The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is proud to announce the finalists chosen out of an accomplished field of nominees for the 2014 Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year Award. The award was created in 2010 to recognize dedication to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock by veterinarians across the country.
“Zoetis is honored to partner with the PRCA to celebrate the dedication of veterinarians who spend countless hours insuring health and well-being of rodeo livestock. Commonalities amongst each of the nominees for Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year include a longstanding commitment and involvement in the sport of rodeo, innovation in providing solutions to issues, and service as ambassadors for the sport and their community,” said Dr. "JP" Pollreisz, Managing Veterinarian - Beef Cattle Veterinary Operations at Zoetis.
Nominations for Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year are submitted by PRCA members and PRCA Rodeo Committees. The selection committee takes into account nominee’s specific contributions to the health and welfare of rodeo livestock, extent of involvement in the sport of rodeo and community involvement.
“I am very pleased the PRCA continues to recognize the hard work of veterinarians who contribute to the welfare of rodeo livestock. All of the nominees are very dedicated to the sport of rodeo and the livestock involved making the selection process very difficult.” stated Doug Corey, DVM, Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer and Chairman of the PRCA Livestock Welfare Committee “The sport of rodeo is lucky to have so many outstanding veterinary professionals involved in PRCA rodeos.”
The 2014 recipient will be announced in mid October and will be honored at the PRCA Contract Personnel Banquet on December 3, 2014 in Las Vegas and during the 55th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The field of 10 outstanding nominees was narrowed down to five distinguished veterinarians.The 2014 finalists are:
Dr. Jerry Billquist, Billings, MT.Nominated by the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit.
Dr. Billquist has been committed to the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo for 23 years as the official veterinarian.As a volunteer he has attended every performance and done pre and post livestock inspections.He works closely with the contestants and stock contractors on the health of their livestock and attends many of the rodeos functions.Carolynn Vietor, President of the Womens Professional Rodeo Association has this to say, “Dr. Billquist began his involvement with the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit when he was practicing in Billings, but for the past decade or more he makes the trip from the hill country of Texas to Great Falls to be our veterinarian at the Circuit Finals.Never, over all of these years, has he charged for these services.”
Dr. John Boyington, Phillipsburg, KS.Nominated by the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association.
Dr. Boyington has volunteered his time and professional services to Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo in Phillipsburg for the past 24 years. He has attended every performance and section of slack.He has served as a rodeo committee member for several years including heading up ticket sales.His rodeo career began in youth rodeo and continued in College Rodeo.In the PRCA he qualified for the Prairie Circuit Finals in steer wrestling and won the Phillipsburg Rodeo steer wrestling in 1978 before putting his rodeo career on hold for vet school.He still team ropes locally and teaches roping to local 4-H members and helps the Hippology team with studying equine health issues. Dr. Boyington volunteers his time with the local school district introducing the students to the western lifestyle in order to enhance their rodeo awareness.PRCA Stock Contractor Rhett Beutler said, “One thing we never worry about in Phillipsburg, is knowing John is the veterinarian caring for our animals.John has been a big asset to this rodeo, and is held in high regard not only by the Beutlers, but everyone that knows John.”
Dr. J. Fred Rule, Elk City, OK.Nominated by PRCA member Larry Dawson, PRCA Stock Contractor Bennie Beutler and others.
Dr. Rule has been the veterinarian for the Beutler Ranch since the 1960s working with Lynn, Jake, Elra and Jiggs Beutler and now Bennie and Rhett Beutler to take care of generations of National Finals Rodeo qualifying bucking stock.He purchased his PRCA card in 1966, competed in steer wrestling, and is now a gold card member.During his competing years, he served as the veterinary to many of his fellow competitors through the Prairie Circuit with no monetary compensation.Dr. Rule has served as the official veterinarian for the Elk City, OK Rodeo of Champions and the Beutler and Son homecoming rodeo for at least 40 years, never missing a single year.He has served as the official veterinarian for many other PRCA rodeos including Woodward, OK, Cheyenne, OK and Pampa, TX.He has addressed the media with his expertise when questions regarding rodeo livestock welfare have arisen.He served the National Finals Rodeo as a veterinarian under CR Boucher, the timed-event and roughstock chute boss.PRCA Stock Contractor Bennie Beutler commented, “Dr. Rule is one of the finest equine practitioners that I have ever seen.I can’t begin to name or count the number of animals that he has cared for and saved for all of the Beutler family throughout the last 45 years both equine and bovine.There is not a veterinarian anywhere in the country more deserving or better qualified to receive this award.
Dr. Tony Sheiber, Cody. WY.Nominated by the Cody Stampede Rodeo.
Dr. Sheiber has been a volunteer with the Cody Stampede Board since 1990, personally dedicating his time to working with the PRCA to implement animal welfare policies not only for the six performances of the PRCA rodeo each year but also the other 86 consecutive nights of open rodeos held in Cody each summer.He has proactively reached out to state and local officials inviting them to the Cody Stampede to inspect the facilities and review the protocol for livestock welfare.Tony works to help the future of rodeo by volunteering for the rodeo team at the local junior college doing all of the health inspections and other tests necessary for the contestants to compete in National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association sanctioned events.He offers veterinary services to the local College Rodeo each year.Dr. Sheiber and his wife own and operate an Equine Nutrition Research Facility in Cody aimed at improving the health of horses through improved nutrition.PRCA Stock Contractor Maury Tate said, “Dr. Sheiber is there no matter what time of day or night.He goes way beyond the call of duty.He is very passionate about his job and the sport of rodeo.”
Dr. Marty Dean Tanner, Elgin, TX.Nominated by Phil Lyne.
Dr. Tanner is a specialist in Equine Sports Medicine and is well-known as a veterinarian to many top PRCA and WPRA competitors, making himself available at all hours to advise them on equine health issues and traveling to Las Vegas each year to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to assist his clients during the 10 day rodeo.The clinic where Dr. Tanner practices has eight clients that should be qualifiers for the 2014 Wrangler National Finals.He also serves as the veterinarian for stock contractors including Harry Vold Rodeo Company.He actively supports youth including members of 4-H and FFA and the Joe Beaver Jr. Roping.PRCA Hall of Famer Phil Lynn states, “Dr. Tanner volunteers for the TQHA Barrel Horse Committee, 4-H, FFA organizations as well as serving on the Austin PRCA Rodeo Committee for 20 years.I do not know where Dr. Tanner finds time, but he always finds the time for anyone and their horse.He is “Just Amazing.”
Photos of the finalists may be viewed on ProRodeo.com and are available upon request. For more information, contact Cindy Schonholtz at 719-440-7255.