GUTHIRE, Okla. – Dakota Kirchenschlager was excited to compete at the CINCH Timed Event Championship.
After re-aggravating a shoulder injury recently, the two-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier will miss this year’s Timed Event, set for March 4-6 at the Lazy E Arena. He will be replaced by another heeler, Jim Ross Cooper, a two-time TEC competitor who has qualified for the NFR five times in his career.
“My bulldogging performance in the past has embarrassed me there,” said Cooper, son of three-time Timed Event champion Jimmie Cooper, the 1981 PRCA all-around world champion and a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. “It’s a mountain I have to climb, because I don’t like the feeling of something getting the best of me, so I’m going to have another go at it.”
Jim Ross Cooper grew up at the TEC, where his father won titles in 1988, ’92 and ’94. The younger Cooper was part of the 20-man field in 2011 and 2012. Now he’s hoping for a little redemption as he carries on the Cooper legacy inside the Lazy E Arena.
“It’s one of the coolest events of the year for rodeo,” said Cooper of Monument, N.M. “There’s a lot more technical difficulty to it and a lot of cowboy to it. As much as it brings out the best all-around cowboy in rodeo – which is why Trevor Brazile has won it so many times – it shows who has the ability to adjust to the challenges, be mentally tough and figure it out.”
The CIINCH Timed Event Championship features 20 of the top cowboys competing in all five timed-event disciplines. It is called the “Ironman of ProRodeo,” because of the grueling tasks assigned to each cowboy over a five-round championship conducted over just three days.