MEAD GRUVER,Associated Press
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Trevor Brazile fended off a challenge from a much older competitor to win the Cheyenne Frontier Days steer roping title and further cement his standing on Sunday as this year’s top-earning cowboy so far.
But the all-around championship of this year’s “Daddy of ’em All” rodeo went to tie-down and team roper Tuf Cooper. Cooper, 23, won Frontier Days 20 years after his father, steer roper Roy Cooper, won in 1993.
“It’s been a dream of mine ever since that day to win an all-around championship,” he told the almost full outdoor arena built to host one of the world’s largest rodeos.
Cooper won $6,648 in the first round of tie-down roping and $262 in the second round of team roping with help from partner Trey Johnson, of Boyd, Texas. The all-around Frontier Days title goes to the cowboy who wins the most money in multiple events.
After competing at Frontier Days earlier in the week, Cooper headed to a rodeo in Rock Springs but was back in Cheyenne on Sunday to collect the coveted all-around championship buckle.
Cooper and Brazile are brothers-in-law from Decatur, Texas. Brazile has won more than $122,000 so far this year and his steer-roping win in Sunday’s finals helped keep him atop the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association all-around standings.
Brazile, 36, retook the steer-roping lead from Dan Fisher, 62, of Andrews, Texas.
On Thursday, Fisher took the combined first- and second-round lead by more than 3 seconds. That presented a wide gap for Brazile, but he rose to the occasion. With a victorious flourish, Brazile tied off his steer in 17.4 seconds in the final round.
“That was definitely a sigh of relief,” Brazile said. “These steers are so strong this year.”
Fisher’s time was 22.0, good for second in the finals and second overall.
The arena grew muddy as intermittent drizzle became a downpour and the roughstock kicked soggy clods into the crowd behind the chutes.
Drawing powerful horses helped Taylor Price, of Huntsville, Texas, and Ryan Gray, of Cheney, Wash., each score 91 in the bareback riding final round and finish first and second in that event overall.
Justin Maass, of Giddings, Texas, held a commanding lead in tie-down roping headed into the final round. He would have won that event but his knot and potential time of 14.0 seconds didn’t hold. Instead, the overall winner was Scott Kormos, of Teague, Texas, (12.4 seconds Sunday) followed by Stetson Vest, of Childress, Texas, (11.4).
In steer wrestling, Matt Reeves, of Crossplains, Texas, dominated with a time of 8.2 seconds that followed a 7.1 and 7.8 in the previous two rounds. Second-ranked Clayton Hass, of Terrell, Texas, finished second in the final round and overall in 9.3.
Cowboys from Wyoming took first and second in bull riding. Cody Whitney, of Saratoga, won with a score of 89 on Swamp Dog for a three-round total of 248. He was followed by Bobby Welsh, of Gillette, who scored a 77 on Centerfold. His three-round score was 236.
Christy Loflin, of Franktown, Colo., won barrel racing on the strength of first- and second-round times of 17.07 and 17.63 seconds. Her final-round time was 17.8. Michelle McLeod, of Whitesboro, Texas, was second overall and Chandler Markel, of Scottsbluff, Neb., third.