World’s best cowboys set to Battle during Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping
GUTHRIE, Okla. – Cody Lee realizes it takes more than great roping if he is to win his first Steer Roping World Championship.
“I’ve had a pretty lucky year,” said Lee, 37, of Gatesville, Texas, the top-ranked cowboy heading into the 2012 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, presented by National Saddlery set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.
“But with Rocky and Trevor right on your heels, you can’t have a big enough lead when those two are behind you.”
He’s talking about Rocky Patterson and Trevor Brazile, who, combined, have won five of the last six Steer Roping World Titles. Brazile, 35, of Decatur, Texas, is the reigning champ who also won Steer Roping gold buckles in 2006-07; Patterson, 46, of Pratt, Kan., won the world in 2009-10. While Lee leads the race heading into this weekend’s championship, Patterson and Brazile join Vin Fisher Jr. of Andrews, Texas, in the top four and in contention to move into the No. 1 spot from the opening tip.
“This event’s so tough,” said Patterson, who is making his 18th trip to the steer roping finale in his 21st season as a pro. “Trevor went in last year with a pretty good lead. This year’s going to be different. There are four of us that could change the lead every go-round.”
Lee knows that as well as anyone. This is his highest qualifying spot for the Clem McSpadden, but he’s been among the top 15 ropers in the game eight times.
“It’s been good all year,” he said, referring to the $62,745 he earned through the regular season. “I just need to stick to my game plan and try tying them all down.”
With more than $5,000 on the line for the winners of each of the 10 go-rounds, that’s good reason to be sure. But the total payout is a good reason why contestants are eager to make it to the Lazy E Arena in November. Ralph Williams of Skiatook, Okla., is back for the second straight year, but it’s just the second time he’s been part of the elite field in his career.
“To make it there with the caliber of ropers I’ve had to go against all year is a great feeling,” said Williams, who snuck into the field on the final weekend of the regular season. “There was a lot of tension going on heading to that weekend. We were checking each other’s steers and comparing notes, just trying to put it all together. It was intense.”
The intensity gets turned up quite a bit this week. Not only is this the largest purse in the sport this season, the NFSR is where the World Champion will be crowned.
“When I started roping, the goal was to make the finals once,” Patterson said. “Then once you’ve been there a half-dozen times, you hope for something better.
“Of course, it’s fun to be in the race right there at the top.”
As in years past and just like the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the event will consist of 10 go-rounds to determine the PRCA World Champion and the final 2012 PRCA Steer Roping World Standings. On Friday night, Nov. 2, Rounds 1 through 5 will take place – that means 75 runs in one night. Then on Saturday night, Nov. 3, Rounds 6 through 10 – and another 75 runs – will determine who walks out of the Lazy E Arena with the PRCA World Championship gold buckle and saddle.
The Lazy E Arena was built to host the NFSR in 1984 by E.K. Gaylord II. 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.”
Steer roping fans will enjoy all of the activities planned for the performances and in addition, the Senior National Finals Steer Roping will take place during the day at the Lazy E Arena on Nov. 2-3. VIP ticket prices for each performance of the NFSR are $37 … Box seats $30 and general admission $20 pre-show. Children 12 and under are free in general admission. Group discounts are also available … Call (800) 595-RIDE for complete details. A portion of the proceeds from the 2012 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping will again be 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.
Tickets are on sale now at www.lazye.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000 or by calling the Lazy E directly at (800) 595-RIDE. A portion of the proceeds from the 2012 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping will be 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 2012 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping is 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, 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 is 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.