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Trey Johnson not only nailed down the coveted first-place seed in heeling at the WCRA’s upcoming Cowtown Christmas rodeo, but plans to rope with defending world champion header Colby Lovell.

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In Fort Worth’s stockyards on Dec. 15-18, the top 24 in nominated WCRA points will battle for at least $40,000 on each end of team roping alone. The No. 1 seeded team is actually made up of the combined points of each partner.

“Knowing you have a bye into the top eight is definitely a bonus,” said Johnson, “especially no more than I get to go anymore.”

Johnson, 46, travels 15-20 times a month to speak at church services via Trey Johnson Ministries, teach team roping clinics, and host leadership seminars. His help at home keeps Superman legged up (the bay he bought several years ago from Patrick Smith), while he tries to keep his mental game sharp watching videos. For the record, Johnson is excited also in coming years to bring along babies out of his great roan mare, including a yearling colt by Metallic Cat.

This summer, Johnson nabbed WCRA points in Salt Lake City, and gathered another pile from nominating the VIP, X-Treme and Wrangler (WTRC) jackpot finals this fall across the country.

“My goal, since I knew I wasn’t getting to go as much as everybody else, was just to make it and give myself a chance, since it’s right here,” said Johnson, who lives in nearby Weatherford.

He’s fresh off winning the Open Qualifier at the American Military Celebration with his old college-rodeo buddy Trevor Brazile. That event used an NFR setup, so he feels primed for the small confines of “Northside.”

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Johnson will have a busy weekend, considering he’ll also be teaching roping all day prior to the Friday and Saturday perfs up in Decatur at an NRS clinic. But he’s used to it. In addition to speaking engagements and clinics, Johnson records podcasts and posts daily devotionals. Plus, his TV show, “Being Your Best with Trey Johnson” reaches 500 million people a week via Dish Network and DirecTV, and airs on RFD-TV every Sunday morning. Nominating the jackpots he can work into his schedule works for this guy.

“I think this is the direction rodeo has needed to go for years now,” Johnson said just after returning from the Dominican Republic, where he and more than 150 other mentors gathered to teach leadership skills to the country’s government officials. “The WCRA is doing such a great job trying to make rodeo beneficial for the cowboys – especially guys like me who have other things going on, who can still compete at that level.”

Johnson will have to contend with usual suspects that include Hall-of-Famer Rich Skelton, world champs Wesley Thorp and Junior Nogueira, and heavy-hitters Jake Long and Ross Ashford. But otherwise, the heeling roster looked eclectic just before teams were announced.

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An entire pack of young guns and junior champs made the top 24, including Carson Johnson, Lucas Falconer, Kaden Prince, Trent Vaught, Jace Norell, Whit Kitchens and Carson Sonnier. Now throw in Prairie Circuit champ Zack Woods, female phenom Whitney DeSalvo, Fort Worth Stock Show champ Jake Edwards, Northwest bad-cat Andy Carlson, Cherokee Indian NFR champ Quinton Inman, and rancher and recording artist Gary Lovelady. This should be good watching!

Don’t miss the livestream on Paramount-Plus Premium, and catch the CBS broadcast on Christmas Day at 2 p.m. Eastern.

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