Home Sports Rodeo star ready to “come home” to Lea rodeo

Rodeo star ready to “come home” to Lea rodeo

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Rodeo star ready to “come home” to Lea rodeo

Levi Hill/News-Sun

Even if you’re a die-hard pro-rodeo fan you might not know the name Cash Hooper, but give it time and the 19-year-old’s name might be a household one, even if everyone gets it wrong all the time.

“I get it about every day,” Hooper said of being called Cash Cooper. It does roll off the tongue better he admits, but his goal to become one of the best of all time means he plans for everyone to know his name by heart one of these days.

“Hopefully they know it better than I do by the time we are done,” he said.

Even though he’s only in his second year of professional rodeo, Hooper is making big strides towards reaching that goal. Hooper has been working his way up through the ranks at the PRCA this year breeching the Top 35 recently.

“My goal is to win as many gold buckles as I can,” he said. “When I retire I want to reset as many records as I could of.”

The tie-down roper and Colorado native grew up cowboying and it was all he dreamed about when the time came to take the next step after high school.

“I have loved it since I could walk,” he said. “They have pictures of me swinging a rope before I could walk.”

Traveling begins in June and from then until the end of September he spends more time asleep “in the saddle,” as it were, than he does in a bed.

“It’s a non-stop deal,” he said. “It is planes, trains and automobiles. You get to where you can sleep just about anywhere. If I can lay my head down somewhere I can pretty much fall asleep.”

It’s a tiring sacrifice that sees him criss-crossing back and forth across the nation to try and make his pro-rodeo dreams a reality.

“That’s about all we do is drive. In the summer time I don’t get to come home very often,” he said. “Coming to Lovington is the closest I get to come home during the summer.”

August 10 he will be in Lovington for the Lea County Fair and Rodeo and, as busy as he stays, he’s excited to be coming “home.” His parents currently live in Jal and he spent many of his formative years in Carlsbad.

This will be his second year competing in Lovington and of all the major rodeo events he attends, Lovington is one of the tops.

“Lovington is one of my favorite rodeos every year,” he said. “It is a really cool arena, the committee does a really good job and the hospitality is just about unbeatable.”

In fact, this year he will be competing in Oklahoma the day before the Lea County rodeo and will have to pack up and drive all night to get to Lovington in time to compete and as soon as its over he has to hit the road again to be in Utah by the next day for another rodeo.

“The guy I’m hauling with almost decided not to go (to Lovington),” he said, “but I told him the rodeo is too good to miss.”

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