Local product wins UPRA event at Hopkins County Civic Center
From Staff Reports

Nov. 22, 2005 - Local barrel racer Chani Payne had not ridden on the UPRA circuit much this season because of her commitment to the PRCA, but she made her presence felt this weekend.

Payne entered the UPRA Finals Rodeo in fourth place, but won each round and came out as the Finals winner, Finals average winner and UPRA barrel racing champion for the second consecutive year. The Finals rodeo was held at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.

On the PRCA circuit, Payne is currently leading the Rookie of the Year standings in barrel racing with more than $47,000 in earnings. The award will be announced in two weeks at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Payne wasn't the only Hopkins County competitor to come out on top. Como's Cody Odell won the All-Around title for the Finals and the year-long competition.

Brittany Wheeler was named Miss UPRA and was presented a queen's saddle.

UPRA sanctioned more than 130 rodeos in five states during the year and paid out over $1.7 million.

Below are the results following the UPRA Finals Rodeo:

United Professional Rodeo Association Champions

Below are the United Professional Rodeo Association champions for the year:

Bareback - Casey Witherspoon. Calf Roping - Blake Huckabee. Breakaway Roping - Lair Dee Guy. Saddle Bronc - Craig Morgan. Steer Wrestling - Will Scoggins. Team Roping - Header: Chuck Speck, Heeler: Todd Trammell. Barrel Racing - Chani Payne. Bull Riding - Josh Parks. All-Around Cowgirl - Leslie Edens. All-Around Cowboy - Cody Odell.

The Finals Rodeo Champions are:

Bareback - Casey Witherspoon. Calf Roping - Clint Akins. Breakaway Roping - Lair Dee Guy. Saddle Bronc - Brad Bates. Steer Wrestling - Brother Gilder. Team Roping - Header: Chuck Speck, Heeler: Todd Trammell. Barrel Racing - Chani Payne. Bull Riding - Josh Parks.

Contestant Horse Awards went to:

Barrel Horse of the Year - "Teddy," Whitney Gibson. Tiedown Horse of the Year - Scott Kormos. Bareback Horse of the Finals - Lynn Bolton. Saddle Bronc Horse of the Finals - Jerald Smith. Bucking Bull of the Finals - Showmaster. Bareback Horse of the Year - Bodine. Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year - Lone Star. Bucking Bull of the Year - Stray Cat. 

2004 Reserve Champions:

Bareback - Lance Dixon. Calf Roping - Tye Pride. Breakaway Roping - Tina Hamilton. Saddle Bronc - Jon Haygood. Steer Wrestling - Clayton Hass. Team Roping - Header: Rock Duncan, Heeler: Trey Whiteman. Barrel Racing - Erica Bacon. Bull Riding - Chris McClure.

Rookies of the Year:

Bareback - Bryce Case. Calf Roping - Drue Ballantine. Breakaway Roping - Kayla Emmons. Saddle Bronc - Brad Bates. Steer Wrestling - Renalto Finizzi. Team Roping - Header: Nathan McWhorter, Heeler: Justin Copp. Barrel Racing - Katy Strange. Bull Riding - Cameron McCandless.

Miscellaneous Awards:

Rodeo with Best Footing - Paris Horse and Rodeo Club in Paris. Highest Paying Rodeo - McGregor Annual Rodeo in McGregor, $48,672. Rodeo Committee Person of the Year - Ollie Hall, Madill Round Up Rodeo in Madill, Okla. Director Four Year Service Awards - Ed Colston, judging; Kent Hall, judging; James Finley Jr., steer wrestling. Corporate Sponsor - Gober-Merrell Dodge, Dodge Rodeo. Stock Contractor of the Year - Karen and Will Cook of Madill, Okla.

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