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Cooper ties down title in Calgary

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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When Tuf Cooper backed into the box to make his final round tie-down roping run at the Calgary Stampede, the world’s top rodeo cowboy knew what he had to do.

The defending world all-around champion was the last competitor to rope in the four-man final. Caleb Smidt, the 2015 world tie-down roping champion, had taken the lead during the final with a run of 7.1 seconds. With that in mind, Cooper knew he had to make an exceptional run.

“I knew I had to give it my all, but slow down and be smooth,” Cooper said.

Cooper clinched the title with a blistering time of 6.8 seconds.

Cooper earned $100,000 (Canadian) for clinching the title during the final round. He also pocketed $13,500 during the prelims. Cooper left Calgary with $113,500.

Each single event winner captured $100,000 plus their earnings from the finals qualifying performances.

Cooper was among four Texans who earned winner’s checks. The other three were barrel racer Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla (with a final round time of 17.078 seconds), bareback rider Richmond Champion of Dublin (with a final round score of 92.5) and steer wrestler Matt Reeves of Cross Plains (4.7 seconds). The other 2018 Calgary champions were saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright of Milford, Utah (93 points), and bull rider Marcos Gloria, a Brazilian who resides in Edmonton, Alberta (76 points).

BRAZILE ROPING TOUGH

Trevor Brazile, a 23-time world champion from Decatur, clinched the tie-down roping title and tied for first in the steer roping average title race on his way to clinching the all-around title in Sheridan, Wyo., last weekend.

Brazile lassoed the tie-down roping title with a two-run time of 16.6. He and 14-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier Vin Fisher Jr., a Texas Tech graduate who lives in Andrews, shared the steer roping title after both men turned in a four-run time of 52.9.

Brazile also finished eighth in the team roping heading average title race with help from his partner, two-time world champion Patrick Smith of Lipan.

Brazile earned $12,648 at Sheridan.

Brazile also pocketed $3,435 after finishing third in tie-down roping at the Pikes Peak of Bust Rodeo last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Brazile is ranked second in the PRCA’s 2018 world all-around race. Tuf Cooper is ranked No. 1.

TOGETHER AGAIN

When the PRCA sanctioned the 2018 Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs, it meant the two organizations had gotten back together. The PRCA and the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo had a partnership for many years, but the two organizations parted ways in 2014. But this year, the two organizations reunited after some negotiating from George Taylor, the PRCA’s new chief executive officer.

Two-time WNFR qualifier Reese Riemer of Stinnett clinched tie-down roping title after turning in an 8.2 in the final round Saturday evening. Reimer also finished first in the fourth performance Saturday afternoon with a 9.0, finished the rodeo with $20,131 in total earnings.

Stevi Hillman, a two-time NFR qualifier from Weatherford, clinched the barrel racing title with a 16.744 during the finals. She also won the first performance on July 11, with a 16.854, which earned her a spot in the championship round. Hillman earned $16,000.

COWBOY CHRISTMAS

Defending PRCA world champion bareback rider Tim O’Connell finished as the top money winner during Cowboy Christmas.

O’Connell earned $31,094 throughout Cowboy Christmas. Saddle bronc rider Chase Brooks finished as the second highest earner after receiving $30,769.

Trevor Brazile earned $23,714. Tuf Cooper pocketed $19,792. Kory Koontz, a 21-time NFR qualifier, earned $21,204 in team roping.

In the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, six-time NFR qualifier Tammy Fischer was the leader. She earned $29,133 in barrel racing. Stevi Hillman pocketed $22,572.

According to the PRCA, the 2018 Cowboy Christmas included rodeos with at least one performance within July 1-10. The PRCA sanctioned 30 rodeos that offered competitors more than $3.9 million.

Some of the higher paying rodeos were in Ponoka, Alberta, Greeley, Colo., St, Paul, Ore., Cody, Wyo., and Prescott, Ariz.

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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