Rich Skelton, the eight-time world team roping champion from Llano, Texas, recently became ProRodeo's ninth member of the $2 million club in career earnings.
Skelton ended the 2006 season with $2,003,291 after winning $32,561 at the 2006 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. At his 14th NFR qualification, he heeled for four-time and reigning World All-Around Champion Cowboy Trevor Brazile.
Skelton has already added to that total in 2007, winning the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo in Odessa, Texas, with Wade Wheatley.
The other $2 million cowboys are Joe Beaver, Fred Whitfield, Dan Mortensen, Billy Etbauer, Tee Woolman, Roy Cooper, Cody Ohl and Trevor Brazile.
Clay O'Brien Cooper and Allen Bach are the likely next entrants into the club-each with over $1.97 million in career earnings.
by Terri Gillum-Sartell, photos courtesy of the Ropers Sports News
The World Championship Dummy Roping is held every year during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. This wonderful event drew approximately 225 young ropers in 2006.
The five-and-under category kicked off the three-day event and the kids celebrated the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign by showing up with pink shirts and, in many cases, pink boots. One young man even wore a big pink feather in his hat to show his support.
Britt Smith of Broken Bow, Okla., repeated his win of the previous year and a grinning Jessie Goldtooth of Mesquite, Nev., was the champion for the girls' saddle.
Day two started off with 92 ropers in the 6- to 8-year-old category. The melee getting them registered and up on stage to practice was a challenging task. In the boy's category, Clay Anderson of Cedar City, Utah, one of four in his family entered in the competition, proved he was the better roper and took the champion spot. The girl's champion was Mikayla Fuller of Bozeman, Mont., also one of four siblings that were entered in the competition.
The final day of competition is for the older ropers, 9- to 11-year-olds. There were 85 of them entered and ready to rope. The competition went for eight rounds and ended with Jesse Rogers of Bloomfield, New Mex., overcoming Dax Barnson when the last loops were thrown. Jesse graciously shook Dax's hand and pronounced that this was the toughest competition he had ever been in. McKenna McDonald of Squaw Valley, Calif., finished as the girl's champion in this age group.