Super blooper, Cooper? RFD-TV files suit against two calf-ropers
RFD-TV filed suit Tuesday in Tarrant County civil court of Texas, accusing Tuf Cooper, a three-time world roping champion from Decatur, Texas, and currently top-ranked tie-down roper Timber Moore, 30, of Pilot Point, Texas, of intentionally losing the tie down roping event during last year’s American rodeo. They allegedly collaborated with Reese Riemer, of Stephenville, Texas, who wound up winning that event.
The American, considered the world’s richest one-day rodeo, took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, March 1, 2015.
Riemer, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, was a “qualifier” at the event, whereas Cooper and Moore were invitees. Only qualifiers have a chance to win the $1 million purse which can be won in entirety or is split amongst qualified winners of the seven events.
The two invited tie-down ropers allegedly agreed to put up slower times than Riemer after advancing to the finals. They attempted to pull fellow tie-down roper Cole Bailey into the plot, though he denied and subsequently turned them into RFD-TV.
Riemer walked away with $517,000, $100,000 for first place plus $417,000, his portion of the bonus reward available to qualified winners. Two other qualifiers won their respective events, cutting the purse in thirds.
Cooper walked away with $25,000 for his second-place performance.
RFD-TV stopped payment on Reimer’s check after being informed of the fix. Riemer has individually and separately sued the network for withholding his earnings.
The agriculture network is seeking “monetary relief of $100,000 or less” from Moore and Cooper.
In a letter to sponsors, competitors, and fans, C. Gregory Shamoun and Kevin C. Moran, on behalf of RFD-TV, said, “RFD-TV has not brought this lawsuit for its own financial gain; rather, RFD-TV endeavors only to award that which was promised to the rightful and deserving champion and to shed light upon a scourge which threatens to not only tarnish the reputation of RFD-TV and The American, but the integrity of the entire rodeo profession.”
Tuf Cooper, 26, was disqualified from the 2015 Calgary Stampede for “aggressively using his rope on his horse.” In a video footage, Cooper could be seen using his rope to “over and under” his horse, then failing to catch his calf.
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