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Brazile moves to top of world rankings; Decatur cowboy takes second in steer roping

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s top 15 steer ropers from the 2017 regular season saddled up over the past weekend for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane, Kan., which is in the Wichita area.

Scott Snedecor of Fredericksburg clinch his third world title in steer roping.

After the last steer had been roped at the NFSR at Kansas Star Arena, Snedecor finished No. 1 in the world title race after earning $136,419 throughout the regular season and at the Mulvane championships.

Twenty-three time PRCA world champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur finished runner-up with $126,538.

Snedecor, 42, entered the NFSR ranked fourth. But after earning $68,336 at the two-day NFSR, he finished as the world champion. He won the NFSR average/aggregate title (event title) en route to winning his third gold buckle. Snedecor also snared steer roping world titles in 2005 and 2008.

Trevor Brazile. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Brazile entered the NFSR ranked fifth. Earning $62,273 over the weekend, Brazile moved up to second in the final standings.

With the big weekend, Brazile moved up to the top in the world all-around standings with more than $243,000.

Tuf Cooper, a former Decatur resident who lives in Weatherford, dropped back to second with a little more than $229,000 in earnings. At last weekend’s NFSR, Cooper earned $14,981 and finished 12th with $59,107.

Cooper, a three-time world tie-down roping champion, competed in the NFSR for the first time. His father, Roy Cooper of Decatur won the world steer roping title in 1983 in addition to six tie-down roping world titles and a world all-around championship.

John Bland, who is from Turkey, also competed in the NFSR for the first time. He finished fourth in the average, which helped him earn $17,622. He finished 10th in the 2017 world title race with $65,806.

Bland’s father, whose first name is also John, qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in bull riding in 1976 and 1977. His uncle, Steve, qualified for the NFR in tie-down roping in 1980 and his uncle, Rex, qualified for the NFR in steer wrestling in 1971-73.

The younger John Bland said he greatly benefitted from growing up around successful family members.

“They grew up doing it,” Bland said of his father and his uncles’ rodeo careers. “I grew up doing it. It’s just a rodeo family. It just gets in your blood.”

Bland grew up on a ranch near Tatum, N.M. He competed for New Mexico Junior College and Texas Tech. At the time, he competed in tie-down roping and team roping.

But after graduating from Texas Tech in the mid-1990s, Bland curtailed his rodeo activities and became heavily committed to ranching. About three years ago, he took up steer roping. During the past year, the 43-year-old Bland finished in the money on the PRCA circuit on a regular bases at qualified for the NFSR.

Bland received lots of help from his 16-year-old roping horse whose nickname is Salty. Salty, whose American Quarter Horse Association registered name is Carols Sassy Doc, won the 2017 AQHA/PRCA Steer Roping Horse of the Year.

CUTTING HORSE UPDATE

On the National Cutting Horse Association circuit, April Widman of Weatherford is ranked No. 1 in the non-pro world title race with $100,408 in regular season earnings. Kylie Knight Rice of Weatherford is ranked second with $91,964.

In the open division standings, Eazee E, which is owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight of Weatherford, is ranked second in the world race with $107,183. Deluxe Checks, which is owned by Louisiana residents Amanda and Rhein Standish, is No. 1 with $120,408.

These horses and riders are scheduled to compete in the NCHA World Finals in Fort Worth, which is scheduled for Nov. 24-25, 30 and Dec. 2.

The World Finals is held in conjunction with the NCHA Futurity in Fort Worth, which starts Wednesday and runs through Dec. 10, at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

The NCHA Futurity, which features the most promising debuting 3-year-old horses, is the sport’s most prestigious show. The open division winner on Dec. 10 will receive $200,000.

DURFEY ROPING TOUGH

Tyson Durfey of Weatherford, the 2016 PRCA tie-down roping champion, clinched the tie-down roping title at the Nov. 3-5 Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo in Yakima, Wash.

Durfey placed in all three performances on his way to finishing first in the average/aggregate title race. Durfey won the first round after turning in a time of 7.7 seconds. He also finished third in the second round with a 9.1 and third in the third round with a 7.9. After all that, Durfey finished first overall with a three-run time of 24.7 to earn $5,558.

As the result of clinching the title, Durfey advanced to the April 5-8 (2018) RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla.

After earning $5,558 at the Yakima championships, Durfey was ranked third in the last week’s 2018 tie-down roping world title race with $10,421 in regular season earnings.

The Columbia River Circuit is among 12 geographic regions that determines champions each year in the PRCA.

The $5,558 that Durfey earned at the Columbia River Circuit Finals will help him in his attempt to qualify for the 2018 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The 2018 regular season began Oct. 1.

COLLEGE RODEO UPDATE

After finishing fifth at the Nov. 2-4 Sul Ross Rodeo in Alpine, South Plains College’s women’s team is ranked No. 1 in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region. Weatherford College is third.

In the regional men’s team title race, Tarleton State is ranked No. 1. Weatherford College is ranked third.

The Sul Ross Rodeo was the fifth of 10 regional shows scheduled for the 2017-18 regular season.

FAMILY TIES

Gay Sanford of Paradise serves as the administrative secretary for the North Texas High School Rodeo Association. But she also gets a lot of satisfaction from watching her grandson, Kyle McDaniel, effectively compete on the United Professional Rodeo Association circuit.

McDaniel has qualified for the Nov. 17-19 United Finals Rodeo (UPRA Finals) in Sulphur Springs in bull riding.

He qualified for the UFR in 15th place after earning $3,252 during the regular season.

That’s a remarkable accomplishment because McDaniel is a 16-year-old junior at North Hills Private School and lives in Fort Worth. He is classified as a UPRA rookie this season and the high school student held his own against adult bull riders on the UPRA circuit. He is the son of Jason McDaniel, who competed in bull riding on the North Texas High School Rodeo Association circuit in the early 1990s.

Sanford, competed in girls steer riding, barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying in the NTHSRA in the early 1970s. Her father, Lee Hamby, helped found the NTHSRA.

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos for more than three decades for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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