July 7, 2014

Rodeo Insider: Rodeo stars cash in during Cowboy Christmas

Decatur cowboy Tuf Cooper is among the big money winners.

During the Independence Day week, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s top hands traveled extensively. The time of the season is called Cowboy Christmas, when there is an abundance of higher-paying rodeos.

Some of the larger shows were in Ponoka, Alberta, Greeley, Colo., St. Paul, Ore., Prescott, Ariz., and Cody, Wyo.

One high-profile cowboy who cashed in was two-time world champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur. After winning in Ponoka and pocketing $26,082 overall, Cooper is ranked No. l in the 2014 tie-down roping world standings with $84,313.

Cooper also is ranked second in the PRCA’s world all-around title race with $88,189. Trevor Brazile of Decatur, who is on pace to win a record 12th world all-around buckle, is ranked No. 1 with $135,243 after lassoing $17,698 during the Cowboy Christmas run.

Marty Yates of Stephenville won in St. Paul and earned $20,978 overall. He’s ranked No. 4 in tie-down roping with $48,687.

Three-time world bareback riding champion Kaycee Feild was the top money winner during Cowboy Christmas. He collected $34,483.

Honoring a legend

The late Bill Pickett, an African-American cowboy who thrived in the early 1900s and is credited for founding steer wrestling, will be honored in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

The Fort Worth-based National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum will celebrate Pickett’s legacy during the Hall of Fame Rodeo, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 27 at Cowtown Coliseum.

The proceeds will benefit the museum. Tickets are: $40 reserved box seats, $25 adult general admission and $15 for children. For more information, call 1-888-COWTOWN or visit

The Cowtown Coliseum also features a year-round weekly rodeo Friday and Saturday nights (8 p.m.). For information on all activities at the renowned venue, call 817-625-1025.

Cutting horses coming

The National Cutting Horse Association Summer Spectacular, which concludes with the third jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series, begins its 22-day run Saturday at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

The show will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday with the Classic/Challenge open division first round (5- and 6-year-old horses). The Classic/Challenge open final round is July 18. The Summer Spectacular will conclude Aug. 2 with the Derby open finals (4-year-olds).

For more information, visit or call 817-244-6188.

Calgary update

Many of the world’s top competitors are riding in the Calgary Stampede this week, vying for a $2 million purse. The famous Alberta rodeo’s championship performance is scheduled for Sunday, and each standard event winner will receive $100,000 (Canadian).

The 10-day rodeo features a tournament format and the first segment (Pool A) concluded Monday. The top four advanced to Sunday’s closing performance.

Four-time National Finals Rodeo saddle bronc riding qualifier Isaac Diaz of Desdemona advanced to Sunday’s performance after earning $14,500 through the first four performances. Bradley Harter, another former NFR qualifier who has residences in Weatherford and Loranger, La., advanced in saddle bronc riding after collecting $11,000.

Tuf Cooper advanced after garnering $14,500 in tie-down roping. Trevor Brazile made the cut in tie-down roping after pocketing $13,000.

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