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ALVA, Okla. â€“ It takes talent, perseverance and a lot of support to be successful in rodeo, and the members of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo team know that as well as anyone.
Steer wrestler Stephen Culling of Fort St. John, British Columbia, used it all to a third-place finish this past weekend at the Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College Rodeo. Riding a horse he is borrowing from fellow Canadian ProRodeo cowboy Clayton Moore, Culling won the first round and finished third in the two-run average in Fort Scott.
But it didnâ€™t come without the help he gets from other Rangers, including coach Stockton Graves, a Northwestern alumnus who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo seven times.
â€śHeâ€™s just proves himself, and he spends a lot of time helping us out and getting us to that stage,â€ť he said, noting that he also receives a lot of support from roommate Laine Herl of Goodland, Kan., and traveling partner Mike McGinn of Haines, Ore.; all three are in the top eight in the Central Plains Region standings, joining Grayson Allred of Kanarraville, Utah, and Tyler Batie of Rapid City, S.D.
â€śGood competition makes you step up and try to make you do better,â€ť said Culling, who credits much of his success to Mooreâ€™s horse, Santos, a 13-year-old that has been used quite a bit in ProRodeo. â€śItâ€™s hard because you know all of you arenâ€™t going to get to go, but itâ€™s good to see your friends and traveling partners also do good.â€ť
Culling led the way for Northwestern with his No. 3 finish, but he was joined in the championship round by two other bulldoggers, Batie, who placed third overall, and Chase Lako of Arthur, Neb., who placed fourth. They were joined in the short round by heeler William Whayne of Tulsa, Okla., who qualified with header Connor Osborne of Connors (Okla.) State College.
â€śOur (menâ€™s) team is strong,â€ť Culling said.
The Northwestern women definitely are good. They lead the region standings and finished runner-up in Fort Scott. Rangers Shayna Miller of Faith, S.D., and Lauren Barnes of Buckeye, Ariz., tied for third in the average in goat-tying; they are the top two in the goat-tying standings, with Miller owning a 60-point lead.
â€śIf I donâ€™t win the region, I want another girl from our team to win it,â€ť Miller said.
Barnes won the first round, posting a 7.2-second run. Miller then finished fourth in the short round with a 7.9; both finished with a 15.9-second two-run cumulative time. They were joined in the short round by barrel racer Paige Winnett of Elmore City, Okla., and breakaway roper Cassy Woodward of Dupree, S.D.
The teams will have four weeks off until the next event, scheduled for April 9-11 in Weatherford, Okla., and will close out the season with three events over those three weekends in April.
â€śI just look at it like I have six runs to make,â€ť Miller said, referring to her game plan on trying to secure the region title. â€śIâ€™m counting on making the short round at the next three and putting six more runs together.
â€śI canâ€™t relax. There are (several) weeks between rodeos. It would be easy to settle and chill for a while, but Iâ€™ve got to keep right at it.â€ť
That work is a good reason why she and the womenâ€™s team lead the Central Plains standings.
â€śIâ€™m just going to keep my horse in shape and keep myself in shape,â€ť she said. â€śIâ€™ll just try to keep my head right and stay positive heading to the next three and try to kick butt.â€ť
(NewsUSA) - Tax season is in full swing, and many people are being reminded of the tax burden their investment returns carry.
As a result, some are adopting a smarter strategy for maximizing long-term returns by deferring taxes and allowing gains to compound over time. This route can generate considerable savings simply by enrolling in a tax-deferred retirement account and investing through it.
"Tax-deferred accounts provide an opportunity to boost overall investment returns by deferring taxes until the age at which you begin required minimum distributions," said Preston Despenas, co-founder and senior partner of Growth Equity Group. "While some of the most common choices are traditional accounts, self-directed IRAs are gaining significant momentum with investors because they allow greater investing flexibility."
There are several types of tax-deferred accounts that allow people to maximize long-term returns:
* Investing Pre-Tax vs. Post-Tax Income. With traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or 401(k) plans, contributions are made to the account with pre-tax income. Later, when the funds are withdrawn, they're taxed just like ordinary income.
* Tax Incentives With Self-Directed IRAs. For investors seeking to invest in alternative assets to safely diversify their portfolios and generate income, the lesser-known self-directed IRA is also tax-deferred, but provides additional flexibility. This account enables the holder to invest in assets such as residential property, commercial real estate, precious metals and oil.
* Using Real Estate to Diversify. Self-directed IRAs can help protect from risk through diversification and, for that same reason, can provide extra earning power. Real estate tends to be less correlated with the stock markets and thus is less volatile when the markets experience wide swings.
With a rental property asset in a self-directed IRA, rent payments from tenants are directly added to retirement savings, where they compound and grow tax-deferred until the investor takes a distribution in retirement. Self-directed IRAs are managed by a qualified custodian on behalf of the investor. The trustee helps file the proper annual IRS reports to ensure compliance with the tax code.
"Real estate and rental properties are popular investments because they can generate income in addition to a long-term return on investment," said Brett Immel, co-founder and senior partner of Growth Equity Group.