Over the last eight months, Cort Scheer has been exceptional riding bucking horses.
It has paid tremendous dividends … to the tune of nearly $250,000 in that time span. Last July, the Nebraska-born saddle bronc rider won the one of the most coveted regular-season titles in the sport, the Calgary (Alberta) Stampede, posting a 93.5-point ride on Flying Five Rodeo’s Spring Planting to in the $100,000 final go-round.
In all, he earned $111,500 in Alberta and parlayed that momentum into his third qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where he finished second in the all-important average race and pocketed more than $75,000 in Las Vegas last December. Since then, Scheer has finished second at The American and RodeoHouston.
He’s comfortable in his place among the greatest saddle bronc riders in the game. Now he has a couple of big-time trophies he wants to add to his resume: the world champion’s gold buckle and the cherished Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days belt that is awarded to annual titlists.
“I’m really excited for Guymon,” said Scheer, who competed on the Oklahoma Panhandle State University rodeo team and still lives in Guymon most of the year. “It’s close to a hometown rodeo for me. We have a bunch of buddies that’ll be here for it, and, of course, all the great bronc riders that live here or went to school here.
“They’ll be right by the chutes, so you better spur them out and ride them right because the Etbauers and all those others will dang sure tell you about it if you don’t.”
This is more than just saving oneself from embarrassment; this is about winning another prestigious title. Pioneer Days Rodeo was named the 2002 Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year and regularly draws one of the largest fields in the game. This year, 942 cowboys and cowgirls are entered into the competition, which begins Monday and runs through Sunday, May 4.
“I’ve always wanted one of those belts,” Scheer said as he walked around a Guymon store looking for accessories to dress up his new traveling rig, a van that he and his traveling partners will use to get from one rodeo to another; the vehicle is specially set up for life on the rodeo trail, including a bed.
“My traveling partner, Chet Johnson, has one of those belts, and he’s always showing it off. I’d dang sure like to get one to match him.”
He gets his chance during one of the four performances set for 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena. Scheer is scheduled to ride Friday night, and he’ll find out later this week the animal that the random draw will match for him.
“Guymon always has great horses,” Scheer said. “You’re going to have a shot at winning on about anything you get on. It’s going to come down to a spurring contest, and that rodeo gets a lot of really good cowboys. It’s going to be a great year for broncs.”
Maybe it’ll be a great year for Scheer, too.