We’re a month away from the 2012 edition of the Timed Event Championship, set for March 2-4 at the Fabulous Lazy E Arena near Guthrie, Okla.
In working in advance of this marvelous and unique event, I have the opportunity to look into the event’s history. For example, Jimmie Cooper has been one of the mainstays since the Timed Event was developed 27 years ago. A three-time winner of the event, which has been held exclusively at the Lazy E, Cooper also is the 1981 PRCA all-around world champion and a 2005 inductee into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
In the Timed Event Championship, the 20 cowboys who are part of the invitation-only field are allowed helpers in three of the five disciplines — each gets a heeler when he heads, gets a header when he heels and gets a hazer when he wrestles steers. The only two disciplines in which a contestant doesn’t get help is tie-down roping and steer roping.
A decade ago, Jimmie Cooper solicited the help of three teenagers, hazer E.P. Luchsinger, whose father was an NFR qualifying bulldogger, and his twin sons, Jim and Jake, to help in the team roping disciplines – Jake was the header, and Jim was the heeler. A few years later, the Cooper twins qualified together for the 2007 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo; this past December, Jim earned a second trip to Las Vegas, roping with Brandon Beers.
This March marks the third straight year young Jim has been part of the Timed Event field with his dad. It’s one thing to look around the arena at all the legends competing for one of the most prized possessions a timed-event cowboy can grasp; it’s quite another when one of those cowboys is your dad.