LAS VEGAS – At many rodeos across this land, a 7.7-second tie-down roping run would win the championship.
That has happened just one time at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this past week, and the ropers were handling some bigger cattle. Times that fast are proof of the talent that exists with the top 15 ropers and the fact that they play the sport’s grand finale in an arena the size of a hockey rink.
On Wednesday night, Tate Branch Auto Group cowboy Clint Cooper of Decatur, Texas, roped and tied his calf in 7.7 seconds to finish third in the seventh go-round. He was four-tenths of a second behind his brother, Tuf, and six-time world champion Cody Ohl.
Having been raised in Lovington, N.M., and being the son of eight-time world champion Roy Cooper, Clint Cooper understands how to roll with the situation. On Tuesday night, he suffered a no-time. Instead of being flustered, he made up for it in Round 7, adding $11,340 to his earnings.
So far at this year’s NFR, Cooper has earned just shy of $39,000. His season earnings have been expanded to $108,316, and he sits seventh in the world standings. Oh, and just three rounds remain.
Taos Muncy, a “Riding for the Brand” saddle bronc rider from Corona, N.M., remains in a tight battle for the world championship. He has struggled at the NFR and has fallen from first to third in the world standings. He is $14,612 behind new leader Cort Scheer, a former college teammate at Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
Team roping heeler Jim Ross Cooper of Monument, N.M., suffered another no-time with his partner, Brandon Beers. The tandem has earned just shy of $18,000 in Las Vegas.