A few tenths of a second and just more than $3,600 is the difference between Shane Hanchey owning three gold buckles as the PRCA World Champion Tie-down Roper instead of one.
Despite winning the most money in tie-down roping at the last two Wrangler National Finals Rodeos and winning the average in 2020, Hanchey fell just short of the title in both seasons, finishing third by $2,408 in 2020 and second in 2019 by an even slimmer $1,181.
Coming that close has certainly lit a fire under the 2013 PRCA World Champion and 11-time NFR qualifier in 2021.
“I want to lie and say it doesn’t cross my mind at least once every day,” Hanchey said. “But it does.
“It gives me extra motivation because the end goal every season is to win that gold buckle.”
At this point in his highly decorated career, there aren’t many rodeo titles missing from his résumé, but Hanchey filled in one of the few holes with a win at the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Ariz., after roping two calves in 18.4 seconds June 29. The rodeo concluded July 4.
“I think if you’d told me before the Fourth that I would only win maybe $10,000 but I’d win Prescott, I think I probably would have said, ‘I’ll take it.’ I’ve never won a dime in Prescott before,” Hanchey said. “But I’ve always seen the buckle and wanted to win one.”
Hanchey was just out of the money on his first run with a 9.3-second effort and stayed consistent with a 9.1 in round two that picked up a share of sixth. He added $5,044 to his pocketbook, pushing him over $100,000 on the season. He also maintained his lead in the ProRodeo Tour and PRCA | RAM World Standings.
Making the win sweeter for Hanchey was the fact that it was earned aboard his great horse Si, registered Simon Cow, the 2017 PRCA | AQHA Tie-down Roping Horse of the Year.
Si suffered a major injury to his left hind ankle and Hanchey turned the gelding out on pasture.
“It’s a pretty cool story . . . I’ve just brought him back after more than a year off after an injury,” Hanchey said. “We kicked him out with the broodmares and babies.”
In October 2020, Hanchey and his horseshoer were trimming horses in that pasture when Si came running up to the pair. Seeing that he appeared sound, Hanchey scheduled an appointment with his veterinarian, who confirmed the gelding had rehabilitated himself.
Hanchey began the process of getting Si back in shape, and he returned to competition at The American Semi-Finals in the breakaway roping with Hanchey’s wife, Taylor. In addition to the Prescott win, Hanchey also won the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo on Si in May.
“We just went from there (the American), and he’s gotten better and better,” Hanchey said. “He’s that kind of set-up horse … those long scores like Guymon and Prescott.
“We’re just picking the spots for him, but it’s pretty cool knowing that I can use him when I need to in those situations.”
Solid horsepower is a key part of Hanchey’s success this season – in addition to Si, he’s been riding his mare Pam Pam and TJ, a horse owned by Logan Bird.
“This whole game is confidence,” Hanchey said. “If you don’t have it, it’s hard to win. I came off a great NFR and have a lot of confidence in my horsepower. I’m in a good place mentally and physically.”
Other winners at the $268,895 rodeo were all-around cowboy Stetson Wright ($8,410, saddle bronc riding and bull riding); bareback rider Caleb Bennett (90 points on New Star Pro Rodeo’s Chosen One); steer wrestler Dirk Tavenner (9.1 seconds on two head); team ropers Derrick Begay/Cory Petska and Clint Summers/Ross Ashford (12.5 seconds on two head); saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright (89 points on Vold Rodeo’s Sun Glow); barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (34.68 seconds on two runs); steer roper Taylor Santos (36.0 seconds on three head); and bull rider Shawn Bennett Jr. (88.5 points on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Crazy Nights).
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