Panguitch cowboy Lance Miller won the Senior Pro Rodeo Saddle Bronc Championship held in Panguitch last week, Utah. The great accomplishment came after a year of attending rodeos with stiff competition from other senior pro rodeo riders.

“Panguitch’s Lone Ranger just had a great ride,” the announcer exclaimed, after Miller’s time on the wildly bucking horse. “That was a 71 point ride, winning the title!”

Hometown pride in Miller and the great ride abounded, but most who knew him said, it serves him right!

Cowboy Lance Miller invests an exhaustive amount of time managing and taking great care of the beautiful Triple C indoor rodeo arena in Panguitch. Area residents express admiration for his hard work and dedication to upkeep and event promotions that clearly benefit Panguitch lodging and other businesses.

In fact, those involved with sponsoring, hosting, and volunteering for the Senior Pro Rodeo National Finals event in Panguitch were so impressed by Miller’s selfless hard work on behalf of senior rodeo and the community, they voted to honor him with a $500 volunteer thank-you stipend sponsored by Orton Lumber and Feed.

Miller was born in Panguitch, and has lived there the majority of his life. He is married to Jessica, and the couple are proud parents of seven children.

“I’ve been doing rodeo since I was old enough to climb over the chute,” admitted the 43 year old cowboy with a grin, as he explained why his love for rodeo just naturally compelled him to participate in the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association. He said Canada and Australia also participate in the competitions.

“The Association has roughly 400 members,” said Miller, “and we’re always seeking more.”

In senior rodeo, they break down competition in several age brackets. For instance in Miller’s saddle bronc competition, he competes in the 40-50 year old group, and then there’s another group 50 and older.

The season starts in January and ends in October. Qualifying rodeos are held all over from Texas to Canada, in fact seven were held in Panguitch. In order to qualify for the finals, a senior cowboy (or cowgirl) must compete in at least five rodeos. Based on their performance in those rodeos, they are awarded points and the top point recipients qualify for the Championship Finals.

“We have 180 contestants participating in the Championship,” said Miller. That was evident by the hundreds of horse trailers and camping rigs surrounding the Triple C Arena. He said while most of the facilities were already in place, he and volunteers did have to install additional power units for some of the rigs.

“I know some people chuckle about ‘senior pros,” said Miller, “but it’s stiff age-appropriate competition for the love of animals and rodeo.” He cited one 83 and 82 year-old married couple from Canada who are simply doing great in roping competition.

Miller’s hard work and dedication to senior rodeo paid off. Besides taking home the Saddle Bronc Championship, Miller was informed that the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association had announced that the National Finals will return to Panguitch in 2017!