Cheering on Cooper
By Kevin Capson, Salt Lake Chapter Co-Chair
Eight-year-old Cooper Jacobs loves to compete in rodeos. His favorite event is riding specially bred miniature bulls. Cooper won 12 belt buckles in 2012, and is an all-around champion. His long-term goal is to be a world-champion bull rider.
Cooper loves being outdoors, either hunting with his dad, horseback riding or riding an ATV. His father is a friend of mine and a member of the RMEF. For a Christmas present I talked him into buying Cooper an RMEF membership as well.
Cooper, his dad and I often horseback ride together. While on a ride this past spring, we were talking about how Cooper was promised sponsorships that did not materialize, even after the family had purchased rodeo gear with the companies’ logos on them. The conversation went on to discussing all the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) who wear the RMEF brand, and suddenly I had an idea.
I called Utah regional director Bill Christiensen to see if I could have permission to use RMEF’s logo to help out a young bull rider, as long as I was not using RMEF’s money. When permission was granted, I began rounding up donations. Between Sportsman’s Warehouse, Les Schwab, and personal contributions from my chapter co-chair Craig Darrow and myself, we came up with $800. The money outfitted Cooper with chaps, shirts and a vest, all branded with RMEF logos.
This year, Cooper is competing at Double Rank mini bull riding events, Legacy JR Rodeos, Cubra’s and other open rodeo and bull riding events. This little champ could be the next Chris Shivers! One of Cooper’s favorite sayings is, “Winner’s never quit and quitters never win,” and he certainly lives up to it.
As RMEF volunteers, anything we can do for youths, whether it be hunting or outdoor-related, should be a priority. If your chapter has the opportunity to support a child following his or her dreams, take it. You won’t regret it.