Mineral Wells Index
— From Staff Reports
Swing those gates open and let it rip. It’s rodeo time in Mineral Wells.
More than 400 professional cowboys and cowgirls have registered to take part in the 77th Annual Mineral Wells Pro Rodeo, put on by stock provider and producer Rafter G in conjunction with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
The rodeo staged Slack Night on Wednesday to let its overbooked contestants compete, while tonight marks opening night of the rodeo’s three-day run, taking place at the Palo Pinto County Livestock Association arena, 700 FM Road 1821 North.
Advance tickets are $10 adults and $5 for youth (children ages 5 and under are free). At the ticket prices are $12 and $6. The action gets under way ay 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday.
The annual Mineral Wells Rodeo trail ride is scheduled to make its usual trek from the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse grounds near Weatherford to Millsap then into Mineral Wells in time for this evening’s rodeo parade downtown beginning at 5 p.m.
Friday evening’s dance at the Expo Center features Kinneth Doyle and The Texas Dance Hall Band. Admission is $5 with any night’s rodeo ticket stub, or $10 without. Beer will be sold inside; no alcohol can be brought in.
On Saturday morning is the AnyTime Fitness 5K Rodeo Fun Run or Walk beginning at 8 a.m. The event will use the walking/riding trail from FM Road 1821 into downtown Mineral Wells and back. Call 940-328-0400 or go to www.anytimefitness.com/gyms/1288/email for more information.
Now for the competitors.
One Mineral Wells resident is set to compete this week, 44-year-old team-roper Justin Parish, who has been a PRCA member since 1994.
As usual, many cowboys and cowgirls from areas surrounding Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County will compete in the arena, including 20 competitors listing a Weatherford address.
This includes four-time world champion team roper Alan Bach, who is joined in this year’s rodeo by his eldest son, Joel Bach, and younger son, Tyler, who both call Rhome home.
Alan Bach celebrated his 57th birthday April 30 and has competed in an event-record 30 National Final Rodeos, the last one in 2008. He is working his way back into competition after under going shoulder surgery last year.
In 2013, he with son, Joel, won the Wild, Wild West ProRodeo in Silver City, N.M.; was co-champion at the Douglas County Fair & Rodeo in Castle Rock, Colo., and the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo in Bridgeport; and won the 75th Annual Brighton Field Day Festival & Rodeo in Okeechobee, Fla., with Arky Rogers.
It will be a competitive team roping field. Five-time WNFR team roping qualifier Michael Jones, of Hico, has ended a two-year hiatus from PRCA competition to join forces once again with Travis Tryan, of Billings, Mont. They have qualified for the WNFR together three times. A week ago they won rodeos in Corpus Christi and Lufkin, ending a 50-month title drought for Jones. They will going against a field that includes reigning world champions Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill, plus other past world champions like Alan Bach, Walt Woodard and Turtle Powell.
Apart from Bach, team roping qualifier Ryan Motes, bull rider Luke Haught and steer wrestler Glen Clark will also be making the short trip from Weatherford to Mineral Wells to compete.
Nineteen-time World Champion Trevor Brazile isn’t on the list of contestants but that doesn’t mean the Brazile houshold won’t be represented. His wife, Shada Brazile, of Decatur, is considered one of the favorites in the barrel racing field. She qualified for her first WNFR last December.
Four-time world champion bareback rider Bobby Mote is only competing in team roping (a rarity, according to rodeo officials) with Brian McPherson. Mote, a lifelong resident of Oregon, has a place in the Stephenville area so he gets more roping time in and help raise the level of his game. His goal is to one day make the WNFR in both events.
Eight-time world champion tie-down roper Fred Whitfield, of Hockley, Texas, published a book on his life last year, and he keeps adding postscripts to his career at PRCA rodeos. He’s in the field at Mineral Wells, along with another former world champion tie-down roper, Stran Smith, of Childress.