By BRAD KEITH
(July 25, 2015) — It looked as if Stephenville header Jake Cooper and partner Tyler McKnight were going to score their second big win in as many weeks.
They had just roped head and heels in 3.6 seconds, an impressive time that wins just about anywhere.
But not this weekend at The Days of 47 Salt Lake in Salt Lake City.
Because an all-Erath County team was even faster. The fastest, in fact, in at least four years at Salt Lake (as far back as results could immediately be found on prorrodeo.com).
Stephenville header Luke Brown and Huckabay heeler Kolin VonAhn ran a blistering 3.4, roping the win and $8,613. Cooper and McKnight, fresh off their win at historic California Rodeo Salinas, settled for second and a hefty $7,706.
It was part of a strong showing by the local pro rodeo delegation in Utah, home to three marquee events over the week.
Stephenville heeler Jim Ross Cooper, brother to Jake, won the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo team roping average along with header Joel Bach, roping two head in 8.7 seconds to pocket $3,604 each. Add their $1,828 during the rounds and the total earnings come to $5,432 each.
Huckabay heeler Paul Eaves was part of a strong 3.7 to earn first place and $2,403 in the first round at Spanish Fork, dominated by ropers from Erath County. Stephenville heeler Cole Davison picked up $1,776 in third, Jim Ross Cooper earned $1,306 in fifth and the team of Huckabay header Charly Crawford and Dublin heeler Shay Carroll nabbed $679 in a tie for sixth.
Stephenville heelers Walt Woodard, Patrick Smith and Cooper were second, sixth and seventh in the second round at Spanish Fork, and Stephenville header Zayne Dishion was eighth. Woodard earned $2,089, Smith $836, Cooper $522 and Dishion $104.
Smith and legendary partner Trevor Brazile tied for third in 9.1 seconds on two head, picking up $2,429 in the average and $3,265 total. Davison and header Rhen Richard were 9.2 on two, earning $1,724 in the average and $3,500 total.
Smith was fourth in the opening round at Ogden Pioneer Days, earning another $1,230.
Stephenville header Turtle Powell won the first round in Ogden. He and heeler Jonathan Torres needed 4.2 seconds to snare $2,020 each. They were seventh in the average for another $659.
Locals made a mess of fifth, sixth and seventh place money in round one at Ogden. Reigning world champs and world leaders Clay Tryan of Lipan and Jade Corkill of Huckabay were part of the tie, along with Davison and header Richard and Stephenville heeler Jake Long with header Coleman Proctor. Each man earned $703. Dishion picked up $176 for placing eighth in the second round.
Huckbabay heeler Paul Eaves made his money outside Utah, teaming up with Clay Smith to win the first round and the average at Deadwood Days of 76 Rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota. Also fourth in the second round, Eaves and Smith were 11.3 on two, winning a total of $4,385 each.
Cody Ohl earned $1,692 in 8.8 seconds at Ogden, tying for sixth in the tie-down roping. Stephenville tie-down roper Chase Williams was seventh in the first round at Spanish Fork, earning $519. Yates and past Tarleton cowboy Reese Riemer tied for eighth and $69.
Yates has turned his focus to the famous and rich Cheyenne Frontier Days, where he’s earned more than $8,500 and is second in the average entering the Sunday short-go. Yates has had the fastest single runs at Calgary Stampede, California Rodeo Salinas and Cheyenne in recent weeks.
Riemer was fourth in the average at Chief Joseph Days in Joseph, Oregon, where he earned a total of $846 a week after capturing one of rodeo’s prestigious titles at Salinas.
Stephenville saddle bronc rider Sterling Crawley was 78 to tie for sixth and $554 at Deadwood. Bluff Dale tie-down roper Ryan Watkins was third in the first round and fifth in the average for a total of $1,537.
Tarleton barrel racer Shelby Herrmann tied for sixth and won $2,306 in a tightly-contested barrel racing competition at Salt Lake. She finished in 13.64, just 14-hundredths of a second behind the second-place time of 13.50. Samantha Line was eighth in 13.66, earning $1,887. The difference between first and 15th was just 57-hundredths of a second.
Yates isn’t the only cowboy with big money on the line in Cheyenne on Sunday. The finals begin at 1:15 p.m. CST and can be watched live online at wranglernetwork.com.
Local competitors reaching the short-go at Cheyenne (average ranking and score in parenthesis; locals italicized in team roping):
Bareback Riding – Richmond Champion (5, 159 on 2)
Tie-Down Roping – Marty Yates (2, 21.2 on 2)
Saddle Bronc Riding – Cort Sheer (2, 162 on 2); Jacobs Crawley (5 tie, 158 on 2); Isaac Diaz (10 tie, 154 on 2)
Team Roping – Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn (4, 18.6 on 2); Adam Rose/Walt Woodard (5., 19.0); JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager (12 tie, 21.2 on 2)