LAS VEGAS – Every bronc rider who makes a living on the back of bucking beasts knows the key to a good ride is the start.
The first step is make sure his spurs are over the front of the horse’s shoulders when the animal leaps from the chute. Not only is it following the rules, but it helps set up the strong spur ride that makes saddle bronc riding the classic event in rodeo.
“I feel like I spurred that horse out better than any horse I spurred out last year at the NFR,” said Cort Scheer, a 27-year-old cowboy from Elsmere, Neb., now competing for the third time at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
On Thursday during the opening night of ProRodeo’s grand championship event, Scheer spurred Frontier Rodeo’s Griz for 80.5 points to finish third in the round, earning $11,118 in the process. That cash helped Scheer move from sixth to fifth on the money list in his chase for the coveted world championship – in rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants in each event with the most money won at the conclusion of the NFR will win the prestigious gold buckle.
“I think a lot of what’s going on was the Canadian Finals and the PRS,” Scheer said, referring to the Canadian Finals Rodeo that took place a month ago and the Professional Roughstock Series finals that wrapped the 2013 season three weeks ago. “Leading up to this, I got to get on a lot of great bucking horses and got through all the pressure situations. Now you’re here, and you’re just wanting those good horses.”
He had one in Griz.
“That horse is amazing,” he said. “I got on that horse about four years ago in Corpus Christi (Texas) and got along real good with him. They always place on him in this round. He’s just one of those horses that you’ve got to spur him out and go at him, because it’s your own fault if you don’t place on him.”
In Friday’s second round, Scheer has drawn Rafter H Rodeo’s Spade, an animal that’s been known to be a pill for cowboys.
“He’s a really strong, black horse, and he’s fighting the chute, kicking, dripping sweat in the chute,” Scheer said. “He’s wanting to get it on. I’m just going to give him the same treat treatment, but I ain’t going to be sweating.”
No, he’s not. Scheer is confident and talented. That’s what it takes to get through the toughest bucking horses in rodeo.