The Fort Hays State University rodeo team now has a cowboy two for three in the 2010-2011 season. Senior Cody Pratt, who placed third in the average in steer wrestling at the second rodeo of the season in Pratt, recently repeated his success in Durant, Okla., where he also finished third in the average.
The Southeastern Oklahoma State University Rodeo was last weekend, Oct. 7-9, in Durant, Okla.
Pratt beat out 46 other cowboys with his time of 4.4 seconds to make the short-go round, which only takes the top ten times. Pratt had a 4.7-second run in the short-go. The two times combined to place him third in the average, which bumped him ahead of 53 competitors.
Pratt said the good steers he drew helped make his weekend a success.
“I drew well over the weekend and was able to be successful by taking advantage of it,” Pratt said.
“In rodeo the draw is a huge factor, and everything came together well.”
Performing better than that many cowboys is no easy task. The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Central Plains Region, of which Fort Hays competes in, is well-known for being one of the toughest regions in the country.
With about 20 colleges and universities from Kansas and Oklahoma (and one from Missouri), the Central Plains Regions has more member schools than any of the 11 regions in the NIRA.
Hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls compete at each rodeo in the region.
And the region doesn’t just stand out in numbers; the skills of its cowboys and cowgirls rank right with the best. Three of the 2010 national champions were from the Central Plains Region.
“The Central Plains Region is a very tough region due to the large amount of competitors and the talent that they hold,” Pratt said. “With over five hundred competitors, you must be on your A game to be successful.”
Pratt is now second in the regional standings.
In goat tying, Sam Tenpenny, freshman, came just 0.2 seconds away from the short-go for the second weekend in a row. In addition to that, she was also the fastest cowgirl on her goat that she drew with a time of 9.3 seconds. She ended up in 12th place, just two spots shy of the short-go.
Although Tenpenny admitted coming so close twice in a row was frustrating, she also said it is encouraging to know she ranks close to the top goat tiers in the region.
“It is very frustrating coming so close the past two weekends,” Tenpenny said, “especially when I’ve been the fastest on my goat both weekends. There wasn’t much else I could have done.”
“At the same time, it is just as encouraging because it proves that I can tie with some of the best goat tiers in the nation. Our region is very tough, and it is my honor to be up there with them.”
Fort Hays also had another member in the 12th hole. Cory Hatcher, junior, barely missed the short-go in calf roping with a time of 10.7 seconds.
The team travels next to Alva, Okla., for the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Rodeo, Nov. 4-6.