Veteran tie-down roper Cody Ohl padded his world standings lead Wednesday night by winning his fourth first-place check at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR).
The 40-year-old, six-time world champion came out smoking, roping and tying his calf in 6.7 seconds, beating Trevor Brazile by six-tenths of a second for the top honors.
Although he is moving into the advanced age category among the NFR ropers, he said he’s actually feeling better than he did three years ago.
“I try to keep in shape and take better care of my body,’’ he said.
Ohl, from Hico, earned first-place money in the third, fourth and fifth rounds prior to his Wednesday night championship run. He has now pocketed $72,566 through seven rounds at the NFR, the most of any tie-down roper here.
That performance pushed his season total earnings to $167,509, moving him $20,627 past runner-up Tuf Cooper, who failed to earn a check after having to go to a second loop and recording a time of 22.40 seconds. Cooper came into the NFR leading the world standings.
Ohl gives a lot of praise to his horse, Pearl, owned by Sid Miller of Stephenville.
“She gives you 100 percent every time you nod your head,’’ he said. “If you got a good calf, you have to have a horse that works right for you.
“It can be a real mind game. If the horse takes one step forward or one step back, it can mean a big difference in the final outcome. Now I got my horse figured out, and things are starting to work out.’’
He said he’s going at these last three rounds as if he’s on the brink of winning another world championship.
“Even though I moved up in the average, my saying tonight was I can’t be beat if I don’t let them, and that’s what we’re going to do,’’ he said. “We’re going to go at all three of these like three one-headers and see how it plays out.’’
Contestants in the bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and bull riding along with the Women’s Professional Rodeo Associations sanctioned barrel race are all competing for a total purse of $6.25 million at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. On Sunday night, 17,418 enthusiastic rodeo fans poured into the Thomas and Mack Center eager to watch rodeo’s Super Bowl.
Thursday’s rodeo will be the eighth of 10 rounds of competition and begins at 8:45 p.m. CT.