A year after finishing fourth in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, steer roper Cole Patterson is on the verge of making history in the sport of rodeo.
The Pratt, Kan., cowboy has had the best year of his young career. With six weeks left to go in the regular season Patterson is closing in on the most money ever won by a steer roper before the National Finals Steer Roping.
It’s a feat that came to his attention after winning his first title at the prestigious Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo Aug 1.
“It’s not something you really think about when you’re out rodeoing every weekend, I’m just trying to do as well as I can possibly can,” said Patterson, 26. “I didn’t even know about the record until recently, it probably came into my head that it could be a possibility right after Cheyenne.”
Patterson finds himself with $89,233 earned this season, which is $194 shy of the PRCA record set in 2018 by Tuf Cooper with $89,427. He says his success in 2021 has many layers.
“I’d say I’ve been a little spoiled this year with the success that I’ve had,” Patterson said. “At the bigger rodeos this year there’s been a ton of good steers for us to run on. I’ve been fortunate enough, when I get a good lead in the average it seems I’ve been lucky enough to finish the roping on a great draw.”
Patterson is scheduled to rope in four PRCA events before the end of August, starting with the Wyoming State Fair & Rodeo in Douglas, Aug. 18. He acknowledged while it would be a tremendous feat to break the record, he hopes it won’t be the last time a new name is at the top.
“I mean it’s always cool to break records in a sport that’s been around as long as rodeo has,” Patterson said. “It may sound silly, but I hope it keeps getting broken time and time again. I hope that if I end up breaking it that somebody breaks it in the future because it just means that rodeo is getting better all the time.”
Patterson is also in a prime position to make a run at his first world championship, he currently sits alone atop the world standings. He said accomplishing that goal is what he’s really fighting for but having his name in the record books would be a cherry on top of a magical season.
“It’s definitely what we’re all after when the season starts,” Patterson said. “Anybody who rodeos for a living that says they aren’t out there for that is lying to you. So, it would truly mean everything to get that done this year.”
But he knows neither will come easy this season.
“It gets really tough from here on out the rest of the way,” Patterson said. “It’s really the Top 40 or 50 steer ropers in the world from here on out going to all the rodeos across the country, so the competition in our already difficult sport gets that much tougher.”
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