The small town of Checotah, Ok., is often known as home to country singer Carrie Underwood, but to the cowboys and cowgirls in the rodeo industry it is known as the Steer Wrestling Capital of the world. Thanks to the Duvall family, the Combs family, and the Hale family, Checotah was put on the map. Later cowboy legends such as Ote Berry, Teddy Johnson, Kenneth Prater, and many more have made Checotah what it is today. Checotah cowboys have brought home 29 championships from the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and the International Professional Rodeo Association.
In the year 1965 Roy Duvall invested in his PRCA card and went on to win three world titles, finish second four times and qualify a total of 24 times in the steer wrestling. His brother, Bill Duvall, also traveled with Roy and helped break and finish the horses the boys competed on. In 1978 Roy and Bill began hosting the Duvall Steer Wrestling Jackpot. This was created for a way to gather the toughest cowboys in the sport of steer wrestling to compete against one another.
Roy and Bill have recently passed the Jackpot down to Sam and Spud Duvall, Bill’s two sons. Riley Duvall, who competed in his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2016, who is the grandson of Bill and the son of Sam, and Mason Carter, Roy’s grandson, also help host the jackpot. The jackpot doesn’t stop with them, there are several family members who help in the concession stand, entry office, announcers stand, pulling the barrier, flagging and pushing up cattle. The Duvall Steer Wrestling Jackpot is quite a family effort.
The jackpot is a three-day event consisting of the Champion of Champions, 40 & Over, Battle Royal Tournament, 19 & Under and the Open Shootout. The Champion of Champions winner was Tanner Brunner for the second year in a row. Winning the 40 & Over was Buckshot Tallant with Tom Duvall winning the 50 & Over Incentive. Rowdy Parrott brought home the Battle Royal Championship for his second year. The 19 & Under winner was JD Draper. The Open Shootout champion was Cole Edge. Throughout the years the Duvall Jackpot has drawn well known steer wrestling competitors and title holders such as Mike Smith, Rod Lyman, Steve Duhon, Herbert Theriot, Byron Walker, Stan Williamson, and many other legendary contenders. This year the jackpot drew 101 entries in the Open Shootout, 82 competitors in the 19 & Under, and 60+ Old Timers.
In the jackpot’s early years, it was nothing to hear the National Anthem sung by Reba McEntire. A Checotah native, Donna King, now kicks off the day. You never know what might occur during the three-day jackpot. The cowboys enjoy interrupting the jackpot to compete in arm wrestling matches, foot races and zebu dogging. During the breaks it is a must to grab a bowl of gumbo and banana pudding made by the ladies in the concession stand. Each night after the dogging ends cousin Brad Duvall performs at the Annual Jackpot Jam where the cowboys all enjoying cutting a rug.
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