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logoNominees announced for PRCA 2015 Year-End Awards

By Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association | September 8, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The top five nominees for the 12 categories of PRCA Year-End Awards have been announced. The winners will be declared at the annual PRCA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas Dec. 2.

Dusty Tuckness is going for his sixth Bullfighter of the Year Award, which would extend his record for most wins in the category.

Wayne Brooks will be looking for his third-straight win in the Announcer of the Year category, which would make him just the fourth announcer to win at least three of the awards in a row, joining Randy Corley, Bob Tallman and Boyd Polhamus.

In the PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year category, Stace Smith will be looking for his 12th-consecutive win, which would break the record he now shares with Harry Vold (1982, 1987-96) for the most wins of all time.

Justin Rumford is hoping to win his fourth-straight Clown of the Year award. Only two men have won at least four in a row in that category – Flint Rasmussen and Keith Isley.

Due to ties in the preliminary voting, the categories of Stock Contractor of the Year and Pick-up Man of the Year each have six nominees. This marks the first year the latter has been awarded.

Here is the complete list of categories and nominees:

ANNOUNCERS

Wayne Brooks
Randy Corley
Mike Mathis
Boyd Polhamus
Andy Stewart

SECRETARIES

Linda Alsbaugh
Sunni Deb Backstrom
Haley Bridwell
Amanda Corley-Sanders
Sandy Gwatney

STOCK CONTRACTORS

Beutler & Son Rodeo
Frontier Rodeo
Pete Carr Pro Rodeo
Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo
Powder River Rodeo
Stace Smith Pro Rodeo

PICK-UP MAN

Jason Bottoms
Shawn Calhoun
Gary Rempel
Shandon Stalls
Matt Twitchell
Jeremy Willis

DRESS ACT

Tomas Garcilazo
Bobby Kerr
Rider Kiesner
Jennifer Nicholson & Brandi Phillips
Amanda, Lynn & John Payne

COMEDY ACT

John Harrison
Keith Isley
Troy Lerwill
Gizmo McCracken
Cody Sosebee

CLOWNS

John Harrison
Keith Isley
Troy Lerwill
Justin Rumford
Cody Sosebee

BULLFIGHTERS

Kenny Bergeron
Clay Heger
Darran Robertson
Dusty Tuckness
Cody Webster

SMALL RODEO

Bridgeport, Texas
Claremore, Okla.
Huntsville, Texas
Nacogdoches, Texas
Yuma, Colo.

MEDIUM RODEO

Deadwood, S.D.
Estes Park, Colo.
Lufkin, Texas
Sidney, Iowa
Stephenville, Texas

LARGE OUTDOOR

Cheyenne, Wyo.
Lovington, N.M.
Ogden, Utah
Pecos, Texas
Pendleton, Ore.

LARGE INDOOR

Denver, Colo.
Fort Worth, Texas
Jackson, Miss.
Nampa, Idaho
San Antonio, Texas

 


award

Nominees announced for PRCA 2016 Year-End Awards

By Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association | September 8, 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The top five nominees for the 12 categories of PRCA Year-End Awards have been announced. The final year-end ballot will be open online Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The winners will be announced during the PRCA Banquet in Las Vegas Nov. 30.

Due to ties in the preliminary voting, the category of Pick-up Man of the Year has six nominees.

Here is the complete list of categories and nominees:

ANNOUNCER

Wayne Brooks
Randy Corley
Mike Mathis
Boyd Polhamus
Andy Stewart

BULLFIGHTER

Clay Heger
Nathan Jestes
Brandon Loden
Dusty Tuckness
Cody Webster

CLOWN

John Harrison
Keith Isley
Gizmo McCracken
Justin Rumford
Cody Sosebee

COMEDY ACT

John Harrison
Keith Isley
Gizmo McCracken
Troy Lerwill
Cody Sosebee

DRESS ACT

Bobby Kerr
One Arm Bandit and Co. – John, Lynn and Amanda Payne
Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls – Jennifer Nicholson and Spencer Litwork
Rider Kiesner
Tomas Garcilazo

PICK-UP MAN

Jason Bottoms
Shawn Calhoun
Chase Cervi
Gary Rempel
Matt Twitchell
Jeremy Willis

SECRETARY

Sunni Deb Backstrom
Haley Bridwell
Amanda Corley-Sanders
Brenda Crowder
Sandy Gwatney

STOCK CONTRACTOR

Beutler & Son Rodeo
Cervi Championship Rodeo
Frontier Rodeo
Pete Carr Pro Rodeo
Stace Smith Pro Rodeos

SMALL RODEO OF YEAR

Bridgeport, Texas
Claremore, Okla.
Elizabeth, Colo.
Huntsville, Texas
Monte Vista, Colo.

MEDIUM RODEO OF YEAR

Abilene, Kan.
Coleman, Texas
Deadwood, S.D.
Lufkin, Texas
Stephenville, Texas

LARGE INDOOR RODEO OF YEAR

Denver, Colo.
Fort Worth, Texas
Rapid City, S.D.
San Angelo, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

LARGE OUTDOOR RODEO OF YEAR

Caldwell, Idaho
Cheyenne, Wyo.
Dodge City, Kan.
Pecos, Texas
Pendleton, Ore.

Courtesy of PRCA

 


 

award

Pecos rodeo secretary, Sandy Gwatney, recognized

Gwatney earns unprecedented honor

Pete Carr Pro-Rodeo, Ted Harbin | December 16, 2016

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Sandy Gwatney has something in her trophy case nobody else can claim.

For the first time in ProRodeo history, the same person was selected as the Secretary of the Year in both the premier organizations – the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association – in the same year. “The best part of my job is being able to help the cowboys, cowgirls and committees and try to make their jobs easier,” said Gwatney of Marquez, Texas.

This is the Montana Silversmiths’ PRCA Secretary of the Year buckle Sandy Gwatney was given on Nov. 30. The next day, she was given a plaque for being named the WPRA Secretary of the Year. That’s a big reason she earned both honors. She received word Oct. 3 about the WPRA honor but didn’t know about the outcome of the PRCA voting until the year-end awards banquet that took place Nov. 30 in conjunction with the sport’s grand finale, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

“It was a complete and total surprise,” she said. “This is the third time I’ve been nominated. When they called my name, I looked over at my husband, John; he jumped up, and everybody at the table was screaming. I had to take it in and make sure they really called my name.”

The announcement confirmed what members of the PRCA had decided through a vote of the top five secretaries, and it allowed Gwatney to offer her thanks to a packed ballroom at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa. “I feel honored to be part of that list of five,” she said. “There are a lot of good secretaries, a lot of people that love what they do. I guess mine just happened to show through this year.”

It did. The PRCA features thousands of members, and Gwatney collected the majority of the votes in 2016.

“She puts all of her effort into her job and is devoted to it,” said JoJo LeMond, who finished sixth in the steer roping world standings and 10th in the all-around race. “She’s worked all ends of a rodeo, not just as a secretary. She’s been sorting cattle, running a neck rope and doing all sorts of other things, so she understands all aspects of a rodeo. “She’s a very valuable player for a rodeo organization.” It’s true, and it’s something in which she takes great pride.

“The committee people are the most un-thanked, underappreciated people in the world,” Gwatney said. “If I can do anything for them and make one step easier and make sure they’re appreciated, it’s easy enough for me to get that done.” But that’s not all she does. As secretary, she has her fingers in every aspect of every rodeo she works. She is the greeting face for every contestant who enters her work space and makes sure the officials and other rodeo personnel have everything they need. That group includes her husband. John Gwatney is a hard-working and well recognized chute boss in ProRodeo. The couple travels together and shares successes.

“This is huge, because we travel about the countryside doing what we love,” said Sandy Gwatney, who was raised in northern California. “This is about the love of the game, and we can never say it enough. I think it’s a huge part of my life that I got to compete with him, that I got to haze for him when he was still bulldogging. “I got to see the contestant side of it, so I know how important it is that they get trades and they get the splits they need. I think that experience helps me exponentially in my job.”

She has worked as secretary of the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping each of the past three years. Over her career, Gwatney has timed that same championship as well as the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo; she also has been the NFR’s assistant secretary. Each step has served as a testament to her talent and passion. “If you don’t love what you do, don’t do it,” she said. “I do this because of the people. I like to go all over the country and see all the people I only get to see once a year. It’s like spending time with family.

“I’m very blessed to have committees and stock contractors who believe in me, like Pete Carr. Most of the rodeos I work are with Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, so I appreciate Pete for having faith in what we do.” The rodeo family is large, and generations run deep. This year they honored one of their own in Sandy Gwatney.