Trevor Brazile’s final run at the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping wasn’t his fastest of the two-day, 10-round championship on Nov. 11-12 at the Lazy E Arena. It wasn’t the prettiest, either.
But that 13.7-second sprint to the finish was efficient and accomplished a major goal for Brazile’s 2011 campaign, his third Steer Roping World Championship and the 15th Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Title in his stellar career.
“I owe a lot of that success to San Antone,” Brazile said of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, which initiated steer roping into its competition this season and provided one of the biggest purses of the season; Brazile won $24,060 there. “That was a huge win for me. I knew it going in. I prepared for that like I would a National Finals.”
In fact, it was 25 percent of Brazile’s earnings this season, but it wasn’t the only win. He also earned Steer Roping titles at All-American ProRodeo Finals (Waco, Texas), Lea County Fair & PRCA Rodeo (Lovington, N.M.), Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo (Garden City, Kan.), Will Rogers Stampede (Claremore, Okla.), San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, SandHills Stock Show & Rodeo (Odessa, Texas), Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo and the Butterfield Stage Days (Bridgeport, Texas).
“I like to win every time I get a chance, therefore I don’t leave everything on one run,” said Brazile, 35, of Decatur, Texas. “I like to get my job done ahead of schedule.
“Steer roping’s taught me to win money when you can, because there are more variables in this event than anything.”
One of the variables was Two-Time Reigning World Champion Rocky Patterson of Pratt, Kan., who inched his way into the World Standings lead by winning the ninth go-round on Saturday night. After struggling to just two qualified runs during the first five rounds on Friday night, Patterson placed in four of five rounds Saturday, including the ninth-round victory. That pushed him ahead of Brazile by $173 heading into the final run of the 2011 season.
Patterson was not in the average race – he finished ninth in the average with a cumulative total of 87.3 seconds on seven qualified times – so in order to claim his third straight Montana Silversmiths gold buckle, the Kansan had to win the go-round and watch Brazile fall to fifth in the aggregate race. Brazile was the second-to-last cowboy to go, just ahead of Patterson.
When he raised his hands in the air and called for time, the World Championship was Brazile’s.
“It just made it that much sweeter,” said Brazile, of Decatur, Texas. “There are things you remember, and I’ll remember that run because of that race, whereas you don’t remember it when it doesn’t come down to (that).
“When your heart’s not that heavy on your last one, it doesn’t stick with you as long.”
Most of the two-day championship didn’t sit pretty for Two-Time World Champion Scott Snedecor, but he got the job done the hard way. Snedecor, of Fredericksburg, Texas, was the only cowboy in the 15-man field to rope and tie down all 10 steers, claiming the aggregate title. It’s the second such award Snedecor has earned in his career.
“Out of the 10 steers, I probably had seven of them that kicked me or tried to get up,” he said. “These steers were really good two weeks ago. I was on the wrong end of them.”
Still, there is a nice new piece of hardware hanging from his belt.
“An average title is the second best thing a guy can get in his career,” Snedecor said. “Other than a gold buckle, that’s the next step down. I’m fortunate enough to have two gold buckles and two average buckles.”
In addition, Montana Silversmiths also created Go-Round Buckles for cowboys who excelled throughout the weekend. Snedecor failed to place in any round and his $15,231 was nice. But it was far from the biggest. In fact, six cowboys earned more money in Guthrie that weekend, led by Chance Kelton of Mayer, Ariz., who pocketed $28,615. Kelton placed in five go-rounds, including the win in the third, and finished second in the average race to Snedecor.
Early on in the championship, it looked as though J.P. Wickett of Sallisaw, Okla., had a bulls-eye painted on the Average Title. Wickett won the first round with a 10.5-second run, and then finished second in the second (11.0) and third in the third (12.0). Then in a tough pen, he slugged through a 13.2-second run to win the fourth round. In all, he won $17,308 on opening night. All was great until that fifth go-round, when the steer got up after the trip.
“That ticks me off,” Wickett said. “I really wanted to rope all five head tonight. I got in a little bit of a hurry, and I rushed the trip. That was my fault.”
In a rare moment of success on Friday, Patterson won the second go-round with a 10.4-second run. That $5,077 check came in handy at the end, where Patterson finished second in the world standings with $87,642. Where others faltered, first-timer Kim Ziegelgruber of nearby Edmond, Okla., succeeded. He won the fifth round and placed five others. He finished fourth in the average race and earned $19,192 through the weekend.
“I drew just right for that last steer,” Ziegelgruber told Marvin Olberding of ProRodeo Sports News. “I had the opportunity to free this horse up, and that was perfect for that last one. That steer kind of sat up when I roped him. I was nervous, because I put a wrap and a half on him.”
Chet Herren of Pawhuska, Okla., came out on Saturday night with a vengeance, trying to make up for a rough opening night, where he had qualified times on just two runs and failed. He won the sixth go-round in 10.3 seconds, and then earned another Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle in the seventh when he bested his traveling partners, Patterson and Cody Scheck, in the fastest of the competition.
Patterson had set the standard early with a 10.8, but Scheck went seven players later and scored a 9.6-second run. Herren, the next cowboy on the list, bettered that mark but one-tenth of a second to take the round victory. Herren placed in five rounds and won $20,385.
Scheck, though, finished strong. He scored just one qualified time on opening night, but he made up for it on Saturday, placing in three rounds and winning the other two – well, he split the eighth-round victory with Vin Fisher Jr. (10.0) and won the 10th round in 10.4. Fisher, who entered the Clem McSpadden as a contender for the world title, placed in just three go-rounds.
Those are the breaks at championship events.
“A little bit too conservative, but in the end, it’s all about the ‘W,’” said Brazile, who has won four Montana Silversmiths Gold Buckles in less than a year – he won the Triple Crown in December 2010 with the All-Around, Tie-Down Roping and Team Roping-Heading Championships, then added the Steer Roping Title this November. “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do (to win). There are times of year when it pays to be reckless, and this was not one of those times.
“It’s hard knowing that you’re losing ground. It’s hard not to listen to that, but you can’t get caught up in that. You go to battle in the go-rounds with guys that aren’t in the average.”
As in years past and just like the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the event will consisted of 10 go-rounds to determine the PRCA World Champion and the final 2011 PRCA Steer Roping World Standings. The Lazy E Arena was built to host the NFSR in 1984 by E.K. Gaylord II. The Lazy E hosted this world championship event from 1984 until 2000. After eight years, first in Amarillo followed by Hobbs, the event moved back “home” to the Lazy E. In 2009, the Oklahoma state Legislature unanimously passed a resolution to change the name of the event to honor the late Clem McSpadden, who served for many years in the Oklahoma Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives while also building a reputation as one of the best announcers in rodeo history. He worked the steer roping finals a record 27 times. McSpadden was also known as the “Voice of the Lazy E”.
A portion of the proceeds from the 2011 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping were donated to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Clem McSpadden Endowed Chair at Oklahoma State University. The Lazy E is proud to support these institutions for Western preservation.
The 2011 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping was presented by National Saddlery, with support from Wrangler, American Farmers & Ranchers Insurance, Boyd Gaming, Montana Silversmiths, the American Quarter Horse Association, Justin Boots, Priefert Ranch & Rodeo Equipment, Ram Rodeo, John Vance Auto Group, Pendleton Whisky, Purina Mills, Cinderella Horses, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, Kyler Cattle Company, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, The Oklahoman, One Stop Copy Shop, the Fairfield Inn & Suites – Edmond, Best Western – Edmond, and the Comfort Suites – Edmond.
The Clem McSpadden NFSR was a Lazy E Production. For more information on the NFSR or other Lazy E events, contact the Lazy E Arena, 9600 Lazy E Drive, Guthrie, OK 73044, (405) 282-RIDE, (800) 595-RIDE or visit www.lazye.com.
Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping
Lazy E Arena
First round: 1. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla., 10.5 seconds, $5,077; 2. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 11.1, $4,077; 3. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 11.9, $3,077; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, Edmond, Okla., 12.1, $2,077; 5. Vin Fisher Jr., Andrews, Texas, 12.3, $1,077.
Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan., 10.4 seconds, $5,077; 2. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla., 11.0, $4,077; 3. Vin Fisher Jr., Andrews, Texas, 11.1, $3,077; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, Edmond, Okla., 11.4, $2,077; 5. Will Gasperson, Decatur, Texas, 13.0, $1,077.
Third round: 1. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 11.5 seconds, $5,077; 2. Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla., 11.7, $4,077; 3. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla., 12.0, $3,077; 4. Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas, 12.6, $2,077; 5. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 13.7, $1,077.
Fourth round: 1. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla., 13.2 seconds, $5,077; 2. Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan., 13.5, $4,077; 3. Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas, 14.2, $3,077; 4. Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla., 15.8, $2,077; 5. Kim Ziegelgruber, Edmond, Okla., 16.9, $1,077
Fifth round: 1. Kim Ziegelgruber, Edmond, Okla., 10.7 seconds, $5,077; 2. Mike Chase, McAlester, Okla., 11.4, $4,077; 3. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 11.5, $3,077; 4. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 11.7, $2,077; 5. Bryce Davis, Abilene, Texas, 12.1, $1,077.
Sixth Round: 1. Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla., 10.3 seconds, $5,077; 2. Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan., 11.1, $4,077; 3. Will Gasperson, Decatur, Texas, 11.6, $3,077; 4. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla., 11.9, $2,077; 5. Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas, 12.5, $1,077.
Seventh Round: 1. Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla., 9.5 seconds, $5,077; 2. Cody Scheck, Kiowa, Kan., 9.6, $4,077; 3. Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan., 10.8, $3,077; 4. (tie) Bryce Davis, Abilene, Texas, 11.4, $1,577; 5. Kim Ziegelgruber, Edmond, Okla., 11.4, $1,577
Eight Round: 1. (tie) Vin Fisher Jr., Andrews, Texas, and Cody Scheck, Kiowa, Kan., 10.0 seconds, $4,577 each; 3. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 11.0, $3,077; 4. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 11.7, $2,077; 5. Kim Ziegelgruber, Edmond, Okla., 12.3, $1,077
Ninth Round: 1. Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan., 11.8 seconds, $5,077; 2. Bryce Davis, Abilene, Texas, 12.1, $4,077; 3. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 12.3, $3,077; 4. Jess Tierney, Hermosa, S.D., 13.9, $2,077; 5. Will Gasperson, Decatur, Texas, 14.6, $1,077.
Tenth Round: 1. Cody Scheck, Kiowa, Kan., 10.4 seconds, $5,077; 2. Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla., 11.1, $4,077; 3. Mike Chase, McAlester, Okla., 11.3, $3,077; 4. Bryce Davis, Abilene, Texas, 11.4, $2,077; 5. Will Gasperson, Decatur, Texas, 13.3, $1,077.
Average: 1. Scott Snedecor, Fredericksburg, Texas, 172.8 seconds on ten head, $15,231; 2. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 116.5 on nine, $12,231; 3. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 121.5, $9,231; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, Edmond, Okla., 123.5, $6,231; 5. Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas, 129.7, $3,231; 6. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla., 103.8 on eight; 7. Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla., 110.7; 8. Jess Tierney, Hermosa, S.D., 135.5; 9. Rocky Patterson, Pratt, Kan., 87.3 on seven; 10. Will Gasperson, Decatur, Texas, 100.2; 11. Mike Chase, McAlester, Okla., 104.7; 12. Vin Fisher Jr., Andrews, Texas, 110.9; 13. Bryce Davis, Abilene, Texas, 75.8 on six; 14. Cody Scheck, Kiowa, Kan., 62.8 on five; 15. Ralph Williams, Skiatook, Okla., 80.9.