In May 2009, Jack VanderLans stands second in the All-Around standings of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) California Circuit. In May 2001, VanderLans filled his PRCA permit at what was then called the Ramona Round-Up Rodeo.
VanderLans received $1,301.42 in earnings from the Ramona Round-Up Rodeo, which was held May 18-20 that year. He placed second in the first calf roping go-round, earning him $780.85, and third in the second steer wrestling go-round to earn $520.57. Look for him for compete in the came two events at this weekend’s Ramona
Rodeo. One difference if calf roping is now called tie-down roping.
When a cowboy begins his career in the PRCA, he does so as a permitholder. A cowboy fills his permit once he has earned $1,000 from PRCA-sanctioned rodeos, allowing him to obtain a PRCA card and have full PRCA membership. The money to fill a permit does not need to be earned in the same event.
“It was kind of a sad day, actually,” VanderLans said.
Although he filled his permit, VanderLans learned his grandmother had died that day.
“I kind of felt down in the dumps,” VanderLans said. “Fortunately it turned out pretty well as far as the rodeo side of it.”
VanderLans maternal grandmother, Cynthia Boomhower, can be credited for VanderLans’ rodeo experience. The sport of rodeo has its roots in the cattle drive round-ups, which brought meat to kitchens. The money that allowed Boomhower to purchase a Montana ranch has its roots in the development of baking soda that was brought to kitchens.
Boomhower’s maiden name was Church. She is descended from Austin Church, who along with his brother-in-law John Dwight developed Arm and Hammer baking soda. Boomhower was born in Long Island and lived in Kings Point. In the 1930s she spent winters in Arizona, and later she spent her winters in Florida, where Sandy VanderLans was born in Palm Beach.
After Boomhower sold her Long Island house to Andy Warhol, she used the proceeds to purchase the Montana ranch in the early 1970s and opened the CB Cattle and Guest Ranch in 1972.
The ranch in Cameron—about 1-1/2 hours north of West Yellowstone on U.S. 287—consists of approximately 6,700 acres. It abuts the Beaverhead National Forest and, including U.S. Forest Service land to which the CB Ranch has access, the guests and grazing livestock can enjoy 21,000 acres.
Chris and Sandy VanderLans were married in 1981. Chris VanderLans had grown up in Southern California but had an uncle in Cameron across the river from CB Ranch. Chris and Sandy VanderLans lived in Laguna Beach for eight years, spending summers at the Montana ranch, before purchasing property in Fallbrook and building their next home.
They moved from Fallbrook to Temecula in 2003. Both VanderLans children were born in Montana: Jack in August 1982 and Katie in July 1987.
VanderLans was a senior at Fallbrook High School when he filled his PRCA permit at Ramona. As a high school junior the previous year, he won California High School Rodeo Association District 8 honors as the top All-Around boy.
During the 2000-01 CHSRA District 8 season, he placed first in calf roping, second in steer wrestling, and fourth as a team roping heeler. VanderLans was also voted the District 8 “king” to represent the district in the state court and received a merit scholarship.
The District 8 rookie cowgirl that year was Mindy Devenport, whose family now lives in San Pasqual and who is currently Katie VanderLans’ roommate at Montana State University.
VanderLans obtained his PRCA permit when he turned 18. Some rodeos take permitholders if space allows, and the Ramona Round-Up Rodeo was VanderLans’ third PRCA rodeo.
The Ramona Round-Up Rodeo featured two go-rounds for the PRCA timed events of calf roping, steer wrestling and team roping.
VanderLans entered the calf roping and steer wrestling competition. The Ramona rodeo was also VanderLans’ first rodeo using Honeycutt Rodeo Company stock, so he was not familiar with the calf he roped. He still obtained a time of 9.5 seconds in the first go-round, placing behind the 9.3 seconds of Rob Dugo but ahead of all other competitors to earn the second-place payout.
VanderLans had a time of 30.4 seconds on the second go-round for an average of 39.9 seconds on two heads, keeping him from placing in the average. VanderLans rode Brownie for his calf roping runs.
In his first steer wrestling go-round, VanderLans had a time of 12.8 seconds, but his time of 4.9 seconds led the second go-round at the end of the Saturday night performance. Abraham Soto had a time of 4.8 seconds in the Sunday performance to take first place from VanderLans, and T.W. Parker took a subsequent lead with a run of 4.3 seconds.
VanderLans rode Tuffy for his Steer Wrestling runs. His hazer was Ron Schenk, a PRCA cowboy from Moorpark.
“It holds kind of a special spot,” VanderLans said.
“I had really good luck there,” VanderLans said of Ramona’s 2001 rodeo. “I’ll never forget that rodeo.”
VanderLans has spent numerous weekends and slack sessions at rodeos over past eight years, and personal matters have subsequently arisen while he was at a rodeo.
“That’s going to happen,” he said.
Last month, VanderLans shared a steer wrestling go-round win at the Clovis Rodeo, and during that rodeo his close friend Clint Cooper announced his engagement.
“A lot can happen when you’re in rodeo that kind of holds memories,” VanderLans said.
Cooper’s father Blair is VanderLans’ farrier. Calf Roping is now called Tie-Down Roping. VanderLans’ roping horse Shane was injured earlier in the year, but Cooper and veterinarian Steve Colburn were able to return Shane to competition by late March. VanderLans rode Whit when he won the tie-down roping in early March at the Desert Pro Rodeo in Indio.
VanderLans had been riding Whitey for Steer Wrestling, but earlier this month Whitey tore a tendon in his hind leg and is expected to be out for nine months.
Upon filling his permit, a cowboy can apply to the PRCA to receive his PRCA card. However, issuance of the card makes that year the cowboy’s rookie season, so many cowboys who fill their permits do not apply until the following year so that all of that year’s rodeos can count toward Rookie of the Year earnings.
After filling his permit at Ramona, VanderLans filled out an application to the PRCA to receive his card. He knew that his 2002 college rodeo commitments would prevent him from PRCA circuit Rookie of the Year honors, and his PRCA card allowed him to enter Montana rodeos during the summer.
VanderLans spent the next four National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association seasons competing for University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Because rodeo is not an NCAA-sanctioned sport, amateur status is not required to compete in collegiate rodeo.
VanderLans was a hotel management major at UNLV.
The top 12 earners in each event at the end of the season qualify for the circuit finals, and VanderLans qualified for the California Finals Rodeo after the 2001 season. Splitting time between California Circuit rodeos, college and Montana Circuit rodeos limited his ability to qualify in a specific PRCA circuit for those years. VanderLans qualified for the 2008 California Finals Rodeo in both events, his third California Circuit finals in tie-fown roping and his second in steer wrestling. He also qualified for a Montana Circuit finals in tie-down roping.
In 2008 VanderLans earned $17,332 at PRCA rodeos, placing him 42nd in the world All-Around standings.