COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – One rodeo does not make a season – especially in the PRCA where there were 732 sanctioned events in 2019.
Yet, a win during the winter run – like at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver – can provide a big boost to a cowboy.
Tie-down roper Cooper Martin knows all about that.
The Alma, Kan., cowboy won the average in Denver last year and left town after earning $7,938, which jump-started his third-consecutive qualification for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“Man, getting a win like that right off the bat did two things for me,” said Martin, 22, “It gave me a lot of confidence and took a little pressure off. It helped me stay relaxed and gave me a feeling that it was going to be a good year. Also, putting money like that in the bank to rodeo on helps out a lot as well.”
The 2020 National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is Jan. 16-26. The Cowboy Channel will air look-ins from the rodeo in Denver nightly on “ProRodeo Tonight” beginning Jan. 16. “ProRodeo Tonight” will air Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. (ET). It will air Jan. 17-19 at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The Cowboy Channel will also air the final from Denver live Jan. 26.
Martin is scheduled to compete at the Denver Coliseum, Jan. 19.
“Denver is just one of those rodeos you have to go to because it pays good, and that’s what we do for a living,” Martin said. “I love roping there (at the Denver Coliseum). This year they have changed to that progressive format, and I feel like I’m more of an average roper and the more calves I get to rope the better odds it is. I think it will be exciting and I’m anxious to see how it all works.”
Martin will be riding his horse, Gru, 12. He debuted Gru at the 2019 Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas, Dec. 5-14.
Martin finished 13th in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $125,593. He earned $39,333 at the Wrangler NFR, highlighted by his split for first in Round 8 with a 7.5-second time.
“Gru is a little bit green, and I think it went better than expected (at the Wrangler NFR),” Martin said. “We are getting the kinks worked out and getting to run a lot of runs. I know him a little better and I know he will only get better. I’m excited to ride him this year.”
Martin finished a career-best ninth in the 2017 world standings.
Courtesy of PRCA