Cooper is Tuf Again in Lovington

LOVINGTON, N.M. – It seems like three-time Tie-down Roping World Champion Tuf Cooper has had success up and down the PRCA trail.

And, the Lea County Fair and Rodeo is no different.

For the second year in a row, Cooper took top honors at this Wrangler Million Dollar Tour silver rodeo (Aug. 5-8) at Jake McClure Arena with an average winning time of 17.7-seconds on two head.

“I drew well and my horse, Big Flick really worked good,” Cooper said. “Big Flick just got back in action at Salinas, Calif. (in July). He was actually at Outlaw Equine for a full year. He had a few (injuries) going on and he finally got healed up and they rehabbed him and now he’s back in action and he’s working really well for me. I will probably use Topaz and Big Flick the rest of the season.”

Cooper wasn’t spectacular in Lovington, but plenty consistent. The Decatur, Texas, cowboy was sixth in the first round with an 8.9-second run and he finished sixth in the second round at 8.8 seconds. Cooper made both his runs on Aug. 6 and collected $5,574 for his performance – $3,808 for capturing the average title.

The second-consecutive win at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo was extra special for Cooper because his family has deep roots in nearby Hobbs, N.M.

“We still have a family ranch out there, and the calf roping at this rodeo was dedicated in my grandfather’s name, Tuffy Cooper,” he said. “Plus, the Jake McClure Arena is the same arena that my father Roy has been in and won at, so to win here is just awesome.”

A year ago, Cooper was the all-around cowboy at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo by winning $7,421 in steer roping and tie-down roping. He actually won the tie-down roping in 16.2 seconds on two head.

This season, Cooper has had another banner year and he was third in the Aug. 5 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $70,968, just $553 behind first place Marty Yates.

“It’s pretty cool that the race is so tight,” Cooper said. “With all the money at Las Vegas (at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo) this year, things are going to be different. Big leads aren’t as big of a deal as they used to be and we will see what happens in Las Vegas.”

Other winners at the $232,165 rodeo were all-around cowboy JoJo LeMond ($4,855 in team roping and steer roping), bareback riders Jake Brown (87 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sadie’s Gal), and Clayton Biglow (87 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet’s Web), steer wrestler Cooper Shofner (7.6 seconds on two), team ropers Chad Masters and Travis Graves (10.2 seconds on two head), saddle bronc riders Cort Scheer (86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Showgirl) and Cody Wright (86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria), steer roper Cody Lee, (41.5 seconds on three head), barrel racer Carley Richardson (17.70 seconds) and bull rider Cody Teel (88 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Lonestar).

Courtesy of PRCA