Sundell takes ‘W’ as Nampa duel goes right way | TSLN.com

Sundell takes ‘W’ as Nampa duel goes right way

NAMPA, ID – For Wade Sundell, it was kind of like dejà vu, only this time with a happy ending.

An 87-point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic Fringe in the finals allowed Sundell to hold off reigning World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Cody Wright by a point and win the two-head average at the Snake River Stampede, 167-166.

The same two men battled it out toe-to-toe at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last December before Wright won the 10-head average with a record score of 847 points to assure his second gold buckle.

While on a smaller scale, this latest battle at the Idaho Center had plenty of drama to recommend it before Sundell tucked away his second consecutive Snake River Stampede title.

Wright and 2006 World Champion Chad Ferley tied for the first round win with 84 points apiece, leaving Sundell four points back entering the short go and knowing that he had to do something pretty spectacular to pull off a win.

But then he also knew he had a horse that was special enough to get him there.

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Lunatic Fringe had been good for 85 or more points in four of five previous appearances this season, including wins for Bradley Harter in Pocatello, ID, and for Kyle Thomson in Billings, MT. The hard-bucking paint horse also produced round wins for Heith DeMoss and Jesse Wright in last year’s Wrangler NFR.

“That’s actually one of the greatest bucking horses there is,” Sundell told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “To get to draw him and get on him here … it’s an honor.”

“Man, I don’t know what to say. To win this rodeo twice in a row is just the coolest thing.”

Sundell and Wright kept the NFR theme going at California Rodeo Salinas, too, where they tied for the championship with 168 points apiece. Wright ended up with $13,504 from the two rodeos to push ahead of Taos Muncy and lead the world standings, while Sundell earned $13,408 to move from 14th place to fifth.

Clint Cooper of Decatur, TX, won the short-go in the tie-down roping with a time of 7.4 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to keep his younger brother, Tuf, from winning the three-head average. Tuf Cooper completed three runs in 24.0 seconds with Clint second in 25.0, followed by Tyson Durfey (25.2) and middle Cooper brother Clif (25.4).

The brothers finished 1-2-3 in the short go (Clint-Tuf-Clif), a first for the sons of eight-time World Champion Roy Cooper and a big lift for Tuf, who regained the lead in the world standings after a week behind Trevor Brazile. Clint Cooper also moved ahead of Brazile into second place.

“A few years ago, I finished third at this rodeo (and set an arena record of 6.6 seconds), and ever since then, it’s been one of my top goals to come back and win it,” Tuf Cooper said. “I’m glad we got to do it this year.”

The other champions at this $358,928 rodeo were bareback rider Brian Bain (171 points on two head), steer wrestler Dru Melvin (11.4 seconds on three head), team ropers Spencer Mitchell and Broc Cresta (14.6 seconds on three head), bull rider J.W. Harris (174 points on two head) and barrel racer Tana Poppino (31.72 seconds on two runs).

NAMPA, ID – For Wade Sundell, it was kind of like dejà vu, only this time with a happy ending.

An 87-point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic Fringe in the finals allowed Sundell to hold off reigning World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Cody Wright by a point and win the two-head average at the Snake River Stampede, 167-166.

The same two men battled it out toe-to-toe at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last December before Wright won the 10-head average with a record score of 847 points to assure his second gold buckle.

While on a smaller scale, this latest battle at the Idaho Center had plenty of drama to recommend it before Sundell tucked away his second consecutive Snake River Stampede title.

Wright and 2006 World Champion Chad Ferley tied for the first round win with 84 points apiece, leaving Sundell four points back entering the short go and knowing that he had to do something pretty spectacular to pull off a win.

But then he also knew he had a horse that was special enough to get him there.

Lunatic Fringe had been good for 85 or more points in four of five previous appearances this season, including wins for Bradley Harter in Pocatello, ID, and for Kyle Thomson in Billings, MT. The hard-bucking paint horse also produced round wins for Heith DeMoss and Jesse Wright in last year’s Wrangler NFR.

“That’s actually one of the greatest bucking horses there is,” Sundell told the Idaho Press-Tribune. “To get to draw him and get on him here … it’s an honor.”

“Man, I don’t know what to say. To win this rodeo twice in a row is just the coolest thing.”

Sundell and Wright kept the NFR theme going at California Rodeo Salinas, too, where they tied for the championship with 168 points apiece. Wright ended up with $13,504 from the two rodeos to push ahead of Taos Muncy and lead the world standings, while Sundell earned $13,408 to move from 14th place to fifth.

Clint Cooper of Decatur, TX, won the short-go in the tie-down roping with a time of 7.4 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to keep his younger brother, Tuf, from winning the three-head average. Tuf Cooper completed three runs in 24.0 seconds with Clint second in 25.0, followed by Tyson Durfey (25.2) and middle Cooper brother Clif (25.4).

The brothers finished 1-2-3 in the short go (Clint-Tuf-Clif), a first for the sons of eight-time World Champion Roy Cooper and a big lift for Tuf, who regained the lead in the world standings after a week behind Trevor Brazile. Clint Cooper also moved ahead of Brazile into second place.

“A few years ago, I finished third at this rodeo (and set an arena record of 6.6 seconds), and ever since then, it’s been one of my top goals to come back and win it,” Tuf Cooper said. “I’m glad we got to do it this year.”

The other champions at this $358,928 rodeo were bareback rider Brian Bain (171 points on two head), steer wrestler Dru Melvin (11.4 seconds on three head), team ropers Spencer Mitchell and Broc Cresta (14.6 seconds on three head), bull rider J.W. Harris (174 points on two head) and barrel racer Tana Poppino (31.72 seconds on two runs).

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