By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (September 21, 2015) — It’s like challengers lining up to try and take over a kingdom.
Derrick Begay and Clay O’Brien Cooper. Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith. Chad Masters and Travis Graves. Simply put – some of the biggest names in rodeo.
But while plenty of worthy contenders are lurking near the top of the world team roping standings, header Clay Tryan of Lipan and heeler Jade Corkill of Huckabay keep providing steady reminders of how they got to the top, and why they will be so hard to dethrone.
They can be lightning fast, but more important, they are the image of consistency and steadiness.
And they also know how to turn it on in prime time.
As the 2015 PRCA season enters its 11th hour – today is the beginning of the final week for earnings counting toward the 2015 National Finals Rodeo – Tryan and Corkill turned in clutch performances thousands of miles apart to share the titles at two historic rodeos and extend their league atop the world standings.
The dynamic duo that together has won the last two world titles shared the Pendleton Roundup average title with Brazile and Smith in Pendleton, Oregon, roping three head in 20.0 seconds for $5,677 each. Then came the New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo in historic Albuquerque. There, Tryan and Corkill used a 5.1-second run to tie Calvin Brevik and Cullen Teller, good for $4,061 each.
Add the money for placing third and eighth in the rounds and fourth in the finals at Pendleton, and that’s $9,660 Tryan and Corkill won in Oregon, or $13,721 between the two rodeos.
In short, come clutch time, Tryan and Corkill are on top of their game.
Just as you would expect from three-time world champs. Corkill also won a world title in 2012 before partnering with Tryan in 2013. Tryan won a heading title in 2005.
Not that the big week, or yet another huge regular season with each winning $130,497.07 in PRCA money, is a death sentence to the list of challengers.
Begay and Cooper are almost $35,000 behind the world leaders, but with the NFR paying $28,000 to the winner of each round and $70,000 to its aggregate champ, they are currently just two good rides behind the world champion superstars.
Same for Stephenville heeler Smith, Graves, Travis Woodard and Kory Koontz, who are third through sixth in the world rankings, making Erath County home to five of the top six.
Outside Cooper, who lives in Decatur and has brothers residing in Stephenville, the top heeler from outside Erath County is Cory Petska of Marana, Ariz., and right behind him is Paul Eaves of Huckabay. jake Long of Stephenville and Kollin VonAhn of Huckabay are 12th and 13th, while Dakota Kirchenschlager remains 16th with one last week to try and crack the top 15 and qualify for the NFR.
Behind Tryan, the next local headers are No. 11 Jake Cooper and No. 14 Luke Brown. David Key is No. 20 and in need of a big week.
Several of the local stars will compete in the Cowboy Capital of the World PRCA Rodeo at Lone Star Arena this weekend. The public performances are Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. For more, visit CowboyCapitalPRCARodeo.com.
More on the success of local cowboys last week coming soon on The Flash Today.