Kingman key stop for cowboys
The Andy Devine Days Rodeo may not have one of the richest purses in professional rodeo, but nonetheless it is an important rodeo to cowboys and cowgirls.
Cowboys and cowgirls who hope to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo that is held each year in Las Vegas in December need to make all the money they can to be one of the chosen few who make it.
That's because only the top 15 money winners from the ProRodeo circuit qualify for the NFR.
And a cowboy or cowgirl can make more money in the eight days of the NFR than they can in an entire season of riding the rodeo circuit.
Since only 50 rodeos can count toward their earnings for timed events (75 for roughstock), cowboys and cowgirls are scrambling this time of year to get one more good check in before the season ends.
They can chooses the rodeos that apply to their earnings, so if they don't have checks from the minimum number of rodeos they're looking for another one to enter.
Many of the cowboys and cowgirls who made it to the NFR last year were in Kingman.
The list was headed by local favorites Steve Dollarhide and Jolee Lautaret.
Dollarhide, who lives on a ranch near Kingman, made the NFR in saddle bronc riding and Lautaret, who also calls Kingman home, qualified for the NFR in barrel racing.
Many national champions have made Andy Devine Days Rodeo a stop on their circuit.
In bareback bronc riding former champions who rode in Kingman include Clint Corey, Lan LaJeunesse and Mark Gomes.
Steer wrestling champs Rope Myers and Mickey Gee and team ropers Steve Purcella and Steve Northcutt made appearances.
It seems NFR-bound saddle bronc riders consider Kingman a must on the tour.
Nearly every saddle bronc world champion in the last 20 years entered the Andy Devine Days Rodeo.
The list includes the likes of Ryan Mapston, Scott Johnston, Billy Etbauer, Rod Warren and Dan Mortensen.
World champion bull riders Blue Stone, Adriano Moraes and Scott Mendes also stopped in Kingman on their way to NFR titles.
On Saturday and Sunday many top cowboys and cowgirls will be making a stop in Kingman, but they may not stay long.
They're trying to rack up the dollars necessary to qualify for the NFR and Andy Devine Days is just one of the rodeos going on this weekend.
Cowboys may ride in Kingman at 1 in the afternoon and ride again at the Barstow (Calif.) Rodeo Stampede.
They may even fly off to the Sundowner Stampede in Oklahoma or one of three rodeos in Texas.
This is a fast-paced time of year for cowboys and cowgirls, but if they want that coveted spot in the NFR you'll probably see them in Kingman this weekend.
EVENTS IN RODEO
Rodeos generally follow a similar pattern.
The events at the Andy Devine Days Rodeo include:
Bareback bronc riding in which a cowboy holds onto a handle that is strapped around the horse's chest and tries to stay on for eight seconds.
Scores are awarded by two judges.
Each judge awards up to 25 points to the cowboy and 25 points to the bull for a theoretical total of 100.
No one ever gets 100 points
Steer wrestling or bulldogging in which a cowboy chases a steer out of a chute, leaps off his horse and tries to wrestle the steer to the ground.
Steer wrestling is a timed event.
Team roping is where two cowboys catch a steer with their ropes.
One catches it around the neck or horns and turns the steer.
He's called the header.
The other catches the two hind legs of the steer and they then stop the steer's progress.
It is a timed event.
Saddle bronc riding is where a cowboy tries to ride a bucking horse for eight seconds while mounted on a saddle.
This is a scored event like bareback riding.
Calf roping is an event where a calf bolts out of a chute and a cowboy on a horse chases it down and ropes it around the neck.
He must then dismount and run to the calf and tie three legs together.
Calf roping is a timed event.
Barrel racing is when the women of rodeo ride a pattern around three barrels in the arena.
They go for the fastest time, but are penalized if they tip over a barrel.
Bull riding is where cowboys wrap a rope around a bull and try to stay on the bucking animal for eight seconds after the chute is opened.
Sports Illustrated called it the "World's Most Dangerous Sport" a few years ago.