Marcos Costa – Childress, Texas ($121,902)
3-time WNFR qualifier
Marcos Costa has become a familiar face at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo the past three years.
Originally from Brazil, the smiling tie-down roper joined the PRCA in 2014 just months after coming to the United States to pursue his dreams. Those dreams started as a youngster growing up on a ranch. He knew he needed to improve his horsemanship, so left home when he was 14 and moved 1,000 miles away from his family to become a horse trainer and roper.
That journey eventually led him to a school taught by the 2008 world champion tie-down roper Stran Smith. Stran saw the dedication and talent in Marcos and invited him to come to Texas. They laid out a plan for Marcos and while even the best-laid plans can go awry, this one pretty much stayed on course.
There was a bobble in Pendleton, Oregon, when Marcos broke his ankle and missed winning rookie of the year. And, there have been bobbles since then as the ultimate goal is to get a gold buckle just like his mentor has.
Marcos came very close last year. He entered his second NFR in first place and just needed to maintain that position. In spite of earning $83,404, the NFR didn’t go like he had hoped for and he lost the world title to Tyson Durfey by $3,518.
This year, Marcos enters the NFR in fourth place with $121,902 earned during the regular season. He has fought his way up into the elite ranks of roping and it may actually be an advantage for him to come from behind.
Regardless of where he starts or finishes, the 26-year-old Brazilian has a lot of fans in his native country as well as in North America. The Smith’s consider him family and are among his biggest supporters. With his third NFR qualification comes knowledge gained from Stran as well as Marcos’s experiences roping on rodeo’s biggest stage the past two years.