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Kansan Looking to Defend Steer Roping World Title
By Tourism Industry Partner
GUTHRIE, Okla., November 1, 2010 – It’s been a pretty good 12 months for Kansas cowboy Rocky Patterson.
A year ago, he left Oklahoma with a World Champion’s gold buckle, the prize given to the very best in 2009. Since then, he’s remained on top of the world. But he’ll receive the biggest test of his career when he tries to defend his World Title against the best in the business at the 52nd Annual Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping at the Lazy E Arena beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, Nov. 6.
“I really didn’t get started until Guymon, but then it kept rolling,” Patterson said of the early May rodeo in the Oklahoma Panhandle. “I had a pretty solid July, then in August, it got really good there for about two weeks.
“I contribute it to having two really good horses. Most years, you’re lucky if you have one good horse, and I’ve had two all year long.”
In fact, he had the American Quarter Horse Association/Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Steer Roping Horse of the Year in Skips Harlan Tyree, also known as Pops. But that won’t be the only solid horse – and solid roper – in the mix when the top 15 cowboys in the event play for the biggest pay of the season at the Lazy E this weekend.
“It’s nice going in the winner and having a lead, but you want to win as much as you can while you’re there,” said Patterson, 44, of Pratt, Kan., a 16-time qualifier to the steer roping finals. “I guess the difference between this year and last year is that last year I was behind Scott Snedecor going into the finals; this year I’m kind of the hunted instead of the hunter. It’s a little nerve wracking, especially when you’re looking back at Trevor.”
Patterson means Trevor Brazile, an 11-time World Champion from Decatur, Texas, who is closing in on his record-setting eighth All-Around World Championship – he also owns two Steer Roping and two Tie Down Roping World Titles and is just the second man in the history of the sport to qualify for the PRCA championships in all four roping disciplines.
But there are plenty of others. Brazile is the No. 2 man in the standings heading into this weekend’s event, but he’s $32,000 behind Patterson. Just behind them, though, are Vin Fisher Jr. in third and Chance Kelton in fourth – both of whom have proven they are in the hunt for the coveted gold buckle.
“You don’t know who’s going to be hot, but you’d better count on Trevor being there,” Patterson said. “I know the only person I can look out for is me. I can’t control what Trevor or Vin are doing. Hopefully I can control some of what I’m doing.
“When you rope steers, you’ve got a chance to win something as long as you don’t beat yourself.”
Contestants in this field earned their way through the regular season. The top 15 cowboys on the money list at the conclusion of the regular season make their way to the Lazy E in early November. It’s a bonus for the best in the business, a way to fight for a championship with a big prize pool.
The elite ropers will compete in 10 rugged go-rounds, the first five Friday and the final five Saturday. That’s 75 runs per night that leads to the 2010 PRCA World Championship.
And for the second straight year, it’s back home. The Lazy E Arena was built to host the Steer Roping Finals in 1984 by E.K. Gaylord II. The Lazy E hosted this world championship event from 1984-2000. In 2001, the finale moved to Amarillo, Texas, for a five-year run, and then made a three-year stop in Hobbs, N.M.
Lazy E Arena officials could not be happier that this prestigious event has made its way back to Oklahoma. Last year, the Oklahoma state Legislature unanimously passed a resolution to change the name of the event, to honor the late Clem McSpadden, who served for many years in the Oklahoma Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives while also building a reputation as a legend in ProRodeo. He worked the Steer Roping Finals a record 27 times. McSpadden was also known as the “Voice of the Lazy E.”
Steer Roping fans will enjoy all of the activities planned for the performances, and in addition, the Senior National Finals Steer Roping will take place during the day at the Lazy E Arena Friday and Saturday. VIP ticket prices for each performance of the NFSR are $37, box seats $30 and general admission $20 pre-show. Children 12 and under are free in general admission. Group discounts are also available. Call (800) 595-RIDE for complete details. A portion of the proceeds from the 2010 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping will again be donated to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair at Oklahoma State University. The Lazy E is proud to support these institutions for western preservation.
Tickets are on sale now and will be available at www.lazye.com, all ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000 or by calling the Lazy E directly at (800) 595-RIDE. Call early to get the best seats possible for this World Championship.
The Clem McSpadden NFSR is a Lazy E Production. For more information on the NFSR or other Lazy E events, contact the Lazy E Arena, 9600 Lazy E Drive, Guthrie, OK 73044, (405) 282-RIDE, (800) 595-RIDE or visit www.lazye.com.
Director of Events, Sponsorship & Marketing
Lazy E Arena LLC / Lazy E Productions / Express-Lazy E LLC
9600 Lazy E Drive, Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044
(800) 595-RIDE / (405) 282-RIDE / (405) 282-3785 fax