LAS VEGAS — Joe Beaver became rodeo's career money leader Thursday night with a third-place finish in calf roping in the seventh round of the National Finals Rodeo.

The 36-year-old cowboy from Huntsville, Texas, earned $8,069 to raise his career total to $2,058,952, breaking the record of $2,053,259 set by roper Roy Cooper.

"It's especially satisfying because I started out with Roy," said Beaver, a three-time all-around champion. "This record will last a little while, and then someone will come around and break it. And that's good, because that means rodeo is progressing."

Beaver finished third with a run of 8.5 seconds. Stran Smith of Tell, Texas, won the round at 7.5 seconds and Brent Lewis of Eloy, Ariz., was second.