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Barnes/MJM rodeo stock shines again at NFR

Monday, December 21, 2009

Legendary Cherokee County Rodeo Producers celebrate 51 years at NFR

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Barnes PRCA Rodeo Company & MJM Rodeos from Cherokee County, Iowa have again made headlines at the recent nationally televised Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, NV.

Six of Barnes/MJM saddle broncs were selected for the NFR making it 51 consecutive years that some of their stock has gone to the world series of Rodeo. The horses and bulls performing there each year are chosen by the cowboys, based on the animals' performance throughout the rodeo season.

The Barnes/MJM broncs played a major part in the year's 10-day event as both the NFR winner, Shaun Stroh of Dickinson, N.D., and the world champion, Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, Mont. had two of their 10 rides on Barnes'/MJM saddle broncs. Stroh had an 80-point ride on LV Lights and an 80.5 outing on Little Stone on his way to the NFR title and more than $43,954 in prize money for winning the NFR average.

Kruse placed fourth at the NFR but still won the World Championship based on his earnings for the year, which totaled more than $194,000. He had an 85-point ride on Barnes' Cat Power and a 79.5 ride on Tooke Scott. Cat Power also took Bryce Miller, a Buffalo, S.D. cowboy to the pay window for $8,700 on the final night with a score of 84.5. The scores are based half on the performance of the horse and half on the cowboy's ride. Barnes/MJM broncs came from their herd of more than 350 horses in Cherokee County, Iowa.

Another highlight in Las Vegas came on Sunday night as Barnes' outstanding mare, Wild Falls, was retired from competition and received a standing ovation from the more than 17,000 rodeo fans in attendance. She is now 26 years old and has five NFR appearances, along with 10 appearances at the Great Lakes Circuit Finals. She was voted Great Lakes Circuit Saddle Bronc of the year in 1997. Marty Barnes says Wild Falls was born and raised on their ranch, has brought them honors across the nation, has produced six foals for them, and now will spend her retirement years at the Iowa ranch.

Bob Barnes, who founded the Barnes' Rodeo Company 60 years ago, was honored in a ceremony for his 51 consecutive years of having stock at the NFR since its beginning.

He, along with Harry Vold of the Vold Rodeo Company in Colorado, are the only two contractors with this record. Highlights of their careers were shown on the Jumbotron in the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas where the Wrangler National Finals have been held annually since 1985. Both men are members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Hall of Fame.

An additional honor has come to the Barnes family as their son John is now serving as the Assistant Livestock Superintendent for all of the animals at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. His duties include helping to supervise the care of the livestock which have been selected for the Finals and seeing that the animals are ready for their scheduled events. This has required him to be in Las Vegas for six weeks.

He will be heading back to the Iowa ranch this week with their all-star horses, along with 14 bulls that they acquired to be used in their 2010 rodeos. Cindy Barnes returned for the third time as an official WNFR timer.

Rodeo fans can get additional information about the National Finals Rodeo at HYPERLINK "http://www.prorodeo.com" www.prorodeo.com and can also visit www.barnesprcarodeo.com.

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