• 64th NFR Rodeo 2017 annual competition last weekend

    Every year, the Cinch Roping Fiesta in San Angelo features the sport’s elite and pays them well for their fast times.At the 64th NFR Rodeo 2017 annual competition last weekend, Caleb Smidt, the 2015 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association tie-down roping world champion who is from Bellville, pocketed $31,300 as the result of finishing in the money in the Match Roping and Invitational Tie-down Roping title races.
    Smidt earned a $20,000 check for clinching the coveted Match Roping title. He beat 2005 world all-around champion Ryan Jarrett, 172.49 seconds to 204.70 seconds, after both men had made 12 runs. Smidt also lassoed an $11,300 check after finishing second in the Invitational Tie-down Roping title race.
    Smidt is scheduled to compete in the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in tie-down roping. He has earned four trips to the Las Vegas championships (2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017).Two-time National Finals qualifier Reese Riemer of Stinnett clinched the Invitational Tie-Down Roping title and earned $16,000.
    Tyson Durfey of Weatherford, the PRCA’s 2016 world champion tie-down roper, finished fourth overall in the Invitational Tie-down Roping race and pocketed $7,650.     J.P. Wickett of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, finished No. 1 in the Invitational Steer Roping title race and pocketed $9,600. Wickett has earned 16 trips to the National Finals Steer Roping.
    Tom Thompson, the Roping Fiesta’s spokesman who serves as marketing director for the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, said the Roping Fiesta provides an opportunity for competitors to earn good money as they prepare for the National Finals.
    San Angelo’s Roping Fiesta is scheduled NFR Rodeo 2017 Live after the end of the PRCA’s regular season and before the Wrangler National Finals Steer Roping and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
    The PRCA’s regular season concluded Sept. 30. The National Finals Steer Roping is scheduled for Nov. 10-11 in Mulvane, Kansas. The Wrangler National Finals is Dec. 7-16 in Las Vegas.
    With that in mind, PRCA National Finals tie-down and steer roping qualifiers can saddle up in San Angelo in late October and earn a paycheck that can make a difference.   
    “This is an avenue of money that helps keep them going during that time period as they prepare for the NFR,” Thompson said of the Roping Fiesta. “It’s good money and it makes it worth pushing hard.”       
    Cooper riding high For the first time in his illustrious career, three-time world champion Tuf Cooper will wear the No. 1 back number at the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
    Cooper, who lives in Weatherford, will enter the December National Finals in Las Vegas ranked No. 1 in both the PRCA world all-around and tie-down roping title races. He also will enter next weekend’s National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane, Kansas, ranked 13th in the steer roping world standings.
    Bareback rider Tim O’Connell will wear the No. 2 back number at the 2017 NFR and roping superstar Trevor Brazile will wear No. 3.  Cooper is ranked No. 1 in the 2017 world all-around title race after earning $214,131 during the regular season.
    Copper has qualified for the NFR in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. When Cooper competed at the NFR in 2008-2015, Brazile wore the No. 1 back number.
    When Cooper earned his first eight NFR Rodeo 2017 Live Stream berths, he was a world title contender only in tie-down roping. He earned PRCA tie-down roping world titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014.  But this year, Cooper has become a world class steer roper in addition to being a world class tie-down roper, which in turn has made him a world all-around title contender

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