Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Utah High School Reserve Men’s All-Around Cooper Bennett
story by Holly Wilson
Cooper Bennett finished the rodeo season as the reserve men’s all-around, with 452 total points. He competes in the bareback riding, team roping, and tie-down for his district.
He will be a senior at Union High School this year, but started rodeoing when he was just three years old.
“My family has been into rodeo,” Cooper said. “My mother, step dad, late father, and all of my siblings rope and ride.”
Cooper’s late father was a PRCA bareback rider, who passed away when he was young.
“My dad died when I was 3 months old and my mother worked so hard to provide the opportunities we have had,” he said. “Then, 11 years ago she met Bob and he was able to help us too.”
Cooper maintains a strong relationship with his stepdad, who works with him on the basics.
“I team rope almost every day to work on a lot of fundamentals. I also calf rope a lot,” he said. “I ride a spur magic every day for my bareback riding and get on practice horses when I can.”
“I also like to meet up with my brother Caleb when he is available for constance critiquing.”
Practice is paying off, as Cooper just won the UHSRA State Championship Bareback Rider title.
“I also finished seventh in the team roping, won second in the average, and finished in the top 15 in the calf roping,” Cooper said.
“Making the short round in Utah in three events is an accomplishment in itself.”
Part of his success is in his mounts; Gunner, Squirt, Buck, and Dozer.
“Gunner is my calf horse, Squirt is my practice pen heel horse and a great backup, Buck is a green heel horse, and Dozer is my main heel horse,” he said.
Cooper is currently entertaining several college offers, and is keeping rodeo in his future plans. “I hope to keep gaining experience and working hard to step up a level over the next several years to be able to have the opportunity to travel with my brother Caleb.”
Outside of his rodeo career, Cooper loves to spend quality time with his brothers.
“I love to hunt and fish with my older brothers, Dustin and Caleb, and spend time with friends and family,” Cooper said.
His family has been supportive of his rodeo dreams, and spend a lot of time traveling with him on the road.
“My older brothers pitch in a lot of time traveling when it’s possible for them to help out if my parents can’t get off work,” he said. “My sisters are very supportive also.”
With the success of his brother Caleb in the rodeo world, Cooper looks up to his brother and hopes to follow in his footsteps.
“I have watched hard work and sacrifice pay off, watching Caleb’s dreams and determination and my other siblings success in whatever they sought to do,” Cooper said. “Anything is possible regardless of adversity, be respectful, kind, and work hard.”