A Tie-Down Challenge

Tuf Cooper ties one in 6.7 on Big Smokin Otoe to win the Cowboy Publishing Timed Event Challenge at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Tuf Cooper rides Big Smokin Otoe to first place January 26 in the Cowboy Publishing Timed Event Challenge at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

A blistering 6.7-second run took Tuf Cooper and Big Smokin Otoe to the top of the Cowboy Publishing Timed Event Challenge at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

On January 26, Tuf and “Topaz” bested the 65-horse field for a check for $5,745.

“I always love coming here to the Fort Worth horse show,” Tuf said. “Thanks to Barton Performance Horses for letting me ride Topaz and making it possible to tie one in 6. And thanks to everybody for putting it on.”

The top 65 horses in team roping classes at the AQHA and American Paint Horse Association horse show earlier in the day qualified for the challenge, which brings some of the top names in rodeo to the Fort Worth Stock Show. It took at least a 7.8-second run to place in the top six and earn a check.

“I’ve been coming here every year since I was 15 years old,” Tuf said.

Big Smokin Otoe is a 2005 brown mare by Big As I Am and out of Lucky Smokin Jade by Lucky Captain Jess. She was bred by J and D Quarter Horse Farms of Hico, Texas, and is owned by Circle Star Land & Cattle Co. of Pontotoc, Texas.

“I trained her, and we manage her for Circle Star Ranch,” said James Barton. “She’s helped Tuf win two world titles, and she’s a phenomenal mare. She’s a real easy keeper and knows her job and does it every time.”

Topaz is a full sister to “Pearl,” aka Big Smokin Wonder, owned by Sid Miller of Stephenville, Texas. In all, Lucky Smokin Jade has been to the court of Big As I Am 12 times.

“She has a long life ahead of her, and we have some incredible babies out of her, too,” James said. “She’s a phenomenal mare for us.”

Topaz has more than 200 points in AQHA tie-down roping as well as 26 points in heading and 51 in heeling. She also has one point in performance halter mares. She has a Superior in tie-down roping and was fourth at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show in junior tie-down roping.

Topaz has also earned quite a bit of money on the pro rodeo circuit.

“I like that she’s so lovable,” Tuf said as Topaz rubbed her head on Lauren Barton. “She loves all of us – that’s probably my favorite thing. She loves us and we love her.”

The night started at the John Justin Arena with an invitational breakaway roping challenge, won by Willow Nicholas, who picked up the $4,000 check.

In the Jud Little Fast Five for amateurs, Lane Livingston of Seymour, Texas, tied one in 8.4 on McGuire Smoke to claim that check.

McGuire Smoke is a 1999 gray gelding by Smokin Doc Char and out of Dee Jay Tara by Dee Jay Rob. He was bred by Jeff McGuire of Duncan, Oklahoma, and is owned by J.R. Livingston of Seymour.