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PRCA For The Record: Vernal

by Matt Naber | Jul 11, 2019

PRCA Media Coordinator

With a rodeo record that’s practically a fossil by roughstock standards, the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo’s highest score in saddle bronc riding was achieved 39 years ago by Kent Cooper. 

The rodeo in Vernal, Utah, traces back to 1924 and was originally known as Golden West Days before undergoing several name changes – the Blue Mountain Rodeo, the Uintah Basin Rodeo, the Vernal Rodeo, the Vernal Professional Rodeo, the Vernal Championship Rodeo and ultimately the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo, a name that’s stuck for more than 60 years. 
The rodeo’s name was inspired by the nearby Dinosaur National Monument, a 200,000-acre region between Utah and Colorado where thousands of dinosaur fossils were discovered in the early 20th century. 

Although the rodeo’s been around for nearly a century, the Vernal ProRodeo’s record book begins in 1950, its first year as a sanctioned competition. 

Thirty years later in 1980, Kent Cooper scored 93 points on Kerby’s Hang ‘em High in Vernal, which was the second-highest scored ride of all time when he accomplished it in 1980. Today it remains among one of the highest scores in ProRodeo. 

Cooper is a 10-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (1983-86, 1988-89, 1991-93) and finished a career-best second in the world standings in 1984. 

He also holds the record for most saddle bronc riding titles in the RAM Wilderness Circuit (1976, 1982, 1984-86, 1989, 1991 and 1993).

His run in the Wilderness Circuit marks the longest span between first and last saddle bronc riding titles across all the circuits at 18 years. 

Cowboys will have a chance to beat Cooper’s record, and the rest, July 11-13 while collecting valuable ProRodeo Tour points. Fans can catch the action on

Rodeo records

Total payout: $213,629, 2005
All-around: $7,269, Scott Johnston, 2000
Bareback riding: 91 points, Royce Ford, 2006
Steer wrestling: 3.0 seconds, Marvin Dubose, 1998 
Team roping: 3.7 seconds, Derrick Begay/Victor Aros, 2007
Saddle bronc riding: 93 points, Kent Cooper, 1980 
Tie-down roping: 7.0 seconds, Cimarron Boardman, 2017
Barrel racing: 16.81 seconds, Ann Scott, 2014
Steer roping: *10.6 seconds, Brady Garten, 2005 (41.4/3, Trevor Brazile, 2005) 
Bull riding: 95 points, Cody Hancock, 2004; Steve Woolsey, 2005 (179/2, Cody Hancock, 2004)
*Steer roping was only held in Vernal twice, 2004 and 2005

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