Tate Branch team struggles Thursday

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LAS VEGAS – No matter how many times one rolls the dice, it sometimes just comes up craps.

Clint Cooper
Clint Cooper

That was the case with the “Riding for the Brand” cowboys on Thursday night. While saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy had a qualified ride and tie-down roper Clint Cooper scored a quick run, neither they nor heeler Jim Ross Cooper placed in the eighth go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Clint Cooper, who grew up in Lovington, N.M., and resides in Decatur, Texas, roped and tied his calf in 7.4 seconds. He finished seventh in the round, one spot out of the money. His 2014 earnings stand at $108,316, eighth in the world standings.

Jim Ross Cooper and his header, Brandon Beers, suffered their third straight no-time. Cooper, of Monument, N.M., sits 10th in the world standings with $97,267.

Muncy, a two-time world champion from Corona, N.M., has watched his lead in the bronc riding dwindle. He has earned less than $15,000 at the NFR and sits third in the world standings with $141,437. He also is fourth in the average race, having ridden seven of eight horses for 536 cumulative points.

Two nights remain in the 2014 season. Muncy trails the No. 1 man, Heith DeMoss, by more than $22,000, but the New Mexican holds a better position in the average race.


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