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Posted: Dec 30 2011, 08:20 AM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 16-January 09
Came across this news article from 2009, some good history
July 28, 2009
Bulls at the Linn Co. rodeo come from long line of “buckers”
by John Teagarden
Farm Talk Tue Jul 28, 2009, 10:43 AM CDT
The bucking bulls at this year’s Linn County Fair PRCA Rodeo in Mound City, Kan., will come with an ancestral lineage that can be traced for generations.
The bulls furnished by New Frontier Rodeo Company of Gypsum, Kan., and Winnie, Tex., will be closely related and selected for bucking ability for more than 60 years.
In the bucking bull world, they’re known as “Plummer Bred,” or simply as “Plummers” after the late rodeo producer Charlie Plummer from Sayre, Okla., who began producing rodeos in the ‘50s.
According to his former wife, Rose Plummer Lamb of Madill, Okla., the program took a big step forward in 1963 with the purchase of stock from Tom Harlan of Kellerville, Tex., who began producing roping and riding events in the Texas Panhandle in the 1940s. He developed his line using Brahman, White Park and Longhorn cattle.
The classic Plummer bull recognized by rodeo fans are white speckled or spotted bulls with black muzzles and eye pigmentation.
“We made several trips to Tom Harlan’s over the years to buy his genetics,” said Rose, a spry 77-year-old who still goes to work every day as hostess at the LaGrande Restaurant in Madill. “The specks definitely came from Tom’s breeding.”
Both Harlan and Plummer took great pride in their breeding programs, line-breeding bulls that bucked to daughters of bulls that bucked. After Plummer’s death in 1986, the herd was dispersed. By then, the rodeo industry was recognizing that bucking ability was a heritable trait. The Plummer and Harlan genetics were passed on to rodeo men like Bennie Butler, DeLayne Long, Freddie Cordell, Ronnie Roach, Darrel Hargis, Elmer Anderson, Dillon Page, Larry Kephart and Jimmy Crowther.
Fast forward to 2009 and Mound City’s rodeo producer, New Frontier Rodeo Co. and Jimmy Crowther. Richard Nevels, Hutto, Tex., rode bulls at Plummer rodeos in the ‘70s and ‘80s and maintains a select set of Plummer cows.
“Jimmy Crowther was a top bull rider. Jimmy also started accumulating bucking stock and producing rodeos while still competing in the 1970s,” recalled Richard Nevels. “Back then, most cowboys headed to the rodeo dance after the last bull was bucked. But Jimmy was following Charlie around after the rodeo or sitting on a tailgate visiting with him, learning all he could. Jimmy was very interested in acquiring one of Charlie’s top bulls to start his own breeding program but Charlie didn’t part with his top-end genetics.”
That all changed one night in 1978.
“I was up at Charlie’s rodeo at Hardtner, Kan., on a Sunday night,” recalled Crowther. “And like I always did when we parted, I asked when he was going to sell me a good bull or two. Charlie just laughed and waved me off. ... Charlie called me at home and said ‘I’m going to sell you bull #75 (Road Warrior) and two other bulls for $4500 if you can have the money here by eight in the morning.’ I asked him what the other two were and Charlie said ‘It doesn’t matter, they buck, so make up your mind.’ I called a friend at Medicine Lodge and he took his trailer and a check for me to Hardtner before Charlie changed his mind. I found out later that Charlie had a land payment due on Tuesday and must have figured I was the only sucker that he knew.
“About two years later, I was order-buying cattle at the Hutchinson, Kan., sale barn when six freshly-dehorned Brahman-looking heifers came through the ring. They had Charlie’s CP brand but Charlie never dehorned anything, so that threw me off. Finally I realized those were probably Plummers and got the last bid. They weighed 660 pounds and cost 48 cents. I traced them back through two cattle traders and found out these heifers had originated at the Sayre sale barn. Sayre was Charlie’s home, so I was convinced they came from him.”
“It was Jimmy’s friendship with Charlie Plummer and his sincere interest in breeding that caused that sale of #75 to be made to a 23 year old cowboy back in 1978,” said Nevels. “Several older men had asked Charlie to price his top bulls. Perhaps Charlie sensed that Jimmy Crowther would be a ‘keeper of the flame.’ With the three bulls in ’78 and the six heifers in ’80, Jimmy had a several year head start on other breeders who bought the genetics at the 1986 dispersal.”
Crowther bred the six heifers to Road Warrior and got his first Plummer calves in ‘82 and bought two young bulls at the dispersal. “I bred the Road Warrior daughters to #111 Mr. Twister and have been keeping the line pure since then,” he said. “One time I asked Charlie why he didn’t name his bulls and he said it doesn’t matter, they won’t come when you call them anyway.”
So how has the Crowther program performed? Ask PRCA rodeo announcer Justin McKee, Lenapah, Okla.
“Jimmy started with Plummer bloodlines. Those bulls and cows were mean and inbred and produced buckers,” said McKee, PBR TV announcer and bucking bull producer himself. “Jimmy has continued the Plummer/Harlan line for 30 years, carefully choosing the sires he used and culling the females that didn’t produce buckers. This has fixed the bucking gene in his cowherd. Today, Jimmy Crowther has the purest Plummer breeding of anyone in the industry. And the percentage of his calves that buck is through the roof compared to anyone else.
“Jimmy Crowther and Jerry Nelson joined forces six years ago to form Frontier Rodeo. Neither Jimmy nor Jerry need the limelight or ever brag. Instead, they let their efforts speak for them,” said McKee.
And speak they have. Bones, the 2008 PBR Bull of the Year, was sired by Bone Collector, produced by Crowther. Frontier raised eyebrows at the 2008 NFR with 15 head picked for Las Vegas. Frontier placed three head in the “top 5” ranking, more than any of the other 70 contractors at the 2008 NFR.
Although the top five percent of the herd is reserved for the finals round at the largest rodeos and PBR events, the bulls headed to Mound City have had 98 outs at PRCA rodeos in Kansas and Oklahoma this year with seven completed rides—a 92 percent buck-off.
Crowther said to especially watch for #530 Gray Squirrel, #454 Dark Shadow, #107 Cruel and Unusual and #431Wee Man.
Plan to be at the Linn County Fair Rodeo at Mound City Aug. 8- 9 and check out the stock of New Frontier Rodeo Company.
Posted: Dec 30 2011, 07:37 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 16-January 09
Jimmy should be having his annual sale coming up in March:)