Before three of his team members competed in the College National Finals Rodeo’s final round last weekend in Casper, Wyo., Clarendon College coach Bret Franks gave them some sound words of advice.
“I texted the boys that made it back [to the final] and told them that this is where we don’t get pressured up, we go do our job, we do the best we can and let the chips fall where they may and they did,” Franks said.
When the dust settled, Clarendon College’s Riggin Smith had clinched the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s 2019 saddle bronc riding title. Smith’s cousin, Tegan Smith, had finished third in the saddle bronc riding title race. Dylan Jones had finished No. 4 in the team roping heeling title race.
All that helped Clarendon College finish No. 3 in the NIRA’s 2019 men’s team title race at the June 9-15 CNFR.
“I couldn’t have asked for them to do any more than they did this [past] week.” Franks said of his team members.
Riggin Smith, a sophomore from Winterset, Iowa, entered the Saturday night 12-man final round at the Casper Events Center with a commanding lead in the saddle bronc riding title race after turning in scores of 78, 77 and 79.5 during the prelims. During the final, Smith turned in a solid 76.5. He finished No. 1 in the title race with a four-ride aggregate score of 311 points.
Franks, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo saddle bronc riding qualifier, said Smith has been a model student.
“He was really consumed with learning,” Franks said. “He really has worked at it. He’s got to where he’s one of the best I’ve ever taught.”
Clarendon College competes in the NIRA Southwest Region. Some of the other schools in the region are Texas Tech, South Plains College, Tarleton State, West Texas A&M and Weatherford College.
Panola College clinched the men’s team title with 825 points. Hill College came in second with 675 and Clarendon College finished third with 660.
Panola College received tremendous help from Daylon Swearingen who snared the men's rookie and bull riding titles. Colten Fritzlan of Western Texas College tied for fifth in the bull riding title race. McNeese State clinched the NIRA’s women’s team title for the second consecutive year.
McNeese State, Panola College and Hill College compete in the NIRA's Southern Region. Some of the other schools that compete in the region are Sam Houston State, Texas A&M and Trinity Valley Community College.
Beau Peterson of Oklahoma Panhandle State and Mia Manzanares of McNeese State shared the goat tying title at the 2019 CNFR. Peterson and Manzanares finished the rodeo with a four-run time of 26.1.
Lauren Bane of Sam Houston State finished fourth in the goat tying title race with a 25.9.
Manzanares also clinched the women’s all-around title for the second consecutive year.
Haven Meged, a Tarleton State competitor, clinched the tie-down roping title with a four-run time of 36.7 seconds.
Chance Ames of Sheridan College snared the bareback riding title. Colton Campbell of California State claimed the men’s all-around title. Hailey Finnegan of Lassen College clinched the women’s rookie title.
Other champions were breakaway roper Taylor Munsell of Northwestern Oklahoma State; steer wrestler Bridger Anderson of Northwestern Oklahoma State; team ropers Dalton Titsworth and Kolton White of Southeastern Oklahoma State; and barrel racer Ashtyn Carlson of the College of Southern Idaho.
On the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women's Professional Rodeo Association circuit, Tuf Cooper, who has residences in Decatur and Weatherford, clinched the all-around title at the June 12-15 Parker County Sheriff's Posse Frontier Days and PRCA Rodeo in Weatherford. Cooper, the 2017 world all-around champion, earned $2,985 in tie-down roping and steer roping.
Cooper is a grandson of two-time National Finals Rodeo tie-down roping qualifier Clifton Smith of Childress and a son of eight-time PRCA world champion Roy Cooper of Decatur.
Tuf Cooper is ranked No. 4 in the PRCA's 2019 world all-around standings (released June 17) with $63,985. Caleb Smidt of Bellville is ranked No. 1 with $84,738.
Four-time National Finals qualifier Jake Brown clinched the bareback riding title at the Weatherford rodeo with a 90 on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Good Times Charlie.
Other winners were saddle bronc riders Jacobs Crawley (84 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Hired Gun) and Kobyn Williams (84 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Big Tex); team ropers Tanner Green and Jake Clay (4.4 seconds); steer wrestler Shane Frey (3.9 seconds); tie-down roper Treg Schaack (7.7 seconds); barrel racer Cindy Smith (17.34 seconds); bull rider Koby Radley (86 points on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo's Coal Chamber); and steer roper Brodie Poppino (34.2 seconds on three head).
Trevor Brazile, a 24-time world champion from Decatur, won the steer roping second round with an 8.9 and earned $987. Brazile is ranked No. 2 in the PRCA's 2019 steer roping world title race with $39,982.
Vin Fisher Jr. of Andrews is ranked No. 1 with $41,612. Fisher finished second in the second round at the Weatherford rodeo with a 9.4 and earned $817.The 2019 Weatherford PRCA show offered competitors $100,359.
FW Stockyards Rodeo
The weekly Stockyards Championship Rodeo at Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum began a 10-week series of PRCA shows last weekend.
Two-time National Finals qualifier Buddy Hawkins II and his partner, Tate Kirchenschlager, clinched the team roping title with time of 5.6 at the May 14-15 rodeo.
The weekly PRCA series in the Fort Worth Stockyards runs each Friday and Saturday night through Aug. 17.
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. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.