After Cash Myers received a no time in the first round of tie-down roping at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, the former National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Athens was focused when he faced his second calf.

Myers won the second round with a blistering time of 7.9 seconds and earned $5,686.

Meanwhile, Jeff Chapman, another former NFR qualifier from Athens, won the first round in 8.0 and earned $5,686. But he received a no-time in the second round.

Both Myers and Chapman could not qualify for the Feb. 3 Fort Worth rodeo finals because they each faltered in a qualifying round. The finals featured top 12 entries based on an aggregate time from the first and second rounds.

But a $5,686 payday is a nice bump for any competitor who is attempting to qualify for the December National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. It probably will take about $60,000 in tie-down roping to earn a berth in the National Finals based on figures from last year’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings. To qualify for the NFR, competitors must finish in the top 15 in season earnings in an event.

Just winning a round in a major rodeo such as Fort Worth can help a competitor make a leap toward the NFR. And after Myers and Chapman each pocketed several thousand dollars for roping one calf, they will definitely term their visit to Fort Worth a success.

One fast horse

After Kelly Maben’s star barrel racing horse, Bubba, broke a bone in his foot at a midseason rodeo in Calgary, the Spur cowgirl fell out of contention in the race to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo.

The elementary school teacher might have been able to put together a late-season charge to qualify for the 2007 Las Vegas championships, but she decided the effort wasn’t worth it since most of the better rodeos were begin held in the northwestern states and the school year in Spur was about to begin.

But Maben and Bubba sent a message last week that they are back and running at the big money. Maben clinched her second title in three years at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo and pocketed $10,820. The earnings moved her into third place in the early-season world standings.

Maben, a three-time NFR qualifier, said her 15-year-old gelding thrives on competing.

“He’s fast and that’s the best thing about him,” Maben said. “He loves the rodeo.”

Maben also is scheduled to compete this weekend in the San Antonio Livestock Show Rodeo. And that’s one Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event that commands respect because it is offering competitors a remarkable purse in the neighborhood of $1 million. The organizing committee for the rodeo has taken responsibility for the entire purse and is not using competitors’ entry fees to make up a substantial portion of that purse. That’s a big break from tradition and a nice break for competitors who usually pay a $500 entry fee for a single event.


• In the National Cutting Horse Association, organizers are focusing on the weekend warriors this month. The NCHA World Championship show is scheduled for Feb. 6-18 at the Amarillo National Center. In order to qualify for the championships, competitors had to fare well at smaller weekend shows during the 2007 season.

• On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, Kasey Hayes of Liberal, Kan., earned $31,785 for winning the North Carolina Invitational last weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C. The show was hosted by 1995 world champion bull rider Jerome Davis, who was paralyzed from the waist down 10 years ago in bull riding accident in Fort Worth.

• On the Championship Bull Riding circuit, Bonner Bolton of Gardendale clinched the 2007 Championship Bull Riding title at association’s Jan. 25-26 finals in Las Vegas. He won the title after turning in a score of 94.5 aboard a bull named The Air Up There, owned by Mike Johnson of Happy, south of Amarillo. Bolton, who earned $50,100 at the championships, finished the year with 7,097.4 points. Pistol Robinson of Burleson was second with 4,667.1 and Jarrod Craig of Hillsboro was third with 3,731.

• The Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge, which is approved by the CBR, is scheduled for March 8 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000 or, and at the Billy Bob’s Texas box office.

Brett Hoffman is a 20-year rodeo columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. He can be reached at

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