Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Roping steers is what Rocky Patterson does – and does well.
In fact, no cowboy in the PRCA roped them better in 2016 than the Pratt, Kan., cowboy.
Thanks to earning $56,432 at the 2016 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, Patterson rode away with his fourth gold buckle.
“It’s big,” said Patterson, 50, about his latest accomplishment. “It isn’t as easy for me to get out there and practice as it was 25 years ago. It probably has not sunk in yet, but this is big.”
Patterson has now won gold steer roping buckles in 2009-10, 2012 and 2016. For winning his latest world title, Patterson also received a Polaris RANGER.
Patterson’s NFSR performance vaulted him to the world championship with a single-season steer roping record of $141,350, surpassing the previous record of $121,112 by Trevor Brazile last year.
Although Patterson came into his latest NFSR – the 22nd of his decorated career – with a $15,481 lead, he couldn’t celebrate until the completion of Round 10.
Entering Round 10, Patterson held a $21,905 lead over Cody Lee. The key was Lee was first in the average, while Patterson was third in the average after nine rounds.
The average was critically important for Patterson and Lee, because it paid out $27,347 to the winner, $22,632 for second place and $17,917 for third. Mix in the average with the round money that paid $9,155 and $7,577 for first and second place, respectively, and a gold buckle was still up for grabs between Patterson and Lee.
Lee roped before Patterson in Round 10 and tried to apply the pressure with a 13.5-second run. That gave Lee a 125.9-second total time, which secured first place in the 10-head average.
Patterson responded with an 11.1-second run to grab the coveted gold buckle.
“I have my own statisticians I bring with me and they told me Cody had to win the round and win the average, and I had to fall off,” Patterson said. “I thought it would be good to get a check in that last round and maybe that would clinch it for me. That steer was really good (Friday night), and he was trying to kick me pretty good down there, but it felt pretty good when I got that time.”
Patterson’s Round 10 time was good for fourth in the round and a $4,420 paycheck, and Lee didn’t place in the round.
Lee was gracious in defeat, especially since he couldn’t have done much more. He won an NFSR record $69,651, breaking the previous record of $62,390 won by Brazile at the 2015 NFSR.
Lee was followed by Chet Herren in the average. Herren had a 143.2-second time on 10 head. Patterson was third in the average with a 105.2-second time on nine steers.
“You can’t give Rocky a lead of over $15,000 coming into the NFSR and expect to catch him,” Lee said. “I knew it was a longshot and I came up a little short. Still, winning this average is a great feeling and definitely my career highlight.”
For more in-depth coverage of the 2016 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, see the Dec. 31 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News. Press Release