Many top cowboys have trouble in Vegas
Many of professional rodeo's best cowboys and cowgirls had trouble during the grueling 10-day Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and that misery was especially evident during Saturday's final performance when the nine championships were decided.
What had fans on the edge of their seats was the fact that just one championship was locked up entering the final go-round, that being Tim O'Connell in the bareback riding. The Iowa cowboy was not one of those struggling under the pressure, he made a qualified ride and his 85.5 score locked up the average title and gave him a second straight gold buckle by more than $80,000.
After that it was a night of highs and lows and several contestants lost their chance when they just couldn't get the job done.
Ironically, one of those who faltered actually claimed a title as Tuf Cooper failed to place in the tie-down roping and missed out on that gold buckle in an event he'd owned the lead in for much of the season.
However, since brother-in-law Trevor Brazile had an equally-disappointing effort in the roping, it opened the door for Cooper to win his first all-around title.
Cooper didn't place in the roping Saturday night with his 8.40 but he did take second in the average and that check for $54,577 was enough to pass Brazile who did take second with a 7.50 Saturday night. However, he missed an average check and that was the difference.