Not every town can boast a world champion at something, but Pratt can.
Local cowboy and rodeo legend Rocky Patterson earned the title of 2012 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Steer Roping Champion at the Clem McFadden National Steer Roping Finals held over the weekend at Guthrie, Oklahoma.
It was the third time in the past four years that Patterson has won the title of world steer roping champion.
It was not an easy victory, as Patterson needed a fast time in his final go-round in order to secure the title.
That’s just what Patterson did. He posted a 10.3-second run to win the 10th go-rounds and edge Trevor Brazile by $418 to win his third professional championship title.
Going into the Saturday finals, it was a very tight race. “This is the closest race in years,” said announcer Charlie Throckmorton, who called the action at his 13th NFSR this weekend. “This is the way it’s supposed to be.”
Patterson had held the world standings lead since the fourth go-round, but he had two no-times on Friday night.
That nearly cost him a place in the top five in the 10-round aggregate race, which would have taken him out of the running for world champion.
Brazile held a distinct advantage heading into the final go-rounds, having pocketed a $15,000+ bonus check for having the best average.
Patterson was the last roper to compete Saturday night knowing he needed to win the final go-round and hope he earned an average check if he were to catch Brazile. Patterson’s 10.3 did both – he finished fifth in the average – making that single run worth $8,308.
“A guy always dreams of winning the first one,” said Patterson, 46, who won his first Montana Silversmiths gold buckle in 2009. “Anytime you get to compete in the same arena as Trevor Brazile is a privilege and to be able to come out on top is unbelievable.
“I think knowing how fast I had to be helped, because I don’t rope as fast as some of the guys normally, so I knew I had to go at him.”
Patterson placed in seven go-rounds and won three. In fact, he placed in all five rounds on Saturday night, winning two. Of his $29,731, more than $21,000 came on the final night.
“That’s just great competition,” said Brazile, a 16-time World Champion who leads the all-around standings heading to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. “When everyone executes, it’s where the chips fall. I was more proud of my performance this week than I have ever been. I feel like I executed better this week, and I don’t feel like I left anything on the table.”
Page 2 of 2 - “At the end of the day, I have no regrets. My hat’s off to Rocky. That was a lot of pressure he had to overcome as well.”
The NFSR was a four-man race from the start, including the year-end leader Cody Lee of Gatesville, Texas, and third-place finisher Vin Fisher Jr. of Andrews, Texas.
Lee faded during the 10 rugged rounds, but Fisher, Brazile and Patterson remained knotted until Patterson emerged victorious in his final run. Of course, it helped that Patterson had roped lights out all night long.
“Everybody knew Trevor was in the lead coming in tonight,” Patterson said. “You can spend a lot of your time worrying about Trevor when you don’t need to, because Trevor is going to take care of Trevor. He’s not going to mess up, so you just have to take care of yourself.”
Brazile and Mike Chase of McAlester, Okla., are the only two cowboys to rope and tie down all 10 steers. The result was Brazile’s first NFSR average championship.
But the title of 2012 World Champion Steer Roper belongs to Pratt’s very own Rocky Patterson. By coming up big when the chips were down, he made Pratt proud once again of their hometown hero.