The Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping begins Nov. 10, as the top 15 steer ropers in the world battle for a prize pool of $425,000 at the Kansas Star Arena.
2016 NFSR highlights
Rocky Patterson may have been one of the oldest contestants at the 2016 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, but he took the rest of the field to school.
Patterson placed in eight of the 10 rounds en route to celebrating his fourth gold buckle in record fashion at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Nov. 11-12, 2016. (He also won in 2009-10 and 2012.) No one in the PRCA has ever had a more lucrative steer roping season than Patterson’s 2016 – he earned $141,350, and the $56,432 he made at the 2016 NFSR helped him reach that milestone. En route to his world title, Patterson broke the previous single-season steer roping record of $121,112 set by Trevor Brazile in 2015.
“It’s big,” said Patterson, 51, about his latest title. “It isn’t as easy for me to get out there and practice as it was 25 years ago.”
Patterson was competing in his 22nd NFSR – only Allen (33) has made more NFSR appearances – and his latest NFSR outing was defined by efficiency.
Patterson, who has won 14 career NFSR rounds, didn’t add to that total, but he did place second in Round 1 (11.0 seconds) and Round 7 (10.3), and was third in Round 5 (9.4). In Round 10, Patterson placed fourth with an 11.1-second run, but he had already clinched the gold buckle.
Patterson was quick to credit his horsepower, provided by Buster, for his most recent NFSR triumphant. Buster, 12, is a horse Patterson started riding in February 2016.
“All those guys there (at the NFSR) rope well – that’s the reason they are there,” Patterson said. “So, when you get to that level, and you’re roping against the top 15 guys in the world, you can’t just show up on a donkey; you have to have a good horse. I didn’t think I roped that much different last year than I did this year; the difference was horsepower.”
Cody Lee won the average after clocking a time of 125.9 seconds on 10 head. Herren was second in the average with a 143.2-second time on 10 steers, followed by Patterson with a 105.2-second time on nine head. Although Lee wanted to win the gold buckle, he still left the Kansas Star Arena smiling. He won an NFSR-record $69,651, breaking the previous record of $62,390.
– Adapted from a Tracy Renck story in the Dec. 31 ProRodeo Sports News