The Mountains States Circuit of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) consists of just two states - Wyoming and Colorado. Both have reputation for growing quality cattle. They're also known for producing some pretty decent cowboys. This was evident during the second annual National Circuit Finals Steer Roping (NCFSR) held in Torrington, Wyo., in April.
The circuit was represented this year by Chris Anderson, Travis Mills, Chris Glover, Wade Shoemaker D.V.M., and Trent Mills. The talented bunch was able to beat teams from four other PRCA circuits in prize money won and win its first NCFSR title. The win was due in large part to the efforts of 2011 NCFSR Champion and home state hand Trent Mills of Gillette, Wyo. Mills claimed the title on his way to setting a new record for money won during the rodeo with $10,093 in earnings.
Trent, along with brother Travis (also from Gillette) and the rest of the Mountain States Circuit contestants, was very complimentary of those who hosted this year's finals. "It was a well-run and great roping," he says. Mills adds, "We all appreciate what the committee does toward making this such a great rodeo right here in Wyoming." He summarizes his success during the seven rounds of competition by saying, "My first steer got up on me, so I just tried to tie them as fast as possible the rest of the weekend. I was able to rope and tie pretty quick the next four rounds and ended up third in the average. This qualified me for the semi-finals."
In the semi-final round Mills finished first with a time of 12.1 seconds. As luck would have it, the steer he would draw in the final round would be the one his brother won third place on during round three of the rodeo. Mills roped and tied the final steer with time to spare. He stopped the clock in 13 seconds flat, beating the 16.5 second run posted just moments earlier by South Dakota's Jess Tierney.
The older Mills, Travis, had this to say about Trent's win and the roping, "Trent did a great job there. He roped good and deserved to win. Right now, I think I'm more tickled than he is." He adds, "They really got the deal done there in Torrington. The rodeo committee and the whole town made us guys feel welcome. The banquets, suppers, and parties they hosted were real nice."
The rest of the Mountain States team echoed the Wyoming duos opinions of the event. Anderson, from Merino, Colo., serves as the circuit's Steer Roping Representative and comments, "This was a first-class event. Harold Bumgartner and Stephanie Lofink do an amazing job putting things together. The format is awesome. It's not often you get the chance to rope a fresh pen of cattle and against many of the best cowboys around - all just a couple hours from home."
"The roping this year was excellent," adds Dr. Shoemaker of Gill, Colo. "The rodeo last year was good. This year was even better. Harold and Stephanie, along with the whole community, made us feel special. Steer ropers are a family and the town of Torrington made us feel like a part of theirs the whole weekend."
As the top-ranked circuit contestant, Glover currently sits 14th in the PRCA Steer Roping world standings. The popular and highly regarded cowboy from Keensburg, Colo., competed only weeks after undergoing elbow reconstruction. "It was an honor to go and rope in Torrington," says Glover. "Steer roping has been the fasting growing event in rodeo for the last couple years and new events like the NCFSR and San Antonio are big reasons why."
If you have never watched steer roping, you're missing one of the original events in rodeo. If you haven't watched steer roping in the Mountain States Circuit, you're missing some of the best cowboys around.
For more information on steer roping and upcoming events, please visit ProRodeo.com.