As I consider the work I’m doing on behalf of the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, I can’t help but think about the first time the championship took place at the Lazy E Arena.
That was in 1984. The building was prepared in time for the steer roping finale to take place in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo. I don’t know how the timing of the two championships worked, but I think the semantics could’ve been a real nightmare had Trevor Brazile been in the mix.
Brazile, as most in the rodeo world know, owns 14 PRCA world championships: eight all-around, three tie-down roping, two steer roping and one heading – he is a fixture in all three events at the national finals.
In 1984, “Super Looper” Roy Cooper was the only cowboy in the field at both the NFR and NFSR. He won the tie-down roping gold buckle, finished fourth in steer roping and second in the all-around to Dee Pickett. Of course, that was the last year semantics came into play for the two championships; the steer roping finals moved to an earlier date, and the NFR moved to Las Vegas.
Over the years, there have been many outstanding all-around cowboys who have qualified for the NFSR and the NFR in the same season – Tee Woolman, J.D. Yates, Joe Beaver, Marty Jones and Cody Ohl, to name a few – but nobody personifies multiple qualifications like Brazile.
I wish I’d been able to attend those two great events in 1984. Like every other championships I’ve witnessed, it would’ve been an awesome memory.