Hoffman: Area competitors earn berths in NFR

Saddle bronc rider Audy Reed of Spearman, barrel racer Kellie Collier of Hereford and tie-down roper Marcos Costa of Childress each have qualified for the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

 

Reed and Collier have qualified for the first time. Costa has earned a third consecutive trip to the December Las Vegas championships.

In order to qualify, a competitor must finish the regular season ranked within the top 15 in a single event based on prize money earnings. The regular season concluded on Sept. 30.

Reed finished the regular season ranked No. 15 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association saddle bronc riding world standings after earning $75,649 throughout the year. Collier is ranked 13th in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing standings with $83,338. Costa will enter the NFR ranked No. 4 in the PRCA tie-down roping world title race with $121,902.

Tough Texans

Throughout pro rodeo’s National Finals this year, Texas competitors will receive lots of attention. At least during the beginning of the championships.

Going into the National Finals, six of the 10 world title races will be led by a competitor with a Texas residence.

Tuf Cooper of Weatherford is ranked No. 1 in both the all-around and tie-down roping standings. Tiany Schuster of Krum is at the top of the barrel racing standings. Jacobs Crawley of Boerne has the lead in saddle bronc riding. Jason Evans of Glen Rose leads the steer ropers. And Junior Nogueira, who lives in Burleson, is at the top of the leader board in team roping heeling.

When the regular season concluded on Sept. 30, the top 15 in each event advanced to the Dec. 7-16 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas or the Nov. 10-11 National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane, Kan., which is in the Wichita area.

Cooper, a three-time world champion, and his brother-in-law Trevor Brazile, a 23-time world champion, made the cut in two events. They both qualified for the nationals in tie-down roping and steer roping.

In the 2017 world all-around standings, Cooper, a Childress native, is ranked No. 1 with $214,131. Brazile, an Amarillo native who lives in Decatur, is ranked No. 2 with $180,487. (The standings won’t be official until after an audit).

On the last weekend of the regular season, world class competitors rode in rodeos in cities ranging from Pasadena, Texas, to Sioux Falls, S.D., to either secure a National Finals berth or to improve their ranking going into the NFR.

For example, Nogueira was ranked No. 2 in team roping heeling in the Sept. 25 PRCA weekly world standings. But after clinching the team roping heeling title at the Wrangler Champions Challenge on Sept. 29 in Sioux Falls (for $3,944 in prize money) and then finishing fifth at the same type of rodeo in Sioux Falls on Sept. 30 ($928). After all that, Nogueira took the lead in the team roping heeling world title race.

Nogueira is a native of Brazil. He claims his hometown of Presidente Prudente, Brazil, in the PRCA world standings. But when he competes in North America, he lives in Burleson in North Texas.

Last year, Nogueira clinched the PRCA’s all-around title at the NFR and became the first Brazilian to snare a PRCA title. This year, he’ll attempt to become the first Brazilian native to win a single event title (team roping).

New season begins

The PRCA’s 2018 regular season began on Sunday, Oct. 1. The prize money earned from all rodeos that were held either on or after Oct. 1 will count toward qualifying for the 2018 National Finals.

For example, the prize money Sept. 28-30 Comal County Fair & Rodeo in New Braunfels counted toward qualifying for the 2017 NFR. But the earnings from Oct. 1 Xtreme Bulls show in New Braunfels counted toward qualifying for the 2018 NFR.

Last weekend’s PRCA rodeos in Tulsa and Hempstead counted toward qualifying for the NFR. Matt Reeves, a Pampa native who lives in Cross Plains, clinched the steer wrestling title in Hempstead with a time of 3.6 seconds and earned $2,119. Reeves, a six-time National Finals qualifier, missed qualifying for the 2017 NFR after finishing 21st in the world standings. But his win in Hempstead will help him in his attempt to earn a 2018 NFR berth.

College rodeo update

On the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association circuit, South Plains College is ranked No. 1 in the NIRA’s Southwest Region team title race after competing in the first two rodeos of the 2017-2018 regular season.

South Plains won the Sept. 21-23 Eastern New Mexico Rodeo and finished fourth in the Sept. 28-30 Vernon College Rodeo. After all that, South Plains is No. 1 with 385 points. Weatherford College is No. 2 with 325.

Odessa College is ranked No. 1 in the regional men’s team title race with 725 points. Tarleton is ranked No. 2 with 695. Clarendon College is ranked No. 4 with 615.

PBR update

On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, the Built Ford Tough Series (the association’s top tier tour) will stop in Raleigh, N.C., this weekend. The 2017 World Finals is Nov. 1-5 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

When the BFTS tour stopped in Colorado Springs on Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Stormy Wing of Dalhart finished fourth in the title race.

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 bchoffman777@earthlink.net.

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