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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: STEPHEN JOHN
July 18, 2012 806-716-2217
SOUTH PLAINS COLLEGE
AND AMERICAN COWBOY CULTURE ASSOCIATION
SET TO RECOGNIZE 60 YEARS OF AJRA RODEOS
LEVELLAND – South Plains College has joined the American Cowboy Culture Association, Inc., to recognize and honor the thousands of individuals who have been involved in American Junior Rodeo Association (AJRA) since it was founded in Levelland in June 1952.
SPC President Dr. Kelvin Sharp will present three bronze sculpture awards to selected individuals who will collectively represent all those supporters who have helped the AJRA for the past 60 years. The presentation will be made at the opening performance of the AJRA National Finals Rodeo that is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 25 at the Mallet Event Center and Arena.
“South Plains College has a rich rodeo heritage from the beginning the college opened,” said Dr. Sharp. “We are honored to partner with the American Cowboy Culture Association to recognize the history of the founding of the AJRA here in Levelland and its 60 years of success.”
The awards are being presented in memory and honor of the officers and directors of the Levelland Rodeo Association, which sponsored the Levelland Junior Rodeo in 1952 that gave birth to the AJRA.
The AJRA 60th Anniversary Family Award, which represents all the families who have had children and grandchildren in the AJRA from 1952 to 2012, will be presented to Tuffy and Betty Cooper of Monument, N.M. The Cooper’s three children, Roy, Betty Gayle and Clay won dozens of AJRA championships as young competitors, as well as, many professional championships. Cooper served on the Adult AJRA Board for a number of years.
His son Roy went on to earn eight World Titles as a calf roper in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association, qualifying for the National Rodeo Finals 32 times. His son, Tuf Cooper, was the PRCA World Champion Calf Roper last year as a 20-year-old.
The AJRA 60th Anniversary Volunteer Award will represent the thousands of individual volunteers who worked with the hundreds of approved rodeos and the AJRA National Finals Rodeo each year. Ralph and Dewey Faye Miller of Fluvanna have been chosen to receive this award. Snyder, Texas, hosted the AJRA National Finals Rodeo for 17 years and the Millers were organizing volunteers for each year of the rodeo.
Miller was instrumental in getting Bob Tallman, probably the top professional rodeo announcer of all time, to announce the rodeo program for 10 years while it was in Snyder.
The AJRA 60th Anniversary Founder-Administrator Award will be presented to Alvin G. and Barbara Davis of Lubbock. Alvin Davis is the founder of the association and served as its secretary-manager from 1952-58. Since then there have been a number of men and women who have served as administrators for the AJRA who have demonstrated exemplary leadership abilities that are being recognized through a lifetime of support and commitment provided by the Davises.
Davis announced the 1952 Levelland Junior Rodeo and the AJRA National Rodeo Finals in Snyder in 1954. He established the Founders Award in 1966 that is awarded annually to the top junior cowboy or cowgirl. Presentation of that award will also be made during the awards ceremony.
“This is a great opportunity and honor for South Plains College to be a part of the AJRA’s 60th year,” said Dr. Sharp. “Recognizing these individuals who have a special place in the rodeo association’s history is a great way to start this year’s National Finals Rodeo.”
Rodeo performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. July 25, 26 and 27. Final short go performances are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 28. All performances will be at the Mallet Center Arena, 2320 S. State Hwy 385, Levelland.
For ticket information, contact the Mallet Event Center, 806-894-4161.