Tough break, dude…
Imagine having the ride of your life on a bull, a bronc, or roping a calf with lightning speed on one of the biggest stages in all of rodeo, and hopping off thinking you for certain won the prize money…
Only to get absolutely screwed by a malfunction at the event, and you walk away with nothing.
That’s exactly what happened to Canadian tie-down roper Beau Cooper in the Championship Shootout at RodeoHouston this past Sunday.
According to the ProRodeo.com, all he had to do was beat Riley Webb’s 8.9-second run, and he would be walking away with more than $50,000.
Sure enough, the 21-year-old appeared to get the job done, finishing his run at 8.5-seconds…
Until the judges flagged him for a broken barrier, which ultimately penalized him 10 seconds, and he officially finished at 18.5 seconds. But here’s the thing… there was a malfunction in the barrier.
Long story short, the calf is given a slight lead in tie-down roping and when the calf takes off, a rope is attached which pulls down the barrier signaling the horse to go. However in the video, you can see the neck rope is off the calf and on the ground and the barrier rope is still up.
Simple instant replay could’ve resolved this issue…
And on top of that, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Director of Judges Rick Smith said that the issue cannot be overturned, because according to PRCA rules, the judge’s decision is final:
“The call was made based on the pigtail dropping to the ground at the chute, which signifies the barrier functioned properly.
Per PRCA rules, a judges decision is final and cannot be overturned by anyone.”
However, PRCA CEO Tom Glause also basically admitted that it malfunctioned:
“Upon reviewing the video in slow motion, it’s my opinion the barrier obviously malfunctioned. We don’t know why.
With that said, the ruling stands as the PRCA Rule Book provides that the judges decision is final.”
Needless to say, it was a tough result to what could’ve been a massive win for Cooper.
If I was Beau Cooper, I’d be absolutely sick to my stomach. The guy just got cheated out of $50,000. That would be enough for me to be tempted to burn NRG Stadium down.
The point is, the PRCA has to do better. When you have professional rodeo cowboys competing for serious money, there’s no room for mistakes like this.
You truly hate to see it.