Coop left no question in Glitter Gulch that young Flint Hills cowboys are among the best in the world.
The youngest contestant there, Cooper Martin, 20, Alma, was a first timer at the National Finals Rodeo last week in Las Vegas.
He’d gone into the city of bright lights in 14th place, and headed back home standing ninth in the world.
That was after 10 nightly rodeo go-rounds, of Martin roping and tying calves among more mature ropers including world champions.
First performance, Thursday, Dec. 7, started strong for Coop with just-out-of-the money seventh place tie-down roping run of 8.4-seconds. Martin was 10 flat, for eighth, in the second go-round.
Then, Coop’s Kansas cheerleaders came out of their crowded bleacher seats Saturday with a clock stop at 7.2-seconds. That was worth $20,730.77 for Martin in go-round money.
Sunday’s Round 4 score tote board glowed all the way back to Wabaunsee County, it was said. The smiling cowboy wrapped his doggie up in 7.6-seconds, the fasted run of the night. It added $26,123.77 to the cowboy’s winning collection.
Somebody said, “Cooper wasn’t nervous out there roping the calf. But, he sure was shaking when they awarded him the go-round gold buckle a couple hours later.”
The next runaway calf was roped, but Coop couldn’t get it tied before the 25-seconds time limit whistle sounded. It was a disappointing no score in the fifth go-round pushing Martin back in the average.
His 9.8 seconds ranked the roper 11th in the sixth go-round. Yet, that run was followed by very disappointing “no times” in both Rounds 7 and 8.
However, a comeback 7.4-seconds run split fourth and fifth in Round 9, adding $8,884.61 to Coop’s payroll.
Final calf of the rodeo, Saturday Round 10, Martin wrapped up in 10.1-seconds, no payback at seventh place.
All in all, Martin was 14th in the average with total time of 61.507-seconds on seven calves roped and tied.
It was still a very a profitable 10 days for the young cowboy. He won a total of $151,284.18 for the year, substantially more than the $85,438 in his pocket coming into the city.
Cooper Martin, Alma, Kansas, ranked ninth in the 2017 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association World Tie-Down Calf Roping Standings.”
As we get ready to head home after 12 nights in Vegas I wanted to say Thank You to all of our friends, family, and community that showed amazing support to our son,” expressed Mom Candi Martin in a Sunday morning Facebook post.
“We had a blast watching our kid reach a lifelong goal and sharing it with all of you made it that much sweeter. He finished top 10 in the world and left with a buckle,” Mom, along with rancher dad Chris Martin, verified.
“Coop was blessed to have his Texas Chick family, Schultz/Martin family, neighbors and friends, and several special rodeo families here for each round,” she expressed appreciation.
An added postscript revealed: “The minivan is still in one piece, we will miss having a maid, I have no Christmas presents bought, but man it’s been fun.”
Tie down roping was a thrilling event for all spectators leading to both a new event champion and new all-around champion of the world.
Marcos Costa was named the world champion tie-down roper after winning the average with 81.3 seconds on 10 calves. He won $317,421 for the year’s championship title.
Only collecting checks in three go-rounds, Tuf Cooper, last year’s world champion, was second in the average with91 seconds on 10 calves tied.
Most significantly, Tuf Cooper beat out his uncle Trevor Brazile to be all-around champion cowboy of the world.
Brazile ended eighth for the year in calf roping, and was runner-up to the all-around winner. Tuf Cooper collected $341,560 during the year, while Brazile had $319,337 total annual winnings.
Now Cooper Martin was emphatic in expressing appreciation to all of his family, friends and the other cowboys for their support during the year.
However, most importantly of all is his horse Payday. “He’s just a perfect fit. I could have never done this without this 17-year-old gelding. Payday is the best horse I’ve ever ridden I knew it from the start.”
Cooper Martin was 33rd in the world last year with $36,221 in winnings, making him second in the Rookie Standings. He won three major rodeos last year including the most prestigious California Rodeo Salinas.
Major highlights for Martin’s 2017 year included winning Yakima, Washington; Mitchell, South Dakota; Laramie, Wyoming; Jerome, Idaho, along with being co-champion at Eagle, Idaho.
However, likely most important of all to Coop was winning the final-qualifying-rodeo-of-the season, the American Royal in Kansas City in front of Kansas family and friends.
No rest for a good cowboy. Cooper Martin is on the road traveling to rodeos throughout the country looking to qualify for his second National Finals Rodeo next December in Las Vegas.