March 31, 2014

Rodeo Insider: Horse, rider reunited after auction

Following a lawsuit, Mary Walker will continue to ride her barrel racing horse Latte.

Mary Walker of Ennis and the barrel racing horse Latte, the duo that won the 2012 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world title, have become a big hit with fans.

But during the past two weeks, many fans became concerned after learning that Latte would be auctioned and Walker might no longer ride the gelding. The decision to sell Latte was the result of a January lawsuit between Walker and Cheri Cogburn, who co-owned Latte.

The auction was Friday at the Waxahachie Rodeo Complex. Mark Wallace, who owns the Justin Discount Boots stores in Justin, purchased Latte for $850,000 and will allow Walker to continue riding the gelding, said Walker’s husband, Byron.

“The bottom line is a friend of mine bought Latte and turned around and said, ‘Mary, you will ride him forever,’ ” Byron Walker said.

During the 2012 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Mary Walker earned $146,491 in 10 days aboard Latte, the most of the 120 competitors.

The gelding helped her clinch her first world barrel racing title after finishing the 2012 year with earnings of $274,233, almost $70,000 more than second-place finisher Carlee Pierce of Stephenville.

Death of a legend

Rick Chatman, the 1984 World Champion Bullfighter and PRCA Clown of the Year, died of an apparent heart attack on March 27. He was 57.

In almost three decades as a PRCA cardholder (1979-2008), Chatman worked most of the sport’s biggest rodeos. He served three times as a bullfighter at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City (1980-81 and 1984).

In 1984, Chatman won seven of nine matches on the Wrangler Bullfighting Tour and won the world championship at the NFR when he handled Harry Vold’s Crooked Nose, the only fighting bull ever inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

Chatman’s achievement of winning the World Bullfighting title, the PRCA Clown of the Year and working the NFR, all in the same year, has never been matched.

A memorial service is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 6 in the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Arena in Cleburne.

PBR update

J.W. Harris, a four-time PRCA champion from Mullin, accepted an invitation from the Professional Bull Riders to compete on the Built Ford Tough Series.

Harris’ first event was in Fresno last weekend where he finished 18th overall and earned $850. He turned in a score of 85.75 in the first round, but received a zero in the second round.

Cody Nance, a Tennessee cowboy, won the Fresno title and earned $36,400. Nance finished No. 1 with a three-ride score of 259 after turning in an 89.25 in the final round.

In the world standings, 2008 world champion Guilherme Marchi is ranked No. 1 with 5,385.430 points. Joao Ricardo Vieira is No. 2 with 4,910.06.

This weekend, the tour stops in Nampa, Idaho.

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