It’s strange for me to think it’s been five years since Stockton Graves won the steer wrestling title at the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo.
That’s the reality. He’d already qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo before he qualified for the national circuit championship. But he used his pedigree, a high degree of talent and a gifted horse to capture the coveted title in 2006.
That season, he earned victories at eight rodeos en route to his third straight trip to the NFR, ProRodeo’s marquee event. While in Las Vegas, he earned his first Montana Silversmiths go-round buckle by winning on the fourth night of the 10-round competition.
This year Graves gets an added bonus in qualifying for the DNCFR. Since the championship moved from Pocatello, Idaho, to Oklahoma City, his travel time is just an hour and a half from his home in Newkirk, Okla. That’s pretty handy.
But winning another national championship would be pretty handy for Graves, who clinched the Prairie Circuit year-end championship by winning the regional finale this past October in Park City, Kan.
Of course, he’s been down this road before. That’s an advantage, too.