Yates, other local stars ride ‘heater’ straight into ‘Cowboy Christmas’

Stephenville tie-down roper Marty Yates is headed to his third straight National Finals Rodeo. || Photo courtesy DUDLEY BARKER/DudleyDoRight.com



STEPHENVILLE (June 28, 2016) — The notch on the PRCA temperature dial was turned up a couple of degrees last week with big events like Reno Rodeo and West of the Pecos Rodeo. Now, the temp and intensity will really be dialed up.

It’s “Cowboy Christmas” time on the circuit, and several local athletes enter one of the biggest weeks of the season riding the proverbial “heater.”

For none is that more true than Stephenville tie-down roper Marty Yates, who jumped from 18th to 10th in the world standings by winning more than $12,000 last week. Yates won the West of the Pecos Rodeo and was second at Rodeo of the Ozarks while also claiming round money at Reno Rodeo.


It was the fifth consecutive week Yates won the tie-down at a PRCA rodeo, prompting RodeoAthletes.com to publish the following about the Huckabay High School graduate and two-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier:

“PRCA’s hottest…athlete…Marty Yates of Stephenville, Texas, finds himself in the top 10 of the World Championship Standings only six weeks after handing his shares back over to the Elite Rodeo Association. Marty has won $30,813.47 since returning in Red Bluff to the PRCA, and with the stick of dynamite he is roping like every time he ropes, he is the #1 contender to take the 2016 World Title away from Hunter Herrin.”

Yates won at North Platte, Neb., Cleburne, Coleman, Bandera and Fort Smith, Ark., among others.

And he isn’t the only Erath County cowboy on fire.

Team roping header Kaleb Driggers of Stephenville shot up more than 20 spots to No. 10 in the world standings after another big week with heeling partner Junior Nogueira, who is 11th in the world. The “Cowboy Christmas” tour shouldn’t seem too daunting for this tandem, as they have already made the money in five different states in a week once this season.


Also in heading, Jake Cooper, Colby Lovell and Luke Brown, all of Stephenville, are seventh, eighth and 11th in world standings, respectively. Blaine Vick of Dublin is 26th.

In heeling, Paul Eaves of Huckabay is first by more than $10,000, Wesley Thorp of Stephenville is third, Shay Carroll of Dublin seventh, Jake Long of Morgan Mill 14th, Walt Woodard 15th, Kory Koontz 16th, Jim Ross Cooper 17th and Travis Woodard 24th. The Woodards, Koontz and Cooper are all of Stephenville. Dakota Kirchenschlager of Morgan Mill is 24th.

Reigning world champ and Stephenville native Jacobs Crawley sits atop the saddle bronc standings entering “Cowboy Christmas.” His brother, Stephenville’s Sterling Crawley, is 14th after both had successful last weeks.

Former Tarleton State tie-down roper Reese Riemer is seventh in the world, while Bluff Dale’s Ryan Watkins is 31st and Stephenville’s Sterling Smith 32nd.


Some of the biggest stops on the PRCA circuit this week that will no doubt shake up the world standings are as follows:

Greeley Stampede in Greeley, Colo.

Ponoka Stampede in Canada

Airdrie Pro Rodeo in Canada

World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Ariz.

Williams Lake Stampede in Canada

Cody Stampede in Cody, Wyo.

Eugene Pro Rodeo in Eugene, Ore.

St. Paul Rodeo in St. Paul, Ore.

Western Stampede in West Jordan, Utah

Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche, SD

Home of the Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, Mont.

That’s not all. Total, there are 29 PRCA events scheduled between now and July 4.


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