story by Lori O’Harver GLEN ROSE, Texas – “We’re thrilled to have the bronc riders back in town, but honestly? It’s the TBRA lady ranch […]
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Meet the Members: Scholarship Finalists
story by Lori O’Harver
The bucking horse community has seen many changes over the years.
When bronc riding emerged as an organized sport in the early 1900s, there was a vast population of outlaw horses due to the crossing of Thoroughbred horses and drafts to satisfy the carriage trade in large cities. The combination was elegant and sturdy when everything worked right. When it went wrong, the offspring of that cross were untrainable and unusable to the common horseman. Rodeo was the perfect place for their talent to shine. In the 1940s, with the advent of the automobile, those breeding programs became obsolete. Visionaries like Feek Tooke stepped up to found the first program that intentionally bred horses to buck.
Currently, the population of bucking horses is being strengthened by various breeding programs, the advent of the DNA based registry Bucking Horse Breeder’s Association and futurity programs are attracting more horsemen to the sport.
Aside from the threat of misinformed, well-funded, urban based animal rights activism, the main problem facing the bucking horse community is growing the rider pool in the face of changing social paradigms and the fact that in the United States, an estimated 90% of the population resides in cities with limited access and knowledge of the world of large animals. Feeding and growing the pool of bucking horse riders has become a priority.
When the Texas Bronc Rider’s Association formed to strengthen the foundations of bronc riding nation, president Daryl McElroy addressed the issue for his non-profit organization by putting the goal of providing college scholarships for high school contestants first. When the year ended with the TBRA Finals at Cowtown Coliseum, those scholarships were in place funded in part by Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo and Henkels & McCoy. The McElroy family made up the balance personally. That’s what you do when you believe strongly in a cause. That kind of commitment is what keeps our community strong.
2017 memberships are open and charitable contributions to the non-profit organization are always welcomed.
2016 TBRA Scholarship Winners
Bareback Riding: Mitchell Phillips, $2000.00; Even Betony, $1500.00; Tyler Johnson, $1000.00.
Saddle Bronc Riding: Colt Gordon, $2000; Robert Haley, $1500.00; Bonner Voss, $1000.00.