On July 31, after an emotional personal comeback and dream roping season with his son Brandon heading for him, it all came crashing down for Mike Beers-literally.
While practicing at 2002 World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote's house in Culver, Ore., a horse started bucking with Beers. He broke his pelvis and his left shoulder blade. He missed the entire regular season, but remained in third place in the world standings.
The injuries required surgery, hospital time and therapy-and the costs for Beers were mounting-so Mote stepped up to do what he could and organized a benefit roping at the very arena where the accident occurred.
"It was fun while we were getting it put together, how many people pitched in to get it done," Mote said. "People who hadn't seen him in 20 years, or friends of his who couldn't make it or even people who didn't know him thought it was a good cause and had followed him and Brandon throughout the year wanted to send checks. That raised almost $5,000."
In sum, the Oct. 7 event raised $22,300 and hosted over 500 teams.
"In the roping, we had 509 teams," Mote said. "Guys kept entering like Dean Tuftin, Marty Becker, Dave Inman and Brandon Beers. It was a lower-numbered roping and it was handicapped so those guys really didn't have a chance in the average, but they entered anyway. It paid pretty good. Those guys came and roped with everybody. They basically just came to help out. Butch Knowles came, Tommy Norton Jr. donated all the food and Miss Rodeo Oregon came and dished out potato salad for three hours. It was good."
Beers, who followed the doctors orders to the letter, was in a wheelchair until late September, then on a single crutch until just after the roping. He had been sitting on a saddle on two bales of hay, roping the dummy, but won't be able to ride until Nov. 5. Practicing at full speed isn't scheduled until Nov. 20.
"That roping was awesome," his son Brandon said. "They did a great job. The sponsors were awesome. People from all over the Northwest came. People from Canada came. There was just a lot of support there."
Mote arranged for prizes from Wrangler, Tony Lama and Heel-O-Matic Training Systems. Reinsman donated a saddle to be raffled off and numerous businesses provided items for a silent auction.
The buckles given out to the various winners were contributed by Dave Noble and the Tom Norton Cattle Company in Madras, Ore., donated all the food for the barbecue that fed 350 people.
"It seemed like the whole Northwest rodeo community got involved," 1984 World Champion Mike Beers said. "Rodeo committees, sponsors, competitors-there was such a great response. I saw people I hadn't seen in 20 years."