Shofners feel at home at Lea County Fair

By Ted Harbin/for the Lea County Fair & Rodeo committee

LOVINGTON, N.M. – Every great angler knows the value of a good honey hole. 

The Shofner brothers of southeast Texas have one in the Lea County Fair & Rodeo. Cooper Shofner of Jasper, Texas, took advantage of his familiarity with Jake McClure Arena on Aug. 6 to move into the overall steer wrestling lead, while brother Jacob Shofner of Huntsville, Texas, scored the fastest time of the week so far. 

“This is one of those rodeos we have a lot of confidence in,” Cooper Shofner said. “Jacob has placed here every year he’s been here, and I’ve placed almost every year. It’s really good to do well here, because we’re heading to the Northwest, and it gives you a lot of confidence as you get ready to head there.” 

He should have plenty. During the afternoon session, Cooper Shofner posted a 3.9-second run and is tied for second in the opening round. He then followed that with a 3.7 in the performance, making his 7.6-second cumulative time on two runs the fastest with two days of competition remaining in this year’s rodeo. 

“We drove all night to get here, then slept in this morning and got ready,” he said. “I had a good steer on the first one. He was supposed to leave, run and stop, so I just took a good start and got him snared. Tonight I had another good one and had a good start. I tried to finish the steer a little better than I did the first one, and it worked out good.”

Jacob Shofner leads the second round with a 3.5-second run; he is tied for fifth in the average with a two-run time of 8.8 seconds. Neither brother is among the top 50 in the world standings, but they know there is still plenty of time to cash in. Doing well in Lovington would be a good start to the final two months of the season. 

“It’s important to do well everywhere,” Cooper Shofner said. “The start of the season last fall went really well, but when the winter came, I had one of those down times. In the spring, it picked up a little bit. This summer I’ve been catching money, and here the last couple of weeks it’s been going really good. I thank God He always is faithful to provide.” 

Leaning on faith is important, but so is relying on one’s own talent. 

“The most important thing we talk about is being consistent,” he said. “If you consistently score good, consistently ride good and consistently make good runs, you’re going to consistently win when you run a good steer.” 

That philosophy is working quite well in Lovington.

Lea County Fair & PRCA Rodeo

Lovington, N.M., Aug. 5-8


Bareback riding leaders: 1. Jake Brown, 87 points on Pete Carr's Classic Pro Rodeo's Sadie's Gal; 2. Kaycee Feild, 86; 3. Ryan Gray, 83; 4. Tyler Scales, 82; 5. Anthony Thomas, 77; 6. David Peebles, 76. 


Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 3.6 seconds; 2. Stockton Graves, 3.7; 3. (tie) Wade Sumpter, Christian Pettigrew and Cooper Shofner, 3.9 each; 6. Monty Eakin, 4.0. Second round leaders: 1. Jacob Shofner, 3.5 seconds; 2. Cole Edge, 3.6; 3. (tie) Cooper Shofner and Tyke Kipp, 3.7 each; 5. Dakota Eldridge, 4.0; 6. Stan Branco, 4.1. Average leaders: 1. Cooper Shofner, 7.6 seconds on two head; 2. Dean Gorsuch, 8.3; 3. (tie) Seth Brockman and Trevor Knowles, 8.6 each; 5. Dakota Eldridge, 8.7; 6. Jacob Shofner, 8.8. 


Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2 seconds; 2. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.4; 3. Nate Singletary/Tom Bill Johnson, 5.8; 4. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.9; 5. Nathan McWhorter/Wesley Thorp, 6.0; 6. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 6.3. Second round leaders: 1. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.7 seconds; 2. (tie) Aaron Macy/Chad Williams, Chad Masters/Travis Graves, Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper and JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.8 each; 6. Cale Markham/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.9. Average leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 10.2 seconds on two head; 2. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.7; 3. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 11.8; 4. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 13.1; 5. Ethan Shelley/Corban Livingston, 14.0; 6. Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper, 15.9. 


Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Cort Scheer, 86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Showgirl; 2. Isaac Diaz, 83; 3. (tie) Jesse James Kirby and Allen Boore, 82 each; 5. Tyrel Larsen, 81; 6. Tyler Corrington, 79. 


Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Marty Yates, 7.9 seconds; 2. (tie) Riley Pruitt and Ryan Jarrett, 8.2 each; 4. Sterling Smith, 8.6; 5. Tuf Cooper, 8.9; 6. J.D. Kibbe, 9.1. Second round leaders: 1. Blane Cox, 8.6 seconds; 2. Ace Slone, 8.7; 3. Tuf Cooper, 8.8; 4. Jesse Clark, 9.2; 5. Jordan Ketscher, 9.3; 6. Ross Saiz, 9.4. Average leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 17.7 seconds on two head; 2. Blane Cox, 19.0; 3. Bradley Bynum, 19.2; 4. Riley Pruitt, 20.3; 5. Ryle Smith, 20.8; 6. Cody McCartney, 22.1. 


Barrel racing leaders: 1. Jessica Frost, 17.74 seconds; 2. Hailey Kinsel, 17.83; 3. Michelle Lummus, 17.87; 4. Shy-Anne Jarrett, 17.89; 5. Paige Conrado, 17.91; 6. Kenna Squires, 17.95. 


Steer roping: First round: 1. Troy Tillard, 11.6 seconds, $1,969; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 12.0, $1,629; 3. Jason Evans, 12.2, $1,290; 4. Neal Wood, 12.6, $950; 5. J.P. Wickett, 12.8, $611; 6. Dan Fisher, 13.0, $339. Second round: 1. Guy Allen, 11.6 seconds, $1,969; 2. Rocky Patterson, 11.9, $1,629; 3. Ralph Williams, 12.1, $1,290; 4. (tie) J. Tom Fisher and Brodie Poppino, 12.5, $781 each; 6. Cody Lee, 13.5, $339. Third round leaders: 1. Shay Good, 10.1 seconds; 2. Chet Herren, 12.1; 3. JoJo LeMond, 12.5; 4. (tie) Neal Wood and Guy Allen, 12.6 each; 6. Corey Ross, 13.5. Average leaders: 1. Cody Lee, 41.5 seconds on three head; 2. Brodie Poppino, 41.7; 3. Guy Allen, 42.0; 4. Troy Tillard, 43.1; 5. Chet Herren, 45.3; 6. Corey Ross, 57.3. 


Bull riding leaders: 1. Sage Kimzey, 84 points on Salt River Rodeo's Fireball; 2. (tie) Bayle Worden and Casey Huckabee, 82 each; 4. Corey Granger, 78; 5. Tanner Learmont, 75; 6. McKennon Wimberly, 69. 


Total payoff: $229,806. Stock contractors: Pete Carr's Classic Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. Sub-contractors: Lancaster & Pickett Pro Rodeo and Salt River Rodeo.