Winter: Houston Brown’s unsurprising win

Abe Winter
Star Columnist

The emergence of Houston Brown as a bonafide professional saddle bronc rider shouldn’t come as a surprise.

So says JC DeVaseur, a fellow pro saddle bronc rider from Roberts, Montana. Like Brown and bull rider extraordinaire Jess Lockwood, DeVaseur is a graduate of Broadus High School.

DeVaseur, who competed but didn’t take home money from last week’s PRCA Rodeo in Miles City, remembers helping Brown during his early days.

That wasn’t so long ago. After all, the 18-year-old Brown is this year’s National High School Rodeo Finals champion.

“I helped him get on his first few mounts,” DeVaseur said. “He’s come a long way and has been riding pretty good. He persevered and stuck with it.”

Told that Brown had said he didn’t do so well this summer against the likes of DeVaseur, the Roberts cowboy said, “He ain’t too far off, that’s for sure.”

Both cowboys went to Rapid City, South Dakota, after competing in Miles City. Roberts, 33, wasn’t feeling so well after landing hard when bucked off in the second performance nine days ago, yet he was prepared to ride the next night.

“I hope so,” he said. “I’ve been trying to heal up. It’s hard, especially when you land like that.

“But it hasn’t been a bad summer. It’s just been on and off lately. I was hot and consistent for awhile, then I cooled off right after the Fourth of July.”



— One thing about team ropers: They don’t seem to point fingers when things go wrong. Last week the winners in Miles City were Montanans Britt Williams of Hammond and Brett Fleming of Worden, who are in their first year as a tandem. In describing their season, Williams said, “It’s okay. We both messed up some.”

Not here, though. They won in a time of 4.8 seconds to each pocket  $1,476.

Bargain of the holiday weekend: There is no charge to attend the Barrel Daze, scheduled Saturday at noon and Sunday at 10 a.m.  at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds. It features more than 150 barrel racers

— Custer County District High School senior golfer Nick Anderson has been playing the sport at the Miles City Town and Country Club since he was 5. “I’ve always been here,” he said after shooting a 79 in last Friday’s invitational on his home course.

—The reinstatement of women’s volleyball at Miles Community College is a plus for the city’s sports program. “I was excited, I like it,” said Kailey Thomson of Billings. She is one of the 15 freshman recruits on the roster.

There’s a lot of excitement among her teammates and it was evident at last Friday’s matchup with Dawson Community College.

“I think it will keep improving,” the 5-foot-4 Thomson said after her strong performance with 44 digs in the 3-1 victory.

— A hole-in-one was the highlight of the recent Mixed Couples golf tournament at the Town and Country Club. Kevin Bagley of Bowman, N.D., aced the 145-yard par-3 third hole with an 8 iron. He was playing in a foursome with his wife, Janel, and Rick and Kim Flotkoetter of Miles City.

The Bagleys won the first flight of the two-day event that had four different 9-hole formats. Ben Graves and Vicki Hicks of Billings won the championship flight and John Carranza of Miles City teamed with Valerie Wentz of Sidney to win the second flight.

The tourney attracted 25 two-person teams. One of the players was former CCDHS boys basketball and American Legion baseball coach Jon Plowman, now living in Billings and playing a lot of golf.

(Contact Abe Winter at or 406-234-0450.)