RENO, Nev. – The Cooper twins made their first appearance at the “big dance” known as the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last year and with team roping runs like they turned in on Saturday night at the Reno Rodeo, they will be back there this December.
Jake and Jim Ross skyrocketed to the top of the leader board with a blistering run of 6.3 seconds on the second night of the rodeo. The Coopers, who reside in Monument, N.M., are the sons of 1981 World All-Around Champion and 2005 ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee Jimmie Cooper. A set of silver spurs from the Reno Rodeo and the nice paycheck that would go with the average win could give the twins the momentum they need as they head into the Fourth of July run of rodeos known as “Cowboy Christmas.” They will return later in the week for their second round steer and the top 12 in the average following the completion of the rodeo on June 27 will return for the final round on June 28.
Crusher World Standings leaders Travis Tryan of Billings, Mont., and Michael Jones of Stephenville, Texas, turned in the second fastest time on the night stopping the clock in 6.6 seconds. This currently places them third in the first round.
Bareback rider Tim Shirley of Conifer, Colo., turned in the top score on the second night of the Reno Rodeo to lead the second round and average. Shirley rode Rosser Rodeo’s Gold Coast Sal for 83 points and added to his first round score of 81, he has set the bar with a total of 164 points on two head. 2004 World Champion Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyo., turned in the second highest score on the night with a score of 78 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Painted Salley. However, he received a no score on his first horse, so he will not have a chance to return for the finals a week from tonight.
Casey Martin turned in the quickest time on Saturday night in the steer wrestling stopping the clock in 5.5 seconds. This moves him into second place in the first round with Chancey Larson of Manhattan, Kan., still leading the way with a time of 4.8 seconds turned in on opening night. The remaining steer wrestlers will compete in slack on Sunday morning to conclude the first round of competition, so Sunday night the second round will get underway.
Bobby Griswold took advantage of his draw on Saturday night to move to the top of the leaderboard in the second round of the saddle bronc riding. Griswold of Geary, Okla., posted an 85-point ride on Flying U Rodeo’s Black Wasp to secure his place on top. He recently rebuilt his saddle and this is just his third ride in the new saddle, but from the looks of it things are working out great for him as he is currently second in the average with 159 points on two head. Anthony Bello of Oakley, Utah, who leads the first round with a score of 86 points, holds the average lead with a total score of 168 points after turning in an 82 in the second round aboard Flying U Rodeo’s Katie Bar the Door. Both cowboys are in great position to return in the final round a week from tonight.
Cade Swor of Chico, Texas, moved to the top of the leaderboard in the tie-down roping after stopping the clock in 9.1 seconds. His next closest competitor on the night was Cash Myers of Athens, Texas, who stopped the clock in 11.7 seconds. Myers is currently third in the round.
2006 WPRA World Champion Mary Burger smoked the field again with a second round run of 16.98 seconds. Burger of Pauls Valley, Okla., won the first round with a time of 17.04 and returned aboard Rare Fred to improve on that time for the second round lead. She easily took over the top spot in the average as well with a two run total of 34.02. Burger will most definitely be back for the final round and will be looking to improve on her two previous times.
The bulls got the better of the cowboys on Saturday night with only three qualified rides. Cody Hodges of Omaha, Texas, was the high-point winner of the night with a score of 74 points on Rosser Rodeo’s #503. This currently puts him in a tie for fourth in the round. The bull riders will compete just once with the top 12 returning for the final round.
The third performance will begin at 7 p.m. PT on Sunday.