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Twisted Rodeo

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The words of Ted Harbin, winner of the 2010 PRCA Media Award for Excellence in Print Journalism
Updated: 1 hour 2 min ago

A Minor adjustment

6 hours 22 min ago


OKLAHOMA CITY – Shawn Minor approaches rodeo much like a factory-worker.

“I just want to be a rodeo cowboy,” said Minor, a 21-time International Professional Rodeo Association world champion from Camden, Ohio. “I have a wife and two kids, and I’ve got to provide for them. That means winning at rodeos. If you don’t win, you don’t get paid and don’t make a living.”

He’s done pretty well at it. Since his rookie season, Minor has qualified every year for the International Finals Rodeo. He returns for the 12th time to IFR 45, set for Jan. 16-18 at Jim Norick State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

Shawn Minor

Shawn Minor

He owns nine all-round gold buckles, eight bareback riding titles and four saddle bronc riding championships. He will roll into Oklahoma City in mid-January No. 1 in all three categories.

“I’ve been playing this game since I was 13, and I’ve learned the ropes,” he said. “I’ve been through the failure and success. I know how to do this deal.”

That has paid off quite well. He has earned nearly $61,000 riding bucking horses in the IPRA.

“A lot of people told me I couldn’t make a living rodeoing, and I set out to prove them wrong,” said Minor, 39, who first qualified for the IFR in his late 20s. “I never set out to win world titles. I just wanted to be known as a good cowboy, in the arena and out.

“My success that I’ve had has just been the topping of the cake. I feel pretty lucky, but I probably work harder at it than most people work in their lifetime. When it comes to riding bucking horses, I would eat it, sleep it, dream about it. I would wake up in the morning, then go out and saddle a colt that I knew bucked. It’s all in how bad you want something.”

He travels North America in order to compete in the sport he loves. He mounts about 200 bucking horses a year. Some years, he has to really work at his job to make it pay off. That was 2014.

“This was not really one of my better years,” he said. “I won a lot, but I won a lot of second- and third-place checks. I didn’t draw the one on them (to win on often). Last year I couldn’t draw a bad one; this year I had to work pretty hard.”

Work is nothing new to Minor, who grew up on a ranch near Gordon, Neb., in the state’s northwest corner, just a stone’s throw from the South Dakota border. He attended a country school that had about half a dozen students in kindergarten-eighth grade. In fact, he started driving himself to school when he was about 8 years old.

“They wired 2-by-4s to the pedals, the clutch, brake and gas,” said Minor, who also rode horses to class. “I broke a lot of ponies and colts to ride going back and forth to school.”

Now nearing 40, he continues to make his presence known in the game he’s played since he was a youngster.

“Being in so many wrecks in my lifetime – as far as bucking horses flipping over or whatever – I’ve just learned to steer clear of a lot of that stuff,” he said. “I think a lot of that is just experience, and I’ve had a lot of it.

“You tend to get pretty savvy to that kind of stuff.”

He also has learned a traditional trait of most cowboys; he can block out pain long enough to make the rides necessary. Of course, there’s no other way a man has a chance at his 22nd, 23rd and 24th gold buckles during the 25th anniversary IFR in Oklahoma City.

“It’s all in your head, because rodeo is such a mental game,” Minor said. “If you don’t have a strong mind and a big heart, you’re probably never going to go very far in rodeo.”

Minor has come a long ways in his rodeo career, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

There’s no step with us this Christmas

Thu, 12/25/2014 - 2:55pm
Laney and Ted laugh at his reaction to the beautiful words she wrote to him this Christmas. It wasn't just Ted; Laney did that with all her thoughtful presents. Her insights are meaningful to all those who have received her thoughts. (LYNETTE HARBIN PHOTO)

Laney and Ted laugh at his reaction to the beautiful words she wrote to him this Christmas. It wasn’t just Ted; Laney did that with all her thoughtful presents. Her insights are meaningful to all those who have received her thoughts. (LYNETTE HARBIN PHOTO)

For me, Christmas is always about family, reflection and showing my love for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Family is the perfect way to see God’s love for us. It’s evident in the eyes of our children, in their laughter, in the beauty that is my wife. This year has been exceptional in that regard; save the flu that has wrapped its not-so-loving arms around my youngest daughter.

What you need to read today is not my diatribe, but the words presented to me by my oldest daughter, who will be 13 in mid-March. She’s wise beyond her years. She came into my life when she was 3 years old; she came into my heart moments after I met the vibrant little girl with an amazing personality.

She is my step-daughter, though we’ve never allowed that word to interfere with our relationship. Here are her words, etched on a frame that covers a 2009 photo of her and me at a Royals game:

Real Dad

Some people would say you’re not my real dad, but I know that’s not fully true, for you’ve been a real dad to me in all the things we’ve been through. We’ve had our ups and downs; sometimes it’s hard to bend, but you’ve always been there when I’ve needed you. And that’s what matters in the end. I’m eternally grateful to you, because you’ve treated me as your own. For though we’re not tied by blood, instead the love and trust you’ve given me. That’s what counts you as a real dad.

Love Laney

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

A true International Finals

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:09pm


OKLAHOMA CITY – The International Finals Rodeo has grown in to a true international championship.

Of the 126 contestants that have qualified to compete at IFR 45 from Jan. 16-18 at the Jim Norick State Fair Arena, two dozen are from other countries. That serves as a great reminder of the world-wide draw of professional rodeo.

“We’re celebrating our 65th year as an organization,” said Dale Yerigan, president of Oklahoma City-based International Professional Rodeo Association. “Every year, we are seeing more and more of our IFR contestants coming from all over the world.”

IFR2014LogoRedDateThe largest contingent is from the Canadian province of Quebec, home of the IPRA’s largest regular-season event, Festival Western de St. Tite, in the community about 120 miles northeast of Montreal. Nine cowboys are from the neighboring province of Ontario, and one is from New South Wales, Australia.

The list of contestants is much more than an international flair. Cody Mousseau of Aylmer, Ontario, is making a run at multiple world championships; he has qualified in tie-down roping steer wrestling and team roping heading. He trails nine-time and reigning all-around champion Shawn Minor by about $8,700 in the all-around standings.

“Cody’s a pretty good hand who works all the timed events,” said Shawn Minor, a 21-time IPRA world champion from Camden, Ohio. “He’s had a good year, but he’s rodeoed his butt off and worked hard at it.”

Mousseau leads the steer wrestling standings, about $1,600 ahead of Brian Barefoot of Dunn, N.C., and sits No. 2 in both heading and tie-down roping; he is just less than $4,000 behind Justin Thigpen of Waycross, Ga., in tie-down roping and less than $1,000 behind Jacob Dagenhart of Statesville, N.C., in heading.

Of the 15 qualifiers in bull riding, most are Canadians. Rookie Garrett Tribble of Bristow, Okla., has secured his first IPRA world championship with nearly $38,000 in season earnings, but nine Canucks are making their way to Oklahoma City. Eric Isabelle of St. Julienne, Quebec, is the No. 2 bull rider in the standings, followed by four more Canadians.

“I think having so many international contestants at the International Finals Rodeo is a great thing,” Minor said. “To be able to go to all them rodeos up there is great for us. You have to drive your butt off, and you’ll have road rash when you get there, but when you get on and ride some of those good horses, they’re going to pay you and make it worth your while.”

The IPRA sanctions a number of Canadian rodeos, primarily in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Contestants can compete on just a Canadian card or a full IPRA card, which then allows them to compete at events in the United States.

“It’s a great move for rodeo and great for the IPRA,” Minor said. “That’s really stepped up the game.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Durfey closes 2014 with NFR check

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 5:43pm

LAS VEGAS – The National Finals Rodeo is no different than any of the numerous trips across the country for tie-down roper Tyson Durfey.

Along the way, a cowboy will experience the highs and lows – the trips to the peaks of the mountaintops followed by the ever-braking skids to the valleys with those rides along the plateaus. That describes Durfey’s NFR to a tee. He roped and tied down eight of 10 calves in a qualified time but placed just three times. In all, he earned a shade more than $19,000 in Las Vegas.

Tyson Durfey

Tyson Durfey

Still, he moved up one spot to 14th in the world standings, and earning almost $20,000 in 10 days is an outstanding paycheck for most.

Durfey, though, expects better. He knows what it takes to win go-rounds, much less just place in them. He’s placed as high as third in the average standings, that coming in 2009. He has finished the season among the top five in the world standings.

“To me, rodeoing is all about keeping your mind centrally located, trying not to let your emotions take over,” said Durfey, who grew up near Savannah, Mo., still claims Colbert, Wash., as home and spends a good portion of his time in Weatherford, Texas.

That worked for the most part.

Durfey placed in the second go-round, then just missed the pay window in Rounds 3-4. He returned to the top in the sixth go-round before suffering back-to-back no-times. A 10-second broken barrier in the ninth round could’ve derailed everything, but he bounced back quite well on the final night of the 2014 season, Saturday, Dec. 13.

Durfey roped and tied his calf in 7.3 seconds to finish in a tie for third place with Reese Reimer. How fast was the final round? That same time would’ve won four other go-rounds.

“Rodeo is such a funny sport, but I couldn’t do this without my sponsors,” he said, noting his agreements with Next IT Corp., Zoetis Animal Health, Pro Vision Equine Digital Surveillance, Cinch, Corral Boots, Logan Coach Horse Trailers, Willbros Group Inc., Swift Transportation, HR Workplace Services, Priefert and Silver Lining Herbs.

“There are so many variables in roping that you just have to take what you get.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Scheer finishes 2014 strong

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 3:30pm

LAS VEGAS – Cort Scheer entered the 2014 National Finals Rodeo with hopes of a world championship.

Instead, he pocketed more than $93,000 over the 10 days of ProRodeo’s grand championship event and left Las Vegas with a big piece of disappointment. How can that be?

Cort Scheer

Cort Scheer

He needed $10,000 more.

Instead, he finished the season No. 2 in the world standings with $195,586, $9,800 behind world champion Spencer Wright of Milford, Utah. It was a fantastic finish for the gold buckle, and it came down to the final round to decide the champion.

Scheer, 28, of Elsmere, Neb., placed in five go-rounds, including a first-round victory. He also finished second in the average behind Wright – they were the only two men to ride all 10 horses; it marked the second straight season Scheer finished second in the average and rode all 10 broncs at the NFR. By finishing with 764 cumulative points, he added $39,537 in average money.

Scheer, who attended Montana State University, Garden City (Kan.) Community College and Oklahoma Panhandle State University on rodeo scholarships, had a strong NFR. The main difference between first and second was their payoffs in the average. Still Wright – who brought his bronc riding family their fourth gold buckle, joining big brothers Cody (2) and Jesse – earned more than $145,000 in Sin City.

None of that takes away from the exceptional season Scheer had in 2014. In the PRCA alone, he had eight event titles, including big-rodeo victories in Pendleton, Ore., and Denver. He also added championships at Cinch Shoot-Outs throughout the season.

That all added up to a great way to make a living on the backs of bucking horses. But that’s what fans have come to expect of Scheer, who has been among the top 5 in the final world standings each of the past two seasons. He has consistently been one of ProRodeo’s elite bronc riders – the only season in which he hasn’t made the NFR came in 2011 when he suffered a knee injury and finished 25th.

Where he goes from here remains to be seen, but he’s proven a gold buckle is within reach.

Now he just needs to grasp it.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Stampede tabbed rodeo of the year

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 12:51pm
Members of the Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo committee pose with dignitaries during an awards ceremony on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas, where the committee was recognized as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association small rodeo of the year. Pictured are, from left, Miss Rodeo America Paige Nicholson, Bob Morton, Dawn Petty, David Petty and Steve Miller with Montana Silversmiths.

Members of the Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo committee pose with dignitaries during an awards ceremony on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas, where the committee was recognized as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association small rodeo of the year. Pictured are, from left, Miss Rodeo America Paige Nicholson, Bob Morton, Dawn Petty, David Petty and Steve Miller with Montana Silversmiths.

CLAREMORE, Okla. – David Petty was in shock and couldn’t think of the words to say; his wife, Dawn, couldn’t stop crying. Bob Morton just grinned and took it all in.

Their hearts and souls – countless man-hours – have gone into the labor of love they call the Will Rogers Stampede. Claremore’s rodeo had just been named the 2014 small rodeo of the year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, determined by a vote of the organization’s membership and announced during the PRCA’s annual awards banquet on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas, held in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“This is a tremendous honor for us,” said Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that organizes the rodeo every Memorial Day weekend. “We have a small group of people who work really hard every year to put on this rodeo for our community.

“Two years ago, we hired Pete Carr and his crew to produce the rodeo, and that’s made a major difference in the rodeo. It feels like all our years of hard work are paying off, and the people of Rogers County and surrounding areas can enjoy a world-class rodeo right here in Claremore, Oklahoma. It’s humbling to share this national spotlight with the Daddy of ’em All, Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days, and rodeos like Deadwood (S.D.) Days and the San Antonio Stock Show.”

PRCA members felt the same way. Rodeos are classified in four categories: small, medium, large and large indoor. The small-rodeo category encompasses more than 400 PRCA rodeos nationwide and allows the smaller committees to be judged with events of the same size.

“We’ve been blessed to have produced that rodeo the last couple of years,” said Pete Carr, owner of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “That’s one of the hardest working committees in rodeo, and I’m glad to see they were recognized this year. Those people have earned that award.”

Carr was nominated for stock contractor of the year, while other pieces of the 2014 Stampede also were recognized: Sandy Gwatney was nominated for secretary of the year, while entertainer John Harrison earned the Coors Man in the Can and the Comedy Act of the Year awards.

Days later, Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Lauren Heaton became the first Oklahoma cowgirl to be crowned Miss Rodeo America; she, too, was part of the pageantry that is the Will Rogers Stampede.

“Claremore was part of my 10-day Oklahoma run,” she said. “That’s such a great rodeo that had John and Sandy Gwatney working with Pete Carr; all three of them are working the finals. John Harrison was the clown there.

“That shows me that Claremore is putting on a phenomenal rodeo. They know what they need to do and where they need to be headed. I’m really excited to see Claremore win that award.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Cord McCoy’s Western Days

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 1:31pm



LOCUST GROVE, Okla. – Cord McCoy has traveled around the world three times and has crisscrossed this country more times than he can count.

The Oklahoma cowboy made a name for himself as a professional rodeo cowboy. He owns qualifications to the National Finals Rodeo, the Professional Bull Riders World Finals and the International Finals Rodeo, the latter of which is where he won five IPRA world titles.

“As I’ve traveled around, from Cheyenne to Calgary, some of my favorite events seem to be festivals,” said McCoy, who, with his brother, Jet, appeared three times on the CBS-TV reality series “The Amazing Race.” “I just love the Western people, the Western events, the Western way of life.”

He has produced bull-riding events and been to countless rodeos. He knows the attraction people have with the West.

“When I saw the Sycamore Springs Ranch and looked at its 1,900-acres of an exotic ranch, I wanted to share that with the world,” he said.

That’s how he and ranch owner Jerry Rush came up with Cord McCoy’s Western Days, which will take place on the land south of Locust Grove from April 16-19, 2015.

“We will have four arenas going simultaneously,” McCoy said. “We will have every event that you can think of and maybe more.”

As with any festival, there will be a variety of events: a trade show, cowboy poets, a competition trail run, an exotic trail ride a bareback riding clinic with world champion Kelly Timberman and a Professional Roughstock Series event that serves as a qualifier to The American all kicks off opening day.

“We want to have a lot of events, because we want to appeal to just about everybody’s interests,” McCoy said. “We’d love for everybody to take in as much as they can, because they’ll get a great feel for the Western way of life. We’ll have a rodeo and a barn dance every night to close it all out.”


THURSDAY, April 16, 2015
Noon: Sycamore Springs Ranch Welcome Reception
Noon: Western Music with The A-Bar Bunkhouse Band
Noon: Chuck Wagon Cook Off Lunch
12-7 p.m.: Western Trade Days Trade Show 
2 p.m.: Cowboy Poet in Mule Barn
3 p.m.: Competition Trail Run
3 p.m.: FREE Bareback Riding Clinic w/ Kelly Timberman
5 p.m. THE AMERICAN QUALIFIER w/ Pro Rough Stock
5 p.m.: Exotic Trail Ride across 1200 Acres
7:30 p.m.: Nightly Rodeo 
10 p.m.: Barn Dance in The Mule Barn

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015
9 a.m.-7 p.m.: Western Trade Days Trade Show
10 a.m.: Numbered Team Roping
10 a.m.: Exotic Trail Ride 1200 Acres
Noon: Chuck Wagon Cook Off Lunch
1 p.m.: Ranch Sorting
3 p.m.: Competition Trail Run
3 p.m.: Mounted Shooting
3 p.m.: Steer Roping
4 p.m.: Competition Trail Run 
5 p.m.: Exotic Trail Ride 1200 Acres
7 p.m.: Nightly Rodeo 
10 p.m.: Barn Dance in The Mule Barn

SATURDAY, April 18, 2015
8 a.m.: Horse Sale Preview
10 a.m.: Silver Select Horse Sale
10 a.m.: Numbered Team Roping
10 a.m.: Exotic Trail Ride 1200 Acres
Noon: Chuck Wagon Cook Off Lunch
1 p.m.: Ranch Sorting
3 p.m.: Competition Trail Run
5 p.m.: Exotic Trail Ride 1200 Acres
7 p.m.: Nightly Rodeo 
10 p.m.: Barn Dance in The Mule Barn

SUNDAY, April 19, 2015
9 a.m.: Western Worship Service
10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Western Trade Days Trade Show
10 a.m.: Barrel Racing
10 a.m.: Numbered Team Roping
10 a.m.: Exotic Trail Ride 1200 Acres
10 a.m.: Ranch Rodeo
Noon: Chuck Wagon Cook Off Lunch

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Pierce earned big money in Vegas

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 8:06pm

LAS VEGAS – Barrel racer Carlee Pierce has made more money in Las Vegas during her two previous qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Carlee Pierce

Carlee Pierce

She never had a better 10 days.

On Saturday night, the Edmond, Okla., cowgirl raced around the cloverleaf pattern in 13.97 seconds to place third in the 10th go-round, adding $11,340 to her payroll. More importantly, she held on to sixth in the average with a cumulative time of 151.61 seconds, which paid her another $12,000. She finished the NFR with $63,750.

“That is the first time I have ever won an average check,” said Pierce, who rode all 10 nights on Streakin Easy April, a 6-year-old sorrel mare she calls Lolo. “I had no expectations this year because my horses were so young, so I’m beyond tickled to have such a good finals.”

The talented tandem placed in six go-rounds. Pierce finished the season with $154,181, sixth in the world standings.

“I’m very excited about the future with Lolo,” she said. “I knew she had the ability, but she proved to me this week that she’s ready. That’s awesome.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Champion finishes ’14 at No. 3

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 7:37pm

LAS VEGAS – The Nevada desert was a pretty good home for bareback rider Richmond Champion.

Over 10 days, Champion rode bucking horses to the tune of $108,140, pushing his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association season earnings to nearly $200,000. He placed six of the last seven go-rounds at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, including two round wins. He also finished second in the average, scoring a cumulative total of 814.5 points.

Richmond Champion

Richmond Champion

The biggest accolade, though, came in the form of a third-place finish in the year-end standings, being crowned the third best bareback rider behind to the hottest man in the game, four-time reigning gold buckle winner Kaycee Field.

“It’s nuts,” said Champion, who earned $1.3 million this season riding bareback horses, all but $200,000 of which came from winning the title at a non-PRCA event, The American. “I was just sitting in the locker room trying to wrap my head around this whole deal. Everybody was congratulating me, but I couldn’t tell you what I did yesterday. This week’s gone by so fast.

“All of the sudden, you blink your eyes, and you’re here; blink your eyes again, and you’re leaving. I never would’ve imagined it would go like this.”

Only Feild earned more money than Champion among bareback riders. That’s quite a statement to the NFR rookie. He finished with a bang, too, riding Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet Fever for 85 points to finish in a three-way tie for third place in the 10th round.

“I think I had my ups and downs, but toward the end, I think I made up for it,” said Champion, of The Woodlands, Texas. “It wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit to make a drive over to Las Vegas again next year. I’m going to take a few days and re-access what I want to do, but obviously next year I’m going to go after that gold buckle. That’s my No. 1 goal.”

That’s a pretty good one to have. Champion came closer to catching Feild than anyone else, so his goals need to be pretty high.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Irwin wins reserve world title

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 7:20pm

LAS VEGAS – It didn’t take steer wrestler Kyle Irwin long to reflect on his 2014 season.

Just moments after making his final run at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Saturday, the Robertsdale, Ala., cowboy knew he’d lived a magical season, including $88,000 earned over 10 December nights in Sin City.

Kyle Irwin

Kyle Irwin

“It was everything I have ever dreamed of and everything I thought it would be and more,” said Irwin, 24, who attended Western Oklahoma College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University on rodeo scholarships. “It was a great experience, and it did something for me nothing else could have: It’s got me wanting to get back here.”

He should. The NFR is the sport’s grand finale, and only the top 15 contestants in each event earn the right to play for the biggest pay in the game. Irwin finished the campaign with $147,699, second in the world standings in a field that included many Las Vegas regulars. It was an outstanding performance for a first-time cowboy.

He placed in six go-rounds and earned at least a share of the go-round win on three nights – he split the second and eighth rounds and won the third outright. His cumulative time of 60.7 seconds on 10 runs was fourth best.

What did he learn most from his experience?

“Winning and losing, if that makes sense,” Irwin said. “I knew I had the talent and the capability, but once you put yourself in this situation with 14 of the best, you test yourself. I knew I could do it and believe in myself, but it’s still a test.

“Losing is going to help me mature. I’m not going to say if I didn’t make a few of the mistakes I made this week I would’ve been the world champ, because Luke was tough this week, but it would’ve made things a little more interesting. It gives me a little more humbling experience to go home and work on some things and do a little fine-tuning for when we come back.”

He plans to return, but he proved over the season why he earned the right to compete among steer wrestling’s elite.

“This is big for my family,” he said. “My family and my hometown was already behind me, but now we just took it to another level. It was great to share this experience with my family and my friends.

“I’m honored to get to do that again and already look forward to doing it again next year.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Bennett wins final round at NFR

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 3:55pm

LAS VEGAS – It takes a strong faith and belief in oneself to battle through pain and struggles in order to persevere and find victory.

Caleb Bennett has that. Bennett placed in just two go-rounds at the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and earned $27,000 over the 10 nights of the championship. That’s an outstanding week of work, but 11 bareback riders in the field earned more.

Caleb Bennett

Caleb Bennett

“It’s been a rough week, not able to draw the right horses and a bad shoulder,” said Bennett of Tremonton, Utah. “But I couldn’t be more blessed and ask for anything more than to end it the way I did on Dirty Jacket.”

On Saturday night during the 10th round, Bennett rode the Bareback Horse of the Year, Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket, for 86.5 points to win the title. Most of his NFR earnings came in the final night of the season, when he pocketed $19,000. It helps to have the best horse going; in addition to guiding Bennett to the Round 10 title, the 10-year-old bay gelding also helped Richmond Champion to the fifth-round crown.

“That’s a phenomenal horse and definitely one of the wants you want to have in this round,” he said, noting that the fifth- and 10th-round horses are considered the greatest animals from the season. “It feels awesome to just get another go-round buckle under my belt.”

Now competing at the NFR for the third straight year, the Utah cowboy has won one round each December. He won the first round in 2013, then waited until the final round this year. He already has adjusted the goals he had before the finale began.

“Yeah, I don’t know if I’ll ever say again that I want to finish stronger than I started,” Bennett said with a laugh. “Maybe I should say I want to finish as strong as I start.”

The reality is his season is finished. He closes the book on 2014 with $111,299, good enough for 12th in the world standings.

“That $27,000 is a great chunk of change for 10 days, so I’m not going to complain a bit,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed with the way things turned out, but this is still great, and it gives me an extra $30,000 to go home and put toward things to get ready for next year.”

The main focus will be on healing. Bennett’s left shoulder has caused him considerable pain, which is even more difficult in bareback riding, where he is locked onto the horse through the ride.

“I’m going to get my shoulder healed up and get to feeling better and be in even better shape,” Bennett said. “I’ve already set in my mind that I’m coming for them next year, and I want to be a top three or four contender at this deal next year and not just top 10 or 15.

“This week was actually a true test for me. But I kept thinking positively and kept replaying my good rides from this year. It might take me until the 10th round to win the go-round buckle, but I did it.”

That positivity went a long ways through a rough NFR. It will help next year, too.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Cooper cleans up on final night

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 1:35am

LAS VEGAS – For all his struggles over the 10 nights of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Jim Ross Cooper ended the 2014 season with a bang.

Jim Ross Cooper

Jim Ross Cooper

The “Riding for the Brand” team roping heeler from Monument, N.M., placed in just three go-rounds with partner Brandon Beers. On Saturday night during the 10th go-round, the team stopped the clock in 4.1 seconds to win $19,002. In all, they earned nearly $37,000.

That’s still a pretty solid week and a half of work for the cowboys. This was Cooper’s fifth qualification to the NFR, and their second-best finish.

It wasn’t a solid finish for the other two Tate Branch Auto Group cowboys, saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy and tie-down roper Clint Cooper.

Muncy, a two-time world champion from Corona, N.M., failed to record a score Saturday night. Still, he finished seventh in the 10-round average, riding eight horses for a cumulative score of 612.5 points. He pocketed almost $23,000 at the NFR and finished sixth in the world standings.

Clint Cooper, who grew up in Lovington, N.M., and lives in Decatur, Texas, suffered a no-time in Round 10. Still, he earned nearly $39,000 in Sin City and finished 12th on the money list. His half-brother, Tuf, won his third world championship.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Only 2 ride in bull riding

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 12:16am

1. Tyler Smith on Frontier Rodeo’s Dirty Cop, 84.5 points, $19,002; 2. Beau Hill, 60, $15,018; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Sage Kimzey, 671 on eight head, $48,732; 2. Joe Frost, 490.5 on six, $39,537; 3. Beau Hill, 374 on five, $31,262; 4. Tyler Smith, 322.5 on four, $22,987; 5. Cody Teel, 322, $16,550; 6. J.W. Harris, 310.5, $11,953; 7. Elliot Jacoby, 254 on three, $8,275; 8. Trey Benton III, 252.5, $4,597. World champion: Sage Kimzey, $318,631.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Fallon takes the crown

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:53pm

1. Mary Walker, 13.90 seconds, $19,002; 2. Fallon Taylor, 13.96, $15,018; 3. Carlee Pierce, 13.97, $11,340; 4. Michele McLeod, 13.99, $7,969; 5. Christy Loflin, 14.00, $4,904; 6. Lisa Lockhart, 14.02, $3,065. Average: 1. Lisa Lockhart, 144.93 seconds on 10 runs, $48,732; 2. Fallon Taylor, 145.1, $39,537; 3. Kaley Bass, 147.15, $31,262; 4. Britany Diaz, 147.37, $22,986; 5. Michele McLeod, 151.06, $16,550; 6. Carlee Pierce, 151.61, $11,953; 7. Jana Bean, 151.97, $8,275; 8. Trula Churchill, 154.84, $4,597. World champion: Fallon Taylor, $276,441.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Tuf wins his third world title

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:41pm

1. Cody Ohl, 6.8 seconds, $19,002; 2. Adam Gray, 7.2, 415, $15,018; 3. (tie) Reese Reimer and Tyson Durfey, 7.3, $9,654; 5. (tie) Clint Robinson and Hunter Herrin, 7.6, $3,984. Average: 1. Tuf Cooper, 89.7 seconds on 10 runs, $48,732; 2. Trevor Brazile, 93.1, $39,537; 3. Matt Shiozawa, 97.6, $31,262; 4. Ryan Watkins, 100.7, $22,987; 5. Cade Swor, 110.4, $16,550; 6. Shane Hanchey, 123.3, $11,953; 7. Clint Robinson, 108.2 on nine, $8,275; 8. Reese Reimer, 110.1, $4,597.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Spencer wins Wrights’ 4th title

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:13pm

1. Cody DeMoss, 86 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Resistol’s Top Hat, $19,002; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 83, $15.018; 3. Wade Sundell, 82, $11,340; 4. Jesse Wright, 81.5, $7,969; 5. Spencer Wright, 79, $4,904; 6. Jake Wright, 78, $3,064. Average: 1. Spencer Wright, 807.5 on 10 head, $48,732; 2. Cort Scheer, 764, $39,537; 3. Jake Wright, 704.5 on nine, $31,262; 4. Jesse Wright, 688, $22,987; 5. Wade Sundell, 647.5 on eight, $16,550; 6. Jacobs Crawley, 623, $11,953; 7. Taos Muncy, 612.5, $8,275; 8. Dustin Flundra, 598.5, $4,597.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Waiting on results, but Spencer Wright is champ

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:09pm

The youngest of the NFR Wright brothers won the average and gold buckles.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Tryan, Corkill repeat as champs

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:01pm

1. Brandon Beers/Jim Ross Cooper, 4.1 seconds, $19,002; 2. Tom Richards/Cesar de la Cruz, 4.6, $15,018; 3. Aaron Tsinigine/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 5.5, $11,304; 4. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 6.0, $7,969;  5. Jake Barnes/Junior Nogueira and Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 6.5, $3,985 each. Average: 1. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 70.1 on 10 head, $48,732; 2. Jake Barnes/Junior Nogueira, 57.1, on nine $39,537; 3. Aaron Tsiningine/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 71.4, $31,262; 4. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 52.8 on eight, $22,987; 5. Trevor Brazile/Travis Graves, 60.5, $16,550; 6. Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 61.2, $11,953; 7. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 73.8, $8,275; 8. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 58.0 on seven, $4,597.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Branquinho wins fifth gold buckle

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:01pm

Steer wrestling: 1. Dru Melvin, 3.4, $19,002; 2. Casey Martin, 4.0, $15,018; 3. Clayton Haas, 4.1, $11,340;  4. Seth Brockman, 4.2, $7,969; 5. Cole Edge, 4.4, $4,904; 6. Kyle Irwin, 4.5, $3,065. Average: 1. Luke Branquinho, 41.6 seconds on 10 head, $48,732; 2. Ty Erickson, 49.3, $39,537; 3. Dakota Eldridge, 56.0, $31,262; 4. Kyle Irwin, 60.7, $22,987; 5. Cole Edge, 71.8, $16,550; 6. Casey Martin, 41.1 on nine, $11,953; 7. Nick Guy, 43.3, $8,275; 8. Clayton Hass, 44.5, $4,597.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Feild wins average and the world

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 10:30pm

Average: 1. Kaycee Feild, 818.5 points on 10 head, $48,732; 2. Richmond Champion, 814.5, $39,537; 3. Winn Ratliff, 813, $31,262; 4. Jake Vold, 812.5, $22,987; 5. Austin Foss, 811, $16,550; 6. Bobby Mote, 809, $11,953; 7. Will Lowe, 797, $8,275; 8. Tilden Hooper, 790.5, $4,597.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo
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