Livermore Rodeo in the PinkBy Staff Report June 11, 2013
Tough enough to wear pink? That was the provocative question posed by the Livermore Stockmen’s Rodeo Association, which hosted a “Give Cancer the Boot” fundraiser as part of the 95th Annual Livermore Rodeo, June 7-9 in Robertson Park, Livermore, CA.
Cowboys and cowgirls donned ribbons and kicked up their heels to raise funds for breast cancer on pink day, Saturday, June 8. The prosocial initative is a colorful tradition at Livermore, which is one of the longest-running equine events in the nation.
The Livermore Rodeo has been running since 1918, launched while WWI was still raging. The Red Cross was in need of funds, resulting in an assessment for California cities and towns. Livermore’s quota was $1,200, a formidable sum at that time. John McGlinchey, president of the Livermore Stockmen’s Protective Association, proposed a rodeo to raise the funds and a local tradition was born.
This year’s event, sponsored by Coors, had a decidely modern feel, as one of the bright talents of our day took the opportunity to further burnish his star in front of a hometown crowd.
Team roping header Spencer Mitchell partnered with Cody Cowden to win the team roping with a 4.5-second run, earning each man $2,798. It was an emotional win for Mitchell, who also won last year with his former partner, the late Broc Cresta, another California superstar.
A two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Mitchell has been paired with a number of heelers in 2013, and has won with three different men next to him.
“All the people I’ve won with are guys I enjoy roping with,” Mitchell said, “and I’m always comfortable with those guys and I have a lot of confidence in them.”
At the 95th Livermore Rodeo in Livermore, CA, Mitchell notched his second win with Cowden, but he’s also picked up 2013 victories with Dugan Kelly (Wrangler Champions Challenge in Redding, CA) and Justin Wade Davis (Marysville, CA).
Ironically, he still hasn’t taken a victory lap with his 2012 Wrangler NFR partner, Dakota Kirchenschlager. The duo hasn’t been roping together much with Kirchenschlager staying close to home in Texas during the spring run.
“A person needs to be able to win with whoever their name is down with, but it means a lot to be roping with Dakota again this summer and we hope to pick things back up,” said Mitchell, who is looking for his third straight WNFR trip this winter.
“Dakota and I take off next week for the summer run. Our first rodeo will be Weatherford (TX) and then we’ll head to Reno.”
Although the pair will have some ground to make up, Mitchell (44th in the world standings at the start of the week) isn’t worried one bit about how they’ll perform.
“As far as where we are in the standings, we’ve both come from behind the last few years anyways,” he said. “We like to rope aggressive and we like to be chasing people down.”
The Livermore win was also special to Mitchell – a Colusa, CA native – since he and the late Broc Cresta won the title there last season.
“Having the opportunity to win that rodeo after having been successful with Broc in that arena last year was nice,” Mitchell said.
This year’s schedule included Local Team Roping and Cattle Penning, Wild Cow Milking and a parade. Nineteen-year-old Alyssa Perry ― who “attended my first Livermore Rodeo when I was 24-months old and haven’t missed one since ― was crowned 2013 Miss Livermore Rodeo.
In addition to Mitchell and Cowden, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA) competitions – held at Livermore Stadium with prize money totaling $85,808 – were won by the following: bareback rider George Gillespie IV (87 points), steer wrestler Billy Bugenig (3.1 seconds), saddle bronc riders Tyrell Smith and Wade Sundell (82 points each), tie-down roper Jack Vanderlans (8.3 seconds), bull rider Cody Campbell (90 points) and barrel racer Linda Vick (17.57 seconds).
For more information on the Livermore Rodeo in Northern California, visit LivermoreRodeo.org.
For more information about the PRCA, visit ProRodeo.com.
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