April 21, 2014

Rodeo Insider: Tarleton State secures Southwest Region title

The Texans men’s rodeo team is filled with stars.

Tarleton State’s men will enter the school’s annual rodeo this weekend with the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region team title clinched.

The Tarleton Rodeo, which is scheduled Thursday through Saturday at the Lone Star Arena in Stephenville, is the last of 10 regional shows scheduled for the 2013-2014 regular season. After the season concludes, the region’s top two teams and the top three competitors in each single event advance to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., in June.

In the men’s regional team standings, Tarleton is ranked No. 1 with 4,380 points. Weatherford College is No. 2 with 3,100 and Odessa College is No. 3 with 3,060.

Tarleton is ranked No. 2 in the regional women’s team race with 1,680. Eastern New Mexico is No. 1 with 2,265.

Tarleton’s men’s team thrives on competitors such as Billy Bob Brown, who is ranked No. 1 in the regional men’s all-around and tie-down roping races. Richmond Champion will enter this weekend’s TSU Rodeo with the bareback riding title clinched.

During the past weekend, Champion earned $4,550 after tying for second at the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up and he’s ranked No. 4 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bareback riding world standings with $31,146.

Roper to watch

Brazil is known for turning out high-profile bull riders such as three-time Professional Bull Riders world champion Adriano Moraes, a former Keller resident, and two-time PBR gold buckle winner Silvano Alves, who lives in Decatur.

But Brazil has yet to turn out a world champion roper. However, that could change in the near future by a former Brazilian champion named Morcos Costa. Costa is living in Childress and is being tutored by 2008 world tie-down roping champion Stran Smith.

Costa finished fourth in tie-down roping at The American against legendary riders such as Fred Whitfield, Joe Beaver and Trevor Brazile. Last weekend, Costa came in second at the Horse and Colt Show Rodeo at Paducah with a time of 8.8 seconds. Sterling Smith of Stephenville, a 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, won with an 8.6.

“Everything is new for me here,” Costa said. “It’s harder here because the calves are different and the barriers are different.”

However, Smith, an 11-time NFR qualifier, said Costa has the potential to become a world-class competitor.

“He’s coming along,” Smith said.

Successful partnership

At the beginning of 2014, two-time PRCA world champion Patrick Smith of Lipan began partnering with three-time NFR qualifier Kaleb Driggers.

The two men each earned $100,000 after winning The American last month. Last weekend, the duo won the Red Bluff rodeo and Smith is ranked sixth in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s team roping heeling.

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