Rodeo riding rivalries

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019
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Pro rodeo has a famous brother-in-law rivalry between 24-time world champion Trevor Brazile and four-time world champion Tuf Cooper.

The two Decatur ropers have battled head-to-head for the world all-around title races at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas the past two years.

But the National Cutting Horse Association also has a pair of high-profile brothers-in-law engaged in friendly rivalry – Beau Galyean, 39, of Fort Worth, and Lloyd Dennis Cox, 53, of Marietta, Okla.

Galyean and a stallion named Rollz Royce clinched the 5- and 6-year-old open division finals Saturday at the NCHA Kit Kat Sugar Super Stakes with a lofty score of 228. Cox and a mare named Second Spot finished second with a 225 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth.

In the 4-year-old open division final, which is the second jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series, veteran Phil Hanson of Weatherford clinched the title with a 227 aboard Hiss N Vinegar. The horse is owned by Jeffrey and Jennifer Foland of Weatherford, who earned the $72,294 prize.

In the 5-and 6-year-old Classic division open final, Cox and Second Spot took the lead with the 225. But Galyean and Rollz Royce turned in the 228 to earn the win.

“It was electric from start-to-finish,” Galyean said. “It had to be. My brother-in-law on Second Spot put up a 225. He just put it on us out there. I knew we had to come big.”

Galyean said he knew he had to take risks throughout the run by selecting cattle that would give his horse a tougher challenge.

“I kind of took a chance,” Galyean said. “I knew in order to win, I knew that I had to take that chance in order to beat a 225 because a 225 is a huge score.”

As Galyean made his first place run, Cox was among four riders who were in the arena serving as helpers.

“It’s just part of the deal,” Cox said. “I’ve helped him a long time and I want to see him do great, too.”

Cox is married to Galyean’s sister, Christina.

Galyean has snared the NCHA Super Stakes Classic 5- and 6-year-old open title the past three years. In 2017, he clinched the title on Metallic Rebel. Last year, he won on Stevie Rey Von.


Clifton Smith of Childress, who qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1960 and 1962 in tie-down roping, was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall Of Fame in the Fort Worth Stockyards’ Cowtown Coliseum Saturday.

Smith, 85, is the father of 2008 PRCA world champion tie-down roper Stran Smith of Childress and the grandfather of 2017 world all-around champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur.

Smith also is the grandfather of Shada Brazile, who qualified for the 2013 National Finals in barrel racing. She’s married to the legendary Trevor Brazile, and they live in Decatur.

Smith, and his wife, Judy, also have two other grandchildren who have qualified for the NFR in tie-down roping. They are Stetson Vest of Childress and Clif Cooper of Decatur.

Clifton Smith was one of the earliest right handed tie-down ropers to dismount from the horse from the right side after catching the calf in an attempt to turn in a faster time. He said he was the first NFR qualifier ever to dismount from the right side when he opted to dismount from same side that he would flank and tie his calf at the 1960 NFR.

Today, most tie-down ropers dismount from the right side of the horse.


Bull rider Stetson Wright, 19, won the South Point Tuff Hedeman Challenge Saturday at Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum and earned $12,325. Wright, who is from Milford, Utah, turned in scores of 86, 92 and 90.5.

Wright also clinched the saddle bronc riding title at the March 16-30 Rodeo Austin in Austin and earned $9,935.


On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, rookie Mason Taylor of Maypearl clinched the title Sunday at the Unleash The Beast tour stop in Sioux Falls, S.D., and earned $37,710. Taylor also took the lead in the PBR’s Rookie of the Year title race.

Jose Vitor Leme, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, finished second and earned $24,760. Leme also took the lead in the PBR’s 2019 world title race.


After competing in the weekend’s Western Texas Rodeo in Snyder, Tarleton State is ranked No. 1 in both the men’s and women’s 2018-2019 team title races on the National Intercollege Rodeo Association Southwest Region circuit.

In the men’s team title race, Tarleton leads with 3,085 points. Clarendon College is second with 2,835, and South Plains College is third with 2,535.

In the women’s team title race, Tarleton is atop the rankings with 2,356.6 points. Weatherford College is second with 1,742.5 and South Plains third with 1,704.5.

The Western Texas Rodeo was the eighth of 10 regional rodeos scheduled for the 2018-2019 regular season.

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

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