101 Wild West Rodeo





The 60th Annual 101 Wild West Rodeo

June 6 - 8, 2018

Website will be updated as information becomes available.

Keep Watching For Updates.





Work Sessions

Work will continue through this year and next on improvements to the 101 Wild West Rodeo Arena. Volunteers are always welcome.





RETURNING THIS YEAR: Barrelman - Justin “Rumpshaker” Rumford & Specialty Act - Amanda J. Payne




101 Wild West Rodeo History - 1965


RODEO DATES: RODEO DATES: August 26th, 27th, & 28th

RODEO QUEEN: Jensi Fronkier SPECIALTY ACT: Jimmie Adams - doing Roman Riding & Trick Roping, & C.D. Ferguson with his sheep dog & monkey act, The Swinging Conner Family & The Pioneer Chorus (Barbershoppers)

101 Ranch Rodeo Opens August 26
The 101 Ranch Rodeo for 1965 will be on Thursday, Fri-day and Saturday nights, August 26, 27 and 28, it was announced Monday.


Lex Conley, announcer for the National Finals Rodeo and for the television shows of the Wide World of Sports, will be announcer for the rodeo this year.


As in the past two years, Jim Shoulders will be the stock producer.


For the first time since establishment of professional RCA rodeo in Ponca City, Buck Le Grand will not be able to clown any of the performances be cause of prior engagements.

GOLF DOESN'T TAKE CARE of the muscles required in the applying of wood preservative to the grandstands at the 101 Ranch Rodeo arena, according to those who worked last Sunday. An entirely different set is required. The wood was treated when the bleachers were erected several years ago. Now they need a "booster." Shown here are left, Dr. W. F. Alexander-Bill to those who know him-and Melvin L.

Ford, best known as Bud or Mel, hard at work. Alexander is chairman of the maintenance crew which includes anyone willing to lend a hand. Ford is president of the board of trustees of the Ponca City Rodeo Foundation. Their wives worked as hard as they did Sunday, although they refused to be photographed-knowingly or unknowingly.


IT'S RODEO TIME - almost! The dates are set. They're earlier this year Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 26, 27 and 28. Jim Shoulders is again under contract to furnish his unpredictable stock. Special acts, clowns and an announcer of the National Finals Rodeo are all contracted to appear in the arena at the 101 Ranch Rodeo. But there is much work that must be done before the first grand entry. It is work that does not show. It is work that would cost more than the Rodeo Foundation could pay. So persons interested in the development of this attraction to Ponca City are going out and doing it. Here is shown a portion of the "crew" which last Sunday spread on the bleachers 55 gallons of wood preservative. "Small fry" are having fun just a lookin'. And they had only paint brushes with which to work! Before the job is completed another 110 gallons must be applied. Any volunteers willing to WORK will be most welcome. Call Bud Ford at the First National Bank or Bill Alexander at his office on Ranch Drive.


A voice familiar to rodeo fans over the nation will make spectators at the 101 Ranch Rodeo feel they are standing "back of the chutes."

The voice will be that of Lex Connelly, who will be the announcer for the 101 Ranch Rodeo here Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening of next week. Each performance will be 8 p.m.

Connelly, national television voice of professional rodeo for the past five years; hails from Chatsworth, Calif. He hag handled the color commentary for 23 sports presentations of rodeo on both CBS and ABC. For ABC he often worked with Clem McSpadden, well known in rodeo circles and in the Oklahoma legislature, who was announcer here last year.

Also, Connelly has dubbed in the rodeo announcer's voice for arena sequences of the "Stoney Burke" television series.

This will be Lex's first announcing appearance in an Oklahoma arena. He was signed last January by Bethel Freeman, vice president of the Rodeo Foundation.

Spectators will hear a brand new approach to rodeo announcing drawn from the Californian’s 18 years in rodeo.

Connelly has a unique background embracing experience in every phase of rodeo-contesting, public relations, administration and production, in addition to announcing.

For 11 full seasons Connelly made his living as a steer wrestler and roper. He won such major contests as New York's Madison Square Garden, the Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Cow Palace at San Francisco.

Seven years he ranked as one of the top 10 money winners in steer wrestling.

In 1957, Connelly was appointed managing director - of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, the highest executive position in rodeo. During the five years Lex held the association reins pro rodeo made many far-reaching advancements.

Connelly negotiated the first network television contracts, established a successful public relations campaign with national news media and mapped out the National Finals Rodeo as a climactic close for the rodeo year.

In 1962, the National Finals Rodeo moved from Dallas to Los Angeles. In this year Lex Connelly returned to his home state as producer and general manager of rodeo’s World Series.

The 101 Ranch Rodeo is one of the few rodeos in which Lex will appear this year.

Boasters have been unusually numerous and loud among Ponca City businessmen of late. Each seems to feel that he – or at least some member of his particular civic club – has more of the real wild west in his makeup than anyone else.

The boasting has started to take on serious proportions so ….. The Rodeo Foundation decided to give boastful men who feel the lure of rodeo an opportunity to prove themselves – or their fellow civic club members.

A wild cow-milking contest will be held each of the three nights of the 101 Ranch Rodeo. This will test the stamina and ability of the greatest of the braggarts.

For the spectators – what hilarious fun!

This contest was one of the most popular events at the 101 Wild West Shows. From there it spread and for many years was a commonly scheduled event at rodeos throughout the west.

Wild cow is strictly a timed event. The specific rules to be observed next Thursday, Friday and Saturday have not been announced by the Rodeo Foundation.

As original and performed in rodeos, wild cow milking calls for a team of three men. Two of them throw ropes around the head of the wild cow. The ropers then get on both sides of the cow, holding its head steady for the milker.

There is no control over the hind quarters. This portion is allowed to twist from side to side, kick the bucket or whatever the cow decides is best to defeat the milking cowboy.

In these earlier contests between three men and a wild cow, a soft drink bottle was used rather than a milking pail.

It is expected that the three agile clowns bullfighting the 101 Ranch Rodeo will give to the ambitious and confident pseudo cowboys every assistance possible.

GENUINE GOLD-PLATED Justin cowboy boots will be the trophy for the civic club which sponsors the successful wild cow milking team at the 101 Ranch Rodeo. Bob Whitworth, Chamber of Commerce manager, goes western for Rodeo Week as he displays the trophy. In the arena Thursday night will be teams from the Jaycees, Kiwanis and After Five Lions Club. Friday night the Rotarians, Ambucs and the noontime Lions Club will be cheering their teams. The winners the first two evenings will fight it out Saturday night for the trophy.

STOCK CONTRACTING JUST CAME NATURALLY TO RODEO CHAMPION The greatest competing cowboy in rodeo history, Jim Shoulders found himself in the stock contracting end of the game more by accident than actual intent.

This is the third year Shoulders has been furnishing bucking animals for professional and the third year he will be producer of the 101 Ranch Rodeo in Ponca City.

Early in 1959, as rodeo's top money winner three successive years, Jim had few records left to shatter except his own. He had no future plans other than using his skills in bareback bronc riding and bull riding in the contest arena, and continuing to operate the 5,000-acre cattle ranch he owns at Henryetta for his wife Sharron and their three children.

But to help a weekly rodeo get started in central Texas, he invested some of his hard earned winnings in bucking stock. The new rodeo established, Jim parlayed his investment into the 200 head of horses and bulls that make up his current bucking string.

With a keen knowledge of what to look for in outlaw animals, picked up during competitive seasons, plus a wide acquaintance with rodeo committees over the country, stock contracting seemed to fall naturally into the future scheme for Shoulders.

At the 1959 National Finals, rodeo's first "world series" at Dallas in Late December, the wiry Oklahoman captured his fourth straight crown as the year's high money winner, by finishing runner-up in bareback bronc riding standings and topping the bull riding for the year.

In so doing he boosted his string of world championship crowns to 16, almost twice the number ever won by any other in rodeo.

In 1960 Shoulders missed winning a national diadem for the first time since 1954 but wound up fifth in the total money picture, pushing his overall rodeo winnings to $384,368 since 1946, his first pro year.

Born May 13, 1928, in the suburbs of Tulsa, Jim began rodeoing in the footsteps of an older" brother, Marvin Shoulders, who put him on his first bucking animal at, Dewey in. 1943.

Jim remembers wishing he'd stayed in the grandstand on that first one, but he won $18.

Victory has come his way ever since.

$500 PRIZE FOR A RIDE ON TORNADO Want to earn $500 in eight seconds?

Some lucky (?) person at the Friday night performance of the 101 Ranch Rodeo will be given that opportunity.

Jim Shoulders has put up $500 to be given to this person if he can make an eight-second ride on Tornado in the RCA¬ approved manner.


Tornado will be in the arena Thursday night so prospective riders can size him up and figure their strategy for staying aboard.

The offer is not limited to cowboys.

It is open to anyone who wants to try – drugstore cowboys, business men, executives – anyone of legal age.

Not all of the rules and regulations are known yet, only two. The rider must be of legal age and the free hand must not touch Tornado-during the first eight seconds after he comes out of the chute.

How the lucky (?) person is to be selected from the many who will want to try to be the first to complete a ride on Tornado will be announced by Shoulders at the Thursday evening rodeo performance.

For the past two years the cowboys themselves have voted Tornado as the bull of the year.

Tornado was chosen for the NFR and not one of the 15 top riders in the nation was able to stay on him until the sound of the horn.

Everyone who has seen him in action agrees that Tornado is an excellent name for the twisting, heaving, crossbred Brahma of the Jim Shoulders string.

CHECK FOR $500 has been signed by Jim Shoulders, who is betting no one can win the money by staying on high-twisting Tornado for eight seconds at the Friday night performance of the 101 Ranch Rodeo. The man – he must be of legal age – who attempts the ride will be selected from among ¬those signing up to take on the crossbred Brahma. If he can stay aboard until the horn sounds and does not touch the bull with his free hand he will gain national cowboy fame, for Tornado has never been ridden. Five hundred dollars for eight seconds' work represents an extremely high rate of pay - $225,000 an hour or $1, 800, 00 for an eight-hour day. The opportunity is open to anyone, not just competing cowboys.

101 RANCH RODEO ENTRIES HIT 119 One hundred and nineteen rodeo hands filed their entries with the arena secretary Wednesday for the 101 Ranch Rodeo today, Friday and Saturday. Their entry fees will swell the prize money payoff to $6,540 for the three evening performances.

The entry roster boasts two current event leaders in world championship standings and five men who wear the gold belt buckles marking past world champions.

Larry Mahan, Brooks, Ore., is among the 30 bull riding entries. He leads all other bull riders with $15,515 won in the event this year and has a commanding $4,105 lead for the title won last season by Ponca City’s Bob Wegner.

Mahan, in his third year of pro rodeo, ranks third in total money won to date with $19,241 in the Monday standings released by the Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Number one bareback bronc rider in rodeo now is Paul Mayo, Grinnell, Iowa, entered here. Mayo shot from third to first place last week, over defending champ Jim Houston, after winning the important Sidney, Iowa, contest and $1,115 on bareback broncs there. He stands just behind Mahan in total winnings with $18,838.

Many Title Holders The list of 30 steer wrestlers includes three world titleholders, C. R. Boucher, Burkburnett, Tex., the 1964 kingpin, and the Combs brothers of Checotah – Willard and Benny, champions in 1957 and 1955, respectively.

Guy Weeks, Abilene, Tex., 1963 world champion saddle bronc rider, is entered.

The fifth champ is the grand old man of rodeo, Freckles Brown, Lawton, who at 40 was the top bull rider of 1962 and who is still tough as a boot at 43.

Ropers Plentiful Best-known entries in calf roping are Ronnye Sewalt, Chico, Tex., runner-up for the title last season, and Barry Burke, Wagoner, number three in the title race. Ponca City’s long time pro contestant Merle Davis is entered as a favorite here.

Hottest man on the road in wrestling now is Billy Hale, Checotah. Hale is in second place in standings, but closing fast the lead built up earlier this season by California’s Harley May. Hale will try to keep a six-rodeo winning streak alive here. In 1964 Hale finished third.

Former Champs Here On the bareback broncs, Mayo’s chief competition should come from Jim Bausch, Rapid City, S.D, third a year ago and a former National Intercollegiate Rodeo champ.

Kurley Hebb, Fall River, Kan., 11th in saddle bronc riding last year, and Ralph Maynard, rookie sensation from Eagle Butte, S.D., now 10th, will test Weeks on saddle broncs.

An interesting addition to the bull riding competition this year will be two top Canadian entries, Hank Abbey, Rumford, Alberta, 12th in the standings last year, and Dave Garstead, Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Jimmie Adams Performs Besides the six contest events, including the girl’s barrel race, the 101 Ranch Rodeo will feature fresh and entertaining specialty acts by Jimmie Adams with his trick roping, modern style and his Red Rocket horse, and by C.D. Ferguson with his monkey sheepherders and barrel racers.

Local civic clubs have whipped up great interest in their special wild cow milking. As a result, the rodeo committee has increased the number of standby ambulances.

Rodeo Chairman Bud Ford said, “We have great confidence in the enthusiasm but little in the ability of the club members to tackle these wild cows.”

Rodeo clowns Chuck Henson, Wiley McCray and John Routh, all new to local audiences, will round out the program, with Jim Shoulders furnishing all livestock.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. sharp and ticket windows open at 5 o’clock.


Contestants, Rodeo Stock Ready For Opener Tonight A fanfare by the 101 Ranch Rodeo band at 8 sharp tonight will open the 1965 RCA rodeo in Ponca City.

The most outstanding group of cowboys in local rodeo history will be riding, roping and dogging.

They have come from Montana, Canada, Iowa, Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, Arizona, California and North Dakota, and some of Oklahoma’s own top contenders are competing.

Jim Shoulders, stock contractor, has 140 head of stock in the corrals waiting to go into the chutes. At least half of the bulls have never been seen here before. Ten new broncs, will be coming out.

The queen contestants will ride short patterns for judges, to see their wardrobes and horsemanship ability. They will be judged 50 percent on their riding, 25 percent on poise and personality and 25 percent on wardrobe.

Winner will be announced at the Saturday night performance after each has made two appearances in the arena.

One of the "specialty acts" will be the wild cow milking contest among Rotarians, Kiwanians, Noon Lions, After Five Lions, Ambucs and Jaycees.

Contestants tonight will be Harry Hayman, C. A. Porter and Joe Onstot for the Kiwanis Club; Jaycees John Gray, Bob Cassity and Arlene Millikan, and Ben Sanders, chairman, Wayne Smith, Don Anderson and John Williams from the After Five Lions.

Other acts between the main' events will be Jimmie Adams in his daring Roman riding act on the Red Rockets, Flash and Flame, and C. D. Ferguson with his novelty monkey and sheepdog act. Adams will be seen in trick, roping, also.

There will be entertainment in the arena beginning at 7 p.m., with the swinging Conner family playing western songs; two dances by the Oto-Poncs under the direction of Jerry Palmer; the 101 Ranch Memorial Trail Riders and the Pioneer Chorus.

Tickets will go on sale at the 101 Ranch ticket office - at the rodeo grounds at 5 o'clock this afternoon.

JUSTICE IS BLIND and so Wild Cow Milking Contest Judge Gareth Muchmore plans to wear black glasses to avoid favoritism in the Wild Cow Milking Contest at the 101 Ranch Rodeo tonight. He has been equipped with starting pistols, wearing two to maintain an even balance, he explained, rather than for self-protection.









CHAMPEEN WILD COW MILKERS, under protest of their five defeated opponents, were the noontime Lions, shown receiving a pair of gold-plated boots as their prize.

There was some confusion when a steer showed up on the end of the rope handed one of the teams, and a bit more confusion when Jaycees wound up with orange drink instead of milk in their bottle. Left to right in the presentation picture are Bethel Freeman, presenting the prize, Dave Burrows, Wayne Smith, Eddie Davis and Buck Rowe.







Ponca City's own Jimmy Adams,
doing Roman Riding and Trick


Wiley McCray, Chuck Henson &
John Routh, Rodeo Clowns & Bull

C. D. Ferguson and his outstanding
sheep dog and monkey act.


Lex Connelly, Wide World of Sports

Stock Contractor, Jim Shoulders,
16 times World's Champion Cowboy.

30-piece Rodeo Band, under the
direction of Pete Long.

Indian Village, Ota-Ponc Indian Dancers.
(Ponca City’s Nationally Known Oto-Ponc Indian dancers).

The Swinging Conner Family The Pioneer Chorus (Barbershoppers)

SOUTH DAKOTA COWBOY WINS ALL-AROUND CROWN, $617 All-around champion of the 101 Ranch Rodeo was the third ranking bareback bronc rider in the nation last year, Jim Bausch. Bausch, from Rapid City, S. D., won the bareback event. He finished second in steer wrestling with a total time of 13.6 for two head and walked off with $617.60 won in the two events.

One of the high spots of the final performance came when Harry Burk, a father for the first time just four hours before rodeo time, came to the arena straight from a Tulsa hospital, borrowed a horse and a rope and tied the fastest calf of the night, 12.5 seconds, to earn $182.93. Burk, of Wagoner, who ranked third in the nation last season, missed his first calf.

Honors and top money on total time were carried off by Dusty Bogard of Charlie, Tex. His checks totaled $320.14.

Merle Davis, veteran Ponca City fulltime rodeo pro, earned second place in the calf roping and $228.

Nine-year-old Debra Atkinson of Ringwood, the first entry in the 101 Ranch Rodeo for this year, come in first in the barrel race. Total time for her two go rounds was 33.33 seconds.

Jimmie Gibbs of Valley Mills, Tex., winner of the 1964 contest, tied for fourth in the average.

Bill Hale of Checotah won the steer wrestling by a full second over Bausch. Hale pocketed $478.80 to help his second place stand in national rankings for 1965. He threw two steers in 12.6 seconds.

In bull riding, which drew the most entries, 30, each man got but one chance to compete. Don James, Henryetta, won the contest and $394.80. James, 21, is a graduate of Jim Shoulders' bull riding school.

Rodeo's best score of 62 went to Ralph Maynard of Thunder Butte, N. D., on the second go¬ round on saddle broncs. He had total points of 119 on two horses to give him average in this event, in which he ranks 10th nationally.

Disclaimer - The information found on these pages is only meant to be a concise chronological collection of happenings as they relate to each year's 101 Ranch Rodeo and not a complete or total recreation of each year's events and/or happenings. If you have additional information pertaining to the 101 Ranch Rodeo and would like to share it with us and others that visit this website, please feel free to submit your information to us and we will be glad to review it and consider adding it to these pages.


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