National Finals this year, Fort Worth area competitors will receive lots of attention. At least during the beginning of the championships.
Going into the National Finals, five of the 10 world title races will be led by a Fort Worth area competitor.
Tuf Cooper of Weatherford is ranked No. 1 in the all-around and tie-down roping standings. Junior Nogueira, a Brazilian native who lives in Burleson, is at the top of the leader board in team roping heading. Tiany Schuster of Krum tops the barrel racing standings. And Jason Evans of Glen Rose leads the steer ropers.
Six cowboys and girls from Northwest Montana are competing in the “World’s Largest Rodeo” this week. About 1,500 contestants are riding in the National High School Finals Rodeo.
The first of two rounds started on Sunday evening. 6 different performances make up the first round, with two each day in Gillette until the last first round performances on Wednesday morning.
Bigfork’s Brooke Wilson turned in a great time as one of the first in the arena. The Montana state barrel racing champ competed in the first performance Sunday night, finishing the ride in 17.609 seconds. That ranked second in her performance, and ranked 16th in the entire first round through Tuesday afternoon.
And Toren gets another chance in his second event, bull riding, on Wednesday morning. He also took fourth in that event at state.
Each cowboy and girl will compete in the second round later in the week. The six performances run from Wednesday evening through Saturday morning. Then a final round takes place at 7:00 Saturday night to crown the national champions.
Cooper, a three-time world champion, and his brother-in-law Trevor Brazile of Decatur, 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 is ranked No. 1 with $214,131. Brazile is ranked No. 2 with $180,487. The standings won’t be official until after an audit.
Cooper and Brazile are among 14 area competitors who earned a coveted National Finals back number.