LAS VEGAS – There’s not much in this world that is going to keep saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer down.
Yes, his dreams of being the 2015 world champion were dashed early at the National Finals Rodeo, but he maintained a strong mental focus and finished the year-end championship on a high note.
On the final night of the ProRodeo season, Scheer spurred Big Bend Rodeo’s Kool Toddy for 86 points to finish in a tie for second place in the 10th go-round. He placed on three of the last four nights and left Las Vegas with $54,577.
“When you finish one strong, you prove to everybody that they can’t get you down,” said Scheer, a five-time NFR qualifier from Elsmere, Neb. “That’s what bronc riding is all about. You keep pushing, and you keep going at every horse. You just spur one out, and you have fun.
His final-round ride earned Scheer $18,192 and was a solid way to conclude his strong campaign.
“That horse is awesome and has been great for a long time,” he said. “I had that horse in Cloverdale (British Columbia) and was 88 on her there. She’s shaky when you leave (the chute), but you’ve just take care of business and have fun.
“I had nothing to lose. I sat in the chute and had fun. I was excited, because it was all or nothing. If I’d hit the ground, it would’ve been the same thing. You go out there because you have something to prove.”
He proved it, focusing on the fundamentals. He excels at that, which is why he’s a regular fixture among the top 15 in the world standings. Over the last five years, the only time he has missed an NFR was because of an injury. That was in 2011, and he still finished 25th in the world standings.
“The three times I won a check this week, I spurred the horse out good,” he said of setting the heels of his Justin boots above the breaks of the horse’s shoulders on the initial jump out of the chute. “That sets up the whole bronc riding, and that epitomizes bronc riding.
“It was great to have a chance to ride that bucking horse.”
It also was great to finish the season well. Scheer had a roller-coaster ride through the challenges of the 10-day championship in the Nevada desert. He overcame it because of his love for the game and because of the fellow bronc riders, who are part of a tight fraternity.
“I’m never going to quit,” said Scheer, who attended Garden City (Kan.) Community College, Montana State University and Oklahoma Panhandle State University on rodeo scholarships. “I’m going to be here for a long time. I’m having a blast, but welcome to rodeo: It’s a love-you or hate-you sport.
“Rodeo is awesome because of the rewards, and it’s not the money. It’s the respect from your fellow bronc riders and your idols that tell you that you rode great. That’s what it’s all about.”