By Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Feb 23, 2014
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Sixty-thousand people came to watch the best cowboys and cowgirls over the week, making it the biggest audience in the history of the 89-year-old rodeo.
The rodeo sold out the last two days. On Sunday, 11,000 fans sat in the bleachers watching the best cowboys and cowgirls from the last week come back to the arena and make a go for the championship, and their share of the $400,000 purse.
Whatever your reason for being part of the sold-out, record-breaking crowd, some of the best cowboys in the world have their own reason for making the trip to the Tucson Rodeo: It's you.
"I love being out here in Tucson: love Arizona; the fans out here are awesome; it's sold out," said 2-time World Champion tie-down roper Tuf Cooper.
"They're loud; they get into it; it's a great rodeo to come to," said Chad Ferley, who won the Saddle Bronc Riding.
"The crowd is fabulous," said Shari Rivera, Cooper's mom. "We love to come because the entire crowd gets into the rodeo and the committee is really good to us so we like coming out here. Good weather, good people."
And great champions bringing their fast hands and fast horses to Tucson.
After Sunday's performance, Tuf Cooper is not only a World Champion...he's a champion in Tucson as well.
Bull rider Cody Hancock, who is also a world champion, couldn't hang on in the final round but he scored well enough his first ride to walk away with the win.
"I drew a good bull yesterday and rode him but today I didn't ride so I was just lucky everyone else fell off," Hancock said.
In the final round, the bulls won it all, but the cowboys will be sure to come back next year for a rematch.