Rodeo coming back to Cowtown


Polish up your cowboy boots and get those Wranglers starched: The International Gay Rodeo Association is once again bringing its Finals Rodeo to Fort Worth, Oct. 16-19 in the John Justin Arena, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth’s Cultural District. Bud Light is once again the signature sponsor for the rodeo.

The rodeo will include competition in calf roping, team roping, bull riding and other traditional rodeo events, along with other events unique to gay rodeo, like goat dressing and the wild drag race. Both men and women compete in each category, and cowboys and cowgirls have  been competing in rodeos around the U.S. and Canada all year to pile up enough points to earn a spot in the finals. Only the top 20 point-winners in each of the 13 events win a spot at the Finals Rodeo to compete for the titles of WGRF Champion and All-Around Champion.

The four-day Finals Rodeo also includes the culmination of the Mr., Ms. MsTer and Miss IGRA 2015 competition, beginning Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Rose Room at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road in Dallas, and continuing Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17-18, at the Hilton Arlington, 2401 E. Lamar Blvd. in Arlington. The new titleholders will be crowned Saturday night, with the ceremony folled by a “Hoe Down Party” with live music and dancing. Royalty contests and the hoe-down are free and open to the public.

The four-day event will also include food and merchandise booths and entertainment. Competition in the 13 events will take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-19. Doors open each day at 9 a.m. Admission is $15 a day or $20 for a weekend pass. Proceeds will benefit IGRA’s two charities for 2014: the National LGBT Cancer Network and the Gay and Lesbian Rodeo Heritage Foundation


—  Tammye Nash

Dallas hosts weekend of TGRA events

Posted on 03 Mar 2014 at 3:43pm
Photos by Chuck Marcelo Click on any image to begin    

TGRA inducts three Dallas, Fort Worth chapter members into Hall of Fame

The Texas Gay Rodeo Association inducted two Dallas chapter members and a Fort Worth chapter member into the Hall of Fame recently, according to a Jan. 3 press release from the organization.

Dan Nagel and Mark Gurrola of Dallas and Gene Fraikes of Fort Worth received the honor as recognition for their years of participation and service to TGRA.

Nagel worked as TGRA Rodeo Director or assistant at six rodeos, the press release reported. He also was the Dallas chapter board president and state representative for several years. He was a rodeo director and committee member for the International Gay Rodeo Association World Gay Rodeo Finals for three years and is currently the international chair for the event.

Nagel also is a rodeo competitor and served a term as the state contestant representative for TGRA.

Gurrola has been rodeo director and has held various rodeo committee chairs in TGRA and IGRA, including sponsorship, program and other functions. He served on chapter and state boards as secretary and Dallas representative. Gurrola is currently the IGRA Trustee from TGRA and serves on the IGRA WGRF committees.

Fraikes is a longtime member who participated in the royalty program as a title holder and chair in TGRA and IGRA. He served in several officer positions, including chapter, TGRA and IGRA executive boards as vice president. He is a rodeo competitor and judge and has been involved in the TGRA and IGRA dance competitions and bylaw committees.

Mike Lee and Eddie Taylor Houston also were inducted in the Hall of Fame posthumously. They were from Houston.

Dan Nagel

Dan Nagel


Mark G

Mark Gurrola

Gene Fraikes

Gene Fraikes


—  Steve Ramos

TGRA holds annual meeting in Dallas; Nagel to receive Founders Award

cowboy_butts_1The Texas Gay Rodeo Association’s annual meeting will be held in Dallas this weekend, and while that might sound like a stuffy corporate thingamajig, the cowfolk know how to do it up right.

For example, the main meeting to discuss by-laws and such won’t be held in an office conference center or hotel hall, but inside the Rose Room at Station 4 on Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, committees will be at Sue Ellen’s Vixin Lounge. But even beyond that, there will be plenty of fun, including mixers on Friday night at the Round-Up Saloon and Sue Ellen’s, a bachelor/bachelorette auction and barbecue at the Hidden Door on Saturday night.

Another good thing about it being held here is Dallas chapter chair Dan Nagel will receive TGRA’s Founders Award, the top honor awarded by the group, for embodying the values and mission of TGRA, which has contributed more than $2.7 million to charity over the course of its existence. 2013 marks the organization’s 30th year.

Members from the five chapters — Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — will be in town for the event, so if you see a surplus of Tom Lamas, well, you know why. Say howdy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Thanksgiving meals served Wed. at Resource Center, Thurs. at Round-Up

Local AIDS service providers are offering Thanksgiving meals before the holiday, and the Texas Gay Rodeo Association and the Round-Up Saloon are making sure everyone gets a holiday meal on the holiday.

AIDS Interfaith Network‘s Daire Center provided a big holiday meal last weekend and another today.

For Resource Center Dallas, Wednesday is the day of the holiday meal. RCD has a daily lunch program on weekdays but the Thanksgiving lunch will be elaborate and open to the public.

“It’s longer than normal because demand is increasing every year,” RCD Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell said.

McDonnell said they will not be checking client IDs and everyone is welcome. Lunch will be served in the Rainbow Room where the program normally takes place — with coffee and desert in the Color Rooms.

“We have 12 turkeys, our own cornbread dressing and other traditional sides,” he said.

TGRA is serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Round-Up Saloon on Thursday. That dinner is open to the public.

“We wanted to do something special for the community,” said TGRA President Butch Compton.

He said he contacted AIN and RCD to tell them to send their clients. About 400 people are expected at the Round-Up.

Compton said everything’s donated. On Wednesday, volunteers are picking up pieces of the meal to prepare and cook at home. He said he has 30 turkeys, nine hams, 25 pies, 100 cupcakes and lots more. Donations of food are not needed but cash donations to help defray the costs are welcome.

“We reached out to friends and family,” Compton said.

Any money that doesn’t go toward the meal, he said, would go to RCD, AIN or Legacy Counseling Center.

Volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, send an email to Compton.

—  David Taffet

Full list of World Gay Rodeo champions

Below are the champions from the 26th World Gay Rodeo Finals held in Fort Worth this past weekend:

Calf Roping on Foot:
Carla Bryant, OGRA
Drew Oberbeck, GSGRA

Steer Decorating
Kelly Peebles, NMGRA
Marco Terrazas, NMGRA

Mounted Break-Away Roping
Brittany Bailey, TGRA
Marty Williams, SSRA

Team Roping
Greg Begay, NMGRA
Marcus Begay, NMGRA

Junior Bull Riding
Russell Schnitz, RRRA

Goat Dressing
Kirk Carter, RRRA
David Renier, RRRA

Chute Dogging
Cindy Berner-Schlichte, IAGRA
Brian Helander, NMGRA

Pole Bending
Doreen Rue, RRRA
Daryll Kessler, RRRA

Wild Drag Race
John Beck, CGRA
Mary Arbuckle, OGRA
Randy Edlin, TGRA

Barrel Racing
Trenda Monnahan, OGRA
Richard Moore, OGRA

Flag Race
Candy Pratt, RRRA
Charlie Colella, RRRA

Bull Riding
Russell Schnitz, RRRA

All-Around Cowgirl
Trenda Monnahan, OGRA

All-Around Cowboy
David Renier, RRRA

In addition, the IGRA Royalty Competition was held this past weekend with the following winners:

Miss IGRA 2013: Sabel D’Zyre, NGRA
Miss IGRA 2013 1st Runner-Up: Laine Weston, MGRA

Mr. IGRA 2013: Frank Thompson, OGRA
Mr. IGRA 2013 1st Runner-Up: John Beck, CGRA
Mr. IGRA 2013 2nd Runner-Up: Curtiss Lewis, NGRA

—  John Wright

Scenes from the World Gay Rodeo Finals

Photos by Chuck Marcelo (Dallas Voice/

—  C Marcelo

Club Reflection and Dallas Eagle host rodeo kick off parties

Before the ropin’ starts



—  Rich Lopez

Balls & bulls

2 gay sports groups have 2 big weekends planned — and you’re invited


LEARN THE WAYS OF THE HORSE | This weekend kicks off the Oak lawn Tennis Association’s 33rd season, and next week the TGRA begins a new tradition: A rodeo school.

There will be no lack of action this weekend. No, this isn’t about a successful night of Grindr-ing. All the action will either go down on a court or off a horse. The Oak Lawn Tennis Association (OLTA) and the Texas Gay Rodeo Association (TGRA) kick off their respective seasons over the weekend — in big fashion.

OLTA invites the community to “Friends of Tennis,” which marks the beginning of the group’s 33rd season. Tennis enthusiasts of all levels are encouraged to come out for the three days of mingling and playing and introduction to OLTA.

A mixer at Woody’s on Saturday at 7 p.m. starts everything off, with opportunities to learn more about the association. For those itching at the bit to get on the court, play begins Sunday morning at the L.B Houston Tennis Center with the annual Promiscuous Doubles play at 9 a.m. The open court allows for all players to mix it up between various levels of experience.  Lunch will be served after court time winds down.

L.B. Houston is located at 11225 Luna Road.

For more information, visit

The TGRA’s big weekend isn’t until March 2–4, with its annual Texas Tradition Rodeo in Fort Worth, but the cowboys are busy this weekend when the Rodeo Roundup hits the Hidden Door on Feb. 25, starting at 2 p.m. But it’s the following Friday when things heat up.

This is the first year the association will hold a rodeo school for competitors wanting a refresher and for anybody else interested in rodeo events. Yes, anybody.

“Competitors can work with instructors on techniques as a sort of refresher course,” rodeo director Dan Nagel says. “But if someone’s never competed and always wanted to, they can come on in too and work with a champion.”

People can take courses on junior bull riding, chute dogging, calf roping on foot and steer decorating. And they’ll be in good hands. Every instructor is an experienced rodeo athlete and likely has a few awards to his or her name. Once a class is completed, students can sign up to enter the competition.

Like any class, there are some prerequisites. For newbies wanting their inaugural ride. they must first register with the appropriate rodeo association. Locals can sign up with TGRA while out-of-towners need to apply with their area organization (most chapters are expected to be at the rodeo). A mandatory safety class is offered, too. Classes are $15 each or $50 the whole she-bang. Other than that, Nagel says the only advice is to dress accordingly.

“Wear cowboy boots, jeans and a long-sleeve shirt,” he advises. “A hat is OK to wear at school but certain events require long sleeves and a hat. If they come in without it, they’re disqualified.”

After classes are over, the events and performances begin March 3 at 9 a.m. at the Will Rogers Arena in Fort Worth. The Chris Brade

Band, the Austin Babtist Women and the Free Ho Lay Sisters provide entertainment throughout the weekend. As a nonprofit, TGRA donates proceeds from the rodeo to various charities and has donated more than $2 million to Texas agencies.
For more information, visit

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

TGRA’s King and Queen of the Rodeo tonight

Crowning achievements

Find out tonight who’s talents and style will push them to the top as contestants vie for top honors by the Texas Gay Rodeo Association. Bedazzled gowns and tight wranglers are in store when tonight’s event gets us ready for the TGRA Rodeo in March. Yeehaw!

DEETS: Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez