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Home Things to Do Rodeos Tilden Hooper Ties World Record with 94-point Bareback Ride in Silver City, N.M.

Tilden Hooper Ties World Record with 94-point Bareback Ride in Silver City, N.M.

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Two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Tilden Hooper equaled the bareback riding world record June 5 when he scored 94 points on Classic Pro Rodeo's Big Tex in Silver City, New Mexico.

The hard part came afterward - when he called family and friends to tell them what he'd done.

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"My first call was to my dad Terry and he said, ‘you're joking.' Then I called my best friend (and fellow bareback rider) Kaycee Feild, and he totally didn't believe me. It took me about 10 minutes to convince him I'd really done it."

Hooper's winning ride at the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo came shortly after Jerad Schlegel had taken the lead in the Southwest Horseman's Arena with an 89-point ride on Classic Pro Rodeo's Wilma.

The 94-pointer tied the record set by Wes Stevenson in Dallas in 2002 and later matched by Will Lowe in Omaha in 2003 and Ryan Gray a year ago in Eagle, Colo.

"Ryan was there in the arena and was really pumped for me," said Hooper, 22. "I suspect I'll hear from Wes and Will at some point. They taught the first rodeo school I even went to, when I was 17 years old.

"Those are the guys who really taught me how to ride. It's an honor to be mentioned in the same league as them."

The Carthage, Texas, cowboy felt he hadn't been drawing great horses for a while, and said when that happens, "You can start doubting yourself a little bit."

But when he saw the horse he'd drawn at Silver City, he thought he might have a chance "to do something amazing."

Big Tex is an elite bucking horse that has been slotted into the 10th round of the Wrangler NFR each of the last three years.

Bobby Mote tied the Wrangler NFR arena record on him with a 91.5-point ride in 2008. Feild had been 91 on Big Tex and Schlegel rode him for 90 points. In his only previous outing on the horse, Hooper scored 88 points in the 2007 RodeoHouston.

"This is a pretty awesome horse," Hooper said, "but I always figure if something is on the line, I can show up and do my part. Scotty Lovelace (owner of Classic Pro Rodeo) is one of my best friends, and they're just down the road (in Waskom, Texas). That makes it even more special. I won the 10th round of the (2008) NFR on one of his horses (Scarlet's Web), so we have this great connection going."

Other highlights from the weekend's PRCA rodeos:

  • Dean Gorsuch, the 2006 world champion steer wrestler, seems to be getting hot at the right time. Just 25th in the PRCA World Standings at the start of the June 3-6 weekend, Gorsuch won three titles in three states in three days, making four consecutive sub-4-second runs. He had times of 3.7 and 3.9 seconds to win the two-head average at Fort Smith, Ark., then won at Strong City, Kan., and Hugo, Okla., completing both runs in 3.9 seconds. The $7,628 he earned moved him to 13th in the world standings.

  • Reigning World Champion Team Ropers Nick Sartain and Kollin VonAhn had been steady all season without breaking through for a win. Until this weekend. When they won twice. Sartain and VonAhn had a 5.2-second run to win at Strong City, Kan., and then improved on that to win at Hugo, Okla., in 4.7 seconds. Sartain advanced from 28th to 20th place in the world standing for headers and VonAhn from 29th to 21st among heelers.

  • In his first PRCA rodeo since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery April 27, bareback rider Ryan Gray won the Clovis (N.M.) Pioneer Days Rodeo with a 90-point ride on Cervi Championship Rodeo's Pinball Wizard. Despite the five-week layoff, Gray continues to lead the world standings with earnings of $81,365. He still holds about a $20,000 lead on second-place Feild.

  • A tie for seventh place in the saddle bronc riding at Old Fort Days in Fort Smith, Ark., paid five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer $342 and moved him to within $3,691 of joining Trevor Brazile as the only PRCA cowboys with career earnings of $3 million. Etbauer needs $5,025 to become the first contestant to earn $3 million in a single event. Eight-time World Champion Joe Beaver, No. 3 on the career earnings list, earned $1,306 in the team roping at Fort Smith and is $30,349 from the $3 million milestone.

  • Bull rider Corey Navarre had a 90-point ride at the Treaty Day Celebration & PRCA Rodeo in Window Rock, Ariz. And he finished fourth. Clayton Foltyn posted 94 points on Andrews Rodeo's Body Works, and he was followed by Bonner Bolton (93), Souli Shanklin (91) and Navarre. They paid eight deep at Window Rock, and it took a score of 87 or better to earn a check. It was just about as tough at Silver City, N.M., where Steve Woolsey's 92 led four bull riders who had scores of 90 or better, and it took an 88 to get paid.

Editor's Note: Story courtesy of the PRCA.

 
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