Beau Cooper Clinches Calgary, World Standings Shift with Large Payouts
Big wins and big paychecks.
Beau Cooper, currently 9th in the PRCA tie-down standings, competing at the 2023 Calgary Stampede.
Beau Cooper is the first Canadian since Morgan Grant in 2014 to win the-tie down roping at Calgary. | Libin Sports Photography

After losing the $50,000 payout in Houston back in March on a controversial and questionable call, young gun Beau Cooper, 21, yanked out a big win on Showdown Sunday, July 16, at the Calgary Stampede.

“It’s crazy,” Cooper said. “God has a funny way of working things out. It doesn’t matter how you push, you just have to go rope and how it was going to be was how it was going to be. It’s His plan.”

Rarely is karma so spectacular and timely. The native of Stettler, Alberta, grew up just a few hours north of Calgary. Though his family was usually busy haying during the Stampede, they always watched it on TV.

“It’s dang sure the biggest thing in Alberta, maybe Canada and the world, really,” Cooper said. His only previous live spectator experience had been to watch cousin Zeke Thurston in the saddle bronc riding.

This time, both cousins were competing. Not only was Thurston competing again, but he played a role in Cooper’s big win thanks to his horse, Catalina.

“Zeke bought her and started her,” Cooper explained, noting he has owned her for about nine years. “We were going to partner on her but I just wanted to buy her outright. The rest is history.”

The now-14-year-old mare served as Cooper’s heel horse in high school rodeo before he zeroed in on tie-down roping; then she became his mount for the amateur rodeos and his main practice horse.

“She’s almost half pony, just 13.2 hands, but she tries her butt off,” he said.

Though Catalina had never been in a big rodeo before, Cooper knew she would be outstanding in the short setup at the Stampede.

Being close to home, riding Catalina, Cooper had plenty of homecourt advantage.

“It was pretty cool, riding this little horse that’s so special to us as a family, having my whole family there, friends . . . it felt like the whole country was behind me cheering,” he said. “It was a special feeling.”

Actually, it was more like the entire rodeo world, including his competitors.

“I think that’s the reason I felt so many people pulling for me to get that $50,000 back,” he said of the Houston controversy.

“It’s great to feel like I won both Houston and Calgary in a single year,” he added.

His Showdown Sunday victory march began with bumping mentor and hauling partner Shane Hanchey from the final four with an 8-second run in the Semi-Finals. He then shaved a full second off on the final calf to go 7-flat.

“I can’t really explain it,” Cooper said of the moments leading up to his final run. “I had a feeling, I just knew everything was going to work out. I had a good feeling I was going to be the champion.”

Cooper is the first Canadian since Morgan Grant in 2014 to win the tie-down roping and was part of a historic day for the country’s competitors: four of six events were won by Canadian cowboys.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Cooper said. “I’m good friends with [steer wrestling winner] Scott [Guenthner] and from being around Zeke, I’ve gotten to know [saddle bronc winner] Dawson [Hay]. And I’ve been around [bull riding winner] Jared [Parsonage] for a while.”

“They’re all great guys and I was on that stage just as happy for them as I was for myself, knowing they were feeling the same way,” he said. “It was pretty cool to do that for the home country.”

All in all, a much better way to spend the Stampede than haying.

“I’m not much of a farmer anyway,” he joked.

Cooper earned $59,500 during the rodeo with $31,650 of that counting toward PRCA standings. The money allowed him to jump from 22nd to ninth in the PRCA | RAM World Standings as the 2021 Rookie of the Year chases his first Wrangler NFR berth.

“We’ve got a busy week coming up,” Cooper said. “There’s a lot of money up and we’re entered up.”

Calgary was good to many cowboys, but those in the Showdown Round benefitted the most. Kyle Lucas was second, winning $27,000 [towards standings], jumping from outside the top 50 all the way to 21st. Blane Cox’s third-place finish netted him $19,625, keeping him solid at 10th while Webb rounded out the quartet, earning $13,800.

NFR Open at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo

Turquoise Circuit competitor Garrett Jacobs beat World Champion Haven Meged in their duel in the mud in Colorado Springs for the National Championship of the ProRodeo circuit system. Jacobs won $15,024 after winning both rounds on the final Saturday, July 15, to make his appearance inside the top 50 at 38th.

Meanwhile, Meged continued the heater that began back in Reno. He won more than any roper in Colorado Springs, $18,887, and picked up $7,300 toward standings in Calgary. Coupled with $10,752 won in Oakley and Vernal in the first week of July, Meged has banked $43,432 in the last 10 days to leap from ninth to third. Only Calgary Champ Cooper has made more during that time.

Elsewhere . . .

Riley Webb has dominated the PRCA | RAM World Standings all season, opening up a massive lead by constantly picking up checks. He’s now flirting with the PRCA regular-season earnings record set just a year ago by Shad Mayfield ($203,508), needing just over $21,000 to pass the mark before September 30.

While Webb hasn’t let off the gas, some fierce competition from those chasing him for a gold buckle has provided plenty of excitement so far in July, with Mayfield hanging tight in second and Haven Meged and Ty Harris closing fast.

On the other end of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) chase, Matt Shiozawa is holding steady at 15th after earning $8,198 in the last 10 days, keeping Tuf Cooper on the outside looking in at 16th, trailing Shiozawa by about $755.

With big-money rodeos capping the weekend of July 16 in Calgary, Alberta; Colorado Springs; Sheridan and Casper, Wyoming; and Elko, Nevada, there were 19 tie-down ropers who banked more than $10,000 in the 10 days since the end of the Fourth of July run.

Two of the hottest ropers in July have been Ty Harris and Shane Hanchey, who banked an astounding $64,500 between them over the Fourth of July. Harris’ $40,561 set a new all-time earnings mark for the holiday week known as Cowboy Christmas.

Both made the Semi-Finals on Sunday in Calgary as well. Hanchey has earned $20,458 since the Fourth of July, continuing his meteoric climb of the standings ladder while Harris has added $9,925 to his bottom line in the last two weeks. They’re ranked sixth and fourth, respectively.

If anyone was doubting whether reigning World Champion Caleb Smidt would get into the NFR conversation for a chance to defend his title in December, better not.

Smidt has collected $27,237 in the days since Cowboy Christmas ended, including a win at the Sheridan WYO Rodeo and some big Calgary pool earnings. He’s now 18th in the World.

Other Playoff Series Rodeo winners were Ryan Thibodeaux (Elko) and Lane Livingston (Casper). Livingston is ranked 22nd after his $8,500 payday at the Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo.

PRCA | RAM World Standings as of July 17, 2023

1Riley WebbDenton, Texas$182,255.87
2Shad MayfieldClovis, New Mexico$108,746.05
3Haven MegedMiles City, Montana$103,200.95
4Ty HarrisSan Angelo, Texas$95,803.09
5Brushton MintonWitter Springs, California$94,118.95
6Shane HancheySulphur, Louisiana$83,600.77
7Hunter HerrinApache, Oklahoma$81,859.76
8Westyn HughesCaldwell, Texas$79,970.85
9Beau CooperStettler, Alberta$79,074.10
10Blane CoxCameron, Texas$77,426.33
11Michael OteroLowndesboro, Alabama$71,737.72
12Cory SolomonPrairie View, Texas$63,605.63
13Riley PruittGering, Nebraska$61,771.85
14John DouchHuntsville, Texas$58,627.93
15Matt ShiozawaChubbuck, Idaho$56,767.30
16Tuf CooperDecatur, Texas$56,011.97
17Trevor HalePerryton, Texas$55,283.57
18Caleb SmidtBellville, Texas$54,930.57
19Marcos CostaIretama, Brazil$54,635.84
20Jake PrattEllensburg, Washington$53,120.98’s coverage of ProRodeo’s tie-down ropers is presented all year long by Rattler Ropes. Shop Rattler’s incomparable line of calf strings here.