Team roping offers high drama at Wrangler ProRodeo Championships
November 4, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Anyone looking for chewed fingernails and sweaty palms in Dallas need look no further than the team roping. It is by far the event with the most question marks heading into the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship, presented by Texas Stampede, Nov. 7-9, in Dallas.
Most of the teams in the Top 15 are secure and set for the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December, but a handful of ropers have business to take care of at the American Airlines Center. Tens of thousands of dollars are up for grabs for each contestant in Dallas, but they will have to earn every penny because all events will have stacked fields.
Header Logan Olson, roping with Broc Cresta, needs a big weekend, as he trails 15th-ranked Keven Daniel by $10,600. Cresta trails 15th place Travis Graves by just $766.
“We just need to stick to our game plan that we’ve had all year,” said Cresta, of Petaluma, Calif. “I’m not going to show up to Dallas thinking about how much I need to win. I just hope we draw well, catch our steers, just do our jobs and let everything take care of itself. Hopefully we’ll win enough to get Logan in and also take care of my side.
“There’s a chance to win so much there that there’s no telling what will happen. Team roping is going to be exciting.”
The remaining events won’t feature as much Top 15 drama, but every 10-man field is loaded with talent from top to bottom. World champions and defending Dallas champions will do battle with up-and-coming stars looking to make a name for themselves on a national stage.
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The bareback riding features 10 of the cowboys who already have their bags packed for Las Vegas, including two-time and reigning World Champion Bobby Mote, defending Dallas champion Justin McDaniel and Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings leader Steven Dent. Add in three-time World Champion Will Lowe, 2004 World Champion Kelly Timberman and Wrangler NFR regulars Royce Ford and Chris Harris, and the competition will be fierce.
Steer wrestling will also feature a trio of world champions: reigning World Champion Jason Miller; 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch; and 2004 World Champion Luke Branquinho. The man they may likely have to chase is the red-hot Wade Sumpter, who leads the world standings and comes in as the event’s defending champion.
Saddle bronc rider Anthony Bello will return to the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship to defend his title, and it will be a tough task. Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings leader Cody Wright will also be nodding his head in Dallas, as will five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer and 2006 World Champion Chad Ferley, who recently won the Dodge Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot, N.D.
Josh Peek has had a bulls eye on his back since winning $50,000 for claiming the tie-down roping title at RodeoHouston in March, and that will be the situation when he arrives in Dallas to defend his Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship title. Peek, of Pueblo, Colo., will look to pad his world standings lead over the ever-dangerous Trevor Brazile and a host of other talented cowboys. Included in that group will be 2008 Tie-Down Roping Rookie of the Year and Omaha, Neb., champion Tuf Cooper, Heartland ProRodeo Series Champion Stran Smith and Mike Johnson, who is headed to his 23rd Wrangler NFR this year.
Howdy Cloud and 19-year-old rookie Stormy Wing are each less than $2,000 away from climbing into the top 15 of the bull riding standings at Dallas and thereby chasing Spud Jones and Marcus Michaelis out of berths at the Wrangler NFR. Shawn Proctor (22nd) and Jake Wade (25th) will have to be phenomenally successful and also very lucky at Dallas to punch their ticket for the WNFR.