In Amarillo, Texas, during the biggest steer roping of the regular season’s final week, Lee won the three-head average and $3,259. That pushed him over $60,000 for the season; he is one of four ropers to come into this weekend’s event with $60,000 in regular-season earnings, joining Trevor Brazile, Vin Fisher Jr. and Rocky Patterson.
Lee is 36 years old and a veteran at this game of rodeo. Heck, he was a veteran 20 years ago – that’s what happens when you start your career at 3, which is what Lee did.
His father was a roper and his mother a barrel racer, so riding talented horses and competing have been part of Lee’s life virtually all his life. He’s made the most of it, too. This weekend marks the sixth time in a 13-year career he has qualified for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping.
Lee qualified the first time in 2001, and he hasn’t missed out on the championship since 2007. Last year, he placed in four go-rounds and earned nearly $5,800 in the process. He finished the season No. 11 in the world with $35,962. Coming into this weekend’s festivities, Lee is $20,000 ahead of that curve.
That’s a great place to be when you rope for a living, but he’s roping for world championships, and he’s well within range of his first gold buckle.