PRYOR, OK —
GUTHRIE — There’s something majestic about the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, especially when the greatest cowboys compete.
It becomes even more special this week when ProRodeo’s elite are in the historic building for the 2013 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9.
“It’s special every year, because you rope all year to get there,” said Cody Lee, the fourth-ranked steer roper in the world standings. “Your goal to start out the season is to make the finals and have a chance to win the world title.”
Lee has a chance. The Gatesville, Texas, cowboy earned $54,593 through the regular season, which ended Sept. 30. He trails the money leader, three-time world champion Rocky Patterson of Pratt, Kan., by $16,339. While that may seem insurmountable in most circumstances, it’s not the case at the Clem McSpadden, which features the largest purse in the sport this season.
“With what the go-rounds and the average pay, I’ve got a shot,” said Lee, now in his eighth qualification to steer roping’s championship event. “Rocky’s not going to going to give it away, and Trevor will be there; those guys are hard to beat.”
Trevor is Trevor Brazile, a 17-time world champion who owns three steer roping gold buckles of his own – he also has three world titles in tie-down roping, one in team roping-heading and a record 10 in the all-around. Brazile is the No. 2 cowboy in the race for the world title with $57,759, just $13,173 behind Patterson.
“If you’re rodeoing for a living, the only chance you’ve got to make money is to make the finals and hope you have a good finals,” said Chet Herren, an eight-time NFSR qualifier from Pawhuska, Okla., who sits third on the money list with $55,560. “What you rope for is a chance for the world championship.”
The field features the top 15 contestants in the world standings, all of whom have battled throughout the rugged regular season in order to earn a spot in this elite field. In addition to Patterson and Brazile, two-time world champion Scott Snedecor of Fredricksburg, Texas, is in the mix. Between the three, they own the last eight steer roping gold buckles.
They will be joined by some of the greatest ropers ever to have competed in the sport, including record-setter Dan Fisher and his two sons, Vin Jr. and J. Tom. Fisher, now 62, is the oldest man to have qualified for National Finals event in ProRodeo history, and he keeps breaking the record every year.
Tickets are on sale at www.lazye.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster 800-745-3000 or by calling the Lazy E directly at 800-595-RIDE.
Call early for the best seats possible for this world championship.