postheadericon Champs crowned in Lovington

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Trevor Brazile owns 19 world championships and a countless number of individual rodeo titles.

J.R. Vezain doesn’t own any gold buckles just yet, but he’s got all the talent, drive and, now, the ride equipment to make a move for that elusive title.

Trevor Brazile

Trevor Brazile

During Saturday’s final night of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, both cowboys shined brightly inside Jake McClure Arena. Brazile – owner of 11 all-around, one heading, three tie-down roping and four steer roping world titles – won the steer roping title in Lovington, downing all three steers in 44.3 seconds to claim the title and $4,672.

Vezain, the 2011 bareback riding rookie of the year and a two-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, scored 89 points on the rodeo’s final night, matching moves with Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet’s Web, a horse that’s led cowboys to the top spot in several go-rounds at the NFR.

“I got on her one other time in the short round in San Antonio my rookie year, and I was 85,” said Vezain, 22, of Cowley, Wyo. “I switched the style of my rigging today, and that felt way better than the first time I got on her. She was outstanding today and felt really good.”

So did the victory in Lovington, which was worth $5,450. He needs every penny, too. Only the top 15 money-earners in ProRodeo’s regular season earn the right to compete at the NFR, and Vezain began the night 15th in the world standings with $37,726. He still has more than a month and a half remaining in the regular season to make his move.

J.R. Vezain

J.R. Vezain

“My whole career I’ve never been in a dry spell,” he said. “This year something’s been going on. I wasn’t winning. I was drawing good and still getting low scores. I was fighting some equipment and kind of fighting my head. My (travel) group has been really supportive and just positive. I switched the style of riggings and started spurring again, and that’s just been awesome.

“I’m having fun again. I can hardly wipe the smile off my face again. It’s outstanding to be winning again.”

Winning is key in any competition, but rodeo is a different animal altogether. Not only does it help pay bills, but each dollar equals a championship point. The contestants in each event at the conclusion of the NFR will be crowned world champions.

“Not winning makes it tough,” Vezain said. “You’re putting on 80,000 to 90,000 miles a year. This isn’t the greatest way to become a millionaire either. When you’re not winning, it’s hard to keep paying your bills and have all the things going on in your head. You’ve just got to remember to stay positive, stay to the basics and keep having fun no matter what.”

That philosophy worked in Lovington.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 6-9
All-around champion:
Tuf Cooper, $7,421 in steer roping and tie-down roping.

Bareback riding: 1. J.R. Vezain, 89 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet’s Web, $5,450; 2. Bill Tutor, 88, $4,178; 2. 3. Will Lowe, 86, $3,088; 4. Bobby Mote, 85, $1,998; 5. Steven Dent, 82, $1,272; 6. (tie) Joel Schlegel and Jared Green, 81, $817; 8. Luke Creasy, 80, $545.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Wyatt Smith, 3.6 seconds, $1,874; 2. (tie) Ty Erickson and Justin Simon, 3.9, $1,507 each; 4. Casey Martin, 4.0, $1,141; 5. (tie) Gary Gilbert, Denard Butler and Bray Armes, 4.3, $652 each; 8. Brandon Bates, 4.4, $163. Second round: 1. (tie) Riley Duvall and Tom Lewis, 3.8 seconds, $1,752 each; 3. (tie) Bray Armes and Cooper Shofner, 3.9, $1,263 each; 5. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Joe Buffington, 4.0, $774 each; 7. (tie) Ty Erickson, Casey Martin and Sean Santucci, 4.2, $190. Average: 1. Ty Erickson, 8.1 seconds on two runs, $1,873; 2. (tie) Casey Martin and Bray Armes, 8.2, $1,507 each; 4. Cooper Shofner, 8.7, $1,141; 5. Justin Simon, 9.1, $896; 6. (tie) Gary Gilbert and Josh Peek, 9.4, $430 each; 7. Jule Hazen, 10.6, $163.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Scott Kormos, 7.8 seconds, $2,279 each; 3. (tie) Marty Yates and Jesse Clark, 8.0, $1,643 each; 5. Cody Ohl, 8.2, $1,166; 6. (tie) Cody Owens and Ryan Watkins, 8.4, $689 each; 8. (tie) Michael Otero and Adam Gray, 8.5, $106 each. Second round: 1. Robert Mathis Jr., 8.1 seconds, $2,438; 2. J.D. Kibbe, 8.2, $2,120; 3. (tie) Tyson Durfey, Tuf Cooper and Clif Cooper, 8.4, $1,484 each; 6. (tie) Jesse Clark and Jerrad Hofstetter, 8.5, $689 each; 8. JohnPete Etcheverry, 8.7, $212. Average: 1. Tuf Cooper, 16.2 seconds on two runs, $3,658; 2. Jesse Clark, 16.5 seconds, $3,181; 3. Cody Ohl, 17.0, $2,704; 4. Clif Cooper, 17.1, $2,226; 5. (tie) Adam Gray and J.D. Kibbe, 17.3, $1,511 each; 7. (tie) Ryan Watkins and Tyson Durfey, 17.5, $557.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody DeMoss, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bully Dog, $4,653; 2. Heith DeMoss, 84, $3,568; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 83, $2,637; 4. Cody Wright, Taos Muncy and Bradley Harter, 82, $1,189 each; 7. Cody Taton, 81, $620; 8. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw, Rusty Wright, Louie Brunson and Hardy Braden, 80, $116 each.

Steer roping: First round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 13.1 seconds, $1,869; 2. Bryce Davis, 13.3, $1,625; 3. Rod Hartness, 13.5, $1,381; 4. Chet Herren, 13.7, $1,138; 5. Will Gasperson, 14.0, $894; 6. Trey Wallace, 14.1, $650; 7. Roger Branch, 14.5, $406; 8. (tie) Shay Good and Casey Sisk, 14.7, $81 each. Second round: 1. Trevor Brazile, 11.3 seconds, $1,869; 2. Bryce Davis, 12.0, $1,625; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., 13.0, $1,381; 4. Chet Herren, 13.5, $1,138; 5. Jarrett Blessing, 13.6, $894; 6. Walter Priestly, 13.8, $650; 7. Ty Herd, 13.9, $406; 8. Jason Evans, 14.2, $163. Third round: 1. Rod Hartness, 10.7 seconds, $1,869; 2. (tie) Chance Kelton and Tom Smith, 11.3, $1,503 each; 4. Brodie Poppino, 11.5, $1,138; 5. Scott Snedecor, 12.0, $894; 6. J.P. Wickett, 12.1, $650; 7. Mike Outhier, 12.2, $406; 8. Jess Tierney, 12.5, $163. Average: 1. Trevor Brazile, 44.3 seconds on three runs, $2,803; 2. Chet Herren, 44.3, $2,438; 3. Brodie Poppino, 46.4, $2,072; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, 47.9, $1,706; 5. Joe Wells, 52.6, $1,341; 6. Ralph Williams, 53.0, $975; 7. Rod Hartness, 24.2 seconds on two runs, $609; 7. J.P. Wickett, 25.2, $273.

Team roping: First round: 1. Chad Masters/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.7 seconds, $2,026; 2. (tie) Erich Rogers/Cory Petska and Chase Wiley/Ace Pearce, 4.8, $1,630 each; 4. Jake Barnes/Junior Nogueiro, 4.9, $1,233; 5. Riley Minor, 5.0, $969; 6. (tie) Chase Massengill/Tyler Getzeiller and David Key/Kory Koontz, 5.2, $573 each; 8. (tie) Nick Rawlings/Kyle Crick and Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, 5.3, $88 each. Second round: 1. Colby Lovell/Martin Lucero, 4.7 seconds, $2,026; 2. (tie) Chase Wiley/Ace Pearce and Manny Egusquiza Jr./Brad Culpepper, 4.9, $1,630 each; 4. Chase Massengill/Tyler Getzwiller, 5.1, $1,233; 5. Spencer Mitchell/Russell Cardoza, 5.2, $969; 6. Chace Thompson/Jett Hillman, 5.3, $705; 7. Adam Rose/Billie Saebens, 5.6; 7. (tie) Blaine Vick/Walt Woodard and David Key/Kory Koontz, 5.7, $88. Average: 1. Chase Wiley/Ace Pearce, 9.7 seconds on two runs, $3,039; 2. Chase Massengill/Tyler Getzwiller, $2,643; 3. David Key/Kory Koontz, 10.9, $2,246; 4. Blaine Vick/Walt Woodard, 11.7, $1,850; 5. Travis Tryan/Dugan Kelly, 12.7; 6. Kaleb Driggers/Patrick Smith, $1,057; 7. (tie) Erich Rogers/Cory Petska and Manny Egusquiza Jr./Brad Culpepper, $462.

Barrel racing: 1. Rebecca Hughes, 17.24 seconds, $3,975; 2. Callie Gray and Kaley Bass, 17.47, $2,882 each; 4. Callie DuPerier, 17.53, $1,987; 5. Sabra O’Quinn, 17.54, $1,589; 6. Christine Laughlin, 17.58, $1,192; 7. Shelley Morgan, 17.59, $994; 8. Dena Kirkpatrick, 17.63, $894; 9. Shelby Perez, 17.69, $795; 10. Shy-Ann Jarrett, 17.73, $696; 11. Meghan Johnson, 17.80, $596; 12. (tie) Natalie Bland and Cheyenne Shipps, 17.83, $447 each; 14. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.87, $298; 14. Christy Loflin, 17.94, $199.

Bull riding: 1. J.W. Harris, 91 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Thunder Cat, $5,076; 2. (tie) Josh Koschel and Cody Teel, 90, $3,384 each; 4. Dalton Votaw, 88, $1,861; 5. (tie) Brett Stall and Caleb Sanderson, 87, $1,015; 6. (tie) Seth Glause, Brennon Eldred and Aaron Pass, 86, $395 each.

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