New partners Tyler Schnaufer & Cole Cooper debut with Mountain States title | TSLN.com

New partners Tyler Schnaufer & Cole Cooper debut with Mountain States title

ROCK SPRINGS, WY – When Tyler Schnaufer says that winning the team roping title in his first trip to the Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo made the experience “a little bit better,” it is an understatement akin to saying that the win by Schnaufer and fellow Coloradan Cole Cooper was a little bit unexpected.

With their regular partners unavailable, Schnaufer, of Pueblo, and Cooper, of Grand Junction, were thrust together out of simple necessity. They had never roped together before, knew each other only slightly and had no opportunity to get in even a single practice run together before starting to compete at the Sweetwater County Events Complex.

“We just figured we were in the same situation as everybody else,” said Schnaufer, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Wyoming. “If we did our job and roped well, we’d end up somewhere near the top. That was our approach.”

Their first run together – ever – was completed in 7.0 seconds, good for fourth place. They came back with a time of 6.2 in the second round to earn another check and rise up to third in the average behind Lee Hagler/Jason Furnival and Garrett Tonozzi/J.W. Borrego.

“We didn’t have much to say before that final round,” Schnaufer said. “We didn’t have a plan really; we both knew what we had to do. We were the 10th team out, and as long as we made a clean run, we knew we’d be in the lead with two teams remaining.”

They did a bit better than clean. They improved their time once again to 5.3 seconds and that held up for the win when Borrego, who was competing with injured fingers, was unable to complete his dally and Furnival only roped one leg on his steer.

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Schnaufer and the 27-year-old Cooper finished with a three-head time of 18.5 seconds, nearly two seconds better than the runner-up pair of Hagler and Furnival and more than six seconds faster than past Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers Ty Blasingame and Jhett Johnson in third place.

That all added up to $2,818 apiece for Schnaufer and Cooper; plus there was this other little bonus – a new partnership.

“We started talking after the second round,” Schnaufer said, “and we’ve decided to rope together at some of the bigger winter rodeos – at Denver and Rapid City (SD) – and see what we can do.”

The other champions at the Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo were all-around cowboy Josh Peek ($4,097 in steer wrestling and tie-down roping), bareback rider Micky Downare (233 points on three head), steer wrestler Clayton Morison (12.7 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Lyle Welling (226 points on three head), tie-down roper K.C. Jones (31.0 seconds on three head), bull riders Bobby Welsh and Tyler Willis (159 points on two head) and barrel racer Annie Campbell (47.02 seconds on three runs).

ROCK SPRINGS, WY – When Tyler Schnaufer says that winning the team roping title in his first trip to the Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo made the experience “a little bit better,” it is an understatement akin to saying that the win by Schnaufer and fellow Coloradan Cole Cooper was a little bit unexpected.

With their regular partners unavailable, Schnaufer, of Pueblo, and Cooper, of Grand Junction, were thrust together out of simple necessity. They had never roped together before, knew each other only slightly and had no opportunity to get in even a single practice run together before starting to compete at the Sweetwater County Events Complex.

“We just figured we were in the same situation as everybody else,” said Schnaufer, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Wyoming. “If we did our job and roped well, we’d end up somewhere near the top. That was our approach.”

Their first run together – ever – was completed in 7.0 seconds, good for fourth place. They came back with a time of 6.2 in the second round to earn another check and rise up to third in the average behind Lee Hagler/Jason Furnival and Garrett Tonozzi/J.W. Borrego.

“We didn’t have much to say before that final round,” Schnaufer said. “We didn’t have a plan really; we both knew what we had to do. We were the 10th team out, and as long as we made a clean run, we knew we’d be in the lead with two teams remaining.”

They did a bit better than clean. They improved their time once again to 5.3 seconds and that held up for the win when Borrego, who was competing with injured fingers, was unable to complete his dally and Furnival only roped one leg on his steer.

Schnaufer and the 27-year-old Cooper finished with a three-head time of 18.5 seconds, nearly two seconds better than the runner-up pair of Hagler and Furnival and more than six seconds faster than past Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers Ty Blasingame and Jhett Johnson in third place.

That all added up to $2,818 apiece for Schnaufer and Cooper; plus there was this other little bonus – a new partnership.

“We started talking after the second round,” Schnaufer said, “and we’ve decided to rope together at some of the bigger winter rodeos – at Denver and Rapid City (SD) – and see what we can do.”

The other champions at the Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo were all-around cowboy Josh Peek ($4,097 in steer wrestling and tie-down roping), bareback rider Micky Downare (233 points on three head), steer wrestler Clayton Morison (12.7 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Lyle Welling (226 points on three head), tie-down roper K.C. Jones (31.0 seconds on three head), bull riders Bobby Welsh and Tyler Willis (159 points on two head) and barrel racer Annie Campbell (47.02 seconds on three runs).

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