Hazen still winning through heartache

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Jule Hazen, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Ashland, Kan., wrestles his first-round steer on Wednesday morning at Jake McClure Arena during the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Hazen has a two-run cumulative time of 8.6 seconds and leads the rodeo.
Jule Hazen, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Ashland, Kan., wrestles his first-round steer on Wednesday morning at Jake McClure Arena during the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. Hazen has a two-run cumulative time of 8.6 seconds and leads the rodeo.

LOVINGTON, N.M. – For years, Jule Hazen made three phone calls after a solid performance wrestling steers on the rodeo trail: to wife, Heidi; parents, Steve and Kelly; and his grandfather, Richard Degnan.

“I’d change up the order, but I’d call all three,” said Hazen, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Ashland, Kan. “The other day, I couldn’t call my grandpa. It makes it hard.”

Degnan died last Thursday, and Hazen was making his run at rodeos across his home state. On Sunday night, he placed in the championship round at the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup, the closest ProRodeo event to his southwest Kansas home. On Monday morning, Hazen helped bury his grandfather.

Two nights later during the opening performance of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo at Jake McClure Arena, Hazen grappled his steer to the ground in 3.6 seconds; he leads the second go-round and, more importantly, has a two-run cumulative time of 8.6 seconds to lead the field for the 2013 steer wrestling title in this southeastern New Mexico community.

“He’s been everything as far as rodeo with me,” Hazen said of his grandfather. “My folks are wonderful, but my grandfather had three girls, and they are great girls; but I was the first grandson, and I was the only one who showed an interest in rodeo.

“He taught me how to ride horses and gave me all my horsemanship, which sometimes doesn’t show up. But he meant everything to me. It’s going to be hard.”

The loss of a loved one is always hard, especially one that had such an impact on one’s life. The No. 8 cowboy in the steer wrestling world standings, Hazen is well on his way to a third trip to Las Vegas in December. Doing well in Lovington is important for every contestant who has put his or her name in the hat to compete.

“This is a big tour rodeo, and it’s a good one,” he said. “I knew I had a real good steer. The only thing about that steer that might be troublesome was to not let my mind get in the way. I just went out and ran him, and it worked out.”

In rodeo, contestants tend to travel in packs. In addition, their biggest competition might just be their friend and traveling partner. In the case of steer wrestlers, they oftentimes travel with their hazers, the cowboy that helps guide the steer into place. In Hazen’s case, he’s going down the rodeo trail with Chad Van Campen of McCook, Neb.

“This afternoon, Chad’s hazing horse came up a little sore, so we gave him the night off,” Hazen said. “I had my old hazer, Darrell (Petry), here to pick up for my second one. It’s nice having them both here. It helps calm me down; that’s why you have a good team with you.”

Part of that team is Bam Bam, an 11-year-old brown gelding who charges out of the chute and runs down steers in a hurry. That might be one of the biggest components to Hazen’s success this season.

“I like having horsepower on both sides,” he said, referring to quality steer wrestling and hazing horses. “My bulldogging horses and my hazer are very important. Last year, well, I got hurt, but I wasn’t doing that good anyway. The only difference I went back to Chad to haze for me.

“That’s the major difference for me, having him in there. You know he’s going to be right there every time. He’s dang sure one of the best hazers there is. You could put him on a donkey, and he’d be there.”

Right now, Hazen is there; he’s the No. 1 man in Lovington, and he’s in line to return to the NFR. He’s got the right tools in place to help him every step of the way.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 7-10
Bareback riding:
1. Austin Foss, 84 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Real Deal; 2. (tie) Clint Laye and Clint Cannon, 83; 4. R.C. Landingham, 79; 5. Evan Jayne, 78; 6. Caleb Bennett, 77; 7. (tie) Tyler Nelson and Chad Rutherford, 75.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespoack, 3.9 seconds; 2. Jacob Shofner, 4.6; 3. (tie) Joe Buffington and Cimarron Thompson, 4.8; 5. Nick Guy, 4.8; 6. Jule Hazen, 5.0; 7. Ryan Swayze, 5.6; 8. Cooper Shofner, 5.7. Second round leaders: 1. Jule Hazen, 3.6 seconds; 2. Ben Shofner, 4.0; 3. Chance Campbell, 4.2; 4. Tyler Waguespack, 4.8; 5. Jacob Shofner, 4.9; 6. Cimarron Thompson, 9.6; 7. Aaron Vosier, 13.6; 8. Darrell Petry, 14.2. Average leaders: 1. Jule Hazen, 8.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 8.7; 3. Jabo Shofner, 9.5; 4. Chance Campbell, 11.2; 5. Cimarron Thompson, 14.4; 6. Ben Shofner, 19.9; 7. Joe Buffington, 22.2; 8. Aaron Vosier, 27.7.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Scott Kormos, 8.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Cody McCartney and Trevor Brazile, 8.4; 4. Kyle Dutton, 8.7; 5. Marty Yates, 9.1; 6. (tie) Marshall Leonard and J.D. McCuistion, 9.4; 8. Cody Jordan, 9.5. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Thiel, 8.8 seconds; 2. Trevor Brazile, 9.5; 3. Cody Jordan, 9.7; 4. Kyle Dutton, 10.8; 5. Tyson Runyan, 11.4; 6. Wacey Walraven, 11.7; 7. Fred Whitfield, 20.4; 8. Bryce Runyan, 23.5. Average leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile, 17.9 seconds on two runs; 2. Cody Jordan, 19.2; 3. Kyle Duttton, 19.5; 4. Wacey Walraven, 21.6; 5. Trevor Thiel, 22.4; 6. Tyson Runyan, 26.9; 7. Bryce Runyan, 36.7; 8. Scott Kormos, 8.1 seconds on one.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Cole Elshere, on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Deuces Wild, and Jacobs Crawley, on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Lonestar, 84 points; 3. Bryan Martinat, 81; 4. Chuck Schmidt, 80; 5. Sterling Crawley, 78; 6. Dawson Jandreau, 75; no other qualified rides.

Steer roping: Third round leaders: 1. Chet Herren, 9.2 seconds; 2. Joe Wells, 9.7; 3. Lawson Plemons, 9.8; 4. Rocky Patterson, 10.3; 5. Kim Ziegelgruber, 11.0; 6. (tie) John Bland and Vin Fisher Jr., 11.2; 8. Leo Campbell, 11.4. Average leaders: 1. J.P. Wickett, 32.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 33.0; 3. Trevor Brazile, 34.5; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, 35.3; 5. Jarrett Blessing, 36.3; 6. Tony Reina, 37.5; 7. Randy Wells, 38.1; 8. Chet Herren, 38.9.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Drew Homer/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.8 seconds; 2. (tie) Chace Thompson/Jaytim McCright and Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.1; 4. Brock Hanson/Kory Koontz, 5.2; 5. Aaron Tsinigine/Victor Begay, 5.5; 6. (tie) Kevin Daniel/Chase Tryan and Erich Rogers/Kory Petska, 9.7; 8. Arky Rogers/Walt Woodard, 10.7. Second round leaders: 1. Brandon Beers/Jim Ross Cooper, 4.5 seconds; 2. Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 4.8; 3. Aaron Tsinigine/Victor Begay, 5.1; 4. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.4; 5. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.7; 6. Brady Tryan/Cody Doescher, 9.6; 7. Justin Davis/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 14.4; 8. Arky Rogers/Walt Woodard, 14.6. Average: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Victor Begay, 10.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 10.8; 3. Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 14.5; 4. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 15.1; 5. Arky Rogers/Walt Woodard, 25.3; 6. Justin Davis/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 29.6; 7. Brandon Beers/Jim Ross Cooper, 4.5 seconds on one; 8. Drew Horner/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.8.

Barrel racing: 1. Brittany Pozzi, 17.56 seconds; 2. Lizzy Ehr, 17.68; 3. Danyelle Campbell, 17.69; 4. Michelle McLeod, 17.83; 5. Kelly Waide, 17.95; 6. Caren Lamb, 18.39; 7. Shada Brazile, 18.45; 8. Lindsey Ewing, 18.53.

Bull riding: 1. Scottie Knapp, 85 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeos Pimp My Ride; 2. Bobby Welsh, 85; 3. Shawn Hogg, 84; 4. Jason Beck, 82; 5. London Lockhart, 81; 6. Joe Frost, 80; no other qualified rides.


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