Rocky Patterson and 2010 AQHA/PRCA Steer Roping Horse of the Year Pops completed a 12.7-second run in the finals to claim the National Circuit Finals Steer Roping championship and total earnings of $8,640. â€śThis is one that when I look back on my career, Iâ€™m going to be proud that I won,â€ť Patterson said.
By Kyle Partain/For ProRodeo.com
TORRINGTON, Wyo. â€“ For a change, two-time World Champion Steer Roper Rocky Patterson was right in the thick of things on the final day at the NationalCircuit Finals Steer Roping. After leading the averagethrough the first six rounds, Patterson won both the semifinal and final rounds toclaimhis first national championship at the Goshen County Pavilion on April 22.
â€śIâ€™ve always liked the format here,â€ť said Patterson of the sudden-deathsystem used in the semifinal and final rounds. â€śUsually Iâ€™m standing on the sidelines when all the big money is handed out. Today was a little different.â€ť
After winning the first two rounds and taking a commanding lead in the averagethrough thefirst six rounds, Patterson came up empty with hisseventh-round loop and was thankful it didnâ€™t end up costing him.
â€śYou get a mulligan here, and I needed it today,â€ť he said. Patterson rebounded with an 11.3-second run in thelast preliminary round to lock up fifth place in the average standings as only fourof the eventâ€™s 24 ropers recorded times on all eight draws.
Once his spot in the semifinal was secured, Pattersonwent back to his winning ways. He turned in an11.1-second run to win the semifinal round andearn the right to rope last in the final round. He needed only to beat 14.4 seconds when he backed into the box for the ropingâ€™s final run to claim the national title.It wasn’t even close â€“ Patterson stopped the clock in 12.7 seconds for the win.
â€śThisis one that when I look back on my career, Iâ€™m going to be proud that I won,â€ť Patterson said. â€śThis is such a great event forthe steer ropers.â€ť
Patterson finished with total earnings of $8,640 in Torrington.
Sixth round:Â 1. Wade Shoemaker, 11.4 seconds, $1,035; 2. Cody Lee, 11.7, $776; 3. Travis Mills, 11.9, $517; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, 12.0, $259.Â Seventh round:Â 1. Chance Kelton, 11.0 seconds, $1,035; 2. Troy Tillard, 11.2, $776; 3. Howdy McGinn, 11.9, $517; 4. Paul Tierney, 12.2, $259.Â Eighth round:Â 1. Mike Chase, 9.5 seconds, $1,035; 2. (tie) Ralph Williams and Kim Ziegelgruber, 10.2, $647 each; 4. Rocky Patterson, 11.3, $259.Â Average:Â 1. Chance Kelton, 117.9 seconds on eight head, $2,483; 2. Ryan Rochlitz, 125.1, $1,863; 3. Pecos Shannon, 135.6, $1,242; 4. Rob Denny, 142.2, $621.Â Semifinal:Â 1. Rocky Patterson, 11.1 seconds,$2,483; 2. Chance Kelton, 11.6,$1,863; 3. Rob Denny, 11.8, $1,242; 4. Ora Taton, 12.5,$621.Â Final:Â 1. Rocky Patterson, 12.7 seconds, $3,311; 2. Chance Kelton, 14.4, $2,483; 3. Rob Denny, 14.6, $1,656; 4. Ora Taton, 21.4, $828.Â Team standings:Â 1. Prairie, $7,243; 2. Turquoise, $5,898; 3. Mountain States, 5,174; 4. Texas, $4,915.