by Chris Dize
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MULVANE, Kan. – Cole Patterson left no doubt who the best steer roper is in the PRCA in 2021.

Patterson, who came into the National Finals Steer Roping with a $39,415 lead in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, was never threatened as he cruised to his first career gold buckle at the Kansas Star Arena.

“The hardest one to get is the first gold buckle and to get it this early is big,” said Patterson, 26. “I have a ton of family here and I will be talking to them all night. This has been a long time coming. A lot of work has gone into this. I want to try and reflect on everything. To think just four years ago I was learning how to do this.”

Patterson won Round 3 and Round 8, as well as placed in eight other rounds to earn an NFSR-record $85,726. He finished atop the world standings with $190,242, a single-season steer roping earnings mark.

Patterson’s NFSR earnings broke the mark of $70,651 set by Cody Lee in 2016. Patterson also won the average with a 97.7-second time on nine head to collect $27,347.

Scott Snedecor took second place in the world standings with $95,951 – $94,291 behind Patterson.

Patterson earned $104,516 in the regular season, which ended Sept. 30, which set the steer roping regular season record. And he kept cashing checks at the Kansas Star.

Cole broke the single-season steer roping earnings record of $142,350 set by his father Rocky in 2016. Rocky finished 10th in the world standings with $63,029.

Cole joins his father as a steer roping world champion. Rocky won championships in 2009-10, 2012 and 2016. The Pattersons are the third father and son to win steer roping world titles. They join John McEntire (1934) and Clark McEntire (1956-57, 1961) and Charles Good (1975) and Gary Good (1979).

“Anytime I get to rope with my dad no matter if it is in Mulvane or some little bitty rodeo in the middle of nowhere, I try not to take it for granted because I know one day it will not be there,” Cole said. “He’s one of the best to ever do it and he taught me everything. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher, a better dad. He’s helped me every step of the way.”

Rocky was thrilled to have his son reach the top of the PRCA summit like he has.

“Watching Cole win a gold buckle is something else,” he said. “It is pretty special to get to compete with him and then get to watch him put on a dominating performance like he did here was great to see. You can teach anybody to do this, but they have to be willing to bang their head against the wall every day to work at if they want to rope like he did here (at the NFSR).”

Cole placed second in Round 1 (10.3 seconds); fourth in Round 2 (12.2); and then won Round 3 (9.5). He followed that up with second-place finishes in Round 4 (11.2) and Round 5 (9.9).

On Saturday, Cole failed to place in Round 6 and rebounded to take fourth in Round 7 (11.6). Then, he clocked 9.9 seconds to win Round 8. In Round 9, he took third at 11.2 seconds.

The only drama left for Cole in Round 10 was to see if he could set the NFSR 10-head average record held by Trevor Brazile at 111.3 seconds and established in 2015.

Cole needed a 13.5-second run, and he came up short with a no time.

“Missing that last one is probably going to keep me up a few nights, but I think I did pretty well here,” Cole said. “That just shows how good Trevor Brazile is.”

Cole still won the average and he and Rocky became the fifth father and son to accomplish that feat in steer roping joining the company of Jim Snively (1959) and Joe Snively (1961, 1972); James Allen (1971) and Guy Allen (1989, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2004); Charles Good (1976) and Gary Good (1979); and Jim Davis (1988) and Bryce Davis (2009).

Cole was riding Tigger, 16, the 2021 Nutrena Steer Roping Horse of the Year presented by AQHA at the Kansas Star.

“A lot of what I have been able to do comes back to this horse,” Cole said. “I feel like I have an unfair advantage when I saddle this horse in the morning. That’s not a knock on anybody else’s horse. There were so many good horses that were in this building this weekend, but this horse right here has something special about him.”

Thomas Smith won an event-best three rounds. He won Round 1 with a 10.0-second time and then tied the Round 4 NFSR record with a 9.0-second winning time. Snedecor set the Round 4 record in 2020. Smith added the Round 6 win with a 10.3 run. He earned $32,807 at the NFSR.

Chet Herren ($44,705), who was second in the average, and Jess Tierney ($43,779) won the second and third most money at the 2021 NFSR.

Slade Wood won Round 2 with an 11.7-second time to win the Colby Goodwin Award. The Second Go-Round Award is given in honor of the late Goodwin, who passed away after being injured during the ninth round of 1999 NFSR.

Wood, who finished sixth in the world standings with $82,307 also won the Dixon McGowan Award, given to the highest-ranked first-time qualifier to the NFSR. The award memorializes McGowan, who died at age 23 in an automobile accident May 10, 1997.

Wood also was the Resistol All-Around and Steer Roping Rookie of the Year.

Article Courtesy of PRCA

Photo By: Click Thompson

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