Crook County cowboys Brandon Beers and Charly Crawford to compete in team roping at finals

When the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo kicks off on Thursday in Las Vegas Nev. there will be a lot on the line.

This year’s finals rodeo will have a total payout of $6.25 million. There will be $480,769.23 payoff per round with contestants in each event earning a total of $60,096.15 nightly.

Even more important to the contestants than the cash payout is the battle to become a world champion.Brandon Beers

When the 10-day event begins at the Thomas & Mack Center Thursday night there will be a solid group of Central Oregon performers competing for championships, including two Crook County cowboys.

Brandon Beers of Powell Butte and roping partner Jim Ross Cooper, from Monument, NM., are currently third in the world standings well within range of event leaders Clay Tryan of Billings, Mont., and Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev.

Beers has earned $97,373 so far this year, while Cooper has $105,195 in total winnings. Beers and Cooper have been near the top of the standings all year, and have won several major events this year. However, the duo will have to be in top form in order to catch Tryan and Corkill, who have a more than $10,000 advantage. Catching second place Kaleb Driggers and Travis Graves should be easier as the duo is just ahead of Beers and Cooper.

Prineville resident Charly Crawford will also compete for the team roping title. Crawford and partner Ryan Motes, of Weatherford, Texas, are in 13th place in the standings so will need a nearly flawless finals to move up significantly in the standings. Crawford has earned $66,636 so far this year, while Motes has $69,203 in winnings.Charly Crawford

Although Beers and Cooper are expected to finish near the top of the standings it is bareback riding where Central Oregon Cowboys are expected to have the biggest impact.

Bobby Mote, of Culver, is currently leading the standings with a $6,000 lead on second place Kaycee Feild, of Payson, Utah. Mote has earned more than $126,000 so far this year.

Stephen Peebles, of Redmond, and Terrebonne's Austin Foss should also be in the mix. Peebles is in eighth place with $81,800 in total earnings, while Foss is ninth with $77,936 in earnings.

Two other Oregon competitors are also expected to have an impact on this year’s finals.

Trevor Knowles, of Mount Vernon, is currently second in the standings in steer wrestling with $101,528 in earnings. Knowles trails Casey Martin by less than $8,000 and has a lead of more than $11,000 over third place Matt Reeves.

The final Oregon competitor is Coby Campbell, of Summerville, who is currently sixth in bull riding with $89,151 in winnings. J.W. Harris has a seemingly insurmountable lead in the event with $130,383 in earnings. However, second place Tyler Smith is within reach for Campbell with $99,085 in earnings.

Of particular note this year is the performance of Trevor Brazile. Brazile has won seven consecutive all-around titles and appears to be a virtual lock to win his eighth straight. Overall, Brazile has 10 all-around championships and 18 gold buckles in his 19 world championship appearances. Should Brazile win the all-around title -- he currently has a more than $120,000 lead over second place Tuf Cooper, who is competing only in tie-down roping -- he will have won the most gold buckles in NFR?history. Brazile is currently tied with Guy Allen, who earned all 18 of his gold buckles in steer roping. Brazile will be competing at the finals in steer roping where he is currently first, tie-down roping (fourth), and team roping (seventh).

Other athletes to watch for are Cody and Jesse Wright of Milford, Utah, who are currently first and second in the saddle bronc standings.

The NFR?runs nightly through Saturday, Dec. 14, with performances starting at 7 p.m. each night.

All performances will be shown live on The Great American Country Network. Performances will be rebroadcast at 10 p.m. nightly and at 3 a.m. each morning.

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