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PRCA news and notes: May 26, 2009

Mauney continues move up the PRCA standings

J.B. Mauney, the Professional Bull Riders Rookie of the Year in 2006 and last year's PBR reserve world champion, is making a concerted effort to qualify for both the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the PBR World Finals this year.

Mauney, 22, won the May 23-24 Jackson County Pro Rodeo in Jackson, Tenn., and shared the title at the May 21-23 Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Okla., to bring his total of PRCA titles this year to five (in seven rodeos) and move him from 36th place in the PRCA World Standings to 31st.

The Mooresville, N.C., cowboy had an 84-point ride on Frontier Rodeo's Teabury Shuffle to win in Jackson and then had an 85-pointer on Rafter H Rodeo's Coffee Grinder to tie Sam Wyatt for the title at Claremore and bring his earnings for the weekend to $2,493.

Mauney had earlier wins at PRCA rodeos at Montgomery, Ala., Lufkin, Texas, and Corpus Christi, Texas. He is leading the PRCA rookie standings for bull riding.

Sutton epitomizes true cowboy spirit

The inspiring story of saddle bronc rider Billie Sutton's fight to come back from a career-ending spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down is featured in the May 29 edition of the ProRodeo Sports News (PSN) and, in a shorter form, on the PRCA Web site: www.prorodeo.com.

The Burke, S.D., cowboy went back to school at the University of Wyoming after the incident to complete work on his degree and has undertaken an arduous program of rehabilitation that has allowed him to go from having no feeling and no movement in his legs to riding a stationary bike with added resistance.

Sutton's rodeo career came to an abrupt end in the chutes at the 2007 Dodge Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, presented by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, in Minot, N.D., when his saddle bronc horse reared up and fell backwards, pinning the 23-year-old rider between his mount and the chute.

The impact crushed Sutton's T-12 vertebra, bruised his spinal cord and left him paralyzed. In an effort to stabilize Sutton's back, doctors at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis fused six of Sutton's vertebrae and inserted two rods and 10 screws into his spinal column.

"You have an injury like this, where the doctors tell you that you're just supposed to accept it, move on, live your life normally," Sutton told PSN reporter Marvin Olberding. "I've never been the type of guy to really give up on anything. So I wanted to move forward with trying to walk again."

Cooper clan has big weekend at Windy Ryon Memorial Roping

Despite never having roped together, Shane Philip and Jim Ross Cooper were the most consistent pair at the May 24-24 Windy Ryon Memorial Roping in Fort Worth, Texas, winning the team roping title with a four-head total of 27.66 seconds. They earned $8,568 each and the second-place team of David Key and Travis Graves (28.24) each banked $6,854.

The tie-down roping title went to Tuf Cooper (Jim Ross Cooper's second cousin), who beat Trevor Brazile in the finals and earned $5,000.