When team ropers Clay Smith and Paul Eaves turned in a blistering time of 3.9 seconds during the Sunday matinee performance at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, fans witnessed an arena record time at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
I came to that realization as I read through a new document of Fort Worth Rodeo records that has been provided by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The PRCA has commissioned Jim Bainbridge, who works within the association’s media department, to dig up results of specific rodeos and assemble a records document.
In previous years, a list of arena records for the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo has been nonexistent. But thanks to Bainbridge’s diligence, fans can be immediately informed when a record is tied or broken.
According to Bainbridge’s research, Smith’s and Eaves’ 3.9 tied a nine-year-old arena record. In 2007, former world class competitors Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith turned in a then arena record time of 3.9.
Bainbridge, 68, who has worked as a journalist for a half century and has covered mainstream sports, said it’s imperative for a rodeo to provide a list of arena records.
“Over the years, you will hear of a time or score and you will try to confirm that it’s an arena or rodeo record, but you can’t do it because nobody has ever taken the time or trouble to keep those records,” Bainbridge said. “I know I can get us a lot closer to reproducing rodeo’s history like other sports have done. Somebody needs to do it, but I don’t see anyone lining up to do it. I want to get rodeo closer to other sports where history is quantified.”
According to Bainbridge’s research, the highest score in a bucking stock riding event is 95 points by Bobby Del Vecchio in 1982. Del Vecchio, a charismatic and popular cowboy who earned multiple trips to the National Finals Rodeo, turned in the lofty score of 95 aboard the former world champion bull, No. 105, which was owned by Dell Hall.
Over the years, you will hear of a time or score and you will try to confirm that it’s an arena or rodeo record, but you can’t do it because nobody has ever taken the time or trouble to keep those records. ... Somebody needs to do it, but I don’t see anyone lining up to do it. I want to get rodeo closer to other sports where history is quantified.
Journalist and historian Jim Bainbridge
The highest bareback riding score is a 90 by Gary Tucker in 1973 and Jason Jeter in 2004. The best saddle bronc riding score is a 91 by Cody Wright in 2011.
Four men are tied in steer wrestling with times of 3.2 seconds. They are Byron Walker (1981), Lee Laskosky (1997), Stephen Canik (1998) and Beau Clark (2012).
The record for the most prize money earned at the rodeo is $17,635 by Butch Myers in steer wrestling and tie-down roping in 1989. At the time, Myers was 43, a relatively elderly age for a rodeo cowboy, when he claimed the Fort Worth Rodeo’s all-around title.
Paulo Lima, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, leads the Professional Bull Rider’s 2016 world title race after finishing third at last weekend’s Built Ford Tough Series tour stop in Anaheim, Calif. Lima is ranked No. 1 with 1,300 points. Joao Ricardo Vieira, another Brazilian who resides in Decatur, is ranked No. 2 with 1,150.
Canadian Tanner Byrne won the title in Anaheim. He is ranked sixth in the world race with 660 points.
The PBR’s Ford Series will stop at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium on Feb. 27. The PBR 2016 World Finals is Nov. 2-6 in Las Vegas.
The third annual RFD-TVs The American is scheduled for Feb. 28 at AT&T Stadium. Competitors will ride for $2 million, a record payout for a single performance rodeo.