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Rodeo Insider: Preparation keeps high school bull rider on top

Brody Yeary will enter this month’s North Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals with a commanding lead in the bull riding title race.

The Brock senior will come into the finale, which is scheduled for May 15-17 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, ranked No. 1 with 614.5 points, 158.5 ahead of No. 2 ranked Luke Harris of Northwest.

In addition faring well in the NTHSRA, Yeary, 17, has numerous other impressive accomplishments. Last September, he won the Don Gay Bull Riding Tour/United Bucking Bulls Inc. title after earning more than $19,000 during the regular season while competing against adult riders. After clinching the title at the tour’s finals in Mulvane, Kan., Yeary was awarded a Ford truck.

Last year, Yeary clinched the Texas High School Rodeo Association bull riding title after competing at the state finals in Abilene. As a result, he advanced to the National High School Rodeo Finals in Rock Springs, Wyo., where he won the second round and finished ninth overall.

Yeary will return to the Abilene-based state championships in June after winning the 2014-2015 bull riding title in Texas High School Rodeo Association Region 3, which is the North Texas area. Yeary also won the regional all-around and saddle bronc riding titles.

Yeary’s roughstock riding career began with calf riding at age 5. From there, he worked his way up through the junior ranks. Through the years, he has received guidance from his father, Gary, a former bull rider.

Yeary said he wins because he’s highly dedicated to his sport. He added that luck is a factor, but it comes after being overly prepared to compete.

“When you’re prepared and you’ve done everything you can to get ready, that’s as lucky as you’re going to get,” he said. “It does take a little luck in the sense of what bull you’ve drawn. But overall, the one who prepares himself the most is the one who is going to win the most.”

Yeary said winning in bull riding is similar to thriving in golf.

“Anybody can hit a golf ball, but to play golf well, you have to be dedicated by going to the driving range and playing golf games on a regular basis,” he said. “By comparison, a bull rider also has to be dedicated. We have to work out, get on practice bulls and we have to train our minds.”

PBR update

On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, Rubens Barbosa, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, won last weekend’s Built Ford Tough Series tour stop in Colorado Springs, Colo., after earning 580 points. J.B. Mauney, the 2013 world champion, finished second with 420.

In the world standings, Brazilian Joao Ricardo Vieira, who also lives in Decatur, is ranked No. 1 with 2,628 points. Matt Triplett, who finished fourth at the Colorado Springs show, is ranked second in the world race with 2,458.

Super looper

Tuf Cooper is best known for his tie-down roping accomplishments. The Decatur cowboy is a three-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world champion.

During the past weekend, Cooper also proved he can be competitive in steer roping. At the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo, Cooper finished second in the steer roping title race after turning in a five-run time of 106.9, only a tenth of a second behind winner JoJo LeMond who is a former National Finals Steer Roping qualifier.

Ryon Roping scheduled

The 42nd Windy Ryon Memorial Roping is scheduled for May 22-24 in Fort Worth. For more information, visit windyryon.org.