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Stephenville’s Yates knows just how special his tie-down roping title is

Marty Yates of Stephenville
Marty Yates of Stephenville rrodriguez@star-telegram.com

When Stephenville cowboy Marty Yates prepared to compete in Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo tie-down roping final round on Saturday night, the five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier was mindful that he would be riding in the traditional pro rodeo at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum for the last time.

That’s because the Stock Show’s rodeo performances will be conducted to in the new Dickies Arena beginning next year.

With that in mind, there was tons of sentiment about Saturday’s finals being the last performance in the storied venue. The Stock Show had held rodeo performances in Will Rogers since 1944.

Yates, 24, grew up attending rodeo performances in this arena. So, clinching the tie-down roping title on the last Stock Show Rodeo performance at the renowned coliseum was one memorable victory.

“It’s awesome,” Yates said. “This is the last one in the building and it’s pretty special. It’s the first time I’ve won this rodeo. It’s a dream come true. It’s one of the biggest rodeos that we go to all year and it’s only an hour from the house.”

When the tie-down roping title was at stake at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Association show, Yates turned in a time of 8.9 seconds. He clinched the title with a three-run time of 26.6.

He earned $15,919 in prize money at the Stock Show Rodeo that will count in PRCA world title races). Like all event winners, he also earned a $5,000 bonus from the Stock Show, but it will not count toward his season earnings in the PRCA world standings.

Former NFR qualifier Clif Cooper of Decatur finished second with a 26.9 after turning in a 10.0 in the final.

Other 2019 Stock Show Rodeo champions were bareback rider Ty Breuer, steer wrestlers Josh Clark and Stephen Culling, team ropers Adam Rose and Jett Hillman, barrel racer Hailey Kinsel, bull rider Foster McCraw and saddle bronc rider Sterling Crawley.

Crawley, a former Stephenville cowboy who lives in Huntsville, clinched the title after turning in a lofty finals score of 88 on a bronc named Delta Dawn (Pickett Rodeo Co.). He finished with a three-ride score of 256, a point higher than second place finisher Zeke Thurston.

According to the PRCA, Crawley’s 256 is the highest saddle bronc riding three-ride aggregate score on record at the Stock Show PRCA/WPRA rodeo. The previous record was 255.5 by Jake Wright in 2017.

The PRCA’s records on the Fort Worth rodeo are from 1950 through 2019.

The steer wrestling title race ended in a tie for first between Clark and Culling each finished with a three-ride time of 12.5.

Clark, who entered the finals in second place with an 8.3 on two runs, took the lead when he turned in a 4.2. The 4.2 pushed his aggregate time on three runs to 12.5.

But Culling, who entered the final ranked No. 1 with 7.8, turned in a 4.7. The 4.7 pushed his aggregate time to 12.5.

Justin Shafer finished third in the steer wrestling title race with a 12.9 after entering the final round in 12thplace, which was the last slot. Shafer turned in a 3.1, which may be the fastest bulldogging time ever at the Stock Show.

The steer wrestling records on the Stock Show on prorodeo.com began in 1950 and Shafer’s 3.1 broke the single-run record by a tenth of a second. According to prorodeo.com, the previous record was 3.2 and it was shared by four competitors including former world champion Byron Walker of Ennis.

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Sports editor William Wilkerson is back for his second stint with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He first worked at the paper after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. He most recently was the Executive Editor of College-Team Sites for CBS Interactive/247Sports and has also worked at ESPN, Scout.com and the Austin American-Statesman.