Last week was a week that many of those associated with the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association would like to forget as soon as they can and move forward no matter how hard that will be. Between season-ending injuries and a loss of a legend in the rodeo industry, things have to be looking better for these athletes as the 2017 season forges on. It is tough to see so many things happen so early on in the professional rodeo season but that will just fuel the fire of those that must sit on the sidelines and watch.
That being said, things will begin to pick up quite rapidly beginning this week with the opening of the 2017 Rodeo Houston performances. As the time of this posting, there have been three rounds completed with many more to go before the event comes to an end after another great season. Many of the top rodeo athletes around the world would converge on Houston to take their chances at earning a huge payday that will build their confidence on the way to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this coming December.
9/18/29 – 3/2/17
When the world that we call the western lifestyle industry thinks of a legendary voice behind the microphone only one man will come to their minds, that man would be none other than Hadley Barrett. The North Platte, Nebraska cowboy who’s legendary career came to an end February 25th at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo will never be forgotten as his untimely death will hit all those that have ever come across his smile and upbeat personality over their careers.
Following a great number of days in San Antonio Hadley Barrett would be relaxing in a Dallas suburb when the unthinkable would happen. In the early morning hours of March 2, 2017, Barrett suffered heart complications and suddenly passed away. Word spread quickly among those close to him and Wayne Brooks, fellow PRCA announcer, was one of those men. When asked what this meant to the rodeo industry he simply said, “Regardless of age, the numbers don’t count, he was just an ironman. We all know (passing away) is going to happen to us someday, but it doesn’t seem possible that’s happening now with him. It’s unreal for sure.” Brooks was the last to work with Barrett just a few days before his death in San Antonio.
Winn Ratliff And I At The 2012 WNFR Following His Round 6 Win
On the same day as Hadley Barrett’s passing, another rodeo superstar’s season came to an abrupt end follow a devastating injury. Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association bareback rider Winn Ratliff was injured while competing at the Matagorda County Fair & Rodeo in Bay City, Texas on March 2nd. Although it will be tough for the WNFR qualifier but he will come back in 2018 with a new flame burning while on a mission to claim his first world championship title.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Tracy Renck was able to catch up with Ratliff to see what he had to say about the end of his season and the severity of his injuries that will keep him sidelined. When asked about this he said, “It’s not like I’ll never compete again, it’s just a jam in the road. Every tragedy has something good come out of it, just have faith and believe and not be a Debby Downer.” This statement proves that if you have the right attitude something good can always come out of a tragedy such as this!
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