Clay O’Brien Cooper
Born Clay O’Brien Cooper on May 6, 1961, and best-known as the pint- sized “Hardy Fimps” in the western coming-of-age film, The Cowboys (1972); Clay O’Brien became a favorite with John Wayne, who appreciated a real cowboy when he met one. Remaining pint-sized for several years, Clay could be found in pleasant but typical Disneyesque fare throughout the 1970’s before he left acting and returned to cowboying full-time, where his undisputed talent truly lies. Clay has the respect of cowboys everywhere, holding more Team-Roping championships than anyone and is the holder of Seven World titles in Team-Roping. Clay’s rodeo achievements are impressive by any standard and this mini-bio can not even begin to cover them. Standing a respectable 6 feet, Clay and his wife, Beth, have two daughters, Bailey and Quinn.
Pro Rodeo Hall of fame – Team Roping • Inducted 1997
Movie star, television actor, accomplished tie-down roper, premier team roping heeler, multiple world champion – Clay O’Brien Cooper has led a charmed life. Cooper, born May 6, 1961, in Ray, Ariz., started roping at age 6. He made his first movie debut with John Wayne in The Cowboys and went on to appear in numerous Western movies and television shows. As a heeler, he teamed with Jake Barnes to win a record seven world team roping championships. Cooper and Barnes jointly set the team roping aggregate record at the National Finals Rodeo of 59.1 seconds on 10 head, en route to the world title in 1994. Cooper was the Turquoise Circuit all around champion in 1985-87, 1991 and 1993 and the circuit’s team roping champion in 1983-84. He was the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo team roping winner in 1987, 1989 and 1995. “Since I was a kid, I always wanted to rope for a living. The best thing is being able to make a living for me and my family doing what I always wanted,” Cooper said.
World Championships: 7 (1985-89, 1992, 1994) Born May 6, 1961 in Ray, Arizona