GUTHRIE, Okla. – The first time Jerome Schneeberger qualified for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, he was a 21-year-old young gun fresh off his inaugural appearance at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Much has changed since 1998, but the Ponca City, Okla., cowboy remains one of the greatest tie-down ropers in the Prairie Circuit, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s region made up of contestants and rodeos primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. In fact, no other cowboy in the history of the circuit has won more year-end tie-down roping championships than Schneeberger, who secured his eighth title last season.
That means he returns for the ninth time for this year’s National Championship, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Lazy E Arena.
Schneeberger, who won the NFR average championship in 2001, is one of the numerous NFR qualifiers competing at the RNCFR, joining Coloradoan Josh Peek, Utah cowboy Clint Robinson and Texans Justin Maass and Adam Gray.
Now Schneeberger focuses his rodeo career on the circuit system. He hasn’t qualified for the NFR in three years, and he’s OK with it. Now he’d like to add the National Championship to his powerful resume. Maybe this is the year.