BRIDGEPORT, Texas – Steer wrestler K.C. Jones has traveled all across this country to compete at an elite level.
He really likes competing close to his Decatur, Texas, home. He will get that opportunity next week during the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, at Sunset Retreat and Weddings Arena, formerly the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.
“It’s nice to just run over there and make a run,” said Jones, a nine-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “Karl Klement is a very good sponsor for us and a big sponsor for that rodeo, so I go over there and hang out with those guys; they do a great job of taking care of us.
“It’s an awesome little rodeo. That arena is set up perfect. It reminds me of going to my hometown rodeo in Las Animas (Colo.). It’s just a big community affair.”
It’s also well recognized in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the premier sanctioning body for the sport. A year ago, Bridgeport’s rodeo was nominated as the PRCA’s Small Rodeo of the Year, one of just five events its size to earn the nod.
“I voted for them,” Jones said. “Committees work so hard for us. Without the committees like the one in Bridgeport, we wouldn’t have ProRodeo. They’re the backbone and the heart of what makes it work.
“It’s awesome they were nominated. I was happy to see their name on the ballot. I was glad to be able to vote for them.”
Now he’s excited to be part of the field in the 2016 version. Not only is it close to home, but the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo also affords Jones the opportunity to collect important earnings and hopefully return to the NFR in Las Vegas this coming December.
“They really take good care of us,” he said. “They have great hospitality for us every day. It’s pretty fun to go there. It’s been muddy the last couple of years, but it’s always fun.”
Jones enjoys the comforts of home. He has spent quite a bit of time there recently, so it works well to make sure to work Bridgeport into his schedule. He finished the 2015 eighth in the world standings and is just outside the top 50 as of the end of April.
“I haven’t been to very many rodeos yet,” he said. “I’ve been staying around here getting a lot of things done around the house. It seems like the past few years, I get hot when the weather gets hot. We’ll take off the first of June and try to make up ground. We’re going to be gone for weeks at a time, so it’s nice to be able to stay home for a bit.
“You can count 70 rodeos, so once we get out on the road, we’ll stay out there. There are some rodeos I’m missing this time of year, but when it comes to Bridgeport, I won’t miss that rodeo.”