JIMMIE COOPER, Monument, N.M.
Jimmie Cooper’s rise to the top of professional rodeo was considerably quicker than most that play the game.
After filling his permit at the first rodeo in which he competed, Cooper was named the PRCA’s overall, tie-down and steer wrestling rookie of the year in 1980. A year later, he roped calves and wrestled steers at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, which propelled the New Mexico talent to the 1981 all-around world championship.
He’s one of a handful of cowboys to have qualified for the NFR in three events – he roped calves from 1980-86, wrestled steers from 1980-83 and team roping from 1984-86. He won the NFR bulldogging average in 1983.
Cooper was still in the prime of his rodeo career when he stopped competing full time, instead deciding to spend quality time at home with his wife, Shryl, and their three children, Jill and twins Jim Ross and Jake – the twins, by the way, were the 2004 team roping rookies of the year.
Now a three-time champion of this event, he continues to be a fan favorite at the Timed Event Championship, even at 56 years of age.