CASPER, Wyo. – This was not what he had planned when he arrived at the College National Finals Rodeo, but Kaden Greenfield knows the reality of rodeo.
After advancing to the college finals as a sophomore at Blue Mountain Community College a year ago, the Northwestern Oklahoma State University junior had visions of big success inside the Ford Wyoming Center.
“It was definitely not the week I was hoping to have,” Greenfield said. “You’ve just got to learn where you can and move on to the next one.”
He began the week by not registering a time in the first of three go-rounds. That meant his shot at becoming the fourth Ranger to win a college title in the last six years fell away. The disappointment rang with him and his supporters, but it didn’t linger long.
Greenfield was 3.8 seconds to finish third in the CNFR’s second round.
“I knew I was out of it after the first round,” he said. “I drew a second-round steer that left good and ran straight, so I knew I had a chance to place. I had nothing to lose, so I just decided to go for it.”
That was one of the bright spots for the young cowboy, but each disappointing grade in college opens the door for bigger opportunities. After suffering another no-time in the third round, Greenfield’s week in Casper concluded. It didn’t take away from some major accomplishments he’s had, including the circuit title in the ever-tough Central Plains Region and being the top steer wrestler of the year for Northwestern, dubbed the “Bulldogging Capital of College Rodeo.”
“It was a good year for me, especially moving down from my old region and into this big region, where I was able to prove myself,” Greenfield said. “Struggling at the college finals is definitely going to motivate me. I know what I need to work on in the practice pen, and now I’ll work harder for the next year.”
The work has already begun. As a rookie competing in ProRodeo – he won The Cowboy Channel Rookie Roundup presented by Resistol in April – he will finish out his summer by competing at events big and small across the country.
“I’ll start Wednesday in Reno (Nevada),” he said. “After that, we’ll get into the swing of rodeoing pretty hard.”
When he returns to the Alva, Oklahoma, campus in August to start classes and begin his senior year of college rodeo, Greenfield knows just where his focus will be.
“I will have a COVID year (of eligibility) that I could use if I wanted, but I don’t think I will,” Greenfield said. “My goal is to win the region again, make it to the college finals again and be in the mix for a national title.”