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Persistence pays off for Pawhuska roper at National Finals

GUTHRIE — Persistence paid off for Chet Herren at the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping.

The Pawhuskan roped all nine of his steers to take fifth place in the average standings of the finals event for Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association steer ropers, which was held Friday and Saturday night at the historic Lazy E Arena. Only the year’s top 15 money winners qualify for the NFSR.

How tough was the competition at the 2013 steer roping finals? Despite his nine-for-nine performance, Herren dropped from third place to seventh in the end-of-season world standings.

Trevor Brazile saved the best for Saturday’s final round as he unleashed the weekend’s fastest time to capture his fourth steer roping crown. It was the record-tying 18th championship in the pro rodeo career of Brazile, who also has won 10 all-around titles, plus four more for roping (three in calf/tie-down and one in team).

After recording a no-time in the opening round Friday, Brazile won four of the nine remaining rounds to finish the weekend with earnings of $26,462. His 9.0-second gem in Saturday’s 10th round allowed the 36-year-old Decatur, Texas cowboy to overtake defending champion Rocky Patterson, who led Brazile by $5,000 coming in to the NFSR. A no-time in Friday’s fifth round started Patterson’s demise, although the Pratt, Kan., roper entered the bonus round still holding a $1,018 lead.

The championship brought Brazile even with Guy Allen, who won all his 18 titles (all in steer roping) between 1977 and 2004. Brazile had previously won steer roping crowns in 2006, 2007 and 2011. Allen, of Santa Anna, Texas, is the brother of Pawhuska Fire Chief Gip Allen, who is also an accomplished roper.

Tony Reina edged out fellow Texan Cody Lee by 3.3 seconds to take home this year’s NFSR average title. Herren had worked his way up to fifth in the average standings by the end of Friday’s rounds and reached third place after the ninth round on Saturday. The Pawhuskan, who turned 34 last week, was third in the overall standings when the finals began.

Sixteen-time NFSR qualifier Rod Hartness of Pawhuska narrowly missed the cut this year as he ended the regular season 16th in money earnings. Three other area ropers also came close to qualifying this year: Brad Prather of Skiatook placed 17th, J. Paul Williams of Burbank was 22nd and Ralph Williams of Skiatook finished 24th.

J.P. Wickett of Sallisaw set the pace Friday with a five-head time of 66.3 seconds, but faded from contention on day two. Reina earned more than $15,000 by winning the average, while Herren’s fifth-place share amounted to $3,231.

Here are the 2013 Final World Standings: 1. Trevor Brazile, $84,220.86; 2. Rocky Patterson, $80,162.43; 3. Cody Lee, $68,977.42; 4. JoJo LeMond, $64,971.09; 5. J. Tom Fisher, $60,412.13; 6. Scott Snedecor, $59,645.86; and, 7. Chet Herren, $58,791.24; 8. J.P. Wickett, $57,123.58; 9. Tony Reina, $56,306.42; 10. Jess Tierney, $54,715.48; 11. Dan Fisher, $50,997.26; 12. Vin Fisher Jr., $50,925.69; 13. Joe Wells, $46,503.99; 14. Bryce Davis, $35,790.66; 15. Mike Chase, $29,490.12.

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