LAS VEGAS – The nastiest group of saddle broncs at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo weren’t that tough for Cort Scheer.
On Wednesday night, Scheer rode four horses in order to post an 80.5 score during the seventh go-round, collecting a check worth $11,118 to make it all worth it. He now has earned nearly $37,000 at the NFR with three rounds remaining.
So what happened?
Scheer, 27, of Elsmere, Neb., was originally matched with Rosser Rodeo’s Hat Stomper in what cowboys call the eliminator pen – they are the hardest-to-ride horses bucking at the NFR. Hat Stomper, though, didn’t have his kind of day, so Scheer was awarded a re-ride since the horse didn’t allow the cowboy the opportunity to score well.
That same thing happened again … two more times. About 20 minutes after the close of the round Wednesday, Scheer climbed over the golden chutes inside the Thomas & Mack Center on C5 Rodeo’s Biff, and the duo danced across the arena dirt for the third-place score. It was a big move for Scheer, who placed for just the third time.
What’s most important is that Scheer is one of just two cowboys to have ridden all seven horses, matching Texan Jacobs Crawley. Still, Scheer is No. 1 in the all-important average race with a cumulative total score of 548 points, seven ahead of Crawley. The NFR average title is the second most coveted championship to win in rodeo, just behind the world champion’s gold buckle.
It’s also valued at $47,776, so that’s big, too. The Nebraska cowboy is seventh in the world standings, having earned $126,690 through the combined earnings of the regular season and the NFR. He trails world standings leader Jake Wright by $30,215. While the top prize in the average would enable Scheer to pass Wright, the Utah cowboy is third in the average, which, if he stays in that position, would pay $30,649.
So Scheer needs a little help if he is to claim his first world title. He’d like to collect his fair share of the $60,096 go-round purse each of the three nights and cash in with the big average check.
That’s his focus for the final three rounds of this NFR. It’ll be worth the ride.