Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Sports

August 2, 2013

BRETT HOFFMAN: Cowboys taking advantage of rodeo season with multiple events

Athens — The 117th Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo concluded on July 28 and featured many of the world’s top competitors.

But while the nine-day Wyoming rodeo was under way, many of the sport’s elite worked additional rodeos in cities such as Salt Lake City, Deadwood, S.D., Burwell, Neb., Preston, Idaho, and Spanish Fork, Utah. It’s common for a competitor to ride in a preliminary round at Cheyenne, travel to another rodeo, and then return to Cheyenne.

One cowboy who effectively did so was 10-time world all-around champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur, who lassoed the Cheyenne steer roping title. He won the average with a three-run time of 58.1 seconds, 1.1 seconds faster than runner-up Dan Fisher. Brazile also won the first round of steer roping at the Deadwood rodeo.

Matt Reeves, a former National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Cross Plains, clinched the steer wrestling title in Cheyenne.

Tuf Cooper of Decatur won the Cheyenne all-around title after earning $6,910 in team roping and tie-down roping. Twenty years ago, his father, Roy, won the all-around championship in Cheyenne.

The Cheyenne saddle bronc riding title race ended in a tie between Wade Sundell and Chad Ferley. Other champions were Taylor Price, bareback riding; Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, team roping; Christy Loflin, barrel racing; Cody Whitney, bull riding; Will Shaffer, rookie saddle bronc riding; and Scott Kormos, tie-down roping.

The 2013 Cheyenne rodeo offered competitors $857,612 (plus $11,410 in rookie saddle bronc riding). Stace Smith of Athens was the senior stock producer. Smith has won the PRCA’s coveted Stock Contractor of the Year award for the past nine years.

Price riding tough

Huntsville bareback rider Taylor Price, who represented Sam Houston State at the June College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., has a realistic chance of qualifying for the December Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Price is ranked 19th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bareback riding world title race with regular season earnings of $32,616 after winning the bareback title at the Cheyenne rodeo.

In order to qualify for the National Finals, which is scheduled Dec. 5-14 at the UNLV-based Thomas & Mack Center, Price must finish the regular season ranked within with in  the top 15 in the world standings when season concludes on Sept. 30.

Price earned $12,334 in Cheyenne. He clinched the title after turning in a remarkable final round score of 91 atop a bronc named Show Stopper, which is owned by the Frontier Rodeo Co.

Still going strong

The Cheyenne rodeo has a longtime reputation for being a cash cow for steer roping competitors and one veteran who finished in the money in a big way was 62-year-old Dan Fisher of Andrews who earned $17,147 after coming in second in title race behind winner Trevor Brazile. Fisher also earned $1,903 after finishing third in the average at the Days of ’76 Rodeo in Deadwood, S.D. Fisher, a 15-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier who has persevered through a recent bout with cancer, is ranked sixth in the steer roping world standings with $35,623.

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the past quarter-century. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net

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