COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - As the 2016 regular season comes to a close and we celebrate those WPRA members who have qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the WPRA honors those in the business that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make it all happen. Each winner will be officially recognized during the annual WPRA Star Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Grand Ballroom of the South Point Hotel and Casino.
Leading the way is Davie Kimm, the WPRA 2016 Announcer of the Year. Later this month, Kimm will be making his fourth consecutive appearance as the roping announcer at the WPRA World Finals in Waco, Texas, Oct. 20-23. Kimm had previously been nominated for the WPRA Announcer of the year in 2009 and 2013.
"What an honor and blessing," said Kimm of winning the WPRA Announcer of the Year title. "To be recognized for the job we do in this industry is just icing on the cake. Receiving this award, when there are so many good announcers in our industry, is humbling, especially when I look at those that have been selected before me. Many of them are the ones whom I have looked up to during my career."
Kimm's love of rodeo began as a contestant when he joined the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association in the 1980's. Kimm worked both ends of the arena roping calves and riding bareback and saddle bronc horses. He qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo and went on to qualify four times in the saddle bronc riding for the Great Lakes Circuit Finals. He became an announcer much like many in the business when he filled in for a no show announcer at a rodeo and well the rest is history.
Kimm has worked his way up through the high school, college and finally the professional ranks throughout the United States and Canada. Davie is quick to admit that his wife Nicky is a big part of his continued success. The two of them travel together throughout much of the year as a team with Nicky handling the rodeo music production and sound at many of the same rodeos. Along with announcing, Kimm is a commercial voice talent and spokesperson.
The WPRA Sponsor of the Year goes to Cargill Nutrena®. They joined the WPRA Corporate Partner family earlier this year and will be the presenting sponsor at the WPRA World Finals later this month. Nutrena® is the official equine feed and pet food of the WPRA.
“Just like the WPRA’s long-term commitment to the professional barrel racer, team roper, tie-down roper, and breakaway roper, Nutrena® has a long history in the feed industry dating back to 1921. We are excited to partner with an organization that promotes the sport of rodeo for women and the Western cowgirl lifestyle," said Jackie Galle-Haney, the US Retail Strategic Marketing and Technology Leader of Nutrena®, when they were officially announced as a WPRA Corporate Partner.
Steve Kenyon will receive the WPRA Media Award in recognition of media coverage he has given to the WPRA and its members through the years on ProRodeo Live. Kenyon has had a microphone in his hand dating back to 1993 when he joined the PRCA and started his rodeo announcing career. Today, when he is not officially announcing a PRCA rodeo as their announcer, he can be found at a PRCA rodeo bringing live coverage of the event to the fans through the internet and satellite radio. He also hosts Western Sports Roundup, a weekly radio program on Rural Radio, bringing year round coverage to the sport of rodeo. He received the PRCA Media Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism in 2009.
"Not everyone on the PR side of our sport takes the time to know about the ladies of the WPRA and their great equine partners as well as he does," said Jolee Lautaret-Jordan, who works alongside Kenyon at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
The Potter Family will be recognized with the Lifetime Family Heritage Award. As noted on their website: A lifetime of experience is the foundation for success at Potter Ranch. The program is a true family affair.
Potter Ranch was established in 1973 when Mel, Wendy, and their middle daughter, Jo Lynn moved to Marana, Ariz., from the east edge of Tucson. Shortly after that their youngest daughter, Sherry, was born. Wendy, a WPRA Gold Card member, qualified for the NFR three times aboard Auto Dial.
Mel’s interest in Driftwood horses, the foundation of the Potter Ranch, started back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s when many of the top ropers in Arizona and California were riding these horses to rope on. He had the opportunity to rope on several of these horses during this time and learned to appreciate what great rodeo athletes they were first hand. Some of these horses included Poker Chip Peake, Driftwood Ike, and Speedywood.
Several years later an opportunity arrived that would enable the Potters to acquire a number of daughters and granddaughters with Driftwood pedigree. Probably no place in the world can you find this much concentration of Driftwood blood and no other bloodlines have carried more rodeo contestants to World Championships than Driftwood.
After seeing first-hand what a tremendous horse the Driftwood-Sun Frost bred barrel horse, “Bozo” was, the Potter Ranch purchased a full brother, “PC Frenchmans Hayday” aka Dinero. That purchase would prove to be a very valuable one. PC Frenchmans Hayday and Miss Meter Jet would produce a palomino mare MP Meter My Hay "Stingray" that would carry Mel and Wendy's youngest daughter, Sherry Cervi to two out of four of her world titles in 2010 and 2013.
The Potter family continues to make their mark in WPRA history both human and equine and continues to raise the bar for all to follow.
And last but certainly not least is the committee category. Without the dedication and support of the rodeo committees none of this would be possible. The WPRA recognizes committees in three categories - small, medium and large based on total added money. This year's recipient in the large rodeo committee category is the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo in Spanish Fork, Utah. This is the third time this committee has been recognized by the WPRA. Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo joined the PRCA in 1942, and has put together a current streak of 44 consecutive sellout performances. Under the leadership of Chairman Steve Money, Spanish Fork has continued to strive to be the best and grow into a top PRCA/WPRA rodeo. They were recently inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. In 2017, the rodeo will double its prize money to $20,000 per event, and be bumped up to a Gold Tour rodeo.The WPRA would like to congratulate each of the award recipients as well as those that were nominated for these prestigious awards.
Below is a full list of those that will be receiving awards at the 2016 WPRA Star Celebration.
Announcer of the Year
Stock Contractor of the Year
Southwick's Rocky Mountain Rodeo - Glenn Southwick
Pro Official of the Year
Mildred Farris Secretary of the Year
Small Committee of the Year(added money of $5,000 or less)
(tie) Nacogdoches (Texas) Pro Rodeo & Longford (Kan.) Rodeo
Medium Committee of the Year(added money of $5,001 - $9,999)
NILE Pro Rodeo, Billings, Mont.
Large Committee of the Year(added money over $10,001)
Spanish Fork (Utah) Fiesta Days Rodeo
Sponsor of the Year
Outstanding Individual Award
Lifetime Family Heritage Award
NFR Lifetime Achievement Award
Outstanding Dedication and Service Award