|photo by PRCA photographer James Phifer
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Setting PRCA records is nothing new for Tuf Cooper.
The Weatherford, Texas, cowboy added another to his resume, as he established the PRCA steer roping record for the most money earned in a season before the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping with $89,427. The previous record was set in 1998 by Guy Allen with $87,927.
"I only went to about 30 rodeos this year in the steer roping," Cooper said. "To break a money record is awesome for our sport and for our event. It means things are getting better. I really appreciate all of the rodeos that have the steer roping and all of the single steer ropings."
Last year was Cooper's first year to compete in steer roping.
"I am still fresh in the steer roping game," Cooper said. "The group of steer ropers are such a great group of guys. They are the gentlemen of the sport. They have all been so helpful with my roping."
As impressive as Cooper's season money total is, the four-time world champion didn't set out with a specific money goal for the season.
"It is always my goal to be the best that I can be in that situation or that day in all that I do," Cooper said.
Cooper is looking forward to going back to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kan., Nov. 2-3. He will be riding a horse he recently purchased from Cody Lee.
"I was able to learn quite a bit last year," Cooper said. "I am looking forward to using what I learned last year. It happens pretty fast there with only 15 people in an event. I will also be sitting back watching how Trevor (Brazile) handles himself in situations to learn and absorb to become a better roper. He is amazing at what he does."
Cooper has had the benefit of Brazile - his brother-in-law and 23-time world champion - helping him with his steer roping.
"Trevor has really influenced my steer roping," Cooper said. "We get to practice quite a bit, not as much as the calf roping, but definitely put the time in. Trevor has shown me how to develop that event in the practice pen, compete and win at the steer roping."
Cooper and Brazile are battling for the all-around world championship.
"Competing is my favorite thing about rodeo," Cooper said. "Competing is what I live for. It is what I look forward to every day when I wake up. To be able to compete against the best cowboys that have ever picked up a rope is a blessing and a huge opportunity."
Article courtesy PRCA
Article courtesy PRCA