Gauge McBride has found success in the rodeo arena as well as the wrestling floor. He finished his senior year at Kearney High School as […]
Roper Review: Butchie Levell
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Butchie Levell (Butch Levell III) has gone to a lot of USTRC ropings in order to be tied for first with Keith Elkins from Clinton, Louisiana, in the Scholarship Standings. If he holds onto that lead until the end of the Finals, he will win $10,000 in scholarships.
The 18-year-old form Omaha, Nebraska, has been roping since he was 10, and is now a #6+ header and #6 heeler. “I like heading better, that’s been my strong point. Heeling is a little tough, but heading has been easy going for me.” His family, dad, Butch, mom, Pam, and older sister, Jennifer, were not into horses at all. “We have two houses on our property,” he explained. “The people that rented the house had horses and roped and I decided one day I wanted to be a cowboy and it started from there.” He started with the neighbors, and then got in with Jeff Straight, JD Yates, and Jay Wadams. “They helped him the most,” he said. Butchie started showing horses in the AQHA at the same time he was learning to rope and this year he stayed the summer in Colorado at JD Yates house, roping in the Colorado Junior Rodeo Association, and winning their year end Senior Team Roping saddle with his partner, Colton Reed.
This is his first year out of high school and he decided to stay home a year to rope, work for his dad, and take care of 50 head of cattle that he has accumulated over the years. “They are old roping heifers that I kept as momma cows and now I rope their calves.” He keeps them on leased pasture and at his place.
Butchie is headed to his fifth USTRC Finals. “It’s awesome being down there for a week, hanging out with friends, and going up against the best in the world and lots of money,” he said. He will haul four of his six horses to Oklahoma to enter everything from the open prelims to the #10; he’s entered mostly as a header, but is roping as a heeler as well.
His dad, Butch, owns a recycling business, Lakeside Auto Recyclers, and his mom is a stay-at-home mom. When he’s not roping or working with his herd, Butchie helps his dad with the company. His plans are to attend college and get an Ag Business degree and make his way to the NFR someday. “I rope until my arm gets tired and I don’t want to stop,” he said. “I rope until 8 or 9 every night.” He knows that’s what it’s going to take to get to the NFR. “My goal is to work hard every day and push to get better.”
The USTRC launched the scholarship program this year. “We had talked about this for a long time,” said Kirk Bray, USTRC President. “With putting $100,000 up and making it available for any age, up to 24, potentially a kid that’s 13 or 14 can start building a scholarship bank with us.” The USTRC Scholarship Program will award $100,000 in scholarship funds annually. Sixty (60) scholarships will be awarded to the top point earners during the 2016 season (November 1, 2015 thru October 31, 2016). “They had to opt in to the program because we wanted to make sure they are serious about going to college. It’s a pretty strict program, but we want to award the kids that go to college and get good grades. It’s a way to give back.”