Rodeo: Arizona ropers keep chugging along | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Rodeo: Arizona ropers keep chugging along | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) team roping headers Jake Barnes, Tom Richards and Derrick Begay sure have made their home state of Arizona proud through the years.

Each of them roped during the first performance of the 2017 Prescott Frontier Days “World’s Oldest Rodeo” Wednesday night at the Rodeo Grounds and shared some thoughts about their recent endeavors.

Barnes, 58, is a seven-time world champion header from Scottsdale who’s qualified for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas on 27 different occasions. He’s presently ranked 49th in the world in the PRCA’s standings for headers.

The grizzled veteran arrived in Prescott from the Greeley, Colorado, rodeo and was looking forward to sleeping in his own bed before hitting the road again.

“I make my living this way,” Barnes said. “I will compete in several rodeos during Cowboy Christmas [lengthy list of summer rodeos] to try and get back into it [a higher spot in the world rankings].”

Richards, 26, hails from nearby Humboldt and qualified for the NFR in 2014. This year, he’s sponsored by Prescott Frontier Days, which helps him pay for gas and trailer expenses.

He’s currently ranked 13th in the PRCA world standings for headers. Richards believes his team has a strong chance of returning to the NFR, analogous to the NFL’s Super Bowl, in 2017.

“If we can keep winning, it’ll be good,” he said.

At the beginning of the year, Richards led the world rankings for a couple of months. His partner is heeler Tyler McKnight of Wells, Texas. Richards and McKnight didn’t do well in Greeley on Monday. But they recently placed fourth in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and…

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