LAS VEGAS – If Clint Cooper was planning on hitting the casino in Las Vegas, he might want to focus on the number 2.
Snake eyes. Double down. Black 2. Craps.
The Decatur, Texas, cowboy roped and tied his calf in 7.9 seconds to finish second in the fifth go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, earning $15,018 in the process. He has pushed his NFR earnings past $27,000 in five nights of competition and is 10th in the tie-down roping world standings with nearly $97,000.
It was a strong night for Cooper, the son of eight-time world champion Roy Cooper. The younger roper grew up in Lovington, N.M., in the state’s southeastern corner. He a five-round cumulative time of 42.7 seconds and sits No. 2 in the all-important average race.
That’s vital now that the NFR is at its halfway point. If he stays in that position through Saturday night’s 10th go-round, Clint Cooper will add a bonus of more than $39,000. If he wins the average, that’s worth $48,732.
He’s not the only Tate Branch Auto Group cowboy with a chance at that coveted NFR average championship. Jim Ross Cooper, a heeler from Monument, N.M., sits third with a five-run cumulative time of 40.4 seconds. Roping with header Brandon Beers, the pair failed to place Monday night, roping their steer in 8.3 seconds.
Meanwhile, two-time world champion saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy, a “Ride for the Brand” cowboy from Corona, N.M., scored 79.5 points on Three Hills Rodeo’s Roulette and finished half a point out of the money. He is fifth in the average.