PRCA Rodeo Camp takes over Hidden Springs Youth Ranch


Instructors Nick Laduke and Jacobs Crawley hanging out with some of the saddle bronc kids!

By Madelaine Mills for PRCA Industry Outreach

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Spring Break Camp, hosted by Hidden Springs Youth Ranch and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, took on an urban cowboy flair. Hosted just 10 minutes from the AT&T Center, the event allowed an opportunity for inner city children to have a hands-on experience with rodeo, while learning about “America’s first extreme sport.”

Instructor Scotty NeSmith teaching some major roping skills!

Hidden Springs Youth Ranch had nearly 50 attendees, ranging from 8-18 years-old, check in each day for the unique learning experience. In small groups, students could learn about each rodeo event. Bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and horsemanship, as well as bull fighting were all offered. An introduction to rodeo as a sport and lessons about our animal athletes were also provided.

Students not only learned about their chosen event, but experienced ground work drills that would build a foundation for a rodeo competitor.

Instructors included rodeo athletes and notables as listed below.

Saddle Bronc Rider, Nick LaDuke
Retired Five-time Wrangler World Champion Bullfighter, Rob Smetts
Retired WNFR Qualifier in the Bareback Riding, Bob Logue
Bareback Riders, Matt Crumpler and Scotty NeSmith
Rodeo Judge, Gary Case
Retired Bullrider, Mel Kimbro
Retired Steer Wrestler and current Arena Director, John Gwatney
Rodeo Secretary of the Year, Sandy Gwatney
Team Roper, Sage Rew
Barrel Racers, Hailey Kinsely and Kathy Usher
2018 NLBRA Princess and rodeo representative, Jentri Haivala

A couple special guests also attended the camp including World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider, Jacobs Crawley and UFC fighter, Brendan O’Reilly. O’Reilly competed in youth rodeo through junior high and high school. After competing professionally as “The Badger” since 2009 in mixed martial arts, he is transitioning back into the sport of rodeo.

The urban based camp reached out to inner city children to instill an appreciation for the sport and lifestyle, as well as draw interest for future competitors. Many of today’s rodeo athletes did not grow up with a family involved in rodeo, agriculture, or the western lifestyle.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in the bareback riding, Mason Clements is a first-generation rodeo cowboy. He was raised competing in motocross racing but found an interest in his neighbors who team roped. After spending time with his neighbors, he went on to try multiple rodeo events, including steer wrestling and bull riding. Ultimately, Clements fell in love with the adrenaline rush and challenge of bareback riding.

Similarly, two-time World Champion Team Roping Heeler, Patrick Smith did not start roping until the age of 18 and was the first in his family to compete in rodeo. Smith had friends who were involved with rodeo and he began working riding horses for four-time world champion Allen Bach. After being introduced to rodeo legend, Tee Woolman, Smith began roping with him and his rodeo career took off.

“Rodeo does not have to be something your family did, or your community is active in,” said saddle bronc rider and camp instructor Nick LaDuke. “It is important for us to teach as many people as possible because you never know when the next ProRodeo athlete might come straight out of any major city in the World.”

John Gwatney instructing on proper steer wrestling techniques!

The camp was a success thanks to the many rodeo instructors and volunteers who helped the days run smoothly. Students walked away with big smiles, rodeo knowledge and new-found skills to become the next rodeo stars. The Rodeo Camp Schedule can be found on

Analysis: Looking at changes in transportation law


Lately, especially in the social medial realm, there have been quite a few three-letter acronyms being tossed around relating to livestock transportation. ELD, CMV, CDL, HOS and other confusing ciphers have promoted mass confusion.

Due to numerous questions, concerns and much discussion regarding the current Electronic Logging Device (ELD), Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and Hours of Service (HOS) situation, we would like to take the opportunity to provide some clarity and facts regarding these issues to not only the membership of the PRCA, but to the entire livestock industry.


The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act was enacted in 2012 as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and mandated “a commercial motor vehicle involved in interstate commerce and operated by a driver subject to the hours of service and the record of duty status requirements … be equipped with an Electronic Logging Device to improve compliance by an operator of a vehicle with hours of service regulations.”

An installation and implementation date of Dec. 18, 2017, also was established at the passage of the bill.

It is important to note that the only individuals impacted by this mandate are operators of CMVs who are required to maintain Records of Duty, commonly known as log books, to document their HOS. The ELD mandate does not change who must report hours, but rather the way hours are reported – digitally rather than hard copy. If a driver was not previously required to maintain Records of Duty or log books, the ELD mandate does not change that driver’s current operations.

The PRCA has been collaborating with the livestock and agricultural community and has requested that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with implementation date for the Final Rule on ELDs and HOS.

The FMCSA has granted a 90-day waiver, pushing the implementation deadline to March 18. Additionally, the livestock and agriculture industries have petitioned for additional deferments, which would allow time to continue conversations with FMCSA about the long-term needs of the livestock industry and alleviate any unintended consequences that the mandate may have on the transportation of livestock.


The introduction of the ELD mandate brought to light concerns about CDL requirements from many in the livestock community.

Most concerns have stemmed from the guidance offered by the FMCSA that if a vehicle is used by a driver or business with the intent of making a profit – also called “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” – it would constitute a CMV and thus require the operator to possess a CDL and to document their HOS.

Additional guidance from the FMCSA defined the “furtherance of a commercial enterprise” as activities undertaken for profit, including prize money, that is declared as ordinary income for tax purposes, and the cost of said activities is deducted as a business expense for tax purposes and, where relevant, corporate sponsorship is involved.

Further, the regulations regarding the towing and weight capacity of pickup style trucks and trailers continues to be a concern. A 2018 RAM 3500 has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,100-11,400 pounds, while many standard 24-28-foot livestock-type trailers weigh 16,000 pounds or more.

This common combination has a total GVWR of more than 26,001 pounds and would require the operator to possess a CDL if operated outside of the exemptions listed by the FMCSA. The FMCSA also provides guidance that a CMV is any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway for interstate commerce that has a GVWR or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more. Although concerns regarding CDLs, CMVs and GVWRs are valid, they have been in place for some time and have been misrepresented as part of the ELD mandate.

CDL requirements and regulations have remained unchanged, for the most part, since implementation in 1992. Requirements for a CDL classification are not new developments along with the ELD mandate.

Each state has its own set of regulations for CDLs, in addition to requirements from the FMCSA. Enforcement of both state and federal regulations relating to CDLs is handled by state law enforcement officers and varies from state to state. Some regulations and laws might change once a vehicle crosses state lines.

The FMCSA recommends that drivers confer with their State of Licensure to determine the licensing provisions to which they are subject. We certainly echo that recommendation.


Scattered reports of increased enforcement relating to CDL and CMV requirements have been reported nationwide.

While there might be an uptick in the awareness of CDL and CMV requirements and regulations, the enforcement is neither attributed to the ELD mandate or “new” regulations or rules.

Again, the rules and regulations regarding CDLs, CMVs and HOS have been in place for many years. Up to this point, enforcement has been sporadic and actual instances of citations have been rare, but an absence of enforcement does not imply compliance.

Understanding and awareness of the stringent federal regulations surrounding commercial transportation in the rodeo industry, and in the larger livestock industry, is somewhat lacking. Both federal and state rules and regulations provide exemptions to help lift some of the burdens placed on the industry, but are not without their deficiencies.

We suggest and advise members to be well informed as to their truck and trailer and the implications of how those vehicles are registered. Additionally, we suggest that the membership reach out to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Office within the driver’s state police department to determine overall compliance with the ELD mandate as well as longstanding CDL, CMV and HOS regulations and rules.

Those interested should contact their respective representatives in Washington, D.C. When contacting your representative, please be courteous and have your information correct. A simple call stating the burdens that are placed on the livestock industry with both the ELD mandate as well as CDL, CMV, and HOS rules and regulations would go a long way. A call to your state government officials would also be beneficial.

Further questions or concerns may be directed to


• Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act:

• To contact a representative:

• Horses are livestock, and as such are provided the following exemptions, along with other farm livestock, in addition to state specific exemptions:

• Intrastate Commerce Exemption 29 CFR Part 782.7:

• 150 Air Mile Rule Exemption 49 CFR Part 395.1:

• Covered Farm Vehicle Designation 49 CFR Part 390.5: