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GUYMON, Okla. â€“ Lanny Wilson is a generous man of many talents.
The Guymon man uses all of them as one of the many volunteers on the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo committee who help to produce the annual event, which will have four performances set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.
â€śLanny does so many things for us every year,â€ť said Earl Helm, the committee chairman. â€śHe helps us all year long with a lot of projects, and heâ€™s really stepped up and made our hospitality the best in rodeo.â€ť
Wilson is co-owner of Wilson Welding Works with Jerry Allen, and the shop donates equipment and many man-hours each year. In fact, Wilson Welding Works has done that for several decades. But thatâ€™s just part of the manâ€™s giving nature.
â€śWe make a lot of the repairs on welding and help build the new stuff,â€ť Wilson said. â€śWeâ€™re working on bull pens and steer pen right now. This is something we do for the community. Itâ€™s a give-back. There are a lot of people that shuffle their cards so they can make money through Pioneer Days, but thatâ€™s not our purpose at Wilson Welding.â€ť
Itâ€™s been noticed.
â€śItâ€™s more than just doing things after work,â€ť said Ken Stonecipher, the production director for the rodeo. â€śTheyâ€™re paying their guys to be down there working on things. The two of them have been repairing and remodeling and working on that arena since the early 1990s. But thatâ€™s who they are.
â€śLanny and Jerry also built softball fields for Kids Inc., so itâ€™s more than the rodeo. Theyâ€™re about giving to the community as a whole.â€ť
In addition, Wilson spends a good portion of rodeo week in the hospitality building, preparing food and serving contestants, workers and others from the opening day of competition on Monday, April 28, until the rodeo concludes late in the afternoon Sunday, May 4.
â€śMy wife, Vicki, and I are involved with that along with many, many others,â€ť Wilson said. â€śI like to have people talking about the hospitality we put on in Guymon. I think we have one of the very finest in all of ProRodeo.â€ť
It is, but itâ€™s because of appropriate sponsorships and a dedicated crew that puts an emphasis on hospitality. Itâ€™s just another showcase of the type of work ethic volunteers put in each year to make Pioneer Days Rodeo one of the very best in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Womenâ€™s Professional Rodeo Association.
You see, Wilson has lent his hand to many aspects of rodeo over the years. He has worked as a sound technician at other rodeos, and, in Guymon, tackled just about any job assigned to him.
â€śWhen Lanny gets involved in something, heâ€™s all in, whether itâ€™s sound for rodeos or working on the hospitality or whatever,â€ť Stonecipher said. â€śWhen Lanny got involved in the production side of rodeos and doing sound all over the region, he couldnâ€™t help but compare other rodeo committeesâ€™ hospitality to Guymon, and that made him more willing to help out.
â€śThen he developed a passion for cooking, and those two things met with some great results in Guymon.â€ť
Wilson has been recognized for his contributions. A few years ago, he was rewarded with the John Justin Standard of the West Award for his contributions to the rodeo committee. Last year, he was Guymonâ€™s Citizen of the Year.
Still, it takes a certain personality to continue to volunteer time, talents and money to Guymonâ€™s biggest celebration.
â€śThis was built by the community,â€ť Wilson said. â€śYouâ€™re going to be known for something, so why not be something good. Pioneer Days is all about our heritage. Itâ€™s what the old-timers did years and years ago, and weâ€™re just trying to keep carrying it on.â€ť
Itâ€™s that mentality by many members of the community that makes Pioneer Days Rodeo such a success.
GUTHRIE, Okla. â€“ Big Tex, one of the top bucking broncs in ProRodeo, had surgery Saturday night after suffering with a bout of colic. He is recovering at Oklahoma State Universityâ€™s College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Pete Carrâ€™s Classic Pro Rodeo horse, which was scheduled to perform during the final round at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, had been treated for several days at the Lazy E by Dr. Grace Richter of Oakridge Equine Hospital in Edmond, Okla.
â€śHe had displacement of the colon between the spleen and the kidney,â€ť Richter said Monday afternoon.
She and the staff performed a rolling maneuver in which Big Tex as lifted off the ground by his hind legs with a tractor; the purpose was to help get the colon off his spleen and kidney. When that failed to ease Big Texâ€™s discomfort, she decided it was time for surgeons at OSU to be called in. Travis Adams, the Pete Carr Pro Rodeo operations manager, was with the animal through much of the treatment and took Big Tex the 45 miles to Stillwater, Okla.
â€śI know heâ€™s tough, but I didnâ€™t know how much he wasnâ€™t showing us,â€ť Richter said of the 14-year-old bay bucking horse, which was named the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year. â€śI thought this was pretty mild when I first saw him. I wasnâ€™t too worried until the third day when we hadnâ€™t had a lot of production. I was worried that there could be a whole lot more going on in there that I couldnâ€™t see in the ultrasound.â€ť
Dr. Chase Whitfield at OSU performed the surgery and found blockage in the colon not allowing things to continue to pass. It can be quite dangerous for horses. Fortunately when Whitfield opened Big Texâ€™s abdomen, he found no need to go into the colon. Instead, the surgeon injected fluid directly into the colon and allowed it to move the blockage.
â€śWhen I talked to Dr. Whitfield, he said the horse was doing great,â€ť Richter said.
Adams, who has been around Big Tex for the last several years, praised Richter.
â€śShe did all the work that kept him in such great shape, and when it was time for the final decision for surgery, she made it,â€ť Adams said. â€śShe was up all night with him keeping fluids in him and doctoring him. She sent him to OSU because her clinic didnâ€™t have the facility to handle a bucking horse. She spent her time at the arena working on him.
â€śIn my opinion, she is the single reason he is alive. She was the one who kept him strong enough to make it through surgery.â€ť
Doctors expect Big Tex to recover completely but say he will be sidelined from action for about four to six months.