Jerome Schneeberger is one of the best in the game, an 11-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and its 2001 tie-down roping average champion.
Never once has he played on ProRodeo’s grandest stage in team roping, but he did so this past weekend during the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo. In fact, Schneeberger placed in the opening go-round and the average to earn $1,150 while roping with Justin Smith.
That, combined with $740 won in tie-down roping, earned the Ponca City, Okla., cowboy the all-around title in Pueblo. When was the time Schneeberger claimed an all-around crown at a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event?
“I don’t even remember,” he told me Wednesday night.
How did Jerome Calf Roper become Joe Header?
“A guy asked me if I’d fill in for his partner, who couldn’t make it,” Schneeberger said. “I asked him if it was a doctor release or a turnout, because I wasn’t going to pay entry fees. When he said it was a turnout, I agreed to it.”
Schneeberger knew he could borrow a friend’s heading horse, but the only ropes the Oklahoma cowboy had were for tie-down roping.
“I found a rope that somebody’d just thrown away, so I used that,” he said.
Was this God’s way of telling the 35-year-old tie-down roper it was time to start transitioning to team roping full time?
“He’d have hell doing that,” he said with a laugh.
Nonetheless, Schneeberger made the most of his guest appearance in Pueblo. If the right circumstances appear again, he might win another all-around buckle.
Just don’t ask him to pay his own entry fee.