The cowboy who honed his skills on a Snowflake ranch and often competed in Payson rodeos won the team roping world championship at the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Matt Sherwood, 39, lassoed the prestigious title last week while competing in the finals held in the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
In winning the coveted gold buckles, Sherwood worked as header along with partner Brandon Adams of Logandale, Nev.
The pair nailed down the title by finishing fourth in Round 10 which earned Sherwood a PRCA record $180,568.
Entering the finals, Sherwood was ranked first in the header standings with $105,734 in winning.
Rendering the championship feat even more impressive is that Sherwood, now a resident of Pima and formerly of Queen Creek, also finished ahead of six-time and reigning World Champion All-Around Cowboy Trevor Brazile.
The win was the second world championship for Sherwood who also won the crown in 2006.
Sherwood first made his mark on the PRCA circuit in 2005 when he finished 26th in the world standings competition much of the time with Jett Hillman, Rube Woolsey and Travis Woodward.
That year he won the team roping championship at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson, Miss.
When competing in past Payson rodeos, Sherwood often teamed with Mark Simon.
Growing up in Snowflake, Sherwood was one of five brothers in the family who took up rodeo.
In addition to Sherwood’s win at the NFR, several other commendable performances highlighted the competition. Justin McDaniel broke the NFR average score in bareback riding. Brazile became the sport’s first $3 million cowboy by adding $150,000 to his career earnings.
Barrel racer Lindsay Sears set an NFR earnings record with $139,002. Also, Luke Branquinho broke the steer wrestling single-season earnings record by nearly $40,000.