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Bull-riding event continues Roger Crouch legacy
Jordan Carrington, the stepdaughter of the late Roger Crouch, is flanked by Jim West of Crazy J Rodeo Co. and her mother, Paula, after being crowned the queen of the first-ever Roger Crouch Memorial Bull Riding event held July 20 in Nixon.
Wilson County NewsJuly 31, 2013 7,228 views 1 comment
NIXON -- “... We are here today because this is his sport. He loved riding bulls and what better way to continue the legacy than to keep his memory alive tonight.”
These words used in the opening ceremony of the first-ever Roger Crouch Memorial Bull Riding event July 20 in Nixon set the tone for the evening’s activities, from the crowning of the first queen to bull riders giving their all in their 8-second rides for fame and prize money.
Crouch, a member of the World Senior Professional Bull Riders, lived his dream of bull riding for six years until one fateful day, while dismounting, he severed his spinal cord. Jim West of Crazy J Rodeo Co. of Stockdale and a close friend of Crouch said Crouch’s injury left him paralyzed and on a respirator, similar to the late actor Christopher Reeve. When the doctors told Crouch that his health would not improve, he made the decision not to continue on life support. His last ride was Jan. 15, 2011. Three days later, Crouch said his farewell and lost his life. He was 51.
Crouch’s memory continues with a memorial scholarship, started after his death. Funds were being depleted after 15 scholarships were awarded. To continue the scholarship, Crouch’s wife Paula, joined by family and friends such as West, made plans for the first-ever Roger Crouch Memorial Bull Riding in Nixon. Included in the fund-raiser was the naming of a queen.
Jordan Carrington, an upcoming sophomore at Nixon-Smiley High School, was one of five candidates to vie for the title. Jordan, Crouch’s stepdaughter, had a wish to “make him proud.”
Four of the young ladies “dropped out, so one could take the crown the first year,” the announcer said during the coronation. Jordan’s wish came true July 20. She raised more than $2,250 in sponsorship money and sold $1,800 in presale tickets to fulfill her dream of being the first queen of the event named in her stepfather’s honor.
West joined Paula Crouch as she crowned her daughter, with tears of joy flowing down her cheeks. The crown came with a $250 scholarship.
As Jordan’s dream came true, cowboys continued Crouch’s sport, competing in the event he so loved. The bulls were winning in the first round, with only four of the competitors managing the full 8-second ride. They, along with six other cowboys, advanced to the short round to determine the winner.
When the dust settled, first-round leader Ralph Benson, who scored an 81.5, bettered his score with an 87 to take the championship belt buckle and prize money.
Winston Lopez, sporting zebra-striped chaps, was close behind. In the first round he scored a 78.5, improving to an 85.5 in the short round.
Zack Miles, who scored an 80 in the first round, was bucked off in the finals.
Crouch’s name lives on with memorial bull-riding events and scholarships. His son, Ethan Crouch, continues the family tradition, competing on the rodeo circuit.
The benefit would not have been complete without his dear friend, Jim West, saying a few words.
West recited a poem he wrote in Crouch’s honor.
“... He might not be the greatest bull rider in the world, but he never seen a bull he wouldn’t give a whirl.
“... It’s not a day goes by that he brought tears and laughter to my eyes. So ride ’em all within the sky and cowboy, we’ll all see you by-and-by.
“In loving memory of Roger Crouch.”
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