Rodeo’s new year

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The 2011 ProRodeo season has been going since early October, but the first rodeo of the new year has begun in Denver with qualifications for the National Western Stock Show.

The first performance of the Denver rodeo is Saturday afternoon, and there are some guys who will have to miss their shot at competing at one of the sport’s biggest indoor events because they’re still banged up. But most who want to compete for the 2011 world championship will make their way to Colorado over the next few weeks.

On Tuesday afternoon, I visited with an old friend, Tooter Silver, a steer wrestler who has made it through the qualifier and is trying to schedule his next runs. He has qualified for the International Finals Rodeo, scheduled for next week in Oklahoma City, but he’s opted to try to get off to a good start in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Silver has won the PRCA’s Prairie Circuit title before, but the Quitman, Ark., cowboy has never qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He’d love to kick-start his first trip to Las Vegas with a good showing at the National Western.

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In rodeo barrel racing, how late can a rider change horses if her original horse comes up lame? | Taking care of your pet / January 13, 2011

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