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2002/05/09

Tennessee's Copeland To Start WBF (Editor's Note: Sheila Totten is a staff writer/columnist for Native Spirit News, published by Cherokee Mangus of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Sheila is of Lakota and Cherokee descent. Her column will focus primarily on PBR occurrences and news.) Native American are an important portion of rodeo in America. Some Native Americans in rodeo are Tee Woolman-Cherokee; Bud Longbrake and Tom Reeves-Lakota and PBR riders Cory and Evan Rasch -Cherokee descent. Reeves claimed his first World Championship in 16 years at the NFR and was elected captain of Team USA at the Olympics. Bud Longbrake was also part of Team USA. It was wonderful to see the tribute to our people during the opening ceremonies. One complaint though was the way the team was chosen. The best Bull Riders in the world are in the PBR Yet, they were not eligible! Team members had to either hold a PRCA 2001 championship or compete at 4 special PRCA events. Because of this, we neither saw PBR riders nor 10 time World Champion Charmayne James on the team. As this was the Olympics, why not teams from Mexico, Brazil, Australia? Olympic Winners: Team USA. Bareback Riding: Lan LaJeunesse, Utah-Gold Larry Sandvick S.D.-Silver; and Kelly Wardell,Idaho-Bronze.Saddle Bronc: Denny Hay, Canada-Gold Tom Reeves, S.D.-Silver and Dan Mortenson, Montana-Bronze. Calf Roping: Jerome Schneeberger, Ponca City, Ok-Gold Blair Burk, Ok-Silver and Ricky Hyde, Ark-Bronze. Steer Wrestling: Rope Myers,Texas-Gold Lee Graves, Can.-Silver and Jeff Babek, Ok-Bronze. Team Roping: Murray Linthicum/Rocky Dallyn, Canada-Gold Rich Skelton /Speed Williams, Texas/Fla-Silver and Frank Graves, Miss./Monty Joe Peska, Calif-Bronze. Barrel Racing: Molly Swanson Powell, Mont for Team Canada-Gold Deb Renger, Can.-Silver and Janet Stover, Texas-Bronze. Bull Riding: Blue Stone, Utah-Gold Lee Akin,Ok-Silver and Cody Hancock, Ariz-Bronze. Our heartfelt condolences go out to PBR President World Champion Bull Rider Tuff Hedeman and his brother Roach for the loss of their Dad, Red Hedeman on January 21st. Get Well wishes to World Champion Cody Ohl, who tore his ACL and MCL in his right knee in the 9th round of the NFR. People were amazed at Cody's bravery. Although injured, he crawled to his calf ,cutting his rope which had tightened around the calf's hind legs when the calf ran through the loop. He then continued to tie the calf in 40.9 seconds, collapsing on his back when done. Cody underwent two knee surgeries between December and February with reconstruction of the ACL scheduled for April 4th. According to Dr. Tandy Freeman of Health South, it will be 2003 before Cody is back competing. In an interview at the PBR event in New Orleans, Dr Freeman, told me that he has Cody in therapy now for 6 hours per day where Cody does a lot of running to strengthen his muscles. Also, Dr. Freeman said Cody's injury was a very complicated one. ACL injuries vary greatly. Some riders like Luke Snyder of the PBR, can wear a brace and have very little pain. Not all require surgery. Happy Birthday to PBR President Tuff Hedeman and to Ross Coleman. Get well wishes to fan favorite and PBR two time World Champion Adriano Moraes; out with a broken riding hand. How do you fans feel about the changes in the TNN Broadcasts? I have been to several PBR events this year, the fans I have met are not happy with the changes! People want to know why Tuff was not just added to the existing team and why they foolishly replaced Pam Minick? Fans also dislike the format change-too many interviews and profiles and not enough Bull Riding. The fans would rather see the actual rides! The only positive comment I hear anywhere is that the fans love having Tuff Hedeman as a broadcaster. Fans of all ages love Tuff and he gives his all to them, not leaving a venue until he signs the last autograph. This is the year of the Razor. Jim Sharp has come alive! He has won 4 of the 11 PBR events including Greensboro, N.C. where he rode Slick Willy for 93 points.Jim has won Portland, Oregon; Greensboro; Guthrie,Oklahoma and Tuff Hedeman's Challenge in Ft Worth ,Texas. Country singer Teri Lann was with us at the Greensboro open where she represented NLT Records. At an after event party she surprised everyone by singing George Strait's "Amarillo By Morning" when the guys tried to stump her by requesting a "guy" song but she sure showed them. No Pro Tools nedded here! You can hear a cut from her new CD at www.terilann.com. She also got to pose for a picture with PBR President Tuff Hedeman. Unfortunately Teri could not make it to St Louis with us, but Gordon Stinson, President of NLT did make the trip along with singer/producer Eric Todd. I was able to take some pictures at the PBR's Fanfare. Per usual, the most popular man with the fans was PBR President Tuff Hedeman who has a great line of PanHandle Slim clothing. You can check out the buys at www.tuffhedeman.com or at The Cowboy Store in Franklin,Tn.And girls, you need to order his calender! Watch for NLT Records newest CD: An American Cowboy-A Fast Livin' Slow Dying Breed. The CD features great cuts of new and original country music sung by World Champions themselves. Already recorded are World Champion Barrel Racer Janet Stover and World Champion Steer Wrestler Rope Myers. Sherry Cervi records her song "Rodeo Wind" on the 25th. Once released there will be a rodeo tour set up to promote the CD. Check out NLT's www.rodeoriderscd.com site for updates. Let's not forget we have two new fledgling associations. Fred Whitfield has started the World Championship Rodeo Association and I hope to have their schedule soon. Fred is also a featured artist on the new NLT CD. Craig Copeland of Jackson, Tennessee has joined forces with Donnie Gay to form the WBF. Asheville, North Carolina will be the site of their first event April 26th & 27th. World Bullriding Federation Schedule May 10-11 Jacksonville, NC-$3,000 added money May 24-Altus, OK $1,500 added money May5-6 Altus, OK $3,500 added money June 7-8 Shipshewanna, IN $3,000 added money June 7-8 Burlington, NC $2,000 added money June 21- Selmer, TN $1,000 added money July 5-6 Shipshewanna, IN $3,000 added money July 13 LaGrange, IN $2,000 added money July 19 Mt. Rose, CO $3,000 added money July 19-20 Angola, IN $3,000 added money July 26-27 Grand Junction, CO $5,000 added money July 27 Brohman, MI $1,000 plus added money

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