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Pearson turns in top time at Fort Worth

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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A prize-winning, bulldogging run at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo is made up of a talented cowboy, a remarkable horse and a steer that’s willing to go down without a lot of resistance.

All three aspects came together during the Fort Worth Stock Show’s renowned Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s opening performance Friday.

Tyler Pearson, the 2017 world champion steer wrestler from Louisville, Miss., rode Scooter, the PRCA and American Quarter Horse Association 2017 Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, to rope steer 57 in a blistering time of 4.1 seconds. He earned $4,198 before the 5,700 fans that filled Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum to the brim.

The same steer helped Colorado cowboy Blair Jones turn in a speedy time of 4.5 seconds during the Thursday’s slack performance, which featured the overflow of competitors who were not scheduled to compete in the main shows.

Pearson was grateful to draw a steer that was easier to catch and take down.

“That steer was outstanding,” Pearson said. “He let me get him on the ground.”

Pearson credited Scooter for his success last year and again at this year’s Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo.

“He’s a game changer,” Pearson said of his horse. “He’s got speed. He gives us a chance to win.”

Scooter is owned by Pearson and three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Kyle Irwin. Last year, Scooter played a big role in helping Pearson earn his second trip to the Las Vegas-based finals.

Pearson earned $155,538 in the 10 performances at the NFR. He clinched the world title after earning $265,457 throughout the year. Montana cowboy Ty Erickson finished second with $263,267 after earning $100,115 during the finals.

The Fort Worth Stock Show’s renowned 16-day PRCA rodeo runs through Feb. 3.

PEARSON WINS DENVER

After competing in the Fort Worth rodeo’s opening performance, Pearson traveled to Denver to compete in the famous National Western Stock Show Rodeo’s final round.

The Denver rodeo final was Sunday. Pearson entered the final ranked second in the steer wrestling title race with a two-run time of 8.2. During the final, Pearson turned in a remarkable time of 3.4 to win the event with a three-run time of 11.6. Pearson earned $10,331.

In tie-down roping, defending world champion Marcos Costa, a Brazilian who lives in Childress, finished second in Denver. Costa turned in a time of 7.8 seconds Sunday. He finished the rodeo with a three-run aggregate time of 24.1. He earned $8,322.

Shane Hanchey, the 2013 world champion, clinched the tie-down roping title with a three-run time of 23.0 after turning in a 7.4 in the final round. He pocketed $10,583.

Defending world all-around champion Tuf Cooper, a former Decatur resident who lives near Weatherford, finished second in the second round of tie-down roping with a 7.2. He earned $3,352.

In barrel racing, former NFR qualifier Carley Richardson of Pampa turned in a 15.32 during the final, which was the fastest time during the short round. Richardson finished third with a three-run aggregate time of 46.28 to earn $7,077.

Christine Laughlin clinched the barrel racing title with a 46.24, winning $8,756.

Jeff Johnston and Ty Talsma tied for first in the Denver rodeos’ all-around race after both men earned $5,042. Johnston and Talsma competed in steer wrestling and team roping.

In team roping, Aaron Tsinigine and Kyle Lockett clinched the title with a three-run time of 16.2. They each earned $7,125.

Twenty-three time world champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur and his partner, former world champion Patrick Smith of Lipan, finished seventh in the team roping, earning $1,293.

Other Denver rodeo champions were bareback rider Caleb Bennett ($9,764 in total earnings), saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston ($10,934) and bull rider Chase Dougherty ($8,262).

At the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, both Costa and Hanchey finished in the money in the tie-down roping first round. Hanchey won the first round with a 7.9 and pocketed $6,584. Costa finished second in the first round with an 8.0 and brought home $5,725.

A TAMED HORSE

In the 1980s, Sylvester Mayfield commanded respect when he earned two trips to the NFR.

In fact, the African-American star clinched the tie-down roping title in 1987 at the Fort Worth Stock Show’s renowned indoor pro rodeo, which was a big step toward earning his second National Finals berth.

Three decades later, Mayfield’s daughter, Shelby, has aspirations of becoming a barrel racing competitor to be reckoned with and competing at the NFR like her father.

Shelby Mayfield, 18, who is from Clovis, N.M., showed promise by clinching the barrel racing title in dramatic fashion at the Cowboys of Color Rodeo during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 15. She turned in a time of 16.90 seconds, winning $2,000. She was the only competitor who ran the cloverleaf pattern in under 17 seconds before a capacity crowd at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

Shelby rode her 11-year-old mare Jewel. Several years ago, Sylvester purchased Jewel at a horse sale in El Paso for a bargain price of $1,600.

At the time, Jewel was unbroken, but she was from great bloodlines for barrel racing. Jewel is a granddaughter of Dash Ta Fame, a famous barrel racing quarter horse stallion.

Sylvester said he was able to purchase Jewel for a lower price because the mare was difficult to deal with.

“Nobody wanted her because she was wild,” he said. “I think she had been through a few guys who tried to ride her.”

Sylvester broke Jewel to ride and Shelby trained the young horse for barrel racing competition.

“I had just had a horse die in a freak accident and I was kind of down on it,” Shelby said. “I didn’t want to run barrels anymore. But my dad came home with this horse and I said, ‘Well, I might as well give it a try.'”

Shelby said Jewel runs with determination.

“Really, she doesn’t make the most perfect runs,” she said. “But she really runs hard. She always makes up for her mistakes. She turns hard. She keeps me on my toes. I have to make sure to keep my timing right and make sure she’s in the right place at the right time.”

Shelby said Jewel is fast.

“She runs really hard in between the barrels,” she said. “It makes up for everything.”

Shelby Mayfield is a freshman at Eastern New Mexico in Portales. She is a member of the school’s rodeo team and is attempting to earn her membership card in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. She hopes to compete in the Fort Worth Stock Show’s pro rodeo next year.

Sylvester, 63, who qualified for the NRF in 1985 and 1987 in tie-down roping, currently has a business of buying and selling cattle.

Asked specifically why his daughter excels on the rodeo circuit, Sylvester said with a laugh: “She likes money.”

PBR UPDATE

On the Professional Bull Riders’ circuit, veteran Ryan Dirteater clinched the title at last weekend’s Built Ford Tough Series stop in Oklahoma City after earning 540 points during the two-day show.

Dener Barbosa, a Brazilian who lives in the Decatur area, finished second with 340 points. Defending PBR world champion Jess Lockwood finished fifth with 130.

After finishing runner-up at the Oklahoma City stop, Barbosa is ranked first in the PBR’s 2018 world title race with 825 points. Cooper Davis, the 2016 world champion, is ranked second with 780.

This weekend, the PBR’s Ford Series stops in Sacramento. The Ford Series tour is in Arlington on Feb. 24 at AT&T Stadium. 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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