Something In The Water: Rodeo Champion Hotspots

Maybe it’s something in the water.

Maybe it was one great mentor who helped generations of rodeo competitors. 

Or maybe it’s a gathering place where champions seem to gravitate to. 

Rodeo competitors are spread throughout the world in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and beyond, but there are certain areas produce or house champions in astounding numbers. 

The first example of one of those hotspots is the home of the Duvall’s Steer Wrestling Jackpot. Checotah, Oklahoma, where the jackpot takes place, exemplifies one of those odd areas that just seems to be home to many champions.

Watch the Duvall's Steer Wrestling Jackpot May 18-20 LIVE on FloRodeo.

Ote Berry at the 2017 Duvall's Steer Wrestling Jackpot

Checotah, Oklahoma: Steer Wrestler Capital Of The World

Population: 3,225 (2016)

PRCA Steer Wrestling Championships: 11 (within an hour)

Known as the "Steer Wrestler Capital of the World," the small town of Checotah, Oklahoma, has something in the water when it comes to producing top steer wrestlers. A scroll down the PRCA past world champions list shows a list of PRCA world title holders that lived within an hour of the town dating back to the 1950s. 

Teddy Johnson (2003), Ote Berry (1985, 1990, 1991, 1995), Roy Duvall (1967, 1969, 1972), Billy Hale (1971), Willard Combs (1957), and Benny Combs (1955) all hail from the area and helped put the small town on the map in the rodeo community. 

Marty Yates Breaks The Arena Record For The Second Year In A Row

Stephenville, Texas' Marty Yates currently sits in the No. 5 spots in the PRCA world standings. Fellow Stephenville cowboy Sterling Smith also sits within the top 15 in the world. Footage Courtesy of RFD-TV EVENTS, LLC.

Stephenville, Texas: Cowboy Capital Of The World

Population: 20,607 (2016)

PRCA World Championships: 20 (Stephenville and Dublin)

Whether they were raised there, hung around for a while, or decided it was a great place to move to, many champions have found a home in Stephenville and the Erath County. Ty Murray (seven-time world all-around champion and two-time bull riding champion), Cody Ohl (five-time tie-down roping and 2001 all-around world champion), and Harry Tompkins (two time all-around, one-time bareback, and five-time bull riding world champion) have all called the area home. 

A look at the current PRCA standings also shows accomplished competitors that list Stephenville as their hometown like Cory Koontz, Sterling Crawley, Marty Yates, and Sterling Smith inside the top 15. 

Alberta, Canada: Build The Rodeos, Cowboys Will Come

Population: 4,146,000 (2014)

PRCA World Championships: 21

When you have a Canadian province that hosts most of the entire country’s professionally sanctioned rodeos, it’s no wonder it produces the most world titles out of all other provinces in the country. The province has sent some strong competition to rodeo’s largest stage over the years, and after Alberta’s Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler claimed world team roping titles in 2016, they could officially say they have a world champion in every event. 

The province’s strongest event since the beginning of the WNFR has undoubtedly been the saddle bronc riding. Ten of Alberta’s 19 titles come from the event, dating all the way back to Pete Knight’s first world saddle bronc title in 1932. 

That win marked the very first time an Albertan cowboy won a world title.

Kaique Pacheco Rides No. 1 Bull In PBR On His Way To Becoming No. 1 Himself

Itatiba, Sao Paulo's Kaique Pacheco and SweetPro’s Bruiser both sit in the No. 1 position in the PBR world standings. Video courtesy of PBR. 

Sao Paulo, Brazil: The Bull Rider State

Population: 45,340,000 (2018)

PRCA and PBR World Championships: 10

Since 1994, all nine PBR world champions that call Brazil home have come from the state of Sao Paulo. Names that have put Brazilian bull riders in the spotlight like Silvano Alves (three-time world champion), Guilherme, Marchi (2008 world champion), and Adriano Moraes (two-time world champion) all hail from the state. 

The state continues to dominate the PBR game today, with the top three bull riders in the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast tour standings—Kaique Pacheco, Claudio Montanha Jr., and Ramon de Lima—calling Sao Paulo home. 

Junior Nogueira joined that group of proud Sao Paulo competitors in 2016 by becoming the first Brazilian to win a world all-around title in the PRCA. 

Decatur, Texas: Where the Super Loopers Live

Population: 6,648 (2016)

PRCA World Championships: 27

While Roy Cooper didn’t earn his world titles while living in Decatur, when he settled in the town the roping dynasty followed. Sons Tuf, Clif, and Clint Cooper, as well as son-in-law Trevor Brazile, have become competitors who need no introduction in the roping game. 

Cooper earned his eight world titles while living in Durant, Oklahoma—another rodeo hotspot—before bringing his roping legacy to Decatur to let it grow. In fact, there is only one world titleholder that listed their hometown as Decatur that did not win their title in a roping event (Chuck Logue, 1990 Bareback Riding World Champion), but 13 world titles between the tie-down roping, team roping and steer roping. 

If that doesn’t make Decatur home of the Super Loopers, I don’t know what will.

Bettis: Her First Round Win & A Lucky Charm In The Alley

'The Smoothest Run' - Taci Bettis Finally Gets Her Go-Round Win

Grit, determination, and a lucky charm for good measure. Barrel racer Taci Bettis had a tough start to her NFR week, but she's turning it around night-by-night in Las Vegas. 

Showstomper: Kaycee Feild Prepares To Take On "No. 1 Enemy" Tonight

The four-time world champion should be able to ride the hide off any bucking horse out there but, as he said in a social media post earlier today, "rodeo is a humbling sport". Kaycee Feild has drawn Frontier Rodeo's Showstomper for round eight of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and he know he's in for a battle. 

Our Five Favorite Moments From The First Five Rounds At The 2018 NFR

We’re five performances down at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, so we decided to count down our five favorite moments from the first half of the Super Bowl of rodeo.

Trevor Brazile Slowing Down In 2019 To Focus On Four Things

Twenty-three world titles, 22 years in the professional rodeo game, but the number Trevor Brazile is focusing on now is four. The King of the Cowboys announced that he will be slowing down in 2019 to spend more time with the four members of his family: his wife Shada and kids Treston (11), Style (8) and Swayzi (3).

Season In Review: See Our Favorite Shots Of Competitors Headed To NFR

Trevor Brazile, Sage Kimzey, Zeke Thurston.

VOTE: Who Is The Greatest World Champion Of All Time?

We’ve compiled a list of the competitors who have become icons in the sport of rodeo. Not only did they win world titles, but their names will go down in history as some of the greatest of all time. 

On Demand Tuesday: Cody Ohl World Jr Calf Roping Championships

Eight categories, three days, one impressive showing of junior tie-down and breakaway ropers. The Cody Ohl World Jr Calf Roping Championships is coming to Sweetwater, Texas, this weekend and will showcase some of the best junior ropers around as they compete in the six-time world champion’s namesake event.

Agribition Replays: Watch All Four Performances Of CWA Again

The Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan brings a unique opportunity to the table for competitors trying to get a jump-start on the 2019 rodeo season. Win big here, and your spring season is already off to a good start with the $12,500 added in each event. 

Rising Star: Haiden Thompson, 15-Year-Old All-Around Cowgirl

She's closing in on 10 all-around state and world titles, and she's only 15 years old.

Flashback: Billie-Jean Duff's Photo Picks From CFR45

For the first time in multiple decades, the Canadian Finals Rodeo arena had a new finger on the trigger of a long-lensed camera. The name “Mike Copeman” has been synonymous with the rodeo photography profession for years, but this year it was Billie-Jean Duff – now close friend to Copeman – that entered the arena.