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Cure in position to secure first Fort Worth title

By Johna Cravens/for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

FORT WORTH, Texas — Less than two hours up the road, north of the Will Rogers Coliseum, home of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, lives the newly-crowned world champion steer wrestler.

Hunter Cure, from Holliday, Texas, earned that title at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) last December. He is back on the rodeo trail in 2014 hoping to qualify for rodeo’s championship event again and bring home another gold buckle signifying that he is the best in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

There is nothing he would like more than to get a big check here and jump-start his season. He came one step closer on Jan. 29 when he stopped the clock in 5.9 seconds. This was his second appearance and he is currently eighth in the round. While that probably won’t hold, and he is unlikely to get a check, he moved into third place in the overall standings and is in good position to be back here for the finals on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. (CT).

The first round was held on Jan. 23 where all of the steer wrestlers got a turn. Cure was 4.5 seconds then, just one spot out of the money.

Like many other rodeo contestants, he came through the ranks of college rodeo, using his scholarship money to help him earn a degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech University. He is a three-time College National Finals Rodeo qualifier, winning the steer wrestling title at the CNFR in 2006.

There were two great runs in the barrel racing Jan. 29. Callie DuPerier, from Boerne, Texas, had a time of 16.60 seconds and is now second in the first round. Jane Melby, a WNFR qualifier from Burneyville, Okla., moved into sixth place with a 16.74-second run. The barrel racing here has 211 contestants who all compete once. Then the 90 fastest times from that round advance to a progressive round with the 12 who have the fastest total times advancing to the finals.

The World’s Original Indoor Rodeo continues Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. (CT).