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People That Make It Happen

Grand Marshal – The Shady Ladies of the Mother Lode

The Shady Ladies - Photo by William Owens

Congratulations to the 2007 Grand Marshal- The Shady Ladies of the Mother Lode! This award winning novelty mounted group has been riding in parades across the West, putting a smile on the faces of parade goers for a few years now with their “Gold Rush Flair!”. Founded in 1987 by side-saddle expert Jan Lewellen, she found a few like-minded and fearless friends to share her dream and the Shady Ladies of the Mother Lode were born!

Helping out is part of their code-fundraising for charities and scholarships and riding with purpose- in 1992 as the 15 side-saddle riders rode down Colorado Boulevard each wore a pink ribbon for “Breast Cancer Awareness and Cure.”

The ladies produce an all Equestrian Christmas Toy Drive Parade in Columbia that has become an annual event for Columbia State Park, collecting hundreds of toys for deserving children in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties (to date 4,500 toys have been collected).

These lively ladies have adorned parade routes in Victorian costumes designed by members all over California for the past 20 years-Mother Lode Round-UP, Salinas California Rodeo Parade, San Francisco Parades, Hollywood Christmas Parade, Reno Rodeo Parade and the Grand Nationals color Guard Championship and the Tournament of Roses Parade, seven appearances, just to name a few.

With every ride, they invoke the “Spirit of the Wild West” and the gems of the Mother Lode…Sonora…Columbia…Tuolumne…Calaveras…Murphys.

And so, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse say goodbye and thank you by recognizing the “Shady Ladies” and their contribution to our community and to the preservation of our Western tradition by declaring them the Grand Marshal of the 2007 Mother Lode Round-Up Parade!

Rodeo Announcers – Bob Feist & Coy Huffman

Bob Fiest

Bob Feist – Anyone who follows team roping has heard of the BFI. The Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping Classic is the world’s richest team roping. Cowboys competed for over $250,000 in cash and awards at the 2006 “Open to the World” Roping. Bob Feist is the publisher of Ropers Sports News, the “Bible” of team ropers. When time permits you’ll find him on the rodeo circuit as a rodeo announcer or on American Cowboy and Rodeo Sports Page, as well as on various television and radio shows. He announces over 150 performances each year which has included shows from Alabama to Hawaii and from Washington to Arizona. His announcing record also includes the 1980 National Finals Rodeo.

That relaxed, resonant voice coming over the mike is Feist’s stock in trade. He has been greeting people, winning public speaking awards and acting as master of ceremonies from the time he was old enough to open the front door; according to the lady who knows him best, his mother.

Combining his speaking talent and his love of the sport of rodeo, Feist now feels that he is serving the public in a way that he can best utilize his talents. He does over 90% of his shows horseback, as he feels he can better entertain the audience by being closer to them.

Coy Huffman Rodeo Announcer

Coy Huffman – Professional rodeo announcers play a major role in connecting the audience to the action. It takes a unique individual to acquaint the fans with the cowboys, the stock and rodeo itself. Coy Huffman has just the right touch to excite and to get you involved.

Coy has worked all phases of rodeo from behind the chutes to out in front earning a “Gold Card” (lifetime membership) in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

A few years ago Coy began to pursue his life long vision of being a pro-rodeo announcer. Facing many challenges in a highly competitive field, Coy worked the rodeo labor list as chute boss at Cheyenne, Salinas, Dodge City, Colorado Springs, the Cow Palace and Sonora. He took advantage of opportunities to announce or emcee autograph parties, Exceptional Rodeo, high school rodeos and other events.

Coy Huffman and his wife Donna have their headquarters in Tucson, Arizona where they manage their rodeo business and ministry. Donna is a gifted writer, office administrator, driver and trusted counselor to rodeo wives. One of Coy’s favorite sayings is, “Today is the best day of my entire life!” You are going to have a good friend by your side making every effort to help you have a great day at the rodeo. The Mother Lode Round-Up is happy to bring you the voice of Coy Huffman.

Growney Brothers Stock Contractors

Growney Brothers Stock Contractors

Growney Brothers Rodeo Company was born in 1979 when Growney purchased Rodeo Stock Contractors, Inc. and turned professional three years later. He opened eyes at the 1981 National Finals Rodeo when his bareback horse, Dreamboat Annie, teamed with Larry Peabody for an 89-point ride, an arena record that stood until 1995.

In the early days of the company, Growney did all he could to work as many rodeos as he could. He knew how to hustle. “We did all kinds of rodeos,” Growney said. “We put on high school, junior and Indian rodeos. In 1982, we did 82 rodeos. We were going hard.” This year, Growney is supplying livestock to 24 rodeos that include four events on the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and some of the most prestigious and lucrative events on the calendar.

Growney starts his year in April at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, Nevada and then returns home for the Red Bluff Round-Up and Clovis Rodeo. By the end of the year, he will have worn out roads leading up the Pacific coast through Oregon- hitting such spots as St. Paul, Joseph and Canby – and Washington, highlighted by rodeos in Bremerton, Walla Walla and Puyallup.

Over the years, bucking bulls have made the Growney name a force in the rodeo business. Growney gives that credit to his partner, Don Kish, who started raising bulls nearly 20 years ago.

The company inherited ProRodeo Hall of Fame bulls Red Rock and Oscar and countless others. Growney’s Wolfman, who in 1991 teamed with Wade Leslie for the only 100- point ride in rodeo history, has bloodlines to both legendary bulls. Each year, it’s another crop of athletic beasts that can produce 90-point scores for the cowboys who can manage to ride them.

“I thought he was nuts for trying it,” said Growney, reminiscing about Kish’s decision to get into the bull breeding business. “We were broke all the time, but that’s what we’re known for now.”

2007 Rodeo Clown – Bert Davis

Bert Davis the Coppertown Rodeo Clown

Not much can throw a funnyman who has faced rampageous bulls on a daily basis for the past 30 years. What keeps this extremely courageous and hilariously talented performer going those thousands of miles, year in and year out? Well, it comes from the heart & ldiots; Garth Brooks sings “It’s the roar of the Sunday crowd” in Rodeo. But for Bert Davis, the Coppertown Clown, it is the roar of any crowd. Enjoy Bert’s interactive style and his ability to touch every member of the crowd from juniors to seniors and from first time spectators to veteran fans. The Coppertown Clown’s antics hold something for everyone. So, relish and witness one of the nation’s most talented, experienced funnymen in the business. You will be glad you did!!!