MULVANE, Kan. – With an opportunity to win his fourth gold buckle, Scott Snedecor delivered in dramatic fashion Saturday night.
The Fredericksburg, Texas, cowboy won his second-consecutive gold buckle by winning Round 10 with a blistering, 9.0-second time at the 2018 Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping at the Kansas Star Arena.
Snedecor, who also won world titles in 2005, 2008 and 2017, finished with $121,930 in the PRCA | RAM World Standings to edge regular-season leader Tuf Cooper, who placed second with $112,157.
“This is awesome,” said Snedecor, 43. “I had just wanted to win a world title, and it didn’t matter whether I won another one or not after the first one. Now, I have a buckle for everybody in my family.”
Snedecor and his wife, Kelli, have two children, son, Colton and daughter, Kallyn.
When Snedecor backed into the box for Round 10 – factoring in that he was fifth in the average – he trailed Cooper by $4,096.
To clinch the title, Snedecor, who as the 14th roper in Round 10 went right before Cooper, had to win the round, which paid $9,155 and earn a check in the average race. If Snedecor did that, Cooper wouldn’t be able to catch him.
And that’s exactly how things unfolded. In addition to winning the 10th round, Snedecor also took home $13,202 for finishing fourth in the average.
“I don’t crunch numbers anymore, that’s not my deal,” Snedecor said. “I practiced and I prepared for this, and I just went out and focused on doing what I do and having fun. I would have preferred it (the championship won) before Round 10, but man it’s an exciting feeling to go out there like I have practiced and have it pay off like this. That’s what it comes down to, preparing and doing what I prepared to do.”
Snedecor joins Rocky Patterson with four gold buckles. Only legendary Guy Allen (18), Everett Shaw (6) and Trevor Brazile (6) have more steer roping gold buckles than Snedecor and Patterson.
Snedecor won Round 2 and Round 10 outright and split the win in Round 1. He also was second in Round 4, while he split fourth in Round 6. He earned $51,086 at the NFSR, the most of any cowboy.
For the second year in a row, Snedecor won the world championship riding Possum.
“Possum is an outstanding equine athlete,” Snedecor said. “Stephen Stransky owns that horse. He and I grew up together, and I’m fortunate to get to ride that horse. It doesn’t matter what circumstance you put that horse in, he’s great under any condition, long score, short score. He’s easy to rope on, and I’m lucky to have a buddy like that to let me take that horse when I need him.”
Cooper had an outstanding regular season, establishing the PRCA record for money earned in a season before the NFSR with $89,427. The previous record was set in 1998 by Allen with $87,927.
However, Cooper had a rough NFSR, registering a no-time in six of the 10 rounds.
After the first day where he didn’t earn any money, Cooper bounced back in Round 6. He won the round in 8.3 seconds, tying the fastest run in NFSR history with Cash Myers (2006), Jess Tierney (2015) and Allen (2016).
Cooper then placed fourth in Round 7 with an 11.0-second run and earned $4,420 to take over the lead in the season standings with $103,002. Snedecor was second with $99,574 after recording a no time in Round 7.
The door opened again for Snedecor when Cooper’s 10.6-second time in Round 8 was nullified because he didn’t have a wrap on all three legs.
Snedecor clocked a 13.2-second run, which didn’t place in the round, leaving Cooper with the $3,428 lead in the world standings.
Cooper then applied more pressure by winning Round 9 with a 9.5-second run, but Snedecor answered in Round 10 to claim his world title.
“First-place in the go-round in the last round would not have won me a world championship,” said Cooper, who had a no time in Round 10. “Scott Snedecor is best (steer roper) in the world, congratulations (to him).”
Cody Lee won the average with a 132.0-second time on 10 head. He earned the $27,347 first-place check and moved up from 15th to sixth in the world standings with $82,976. Brice Davis finished second in the average with a 136.7-second time on 10.
Lee and Davis were the only competitors to rope all 10 steers.
“I outlasted everybody,” said Lee, who also won the NFSR average in 2016. “I just kept tying them down. It feels great to win that first-place average check ($27,347).”