Back No. 1. Trevor Brazile
No other cowboy in rodeo history has accomplished more than Trevor Brazile.
In addition to his seven CINCH Timed Event Championship titles, he is a 23-time world champion in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, having earned titles in steer roping (6), tie-down roping (3) and heading (1). Of course, he owns a record 13 all-around gold buckles.
Last year, Brazile became the first cowboy in CINCH TEC history to have earned more than $100,000 in a single year. In fact, he pocketed $116,000 last March and pushed his Cinch TEC earnings to $751,500.
His 2015 season was simply magical. Between the CINCH TEC and ProRodeo, Brazile earned more than $630,000. He also added more steer roping and all-around titles and was within reach of his third Triple Crown – earning three PRCA gold buckles in a given season.
He is one of just two men in ProRodeo history to have earned NFR qualifications in all four roping disciplines, joining Dale Smith. Though he has qualified most often as a header, Brazile earned his first team roping qualification as a heeler in 1998. The Cinch TEC allows him the opportunity to showcase all his roping talents along with some excellent work in steer wrestling.
“This is the event of the purist in my events,” he said. “I’ve always loved it. It means a lot just because of everything entails. It’s 25 head. It’s a fun contest.”
He loves this competition because of the challenges he faces. That’s what makes him a champion.
2. Paul David Tierney
Only 12 men in the history of the CINCH Timed Event Championship have earned this coveted crown.
Two of those men share the same name: Paul Tierney and Paul David Tierney, the latter of whom added to the family’s gold buckle legacy in 2014 when he staked claim to the coveted championship. The elder, the family’s patriarch, also is a two-time PRCA world champ.
Paul David Tierney grew up inside the Lazy E Arena, playing in the back pens while his father was adding CINCH TEC credentials. Over the last three years, Paul David has created his own legacy, pocketing $110,000 in that span. In addition to winning the 2014 championship, he was the reserve champion in 2013 and 2015.
Those titles are significant for Paul David, because it proves that he’s an amazing all-around cowboy who not only excels in all timed-event disciplines but also knows how to handle the challenges that come his way through the world-class competition that is the “Ironman of ProRodeo.”
In 2015, he finished 18th in the PRCA all-around world standings and won 13 event titles, including six all-around crowns. He added team roping titles with his partner, header Levi Tyan.
It’s just further proof of the pedigree Paul David Tierney brings to this unique championship.
3. Jess Tierney
Jess Tierney can taste that gold buckle. He’s been incredibly close to both the CINCH Timed Event Championship title and to the PRCA’s steer roping world championship.
It just hasn’t happened yet for Tierney, who comes from the first family of South Dakotans competing in the “Ironman of ProRodeo” over the years. His father, Paul Tierney, is a ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee.
Jess Tierney has proven that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. He has been a regular in the CINCH TEC field; moreover, he has found his way to the pay window often over the years.
The 2015 campaign was magnificent for Tierney. Last March he finished third in the average and earned $17,000 in three days. This past November, he made a run for the world title at the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping. He finished third in the world standings, earning more than $97,000.
Now he’s more ready than ever to make the CINCH TEC title his own.
4. Josh Peek
Can you believe it’s been six years since Josh Peek last won the CINCH Timed Event Championship?
Neither can he. The positive cowboy knows what it takes to win. When he won the CINCH TEC in 2010, he was just a few months removed from winning the all-around title at the 2009 National Finals Rodeo.
In 2015, Peek finished fourth in the CINCH TEC average, pocketing $10,000. In ProRodeo, he earned more than $80,000 in both steer wrestling and tie-down roping , finishing 10th in the final all-around world standings.
His biggest run of the season came in the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, where he won the steer wrestling and all-around crowns. He also won the 2014 tie-down roping and all-around titles when the national championship took place inside the Lazy E Arena.
Over the years, Peek has pocketed $112,000 at the CINCH TEC. He’s also done pretty well in ProRodeo. Take 2015, for example; he earned 18 event titles, including eight all-around championships.
It all adds up to Peek being a contender for that $100,000 first-place prize at the CINCH TEC.
5. Clay Smith
Clay Smith isn’t the new kid on the block anymore.
In 2013, Smith was a late replacement for CINCH Timed Event Championship legend Jimmie Cooper. He quickly proved he has all the skills necessary to competing in the “Ironman of ProRodeo.”
In 2014, he battled through the rigors of the unique championship to finish in a tight race for the overall championship with eventual winner Paul David Tierney. Smith finished as the reserve champion. He returned a year ago to finish fifth in the average.
In his three years competing in the CINCH TEC, the 24-year-old Oklahoman has pocketed $36,500. He is well suited for the challenges that face any of the 20 athletes in this field: 25 runs over five rounds conducted in just three days of world-class competition in all five timed-event disciplines in rodeo.
Smith’s 2015 was a breakthrough season. He and heeling partner Paul Eaves qualified for the National Finals Rodeo, where they placed in four go-rounds and pocketed more than $34,000 over 10 days in Las Vegas.
He returns to the CINCH TEC this March to showcase his overall talents. The Clay Smith Show should be good-watching.
6. Kyle Lockett
When Kyle Lockett left the Lazy E Arena in 2014, he had already devised a game plan for last year’s CINCH Timed Event Championship: Find a way to the pay window.
Lockett failed to catch a check in 2014, a rare occurrence for the California cowboy. Not only is he a two-time CINCH TEC titlist, he has finished as the reserve champion multiple times. So he made up for it in 2015, finishing sixth in the average and scoring the third-fastest round time to pocket $10,000.
Over all the years he has competed in the “Ironman of ProRodeo,” Lockett has proven to be one of its great champions. He has earned $227,500 in this unique event, so he knows what it takes to return to his California home with Oklahoma cash.
As one of the top heelers in ProRodeo, he was a seven-time qualifier to the National Finals Rodeo. In 2002, he was the reserve world champion.
He’s pretty comfortable being at the top.
7. Cash Myers
It’s been a while since Cash Myers competed inside this arena, but he returns as an injury replacement for Erich Rogers, who was injured less than two weeks ago.
He’s happy to return, because the Lazy E Arena has been home to some very successful moments in Myers’ established career.
He’s the son of a world champion steer wrestler and the brother of another. His father, Butch, won the bulldogging gold buckle in 1980; his brother, Rope, claimed the championship in 2001. Cash Myers has carried the family tradition quite well.
In fact, all three Myerses competed in the CINCH Timed Event Championship together about a decade ago. Beyond that, Cash Myers has proven himself as a contender multiple times. He is a seven-time qualifier to the National Finals Rodeo in both steer wrestling and tie-down roping, and he qualified six times for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Rodeo.
Over the years, he has won many of the top events in the game: Dodge City, Kan.; Pendleton, Ore.; Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Billings, Mont.; Tucson, Ariz.; and many others. In fact, there are so many rodeo victories on Myers’ resume, there is not enough room to list them all.
The reality is he knows how to win at a high level, which makes him a perfect fit for this year’s field.
8. Russell Cardoza
When Russell Cardoza nods his head to start any competition, he gives himself an opportunity to win.
That’s why he’s been among the contenders for the coveted crown at the CINCH Timed Event Championship for several years. In 2012, the California-born cowboy now living in Oregon finished the five-round “Ironman of ProRodeo” as the reserve champion.
In 2014, he placed third in the average and placed twice in the fastest-round portion of the competition. A year ago he was eighth in the average and scored the fourth-fastest round of the weekend.
He then parlayed his solid finish inside the Lazy E Arena with a standout run through the 2015 ProRodeo season. He won 13 titles, eight of which were all-around crowns. He finished the regular season 15th in the heeling world standings and earning his fourth qualification to the National Finals Rodeo.
There he was teamed with Jake Cooper, and the tandem placed in two go-rounds to pocket $31,731 in Las Vegas.
Now he wants to carry that over into the 2015 CINCH TEC, where he will once again be one of the favorites to win.
9. Landon McClaugherty
Landon McClaugherty is a two-time qualifier to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping.
In 2015, he was close to making it a third time. McClaugherty qualified for The Clem in 2009 and 2012, finishing 10th and 15th respectively. Last season, the Texan earned $27,477 in ProRodeo, with more than $26,000 coming in steer roping. He finished 20th in the final world standings, just a few thousand dollars shy of his goal.
McClaugherty has been among the best all-around cowboys in the game for several years. He regularly competes in team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping on the ProRodeo trail, so that allows him numerous opportunities to hone his skills in those roping disciplines.
When he arrives at the Lazy E Arena every March for the CINCH Timed Event Championship, the Texan is prepared. He’s been among the 20 cowboys in this field for several years, so he has a clear understanding of what it takes to compete at this level in this unique competition.
This is the “Ironman of ProRodeo,” and McClaugherty is as ready now as he has been to rope, tie and wrestle his way to this prestigious gold buckle.
10. Daniel Green
Victories are commonplace to a cowboy like Daniel Green.
Over the course of his ProRodeo career, Green has been a winner countless times. From all-around titles to team roping crowns, he has been a standout in rodeo arenas all across North America.
When it comes to Lazy E-produced events, he is a champion. He’s earned the CINCH Timed Event Championship title three times and owns two more crowns from the World’s Greatest Roper.
Through his career in ProRodeo, Green qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 10 times as a header. While his focus always was on team roping on the grandest scale, he was an all-around hand closer to home. In fact, he earned multiple all-around titles in the California Circuit.
As he has proven many times over the years, being consistent and determined in approaching all the obstacles that come with the CINCH TEC will pay off. That’s a simple approach that works for Green.