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Lee wins final round of Hedeman

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018
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Mike Lee of Alvord turned in the only qualified ride in the final round to win the Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge last weekend in at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth.

Lee earned $21,000.

The 2004 PBR world champion turned in a final score of 87.5. The other three finalists – Cody Jesus, Mickey Andrews and Cole Melancon – were bucked off.

Lee, 34, reached the four-man final, after turning in an 88.5 in the first round and an 87.5 in the second round.

“For me, I just had to enjoy the talent that God has given me,” Lee said. “I just had to relax and trust it.”

The Fort Worth competition was a stop on the new Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour that has been launched by the four-time world champion from Morgan Mill.

Hedeman applauded Lee for the victory.

“When you win this, you have to earn it by making three good rides,” Hedeman said. “All you know about Mike Lee is he loves to ride.”

NATIONAL CIRCUIT FINALS

Defending world all-around champion Tuf Cooper, who has residences in Decatur and Weatherford, won the tie-down roping title and $18,005 at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Ram National Circuit Finals last weekend in Kissimmee, Fla.

During the four-man final round, Cooper paced the field with a time of 7.0 seconds. Tyson Durfey, the PRCA’s 2016 champion tie-down roper, finished second with a 9.3 to earn $16,016.

In saddle bronc riding, five-time NFR qualifier Isaac Diaz of Desdemona clinched the title after turning in an 86 on a bronc named Low Bucks, owned by the Terrell-based Rafter G Rodeo Co. Diaz pocketed $14,594.

Former NFR qualifier Parker Breding captured the bull riding title and earned $29,567, the most of all competitors. Other champions were bareback rider Mason Clements (86 points), team ropers Logan Olson and Matt Kasner (5.4 seconds), steer wrestler Chason Floyd (4.2 seconds) and barrel racer Taci Bettis (15.34 seconds).

A SPECIAL RIDE

Two-time world champion bareback rider Tim O’Connell did not have a very good winter on the PRCA circuit.

But on the first day of last weekend’s PRCA Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, the 2018 season turned around for O’Connell, and a special person was on hand to witness it.

O’Connell’s infant son Hazen was in the stands for his first rodeo to see his dad post the top score of the Thursday night performance, an 86-point ride on Korkow Rodeo’s Harry’s Girl.

“This is his first rodeo ever,” said O’Connell, who entered the four-day RNCFR in 13th place in the world bareback riding standings. “That was pretty cool that I got in the mid 80s with my son watching. When he’s my age, I can tell him that story.”

PBR UPDATE

On the Professional Bull Riders tour, defending world champion Jess Lockwood clinched the title at last weekend’s Built Ford Tough Series tour stop in Sioux Falls, S.D., and earned $41,830.

Lockwood clinched the title after turning in a score of 91 on a bull named Big Dutch (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) in the final round. The Montana cowboy earned 760 world points throughout the three-day show, which moved him up six spots in the world rankings.

Lockwood is ranked seventh with 1,525 points. Ramon de Lima, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, is ranked No. 1 with 1,740. Luciano De Castro, another Brazilian who has a Decatur residence, is second with 1,700.

This weekend the Ford Series, which is the PBR’s top tier tour, stops in Tacoma, Wash. The 2018 PBR World Finals is Nov. 7-11 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

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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