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Stacked field set to compete in the South Point Tuff Hedeman Challenge in Fort Worth

Sage Kimzey, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s five-time bull riding champion, is among an array of credentialed competitors who are entered in the 27th annual South Point Tuff Hedeman Challenge this weekend in the Fort Worth Stockyards.

The pro bull riding show, which has been produced by Hedeman, a four-time gold buckle winner, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday (April 6) at Cowtown Coliseum.

Kimzey has clinched the PRCA’s bull riding buckle the past five years. Last year, he earned $118,237 throughout the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and $415,262 for the year on the PRCA circuit.

Stetson Wright also is on the card. He’s ranked ninth in the PRCA’s bull riding standings with $42,022 in regular season earnings. Wright also clinched the saddle bronc riding title last weekend at Rodeo Austin. Wright is ranked No. 4 in the PRCA’s 2019 world all-around race.

Otero roping tough

Michael Otero of Weatherford has earned $75,783 at three sizable Texas PRCA winter rodeos in the tie-down roping event. Otero earned $54,250 for winning RodeoHouston, $13,263 for finishing No. 1 at the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo and $8,270 after placing in preliminary rounds at Rodeo Austin. Overall, he’s ranked No. 1 in PRCA tie-down roping world standings. He has earned $80,492 during the 2019 regular season, which began Oct. 1. Otero’s $80,492 might be enough to earn him a first National Finals Rodeo berth. If not, it probably will be close to what it will take to earn a coveted NFR back number.

Hall of Famer

Clifton Smith of Childress, who qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1960 (at Dallas) and 1962 (at Los Angeles) in tie-down roping, will be inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall Of Fame in the Fort Worth Stockyards’ Cowtown Coliseum on Saturday (April 6). Smith, 85, is the father of 2008 PRCA world champion tie-down roper Stran Smith of Childress and the grandfather of 2017 world all-around champion Tuf Cooper who has homes in Weatherford and Decatur.

Smith was one of the earlier right handed tie-down ropers to dismount from the horse from the right side after catching the calf in an attempt to turn in a faster time. He said he was the first roper ever to dismount from the right side at a National Finals performance in 1960. At the time, most ropers were right handed but dismounted from the left side after catching the calf and went under the taut rope to move to the right side of the calf so they could flank and tie the animal from the right side. But Smith dismounted from the right side and avoided the extra time that took to move from the left side of the horse to the right side of the calf. Today, most tie-down ropers dismount from the right side.

Cutting horse update

The National Cutting Horse Association is conducting its two main open division finals performances on the same day at the NCHA Super Stakes at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. In the past, the NCHA has conducted the 5- and 6-year-old open division finals in the earlier part of a three-week show and then ended the show with the 4-year-old open division finals, which is the third jewel of the sport’s Triple Crown Series. But at this year’s Super Stakes, organizers have opted to conduct both the 5- and 6-year-old and the 4-year-old finals on Saturday (April 6). The 5- and 6-year-old final begins at 1 p.m. and the 4-year-old finals will began afterward. The Super Stakes began March 28 and runs through April 20.

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