Tie-down ropers travel different paths to Fort Worth cash

02/06/2014 9:18 PM

02/06/2014 9:20 PM

At the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo, there are two ways of lassoing a bigger paycheck in the tie-down roping event.

The first is by placing high in a round, which means a competitor earns prize money for an outstanding single run at the renowned Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show.

The second is by finishing with one of the better aggregate times when the Fort Worth rodeo concludes its 16-day run Saturday night at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

During the Thursday matinee performance, fans witnessed two ropers who were on different missions.

The first was two-time world champion tie-down roper Tuf Cooper of Decatur, who was second in the second round after turning in a time of 8.1 seconds. He was attempting to be rewarded for a fast single-run performance.

The second was Californian Chant DeForest, a former collegiate champion who moved into second place in the tie-down roping average/aggregate race after turning in a solid time of 9.8. He mainly was attempting to be rewarded for an outstanding aggregate time.

Cooper rode into Thursday’s show matinee knowing he could not qualify for Saturday’s 12-man final round after turning in a sluggish first-round time of 14.9.

“When I go out on the first one [Round 1], I get to come back on the second one [Round 2] and let it all hang out,” Cooper said. “I get to go for first and that’s the way I like to rope.”

If Cooper takes second in Round 2, he will earn $5,058.

Unlike Cooper, DeForest finished in the money in Round 1. He pocketed $3,920 after tying for second with an 8.4. He entered Thursday’s matinee performance knowing he had a realistic chance of qualifying for Saturday’s finals.

Though his calf was a hard runner and he made a slower catch, DeForest made a fast dismount and rapidly tied the animal.

After posting the 9.8, DeForest is ranked second in the average/aggregate race with a two-run time of 18.2 and he will advance to Saturday’s finals.

“I knew I wasn’t going to place in that round, so I just made sure I solidly tied the calf down,” he said. “I’ve placed in [single] rounds at sizable rodeos, but my goal this year is to win more in the average [aggregate races].

If DeForest wins Saturday’s final round ($2,127) and also moves up to No. 1 in the average/aggregate title ($8,725), he would finish the Fort Worth rodeo with $14,772.

Bull rider injured

Bull rider Chris Roundy was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth for observation after suffering a concussion from colliding with a bull named Yellow Wasp during the matinee show.

He was unconscious for eight to 10 minutes, but recovered and was able to speak, medical officials said.

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