2017 World Champions


Tuf Cooper Tie-down roping champion earns a new title

The battle for the 2017 All-Around Cowboy title was a tug of war that came down to the wire between Tuf Cooper and Trevor Brazile. Cooper ended the regular season leading the PRCA World Standings by $33,644. Brazile tempo- rarily grabbed the top spot following the Clem McSpaddenNational Finals Steer Roping by $13,738, before Cooper ultimately defeated his brother-in- law thanks to placing second in the average in tie- down roping at theWrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER. “This is the best title and buckle you can win in rodeo,” Cooper said. “Trevor really created this award by winning it all those times. I just grew up as a kidwhowanted to rope calves likemy dad and brother-in-law.They both have won the all-around, and now I have one too. This one feels different than the three tie-down roping gold buckles I have because this one says, ‘Cowboy,’on it.” Cooper admitted it was “weird” to see Brazile not win a world title at the Wrangler NFR since

the gold buckle. Brazile was second with $319,337 and Dakota Eldridge was third with $268,553. “It’s the one I’ve wanted, always,”Cooper said. Although they were in direct competition with each other, Cooper and Brazile didn’t put that ahead of their friendship and family bond. “We rodeo together all year, and we practiced together for this event and ride back to the hotel together every night,”he said. The majority of Cooper’s season earnings stemmed from tie-down roping ($301,983), the remainder was from steer roping. The 28-year-old Texan had come close to achieving themost coveted award in ProRodeo, placing fourth in 2015, second in 2014 and third in 2013. “It’s a dream come true and something I’ve worked my entire life for,”he said. Cooper is no stranger to the Wrangler NFR winners’ circle, having won the tie-down roping championship in 2011-12 and 2014. – Matt Naber

the Decatur, Texas, cowboy has won 23world titles between tie- down roping, team roping, steer roping and all-around. Cooper also said it was Brazile who had encouraged him to get into steer roping. “This was my first time quali- fying for the steer roping finals and I wouldn’t have done that without good horses and with my dad leasing the horse from Chance Kelton at the end of the season to qualify for the steer roping finals,”Cooper said.“Even though I only won $15,000 at Mulvane (Kan.), that was a big difference for me – qualifying for that and being able to win.” Cooper trailed Brazile in the final days leading up to Round 10, but Cooper’s 11-second run added up to a second-place finish in the average and a last- minute $54,577 boost in the All- Around race. Ultimately, Cooper earned $341,560 in addition to

PRCA ProRodeo photo by Greg Westfall

Tuf Cooper finished with $341,560 in earnings from tie- down and steer roping, earning his first all-around world championship at the 2017 NFR.



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