Countdown to the WNFR Part-2

A Pinch of Rodeo

 By Joe R. Nichols


Countdown to the WNFR Part-2


K.C. Field will dominate the Bareback Bronc Riding.

A bold statement, but one I believe will prove out. The Utah man comes in less than $6000 behind Bobby Mote, who now resides in Stephenville, TX. Will Lowe of Canyon, TX, is $5000 behind K.C.. There is a reason these three men are at the top of the standings, they ride better than the rest.

Bobby Mote rides good and looks even better doing it. Will Lowe is so correct and never makes a bobble. But K.C. has flash. A wow factor. Fast feet, aggressive style, yet no mistakes. I predict this will be his third consecutive title.

Roy Cooper was the most dominate and talked about calf roper when I was a kid growing up and on in to my own rodeo career. He revolutionized the event and changed it forever. His son, Tuff, is the next phenomenon and I believe before he is done, he’ll have all the records and could be considered as the best ever. He seems to be level and balanced in his life, dedicated to excellence, and has the confidence in his skill to win.

I mean no disrespect to the other qualifiers or even the next 16-30 guys in the world. There are so many great calf ropers. Trevor Brazile, Cody Ohl, Shane Hanchey, on and on.

Tuff Cooper still stands out.

For years, I have defended the Team Ropers at the Finals, but no more.

Every year I would hear people say, “Those Team Ropers are terrible. They’re suppose to be the best in the world, and they can’t even catch.”

I would then remind these experts that when you are trying to be four flat or less, it’s not a high percentage shot. A late four second run won’t place in a lot of go-rounds at the NFR. What’s the point in making a five or six second run and not winning a dime?

But the last few years have been different. The older veterans will use a steer that will let them be fast and place in the round, but if the opportunity is not there, they still catch and keep themselves in the contest. These young guns have made up their mind to be 3.5 every time they back in the box, no matter what. Sometimes it’s just not there and one more swing can get things right. But they throw it anyway and wave it off or miss the left horn. There have been times towards the end of the round, when it was wide open, like 9.2 was winning third, and the last several teams still took themselves out of it trying to win first. Somebody has to win third through sixth for $11,000 down to $3000. What’s the matter with them? I wish all the Team Ropers good luck, and maybe they’ll rope smart this year.

I think Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith will be contenders this year, but the team I would point out would be Nick Sartain and Rich Skelton. They could light ’em up and win the whole deal.

Thanks for reading. I’ll conclude my thoughts next week.

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