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Shofners Feel at Home in Lea County

By Ted Harbin/for the Lea County Fair & Rodeo committee

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Every great angler knows the value of a good honey hole.

The Shofner brothers of southeast Texas have one in the Lea County Fair & Rodeo. Cooper Shofner of Jasper, Texas, took advantage of his familiarity with Jake McClure Arena on Aug. 6 to move into the overall steer wrestling lead, while brother Jacob Shofner of Huntsville, Texas, scored the fastest time of the week so far.

“This is one of those rodeos we have a lot of confidence in,” Cooper Shofner said. “Jacob has placed here every year he’s been here, and I’ve placed almost every year. It’s really good to do well here, because we’re heading to the Northwest, and it gives you a lot of confidence as you get ready to head there.”

He should have plenty. During the afternoon session, Cooper Shofner posted a 3.9-second run and is tied for second in the opening round. He then followed that with a 3.7 in the performance, making his 7.6-second cumulative time on two runs the fastest with two days of competition remaining in this year’s rodeo.

“We drove all night to get here, then slept in this morning and got ready,” he said. “I had a good steer on the first one. He was supposed to leave, run and stop, so I just took a good start and got him snared. Tonight I had another good one and had a good start. I tried to finish the steer a little better than I did the first one, and it worked out good.”

Jacob Shofner leads the second round with a 3.5-second run; he is tied for fifth in the average with a two-run time of 8.8 seconds. Neither brother is among the top 50 in the world standings, but they know there is still plenty of time to cash in. Doing well in Lovington would be a good start to the final two months of the season.

“It’s important to do well everywhere,” Cooper Shofner said. “The start of the season last fall went really well, but when the winter came, I had one of those down times. In the spring, it picked up a little bit. This summer I’ve been catching money, and here the last couple of weeks it’s been going really good. I thank God He always is faithful to provide.”

Leaning on faith is important, but so is relying on one’s own talent.

“The most important thing we talk about is being consistent,” he said. “If you consistently score good, consistently ride good and consistently make good runs, you’re going to consistently win when you run a good steer.”

That philosophy is working quite well in Lovington.

Courtesy of PRCA