Lance Cooper has been around horses all of his life.
The 17-year-old Weatherford cowboy is the son of Michael Cooper, a successful trainer/rider in the National Cutting Horse Association. His brother, Lane Cooper, qualified for the 2018 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, in team roping while competing for Weatherford College.
When Lance Cooper competed in the National Youth Cutting Horse Association’s Summer Scholarship Cutting on Friday afternoon at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, he was very comfortable riding a horse that he did not own. He clinched the senior division title (ages 14-18) on a horse named Fancy Rey, which is owned by Charles Burger of Chatsworth, Georgia, after turning in a score of 223.
Cooper had never competed on Fancy Rey until he borrowed the horse to ride in the Fort Worth-based Youth Summer Scholarship Cutting. But Cooper also thrived on being an experienced horseman.
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“I ride horses every day,” Cooper said. “So, I ride multiple different kinds of horses. I feel like it’s helped me because some horses I just get on and ride. I ride 24/7. A horse is going to be a horse. It’s going to feel a little bit stronger, a little bit weaker, a little more athletic or not as athletic.”
Ryan Rapp of Weatherford finished second with a 220.5 aboard Dont Stop Believin, which is owned by his parents, Phil and Mary Ann Rapp.
Makenzie Cowan of Ardmore, Oklahoma, clinched the junior division title (13-and-under) on Exclusive Thyme with a 222. Cowan also owns Exclusive Thyme.
World Finals concludes
Youth competitors also rode in the final performance of the NYCHA’s World Finals on Friday evening. Faith Farris of Midway clinched the junior division title for the year. During the World Finals, she rode a horse named Smooth Serena Rey, which is owned by Jimmy Farris. In the senior division, Chaser Ray Crouch of Corsicana finished No. 1 in the 2018 world title race. He competed on GS Zans Cat, a savvy horse that he also owns.
High school rodeo
Sheridan Clark of Weatherford finished second in the girls cutting title race at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Josh Briggs of Pilot Point clinched the reined cow horse title. Jake Vance of Joshua finished seventh in the saddle bronc riding title race. Catharine Clayton of Dublin finished seventh in goat tying. Texas clinched the team title at the July 15-21 rodeo.
Pro rodeo update
Trevor Brazile, a 23-time world champion from Decatur, tied for first in tie-down roping with a time of 7.3 seconds at the July 20-22 K-Days Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta, where he earned $9,567. Brazile is ranked second in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s world all-around title race with $123,856. Defending world champion Tuf Cooper, who lives near Weatherford, is ranked No. 1 with $138,257.