PRCA Ponders if the San Angelo Rodeo is the Best in Nation


SAN ANGELO, TX — The San Angelo Rodeo was nominated to be named the Top Indoor Large Rodeo by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association on Wednesday.

“Each year, the PRCA expresses its gratitude for rodeo personnel at the annual PRCA Awards Banquet before the start of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo,” stated the PRCA in a press release announcing the nomination. Balloting is conducted online and is open between Oct. 25 and Oct 31, 2021 for voting members of the PRCA. Last year, the Rapid City, South Dakota rodeo won the honor and in 2019, RodeoHouston won.

Other notable rodeo personalities and athletes associated with the annual San Angelo rodeo were nominated in other categories, including barrelmen Justin Rumford, John Harrison, and Keith Isley. Isley was also nominated for Best Comedy Act of the Year.

Isley hasn’t performed at San Angelo’s rodeo since 2014. In 2012, Isley was accused of making a joke in bad taste about President Obama. The incident gained nationwide notoriety because of an email outlandishly describing Isley's act became viral by forwarding. Left-leaning fact checkers investigated the email’s narrative and found the part about the joke being in bad taste was "mostly false", but it was an Obama joke all admitted. Isley came back in 2013 and 2014, but in '14 he told us he was taking a break from San Angelo to give some of the younger barrelmen exposure here.

Watch Isley's interview with the late Ed Blackburn back in 2014. He describes the 2012 incident starting at the 4:30 mark:

    Rodeo barrelman Keith Isley at the 2014 San Angelo Rodeo

    At least three of the five Stock Contracting Companies of the Year nominees have been a big part of the San Angelo rodeo, including Pete Carr, Cervi, and Power River Rodeo.

    The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo “sound guy” Josh Hilton was nominated for Best Musical Director of the Year. Hilton orchestrates the sound for rodeos across the region, including San Angelo’s, and is also the marketing director for the San Angelo Rodeo. Chase Cervi, a pickup man who has worked the San Angelo rodeo, was nominated for Pick Up Man of the Year. Pickup Men are on horseback in the arena and help protect the athlete during the rough stock events like bull riding and bronc riding.

      Here is our 2021 profile on barrelman John Harrison:

      The winners for each category will be announced at the PRCA Awards Banquet at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas at 6 p.m. (PT), Dec 1.

      The following men, women, and committees are the top-5 nominees:

      Small Rodeo of the Year

      • Coulee City, Wash.
      • Aberdeen, S.D.
      • Abbyville, Kan.
      • Yuma, Colo.
      • Claremore, Okla.

      Medium Rodeo of the Year

      • Cave Creek, Ariz.
      • Arcadia, Fla.
      • Jackson, Miss.
      • Amarillo, Texas
      • Belle Fourche, S.D.

      Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year

      • Arlington, Texas
      • San Angelo, Texas
      • Nampa, Idaho
      • San Antonio, Texas
      • Rapid City, S.D.

      Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year

      • Cody, Wyo.
      • Dodge City, Kan.
      • Deadwood, S.D.
      • Pendleton, Ore.
      • Cheyenne, Wyo.

      Donita Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award

      • Andrea Moon
      • Irene Singer
      • The Harris Family
      • Jennifer Nicholson
      • Kay Gay

      Announcer of the Year

      • Will Rasmussen
      • Randy Corley
      • Garrett Yerigan
      • Bob Tallman
      • Wayne Brooks

      Clown/Barrelman of the Year

      • Cody Sosebee
      • Keith Isley
      • J.J. Harrison
      • Justin Rumford
      • John Harrison

      Bullfighter of the Year

      • Cody Emerson
      • Nathan Harp
      • Nathan Jestes
      • Dusty Tuckness
      • Cody Webster

      Comedy Act of the Year

      • Matthew Tarr
      • Matthew Merritt
      • Gizmo McCracken
      • Keith Isley
      • John Harrison

      Dress Act of the Year

      • Jessica Blair
      • John Payne
      • Madison MacDonald, Shelby Pierson and Piper Yule
      • Bethany Iles/Rider Kiesner
      • Bobby Kerr

      Music Director of the Year

      • Mark Evans
      • Randy Mayer
      • Benje Bendele
      • Joshua Hilton
      • Jill Loden Franzen

      Photographer of the Year

      • James Fain
      • Roseanna Sales
      • Bob Click
      • Clay Guardipee
      • Robby Freeman

      Pickup Man of the Year

      • Brent Sutton
      • Chase Cervi
      • Matt Twitchell
      • Jason Bottoms
      • William Calhoun

      Secretary of the Year

      • Sandy Gwatney
      • Haley Bridwell
      • Brenda Crowder
      • Sunni Deb Backstrom
      • Eva Chadwick

      Stock Contracting Firm of the Year

      • Powder River Rodeo
      • Cervi Championship Rodeo
      • Stace Smith Pro Rodeos
      • Pete Carr Pro Rodeo
      • Frontier Rodeo

      Timer of the Year

      • Sandy Gwatney
      • Judy Crowder
      • Michelle Corley
      • Molly Jane Twitchell
      • Shawna Ray

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