Last weekend, numerous world class competitors from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit congregated in Pecos, Texas, to compete in the renowned West of the Pecos Rodeo.
For example, defending world all-around champion Tuf Cooper, who has residences in the North Texas communities of Weatherford and Decatur, finished third in the steer roping tile race and earned $4,004. Cooper is ranked No. 1 in this week’s world all-around title race in the world standings (released Monday, July 2) with $111,985. Ryle Smith is ranked No. 2 with $73,144.
Cooper is the son of eight-time world champion Roy Cooper, a Hobbs native who lives in Decatur, Texas. He’s also a grandson of the late Tuffy Cooper, a longtime prize winning pro rodeo competitor from Monument, N.M.
Trevor Brazile, a 23-time world champion from Decatur, finished third in the team roping heading first round and earned $1,192. Brazile also pocketed a $1,189 check for finishing third in the steer roping first round. Brazile is ranked third in the world all-around race with $69,327.
Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla, Texas, who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last year, clinched the barrel racing title after turning in a time of 17.38 seconds and earned $3,834 in prize money.
Kinsel is ranked No. 1 in the WPRA’s 2018 barrel racing world title race with $97,977 in regular season earnings.
Jake Brown, a three-time Wrangler National Rodeo qualifier who is from the South Texas town of Cleveland, clinched the bareback riding title after turning in a score of 88 points aboard a bronc named Painted River, which is owned by the Pete Carr Pro Rodeo Co. Brown is ranked No. 4 in the PRCA’s 2018 bareback riding world title race with $67,529.
The 2018 Pecos Rodeo offered competitors $206,385. According to, the other winners of the June 27-30 rodeo were all-around cowboy Tanner Green ($6,508, tie-down roping and team roping), steer wrestler Lendol Loud (7.5 seconds on two head), team ropers Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira (13.9 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright (86.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Mike & Ike), tie-down roper Scott Kormos (18.9 seconds on two head), bull rider Brett Custer (86.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Super Freak), and steer roper Bryce Davis (38.9 seconds on three head).
Five-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier J. Tom Fisher, a Texas Tech graduate from Andrews, Texas, tied for first in the steer roping first round with an 11.8 and earned $1,658. He’s currently ranked No. 15 in the steer roping world title race with $18,753.
Fourteen-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier Vin Fisher Jr., who also is a Texas Tech graduate from Andrews, finished fifth in the steer roping first round with a 12.5 and pocketed $563. He’s ranked No. 8 in the world title race with $25,638.
J. Tom Fisher and Vin Fisher Jr. are brothers. They are the sons of 16-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier Dan Fisher.
The Pecos Rodeo is one of the world’s oldest rodeos. According to, the first edition was on July 4, 1883, 135 years ago. The rodeo’s organizers claim it was the world’s first rodeo, but that’s debatable. The site and date of the world’s first rodeo is a complex matter.
Cowboy Christmas underway
This week is Cowboy Christmas on the PRCA/WPRA circuit when there is an abundance of higher paying rodeos either on or near the July 4 holiday.
One of those rodeos was in Ponoka, Alberta, where Trevor Brazile tied for seventh in the tie-down roping first round with a 9.4 and 10th in the second round with an 8.5 .Brazile finished second at the Ponoka Stampede’s tie-down roping finals round on Monday, July 2, with an 8.4 and second in the aggregate title race with a three-run time of 26.7. After finishing second place in the aggregate race, Brazile advanced to the four-man showdown round where no previous times counted. The showdown round also was only Monday, July 2. During the showdown round, Brazile clinched the title with a 7.3. All in all, Brazile earned $13,540 (Canadian) in Ponoka.
Brazile also won the tie-down roping first round with a 7.9 at the Greeley Stampede in Greeley Colo., which is another standout rodeo during Cowboy Christmas. Brazile pocketed $4,035.
Tuf Cooper earned $3,582 at the Ponoka rodeo after tying for sixth in the second round with an 8.4 and finishing fifth in the aggregate race with a 28.1 on three runs. Cooper also pocketed $3,772 after finishing seventh at the Greeley rodeo.
Death of a legend
ProRodeo Hall of Famer Harry Tompkins, an eight-time world champion – including five bull riding titles (1948-50, ‘52, ‘60), one bareback riding win (1952) and two all-around crowns (1952, ‘60), passed away on June 29 in Stephenville, Texas. He was 90.
“He was a fun-loving generous man,” Tompkins’ daughter Martha Jordan told.
The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Tompkins possessed exceptional balance and coordination. In 1949, Tompkins was photographed waving to a cameraman while riding a bull named Yellow Jacket.
Tompkins, who grew up in upstate
New York state and lived in from Dublin, Texas, during his heyday as a rodeo competitor, exhibited a clean-cut lifestyle – no cigarettes or alcohol, and no gambling – but he traveled hard by car and airplane with friends and fellow champions Jim Shoulders, Casey Tibbs and Jack Buschbom, who were looked upon as the first group to hit the road with the intensity and dedication characterized by modern-day cowboys.
“Really, I was always doing it for the fun, and it was fun for years and years,” said Tompkins in a Sept. 19, 1984 article in the ProRodeo Sports News. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Brett Hoffman , a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Email him at .