RODEO INSIDER: Salt Lake City, Edmonton rodeos cash cows for Tuf Cooper

During the past weekend on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, competitors had the opportunity to earn more money toward qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas than any other weekend of the year.

That’s because the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City offered a highly impressive $1 million purse and each event winner received a $50,000 check.

According to, the $1 million Salt Lake City rodeo, along with five other rodeos that offered six-figure payoffs, proved to be cash cows for competitors who vied for $455,429 in Edmonton, Alberta; $379,717 in Nampa, Idaho; $360,578 in Salinas, California; $276,762 in Spanish Fork, Utah; and $188,879 in Ogden, Utah.

Both the Salt Lake City and Edmonton rodeos were cash cows for three-time world tie-down roping champion Tuf Cooper. After finishing second in a preliminary round (with a time of 8.5 seconds) and then clinching the tie-down roping title during the final round last Monday night (7.5 seconds), Cooper’s total earnings in the Salt Lake City rodeo were $52,400. Cooper also pocketed $9,616 after tying for first in tie-down roping at the Edmonton rodeo (8.1 seconds).

If that wasn’t enough, Cooper also earned smaller checks for finishing in the money at traditional PRCA summer rodeos in Spanish Fork (where he earned $1,321) and in Ogden ($2,782).

After all that, Cooper leads the PRCA’s world all-around race with $159,146, $35,380 ahead of No. 2 ranked Caleb Smidt. Cooper also leads the PRCA’s tie-down roping world race with $140,080, which is $27,362 ahead of Smidt who is ranked second in the standings.

Bull rider Sage Kimzey also had first place finishes at the Salt Lake City and Edmonton rodeos. He earned $52,667 after winning the Salt Lake City rodeo with a 90 aboard Diamond G Rodeo’s Komatsu’s War Party. He also pocketed $12,661 for winning the Edmonton rodeo with an 88 on C5 Rodeo’s Big Dip. After all that, Kimzey is ranked No. 1 in the PRCA’s 2017 bull riding standings with $179,158, a total of $50,091 ahead of second-ranked Garrett Smith.

Another competitor who cashed in at the Salt Lake rodeo was Hailey Kinsel, who clinched the barrel racing title with a time of 17.06 seconds and finished with $53,200 in total earnings. A rising star on the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit, Kinsel is ranked seventh in the world standings with $92,812, which should be enough to earn her first National Finals berth.

Veteran Cody DeMoss clinched the saddle bronc riding title at the Salt Lake City rodeo with an 87 on Diamond G Rodeo’s Owen’s Mistake. Other competitors who earned a coveted $50,000 final round winner’s check at the Days of ’47 rodeo were bareback rider Wyatt Denny (88 points on Diamond G Rodeo’s Diamond Hope), steer wrestler Ryle Smith (4.0 seconds) and team ropers Jr. Dees and Tyler McKnight (4.4 seconds).

CBR update

Sage Kimzey clinched his third consecutive Championship Bull Riding title after competing on July 25 at the association’s finals in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Kimzey secured the title after turning a 92 aboard a bovine named 756 Whacked Out (Burleson Barnett). In the 2017 title race that had a close ending, Kimzey edged second-place finisher Eli Vastbinder, 2477 to 2471. After clinching the 2017 CBR title, Kimzey received $100,000.

Cutting horse update

On the National Cutting Horse Association circuit, Grant Setnicka and Ichis My Choice, a 5-year-old mare, won the NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge title on July 22 after turning in a whopping finals score of 229. The victory earned the mare’s owners, the J Five Horse Ranch of Weatherford, the $20,484 first prize at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

PBR update

Lachlan Richardson clinched the title at the Professional Bull Riders Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour show on July 19 at the California Rodeo Salinas in Salinas, California, after turning in scores of 87.5 and 88.5. The Australian earned $10,610.

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Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram over the past quarter-century. Email him at

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