; 4. Ruger Piva, Challis, Ida. 80; no other qualified rides.


** All results are unofficial.  For more information, visit www.WildBillHickokRodeo.com.  For complete results, visit www.prorodeo.com.

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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