They might be the best horsemen in rodeo.
The qualifiers to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping have earned the right to compete for the world championship; they will get the opportunity Nov. 11-12 in Mulvane, Kan.
The field of the best 15 steer ropers in the business includes 14 men who have played the game at the highest level before – only Chris Glover has earned his first qualification. The pack also includes three men who own a combined 23 gold buckles: Guy Allen (18), Rocky Patterson (3) and Scott Snedecor (2).
These great cowboys are dedicated to the sport they love. Along with saddle bronc riding, steer roping is one of the first two events ever performed in rodeo as we know it. It has a long and distinguished history, and rightfully so.
It’s an event that has a dedicated fan base that has followed the championship across the country in order to see the greatest play the game the right way. While it’s not mainstream, even in rodeo, it has its place, and it’s because of the ropers themselves. The Clem, as I call it, is the perfect place to see excellence in the arena – from outstanding horsemanship to amazing roping to some of the most genuine people you’ll ever meet.
I’m proud to call many of these great men my friends, and I recommend to my hard-core rodeo friends to take in this awesome championship. The 15 combatants will battle through 10 rounds over two days of competition all hoping for a shot at an elusive world championship.
The steer ropers have done everything right in the game, and they deserve as much recognition as they can get.