The Military Rodeo Cowboys Association (MRCA) was founded to further the ambitions of cowboys and cowgirls who wanted to serve and still compete in rodeos. Under the leadership of MRCA Commissioner Sonny Borrelli, the nineties were a time of growth as the MRCA added membership and rodeos following our success in Operation Desert Shield. For the first time, a Contestant Board of Directors was created and included event directors, and circuit directors. This group helped to run the day-to-day operations of getting rodeos off the ground and ensuring our membership had as many opportunities to compete as possible.
1990 didn’t have many rodeos due to the late start and return of our service members from the Middle East. However it did see Greg Richins of the NAS North Island win the All Around at the Camp Pendleton rodeo. Greg followed this with a great year in 1991 as he entered the ’91 World Finals held in Palm Springs, CA leading in Bareback, Saddle Bronc, Bullriding and the All Around. When the dust settled, Greg nailed the second hat trick in military rodeo history and walked away with world titles in Saddle Bronc, Bull Riding and the All Around while Steve Stollfus took home the Bareback title. Jody Huston won the world in Steer Wrestling.
Some major changes occurred during 1992 which included replacing some of the Executive Board and creation of the Contestant Board of Directors. The year started off in Lawton, OK with Wayne Boney of Norton AFB winning the Bull Riding and All Around titles and finished with the ’92 World Finals also held in Lawton, OK. The world titles went down to the wire in many events with the All Around title going to Wayne Boney by a slim 10 points. Steve Dowers won the Bareback title and Rodney Lewis was the Bull Riding Rookie of the Year.
1993 saw a continued dominance by the Air Force’s Wayne Boney as he became only the third person to nail the hat trick, winning world titles in Bareback, Bull Riding and the All Around at the WFR held in Winchester, CA. This WFR also saw Adam Pollard set the MRCA Chute Dogging record with a run of 1.2 seconds.
Wayne continued with a strong showing in 1994 winning the Camp Pendleton rodeo Bull Riding for the second time along with the All Around title. Lake Elsinore, CA hosted the 1994 the WFR and Boney won the Chute Dogging Average.
Jason Scott of the USS Kittyhawk came on the scene in 1995 and served notice that he was serious about winning. For the first time ever the WFR was held at the Camp Pendleton Ace Bowden arena. Jason Scott won the average in Bull Riding at the ’95 WFR along with the WFR All Around and then topped it with the 1995 Bull Riding world title. 1995 saw Wayne Boney come back for another world title as he took the Chute Dogging average at the WFR and the world title. The 1995 Bareback Rookie of the Year went to Adam Pollard who was also selected as Chairman of the Contestant Board of Directors.
1996 was dominated by Jason Scott. He led the Bull Riding and All Around standing from wire to wire and not only won world titles in those events but put some icing on the cake winning his second consecutive WFR Bull Riding average. This was also a good year for some rookies as Mike Schoenhoff won the Bareback Rookie of the Year and RJ McCaslin won the Saddle Bronc rookie award. The WFR was held at the Avi Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, NV and was a terrific event with Lynn Anderson of the USMC starting a hot streak in Saddle Bronc winning his first of several world titles while Tim Stevens also of the USMC won the world in Bareback. Dustin Thrasher, another Marine from Camp Pendleton won the WFR average and the Chute Dogging World title.
The Avi Hotel hosted the 1997 WFR for the second year and fans saw some great action as Marvin Deleon of the USMC won the world title in Bareback just barely outlasting his buddy and traveling partner Jeremy Wolin and also took home the All Around title. Lynn Anderson won his second Saddle Bronc world title and fellow Marine Ron Gibbany won the Chute Dogging title. Jarrod Bowen of the USN picked up the Bull Riding title.
Camp Pendleton hosted the WFR in 1998. This was a super competitive year that saw many of our military cowboys also qualify for the PRCA Sierra Circuit Finals. Albert Sanders of the USN won the All Around and Chute Dogging titles while Lynn Anderson got the USMC in the mix winning his third straight Saddle Bronc title along with fellow Marine Chris Franklin winning the Bull Riding title. 1998 saw Marvin Deleon win his second Bareback title while his traveling partner Jeremy Wolin won the WFR Bareback Average. Other average winners included John Wheeler in Chute Dogging, Diana Chester in Barrel Racing, Lynn Anderson in Saddle Bronc and Jared Piepkkorn in the Bull Riding. Rookie of the Year honors went to Mark Butler in Bareback, Tim Orum in Chute Dogging, Kym O’Dell in Barrel Racing, JB Burns in Saddle Bronc and Mike Kozeniesky in the Bull Riding.
The decade came to a close in 1999 with Rich Waskom of the USN winning the final All Around world title for the MRCA. Due to military retirements and reassignments, the organization was put on moth balls and replaced by the Military Bull Riders at the end of 1999.
Some of the News coverage from 1995
Part 1 of a 2 part video series on the MRCA years of military rodeo.
Here's a little tribute to all of the Champs from 1985-1999.
Take a nostalgic trip through the 90's with Jeremy Wolin and friends.
Jason Scott going 82 to win the round
Even the best can find a way to fall off once in a while!
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