CHAD MASTERS, Clarksville, Tenn.
The price of gold is quite valuable, and nobody knows that any better than the nine contestants who won ProRodeo’s world championships in 2012.
Count Chad Masters in that list. The Clarksville, Tenn., cowboy won his second PRCA gold buckle, finishing the season with $196,099. He put the bow on the world title wrapping by winning the average championship at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with partner Clay O’Brien Cooper, a seven-time world champ himself.
Masters has qualified for the NFR nine times in the last 10 years and earned his first world championship in 2007. In a career that began 12 seasons ago, he has earned more than $1.4 million. That’s pretty handy, especially for one of the greatest headers in the game.
But Masters is a pretty salty all-around hand. He’s proved that over the years inside the Lazy E Arena. Just last March, he finished eighth in the average, pocketing $3,000 in the process. He’d like to earn more cash this weekend, which is why he’s re-invested his 2012 Timed Event earnings into his 2013 entry fee.
He’d love to see that investment returned, with compound interest, of course.
PAUL TIERNEY, Oral, S.D.
Which statistic do you want first?
Is it Paul Tierney’s tie-down roping world championship, which he won in 1979? Is it his all-around gold buckle, which he earned in 1980, ending the six-year reign atop the rodeo world by Oklahoman Tom Ferguson? Is it his induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, which occurred in 2008?
Is it his first Timed Event Championship title, which he earned in 1987? Or was it the three others, which came in 1991, 1997 and 2000?
Any of the above is pretty phenomenal, but so is Paul Tierney. He’s been part of this field every year since the Timed Event Championship began in 1985 and is one of the most celebrated cowboys to have ever roped, tied and bulldogged inside the Lazy E Arena.
Tierney has set a number of Timed Event standards, now in his fourth decade competing in this prestigious event. Now he’s doing so at the age of 60, the oldest contestant in this field, which includes Tierney’s two sons, Jess and Paul David. It’s just one more statistic in the pedigree that is Paul Tierney.
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.
Top-level stock contractor setting new standard in rodeo livestock and production
DALLAS – Pete Carr has purchased Classic Pro Rodeo, unhinging the perfect storm that will set a new standard for stock contractors in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
With the acquisition, Carr will merge Classic Pro Rodeo with his own Carr Pro Rodeo to create one of the most powerful livestock firms in the sport.
“I look at this as a way for us to better take care of the rodeo committees and the sport of rodeo in general,” said Carr, who purchased Classic from Scotty Lovelace. “We’ve been in rodeo all our adult lives, and I think Scotty and I share a strong passion for building toward the future of the sport.”
Since joining the PRCA, Classic has had livestock perform at each Wrangler National Finals Rodeo since 1997, and Lovelace was named the 2003 Stock Contractor of the Year. Carr Pro Rodeo was established in 2005 and quickly has become one of the elite producers in the sport. Now the company will boast of more than 70 animals that have competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“When you put that kind of animal talent together, I think that says a lot about what people are going to see,” Lovelace said.
The combination will bring together 31 animals that bucked at last year’s NFR, including three that have been named PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year: Real Deal in 2005, Big Tex in 2010 and MGM Deuces Night in 2012.Big Tex also joins Grass Dancer in other notable performances: Each of the animals was part of one of the four world-record 94-point rides – Ryan Gray on Grass Dancer in Eagle, Colo., in July 2009, and Tilden Hooper on Big Tex in Silver City, N.M., in June 2010.
“Scotty has been producing rodeos for 22 years, and most of that time has been in the PRCA,”
Carr said. “He will continue to work with me and help me with the operations. He has a lot of experience and knowledge, and that’s just going to make everything we do that much better.”
The acquisition will create an elite production team, which will care for some of the greatest animals in the sport. It means working rodeos at indoor coliseums in the fall and winter, then adjusting to bigger outdoor arenas through the spring and summer. It is important to have the crew to handle those steps and work behind the scenes; it helps that those people care for livestock.
This isn’t the first time Lovelace and Carr have teamed; prior to getting into the livestock business, they traveled together while riding bareback horses all across the country. They also have partnered on several animals and were former owners of the Harper & Morgan firm.
In 2013, Carr’s combined schedule includes producing 33 rodeos in 13 states; the company will have livestock performing at many of the largest events in the industry. In the coming weeks, the new firm will produce Texas events in Bay City, Marshall, Nacogdoches and Jacksonville, while also branching out to Southaven, Miss., and Silver City, N.M. – all have been part of Classic’s schedule; they will join events like Oklahoma’s Richest Rodeo in Guymon; New Mexico’s only tour stop in Lovington; the Navajo Nation’s Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo in Window Rock, Ariz.; the top rodeo in the Mountain States Circuit in Eagle, Colo.; and the Texas Stampede in Allen.
“I’m excited about the new opportunities that are ahead for the company,” Carr said. “I want committees to know we have a lot to offer them. We’re going to have unprecedented resources for all the rodeos, which will benefit everyone involved: committees, sponsors, contestants and spectators.”
JoJo LeMOND, Andrews, Texas
JoJo LeMond might just be the smallest man in the field of 20 outstanding competitors. That’s OK, because there’s no way to precisely measure the size of a cowboy’s heart, and LeMond’s is bigger and brighter than nearly any man his size.
Given the challenges faced by the smaller cowboy, LeMond realizes steer wrestling is his Achilles heel. But you won’t see the Texan back down. He’ll reach into every resource possible to try to solidify a qualifying time each run.
Two springs ago, LeMond finished among the top eight in the average, so he knows what it’s like to score a little Timed Event pay in this arena. In addition, he owns both owns records in both heading and heeling – he scored a 4.9-second heeling run in 2009, then posted a 4.5 in heading a year later.
LeMond knows what it means to be fast. He’s qualified three times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, each time as a header. And because he’s done well in this event, LeMond has found another avenue by which he can win money on the ProRodeo trail – last spring, he won the steer roping and all-around titles in Huntsville, Texas.
Now if he’s just as comfortable this weekend, it should be a whale of a show.
LANDON McCLAUGHERTY, Tilden, Texas
There were no magic seeds that served in the Timed Event Championship pumpkin for Landon McClaugherty last March.
Maybe the sophomore jinx took over for the rookie magic that appeared in 2011. After a phenomenal start to his TEC career, in which he finished the 25 head in a cumulative time in 366.3 seconds, the Texan struggled a year ago. But that’s the challenge each of the 20 men in this prestigious field face throughout the weekend.
Now it’s time to rebound, which is just what McClaugherty did for the remainder of the 2012 ProRodeo campaign. In fact, he won 17 event titles, including all-around crowns at 10 rodeos, most notably the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour event in Lovington, N.M. He doubled up by adding tie-down roping titles in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Vinita, Okla., while also winning team roping in Los Fresnos, Texas, and Bellville, Texas.
And even though there were no steer roping titles, McClaugherty won plenty of money in the event; he qualified for the second time in his career for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping.
It’s all more proof that he’s a very talented all-around cowboy, and he plans to tell the world about it by the time this weekend is through.
TREVOR BRAZILE, Decatur, Texas
There are many numbers associated with Trevor Brazile’s magnificent career.
Seventeen – as in the number of world championship gold buckles; 10 – as in the number of all-around world championships; six – as in the number of Timed Event Championship titles.
When you add it all up, the math is quite simple: Trevor Brazile is the greatest timed-event hands in ProRodeo history and, quite possibly, one of the greatest cowboys to have ever played the game. He’d love to add to those figures this weekend.
But with that kind of history, he’s also got the biggest target on his back. Why not? He’s the only man in rodeo’s history to have surpassed the $4 million mark in PRCA earnings. He’s done so while focusing his attention on three events: team roping, tie-down roping and steer roping.
He’s earned world championships in all three events – three each in steer roping and tie-down roping and one heading gold buckle. In fact, he joins Dale Smith as the two men in PRCA history to have qualified for the National Finals in all four roping disciplines.
Do the math for yourself, but cherish the moment of watching the greatest cowboy in the game compete before you.
JADE CORKILL, Fallon, Nev.
Last December, Jade Corkill marked his arrival in ProRodeo’s history in dramatic fashion.
Roping with Georgia header Kaleb Driggers, Corkill won at least a share of two go-rounds, placing in four others, at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. In all, each cowboy earned $84,660 in Las Vegas. That propelled Corkill to the No. 1 spot in the world standings and earned the Nevada heeler that elusive gold buckle.
In an ironic twist, Corkill shares the team roping gold with Chad Masters; the tandem teamed together at three of Corkill’s five NFR qualifications. But the title also serves as terrific validation for Corkill, who roped a wooden steer in his living room when he was just a year old; he won his first check roping at age 6.
A year ago, Corkill earned nine event titles, including the all-around championship in Hayward, Calif. As a high schooler, he won the Nevada High School Rodeo Association titles in both team roping and tie-down roping in 2005. A year later, he was named the PRCA Resistol Heeling Rookie of the Year.
Now he’s putting all his cards on the table, but that’s nothing new for folks from Nevada.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story appears in the February issue of Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the official magazine of the WPRA. It is being republished here with the magazine’s consent.
Carlee Pierce needed a dominant run at the Ram Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo if she were to reach another major goal in her ProRodeo career.
Pierce won two of three rounds, posting the two-fastest runs of the weekend in the process, and earned the average championship at the Extracto Events Center in Waco, Texas. On the second night, the only round she didn’t win, Pierce and her veteran mount, Rare Dillion, placed second behind 2012 world champion Mary Walker.
“I knew we had a lot of work to do when we got to Waco,” said Pierce, who trailed Brittany Pozzi by $2,767 heading into the finale. “I’m very proud of Dillion. He was amazing all three rounds, and it showed.
Pierce blistered the pattern in 15.95 seconds to win the opening go-round and the $1,452 first-place prize. On the final night, she and Dillion circled the barrels in a rodeo-best 15.89, finishing the three-round championship in a cumulative time of 48.24 seconds.
In all, she earned $6,171 in Waco, scooting past Pozzi in the year-end standings by less than $900.
“My main goal this year was to win the gold buckle, and we came very close,” said Pierce of Stephenville, Texas. “But one of my other goals was to win the Texas Circuit, and we were close enough to make it happen.”
Texas is chalk full of outstanding barrel racers. Qualifiers to this year’s championship read like a who’s who of qualifiers to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. That elite-caliber talent provides an avenue for top-level competition.
“I knew in order to give myself a shot, we had to win the average,” said Pierce, a two-time NFR qualifier who finished second in the 2012 world standings. “In order to win the average there against those horses, we had to do well in the rounds.”
That’s just what happened.
In winning on opening night, Pierce bettered Walker by nearly three-tenths of a second. Still, the champ was in contention for the average title, her only shot at qualifying for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo since Walker came in well down the money list.
On the second night, Walker evened the score. Her 16.09-second run on Latte was worth the round win, and she bettered Pierce’s time of 16.40 and held a two-hundredths of a second lead over the 2012 reserve world champion.
“It was a great barrel race,” Pierce said. “Mary and Latte proved why they’re world champions, but I was pretty confident in Dillion.”
She should be and proved it on the final night of the competition, when she and her 13-year-old buckskin gelding posted the fastest time of the finale. Pozzi posted her fastest time of the competition; her 16.11 moved her to second in the round, just six-hundredths of a second ahead of Walker’s third-place run.
“I really wanted to make it back to Oklahoma City this year,” said Pierce, who qualified for last year’s national circuit finals as the year-end runner-up in the Prairie Circuit. “I’m very excited to get to go back.”
Pierce moved to Stephenville from Woodward, Okla., in October 2011, which is why she has changed her home circuit. By finishing second in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region to two-time NFR qualifier Jeanne Anderson, who also won the average at the 2011 finale, Pierce and Dillion were part of the RNCFR’s field last spring.
In Oklahoma City, the pair raced to second place – one of many they encountered in the 2012 campaign; Pierce also finished runner-up in Houston, San Antonio and Cody, Wyo. – finishing behind Pozzi.
Now the two will take their elite class of barrel horses to ProRodeo’s national championship for the second straight year, both representing the great state of Texas. Since Pierce won the year-end and the average, Pozzi earns the right to compete by finishing second on the money list.
The field will be made up of 24 ladies from all across the country. The year-end and average champions from each of the 12 ProRodeo circuits qualify for Oklahoma City.
“This is a very prestigious rodeo, and I’m very excited to be part of it again,” Pierce said. “It’s one I want to win, and Dillion loves that arena.”
Now Pierce will wait until the first weekend of April to see if she can a major ProRodeo championship.
“After finishing second so many times last year, it felt pretty good for me to win the circuit finals and the year-end title,” Pierce said. “Let’s hope this is a good sign for 2013.”
MIKE OUTHIER, Utopia, Texas
How in the world does a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo saddle bronc riding qualifier get into the field for the Timed Event Championship?
Well, he’d better be pretty handy with a rope and understand timed events well.
That describes Mike Outhier pretty well. Yes, he was the 1998 PRCA Resistol Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year, but he grew up with a rope in his hand and a tenacity to do just about anything possible in the world of rodeo. He earned Linderman Award titles in 2004 and 2007, joining Trell Etbauer this weekend as the first Linderman winners to compete in the Timed Event.
In 1994 and 1995, he competed at the International Youth Finals Rodeo in Shawnee, Okla., in all six events available for boys: tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. He would’ve done so in 1996, but a broken left arm left him unable to ride bulls.
Yes, those credentials make you wonder what he might be able to do with a barrel horse. No matter where he garnered his fame, Mike Outhier is a true cowboy, and he wants a solid performance this weekend to prove it to us all.