Barnes had spent the days prior to his death visiting with family and friends about the upcoming Wrangler NFR. “He just went to sleep,” said his eldest son, Marty. “He had been asking questions just a few hours earlier.”
Barnes, known as the “Colonel,” was the premier rodeo producer in the Midwest who always prided himself on being able to produce what he advertised – a top professional rodeo.
Born April 19, 1929, in Cherokee, Iowa, Barnes started his rodeo career as a teenage amateur bareback rider. In 1950 he and his sister, Marge, decided to try their hand at producing rodeos.
Their first professional show was produced after he completed service in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. By 1953, they hit the road with a full string of stock and the Barnes Rodeo Company was on its way.
In the 1950s, the farthest rodeo away from the family’s Peterson, Iowa, ranch was 350 miles. In the ’60s, the fleet grew and so did the distance, to about 600 miles. Now the fleet has grown to four tractors, 12 trailers, and numerous pickups. The company travels through 32 states and more than 100,000 miles a year, with the furthest rodeo being more than 1,500 miles away.
Now named Barnes PRCA Rodeo, the company is the longest-running, individually-owned-and-operated stock contracting firm in the country and the major contributor to developing rodeo in the Midwest.
Barnes was the 1984 PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year, was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1994, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 2010.
He served for many years on the PRCA Board of Directors and the National Finals Rodeo Committee; his younger son, John, is currently a member of the PRCA Board and is the livestock superintendent at the Wrangler NFR.
In the late 1970s, Barnes PRCA Rodeo was in great demand to produce high school and college rodeos, so John and his wife, Donita, formed a second rodeo company to accommodate this opportunity. It only seemed fitting to name the company after the next generation in the Barnes family. The MJM Rodeo Company brand stands for the first initial of each of the three Barnes children – Mitzi, John and Marty.
After developing a solid foundation in the rodeo business, MJM joined the PRCA in 1980.
Barnes PRCA Rodeo has hauled stock all over the United States and Canada for more than 60 years. The company has produced the PRCA rodeos in Buffalo, Minn., and Spooner, Wis., for more than 50 years each.
Barnes’ Crystal Springs was the 1977 PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year and his other top stock over the years included bull T Bar who produced a Reliant Stadium arena record ride of 94 points with Terry Don West onboard, and bareback horse Smokeless Bow Tie, who Wes Stevenson rode for 93 points, one shy of the world record.
Services will be held Friday, Nov. 29 at the Sutherland (Iowa) Church of Christ, withvisitation from 9-11:30 and the memorial service at 1:30. Lunch will be servedfollowing the graveside service in Cherokee.
The family requests all memorial contributions be made to the Sutherland Church of Christ or to Midwest Christian Services in Peterson.
Barnes is survived by his daughter, Mitzi (Michael) Johnson; sons, Marty (Kendal) and John (Cynthia); 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Donita.
The following is courtesy of the PRCA:
Stall goes full throttle to win in Louisville
Louisville, KY – Brett Stall won’t be making a trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this year, so his win at the Ram Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo was about as sweet as it gets in 2013.
The 24-year-old bull rider won the first and second rounds en route to winning the average at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 16 and punching a ticket to his first ever Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo.
“I’ve been here four years now and it’s a great rodeo in Freedom Hall; it’s packed and the crowd gets loud,” said Stall, who won the average with a score of 169 points on two head.
“I came pretty close to catching Sunshine (Schwartz) for the year-end title and I couldn’t ask for a better year in the circuit or to be in a better circuit.”
Stall is riding high now, which is a stark contrast to earlier in 2013 when he suffered a tear in his hip which required surgery in February and led to him missing more than three months.
When he returned during the summer run, Stall made some noise before eventually finishing 25th in the world standings.
“On paper, I probably had a better season this year than last year because I went to a lot less rodeos this season and was still able to make good money,” he said. “I can’t be down on myself for a year like this, and coming back from an injury like that would be tough on anybody.”
Stall had no pity party. Instead, he went to Louisville with one goal in mind – making the RNCFR for the first time.
After scoring 84 points on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s Joe Cool to win the first round, Stall took the second round with an 85-point ride on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s Handle Bars. Even after being bucked off in round three, he took the average title by 12 points over Freeman Yoder.
“Winning your circuit and making it to the (national) circuit finals is something a guy always wants to accomplish,” Stall said. “There’s a lot of money to be won in Oklahoma City and it should be a lot of fun.”
So now that he won’t be in Las Vegas for this year’s NFR, Stall is readying himself for what he hopes is a big 2014 season. He says winning the RGLCFR has boosted his confidence even more and that he’s hoping to use it as a springboard.
“I’ll be ready to go in Oklahoma City and my confidence level going into this new year is huge,” he said. “I’m mentally focused and physically healthy and I’m having fun. I’m not burned out and now I have that craving and itch to get back out there and ride bulls.”
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