(November 17, 2014) — For seven local cowboys, it’s the zenith of their year, perhaps their careers.
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is celebrating 30 years in Las Vegas, and Erath County and the surrounding area will be well represented, as it seemingly always is, when the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association begins its world championship event at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The 2014 WNFR features 10 performances from Thursday, Dec. 4, through Saturday, Dec. 13, with live television coverage on Great American Country (DISH Network 165, DIRECTV 326).
The newest local name of the WNFR scene belongs to 2013 Huckabay High School graduate Marty Yates, nephew of WPRCA legend J.J. Hampton. Yates, who lists Stephenville as his hometown, enters the event ranked fifth in the world in tie-down roping.
Jacobs Crawley of Stephenville is also ranked fifth, as he competes in saddle bronc riding. Patrick Smith of Lipan, a team roper, is sixth in heeling, and Luke Brown of Stephenville is 10th in heading. They round out the locals ranked in the top 10, and are joined in the team roping competition by Morgan Mill’s Dakota Kirchenschlager, who is 12th in heeling, and Turtle Powell of Stephenville, 13th in heading.
Cody Ohl will compete with Yates in tie-down roping after finishing 14th in the regular season.
The seven locals competing are listed below, along with their 2014 earnings:
Team roping (header)
10. Luke Brown, Stephenville, $73,062.13
13. Turtle Powell, Stephenville, $69,309.63
Team roping (heeler)
6. Patrick Smith, Lipan, $81,470.05
12. Dakota Kirchenschlager, Morgan Mill, $65,949.63
5. Marty Yates, Stephenville, $83,187.67
14. Cody Ohl, Hico, $65,282.31
Saddle bronc riding
5. Jacobs Crawley, Stephenville, $88,728.51