Hoffman: Team roper Woodard still has what it takes

At age 62, two-time world team roping champion Walt Woodard isn’t slowing down.

 

The Stephenville cowboy can still hold his own against other high-profile cowboys who are a lot younger on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit.

Knowing he no longer has the speed he had when he was much younger, Woodard has devised a strategic method of becoming way more competitive during his senior years. He is using a lighter rope that he can swing faster.

“As I’ve gotten older, my swing has slowed down, so I’ve lightened up my rope a little bit and tried to work on my swing speed and it’s helping,” Woodard said. “I need to be able to swing the rope faster as I’m going down the arena because I’m 62 and these other guys are 22. They are young and fast.”

But when the team roping title was at stake during the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo’s final round on Saturday night, Woodard, a heeler, swung his rope plenty fast enough to clinch the title with the superb help from his partner, two-time world heading champion Matt Sherwood.

During the final round, Woodard and Sherwood, 48, turned in a time of 5.5 seconds on their way to clinching the title with a three-run time of 15.6 as the Stock Show’s 2018 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Association show concluded it’s 16-day, 29-performance run during a sold out performance before more than 5,700 spectators at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

Ten-time National Finals qualifier Luke Brown, 43, and Jake Long, 33, a seven-time NFR qualifier, finished second in the title race with a 16.0 after the duo turned in a finals time of 5.8.

Amberleigh Moore, a two-time National Finals qualifier, clinched the barrel racing title. Kellie Collier of Hereford, a former Texas Tech star who qualified for her first National Finals last year, finished sixth in the average.

In steer wrestling, defending world champion Tyler Pearson finished No. 1 in the title race. Six-time National Finals qualifier Matt Reeves, a Pampa native who lives in Cross Plains, finished fifth overall.

In tie-down roping, 2013 world champion Shane Hanchey lassoed the title and pocketed $18,668. Hanchey finished as the Fort Worth rodeo’s highest money winner.

Each Stock Show Rodeo single event champion received a $5,000 bonus from the organizing committee. However, the $5,000 will not count in the PRCA world standings. But it was a much appreciated bonus for competitors who earn their livelihood at rodeos and have to cover road costs.

For example, the $18,668 Hanchey earned in the rounds and the average at the Fort Worth rodeo will count in the PRCA tie-down roping title race. But the $5,000 bonus will not.

Hanchey clinched his second tie-down roping title at the Fort Worth Rodeo. He also claimed the title in 2010.

“Winning at Fort Worth for a second time was really special,” Hanchey said. “Then getting that $5,000 bonus was an awesome surprise.”

Other champions were bareback rider J.R. Vezain, a five-time National Finals qualifier, and bull rider Trevor Kastner who has competed in three NFRs.

PBR update

On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, Cody Nance of Paris, Tenn., clinched the title at last weekend’s tour stop in Anaheim after earning 513.33 points throughout the Built Ford Tough Series tour stop. Nance earned $34,166.

Nance secured the title after turning in a score of 88.75 aboard the 2017 PBR World Champion Bull Sweet-Pros Bruiser (owned by D&H Cattle Co./Buck Cattle Co.

Claudio Montanha Jr. finished second after earning 353.33 points. Dener Barbosa finished third with 245.

In the world title race, Barbosa is ranked No. 1 with 1,115 points. Montanha is ranked No. 2 with 986.

This weekend, the Ford Series tour stops in Kansas City, Mo. The Ford Series tour also stops in Arlington on Feb. 24 at AT&T Stadium. The 2018 PBR World Finals is Nov. 7-11 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

Death of a legend

Convenience store owner Lonnie Allsup, 84, who was a cutting horse enthusiast, died on Sunday at his home in Clovis, N.M. His Memorial Service was Wednesday at the Faith Christian Family Church in Clovis. In 1996, Allsup and his standout horse, Little Badger Dulce, clinched the National Cutting Horse Association non-pro world title. Allsup and his wife, Barbara, produced an NCHA show at their cutting horse facility near Farwell in the 1990s that drew the sport’s elite. Allsup was inducted in the NCHA Hall of Fame in 2001.

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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