Partnership has been a success for local ropers

Separately, Travis Bounds and Cole Cooper have had good seasons on the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association circuit. Together they’ve been a powerhouse team.

Competing in the first year together in the team roping competition, the two build nearly an insurmountable lead heading into this weekend’s CPRA finals at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

Alas, Saturday wasn’t their night as they failed to score, but after placing fourth in Friday’s round, the two look to complete their CPRA season with one final successful run as the state finals conclude this afternoon.

“It’s been a really good year for us,” said Bounds, who lives in Clifton.

He and Cooper, a Grand Junction resident, grew up competing together in junior rodeos. They hadn’t teamed up until this year.

“We just roped this winter in some jackpot (competitions),” Cooper said. “It felt pretty good so we thought we’d do it (together). It’s been real good.”

By Bounds’ estimation, they won eight CPRA rodeos this season, putting them far ahead of the competition on the money standings. The top 12 money winners in each event during the regular season qualify for the CPRA finals.

“It helps a lot that we’re from here,” Cooper said. “We practice together, we travel together (and) split gas costs.”

They also win together.

Saturday’s round didn’t go well as they were unable to score.

“We didn’t draw a good steer,” Bounds said. “Hopefully we’ll get a good one (Sunday).

“You try to keep your highs from getting too high and your lows from getting too low,” Cooper said.

After all, in the rodeo world, there’s always a next week, and last week doesn’t matter.

“When you show up, everybody’s got an even slate,” Cooper said.

It’s been a year of change for Bounds, who’s been roping since he joined the pro circuit five years ago. His usual mixed doubles roping partner, Mandy Rush, took the season off and is expecting a baby any day.

Bounds did a few mixed roping events this season but hooked up with Chelsie Willhoite this weekend .

Bounds, normally a heeler (the rider who ropes the steer’s heels) also switched to header this year.

“It was just a change,” he said, wanting to mix up his routine a bit this season.

With the CPRA season ending today, Bounds and Cooper will compete in a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) event in Eads next weekend, then try to find various events in which to compete through the remainder of the fall.

“We’ll probably go to Denver (in January for the National Western Stock Show) and see how we do there,” Cooper said of whether they’ll team up again next year.

Based on this season’s results, it would be a difficult partnership to break up.


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