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Pro rodeo dedicated to 'Texas Rodeo Cowboy'

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

The Cowboy Capital Rodeo Association will dedicate the 2014 Cowboy Capital Pro Rodeo to Oscar E. "Butch" Bode III.
This "Texas Rodeo Cowboy" was posthumously inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, located in the Fort Worth Stockyards, in April. He passed away in January 2013. Bode was the son of Oscar E. Bode Jr. and Doris Helmer Bode of Brenham.
A cowboy through and through, Bode worked at his father's sale barn after school and during summer school vacations; rode and showed cutting horses; and participated in youth rodeos while in high school. Additionally, he trained horses throughout his cowboy career.
While calf roping - now called tie-down roping - in high school, Bode credited most of his style and ability to the teachings of Toots Mansfield, whom he greatly admired and respected. In 1971, Bode earned Rookie of the Year in the International Rodeo Association.
While attending Western Texas College in Snyder on a rodeo scholarship, he won the 1973 calf roping event at the college finals in Bozeman, Montana.
That same year, Bode joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and qualified for his first National Finals Rodeo in 1976. At that time, he became only the fourth left-handed calf roper ever to qualify for the NFR. Bode won second in the calf roping, placing him fifth in the world standings. He won the San Angelo Roping Fiesta in 1977 and 1979.
Over the years, he participated in the World's Richest Roping, the Windy Ryan Memorial Roping, Calgary Stampede and Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, as well as in other PRCA rodeos and jackpots across Texas and the United States. Bode qualified for the TSWA Finals and Texas Circuit Finals numerous times, as well as the World Finals held in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1996.
Like topnotch ropers before him, Bode always gave credit to his partners for any arena achievements. He owned the Texas Circuit Bulldogging Horse of the Year in 1985. Throughout most of his rodeo career, Bode roped on a dun horse called Buck, crediting him with a lot of his success. In the early- and mid-1990s, while participating in PRCA and CPRA rodeos across Texas, he topped a horse named Socks in calf roping and bulldogging timed events.
He held a gold card in the PRCA and was a member of the Cowboys Regional Rodeo Association, United States Team Roping Association and the American Quarter Horse Association.
During the last few years of his life, Bode began team roping, continuing the sport until his death. He competed on Dec. 19, 2012, at a team roping at the Rose Palace in San Antonio and passed away Jan. 6, 2013. He was truly a "Texas Rodeo Cowboy."
Butch will be fondly remembered by the folks of Bandera County; members of the Cowboy Capital Rodeo Association; his wife, Linda Bode; daughter Sara Lynn Balcar; sons, Oscar E. "Buster" Bode IV and Bruce Brian Bode; and three grandchildren, Bayle Raye Bode, Oscar E. "Bryce" Bode V and Emily Mae Castillo.
The 31st annual PRCA Rodeo will be held over Memorial Day weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 23, 24 and 25. The arena action begins at 8 pm each night at Mansfield Park on Highway 16 North. Admission is $12 for adults, and $6 for children. Parking is $5. All proceeds will benefit the CCRA Scholarship Fund. For more information on events, visit www.banderarodeo.com.