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Mayes County Teen Roper Frustrated After His Saddles Were Stolen

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Sam Cravens was excited about this rodeo season, but last week, thieves took away some of his enthusiasm, along with all of his rodeo gear. Sam Cravens was excited about this rodeo season, but last week, thieves took away some of his enthusiasm, along with all of his rodeo gear.
Photo of one of the stolen saddles. Photo of one of the stolen saddles.
His mother, Janet Cooper, said all her son wants to do is rope. His mother, Janet Cooper, said all her son wants to do is rope.
MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Thieves left an up-and-coming teenage team roper frustrated and worried about the upcoming rodeo season. They took his tack, swiped his saddles, and grabbed his gear from the family's property in Mayes County.

Over the past couple of years, roping and rodeos have turned into a passion for 15-year-old Sam Cravens. This past season, he competed in more than 30 events and won all-around cowboy in junior rodeo competitions.

"That's all he wants to do. As a matter of fact, he doesn't want to do much of anything else, but rope," said his mom, Janet Cooper.

Cravens was excited about this rodeo season, but last week, thieves took away some of his enthusiasm, along with all of his rodeo gear.

"They got my saddles, my trailer, my rope bag that I won with all my ropes in it, and my head stalls, tie downs, my rope can," Cravens said.

The thieves took things like a four-wheeler and generator from the family's home, under construction, between Chouteau and Pryor.

But it's the saddles that matter most to Sam.

"That's all I would want back, mainly: my saddles. It would be nice to get the other stuff back, but that would be the biggest thing," Cravens said.

"I thought, 'How am I going to tell him?'" Cooper said. "He took it a lot better than I thought he would."

But it's still hard for Cravens to take, because he worked hard to win those saddles at competitions.

"[It's] pretty frustrating, when I worked really hard to win those saddles and put a lot of money into it and effort," he said.

Now without any equipment, other than a few old ropes, he's not sure he can borrow his way through the upcoming junior rodeo circuit, where contestants gather points all season.

"I don't know what I'm going to do without saddles, without a trailer, and all my tack and everything," Cravens said.

He said he's keeping his fingers crossed that, since one of the saddles has his name on it, the items will be found.

"I'm not sure we'll be able to find all of it, but if we could find the saddles, I'd be grateful," Cravens said.

Anyone that could help investigators is urged to call the Mayes County Sheriff's Office at 918-825-3535.

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