Cooper to wear No. 1 at NFR

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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For the first time in his career, three-time world champion Tuf Cooper, a former Decatur resident who lives in Weatherford, will wear the No. 1 back number at the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Cooper will enter the Dec. 7-16 National Finals in Las Vegas ranked No. 1 in both the world all-around and tie-down roping title races. He also will enter the Nov. 10-11 National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane, Kan., ranked 13th in the steer roping world standings.

Cooper is ranked No. 1 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2017 world all-around title race with $214,131.

Copper has qualified for the Las Vegas-based National Finals in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. When Cooper competed at the NFR in 2008-2015, Trevor Brazile wore the No. 1 back number.

When Cooper earned his first eight NFR berths, he was a world title contender only in tie-down roping. He earned PRCA tie-down roping world titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

But this year, Cooper has become a world class steer roper in addition to being a world class tie-down roper, which in turn has made him a world all-around title contender.

Cooper is a grandson of two-time (1960 and 1962) National Finals Rodeo qualifier Clifton Smith of Childress and his wife, Judy. He’s also the son of eight-time PRCA world champion Roy Cooper who lives in Decatur. Tuf Cooper is also a nephew of 2008 tie-down roping world champion Stran Smith of Childress.


Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, will wear the No. 2 back number at the Las Vegas-based NFR. He’s ranked No. 1 in the 2017 bareback riding world title race with $201,916 in regular season earnings.

Brazile, a 23-time PRCA world champion from Decatur, will wear the No. 3 back number at the 2017 NFR. He’s ranked second in the world all-around title race with $180,487.

A roster of 2017 NFR competitors and their NFR back numbers has been posted on the PRCA’s website.

According to, no competitor at the 2017 WNFR will wear the number 58. Instead, the number will remain absent as a tribute to the 58 people killed in the Oct. 1 shooting at a Las Vegas concert.

“In coordination with Las Vegas Events, we have decided not to issue the number 58 as a way to pay our respects to the victims of this tragedy,” PRCA chief operating officer Aaron Enget said.


After winning the Texas Tech Rodeo, South Plains College’s women’s team is ranked No. 1 in National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region.

South Plains clinched the title after earning 276 points throughout the three-day show at the Texas Tech Equestrian Center in Lubbock.

After winning the Oct. 19-21 TTU Rodeo, South Plains is ranked No. 1 in the regional women’s team standings with 841 points. Tarleton State is ranked No. 2 with 736.66. Weatherford College is ranked No. 3 with 570 and Texas Tech is No. 4 with 448.33.

The Texas Tech Rodeo was the fourth of 10 regional shows that are scheduled for the 2017-18 regular season.

During the Texas Tech Rodeo, South Plains’ women’s team received tremendous help from Jenna Marie Dallyn, who clinched the women’s all-around title. Dallyn finished second in the goat tying title race and second in the break-away roping title race en route to claiming the all-around crown.

In the men’s team title race at the Texas Tech rodeo, Tarleton State finished No. 1 after earning 625 points and Odessa College finished second with 345. Western Texas College and South Plains College tied for third after each team earned 270 points.

In the regional standings after the first four rodeos of the regular season, Tarleton is ranked No. 1 with 1,675 points, Odessa College is No. 2 with 1,375. Weatherford College is No. 3 with 1,285 and Clarendon College is No. 4 with 1,125.


On the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit, Kelly Bruner of Millsap was ranked No. 1 in last week’s WPRA 2018 pro rodeo world barrel racing standings.

At the WPRA World Finals in Waco, Bruner won the second round ($2,794 in prize money) and finished second in the short-go final round ($1,552) on her way to clinching the barrel racing average title ($4,191) in the Card Holder Race.

After winning the title at the Oct. 19-22 finale, Bruner is ranked No. 1 in the 2018 WPRA pro rodeo world barrel racing standings with $14,959 in 2018 regular season earnings.

The WPRA’s 2018 regular season began Oct. 1. Prize money earned at WPRA approved barrel races between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018, count toward qualifying for the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which will be conducted in Dec. 2018 in Las Vegas.


On the National Cutting Horse Association circuit, April Widman of Weatherford is ranked No. 1 in the non-pro world title race with $98,253 in regular season earnings. Kylie Knight Rice of Weatherford is ranked No. 2 with $82,502.

In the open division standings, Eazee E, which is owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight of Weatherford, is ranked No. 2 in the world race with $96,929. Deluxe Checks, which is owned by Louisiana residents Amanda and Rhein Standish, is No. 1 with $110,704. Austin Shepard is among three riders who have competed on Deluxe Checks this season.


The Professional Bull Riders 2017 World Finals is scheduled for Nov. 1-5 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. The 2017 PBR world champion will receive a $1 million bonus at the conclusion of the World Finals on Sunday, Nov. 5. Eduardo Aparecido and Kaique Pacheco, two Brazilian cowboys who live in Decatur, are serious world title contenders.

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

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