For one cowboy, the 2020 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping will have extra significance.
When four-time world champion Tuf Cooper rolls into the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, Nov. 6-7, he will be chasing two world titles.
Cooper, who won the world title in tie-down roping in 2011-12 and 2014 and the all-around title in 2017, is eyeing a steer roping gold buckle and another all-around title.
Cooper enters the NFSR seventh in the 2020 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $35,656. He’s second in the all-around race with $85,547.
The Decatur, Texas, cowboy trails steer roping leader Cole Patterson by $18,942 and Stetson Wright in the all-around by a mere $1,037.
“The plan is to win more money than anybody else,” said Cooper, 29. “I think it’s our human nature to want things easy and convenient, but the fast-food restaurants don’t produce the best food. Great competition is what pushes you to become better. I’m really, really excited seeing where I can go with the process.”
Cooper also qualified for his 12th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in tie-down roping and will compete at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, Dec. 3-12. He’s second in the tie-down roping world standings – $89,479 behind leader Shad Mayfield.
Wright is competing in saddle bronc riding and bull riding at the 2020 Wrangler NFR.
“This is what drives you,” said Cooper about trying to win two more gold buckles.
This is Cooper’s fourth career trip to the NFSR – all consecutively. He finished 12th in 2017, second in 2018 and fourth in 2019.
“The standings are pretty close and I’m honestly not too far behind first,” Cooper said. “Cole (Patterson) is roping really well, and he had a great season and congratulations for him going in No. 1. But you have to finish it, and with (nearly) $10,000 (for round winners) it is anybody’s ballgame. I know there are some really good steer ropers who have way more experience than me going in there, but it is any gunslinger’s game.”
Rounds at the NFSR pay six places – first, $9,155; second, $7,577; third, $5,998; fourth, $4,420; fifth, $2,841; sixth, $1,579. The average also pays six places – first, $27,347; second, $22,632; third, $17,917; fourth, $13,202; fifth, $8,487; and sixth, $4,715.
Courtesy of PRCA