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Two-time world champion Scott Snedecor of Fredricksburg, Texas, added another prestigious title to his resume Tuesday afternoon.
Snedecor, a 13-time qualifier to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Rodeo, roped and tied three calves in 26.8 seconds to win $4,862. It marked the second time in his career that the Texan has claimed the Dodge City Roundup steer roping championship.
â€śJust being Dodge City is important for us,â€ť he said. â€śPart of the attraction of this rodeo is the buckle they give; that was one of the elite buckles that stick out when you see it on somebody.
â€śThe committee here works so hard, and we all really appreciate Mike (Lehmke) for sponsoring steer roping. They really do take care of us.â€ť
Snedecor split the opening-round victory with Troy Tillard of Douglas, Wyo.; both cowboys posted 11.2-second runs. Mike Chase of McAlester, Okla., won the second round with a 10.4-second run, while Neal Wood of Needville, Texas, scored a 10.2 â€“ the fastest run of the day â€“ to win the final round.
Snedecor first won the Roundup buckle in 2008, the same year he won his second world title â€“ he also won the gold buckle in 2005. Heading into the week, he was fourth in the world standings with more than $42,000
â€śThe year started out good; Iâ€™d won $15,000 before January,â€ť he said, noting that the rodeo season runs from Oct. 1-Sept. 30 each year. â€śMy horse tore up his flexor tendon in March, and I went through seven or eight horses trying to get one to work.â€ť
But friends came through. In fact, Snedecor has borrowed a horse from fellow roper Shandon Stalls of McLean, Texas, the past two weeks, and itâ€™s paid off. He has earned more than $20,000 in that span.
â€śThis horse is 21 years old, and heâ€™s pretty good,â€ť Snedecor said. â€śHe stays out of my way and lets me work. This event is probably more demanding of horsepower than any event. When you get off one, youâ€™ve got to trust it. It takes a special horse. There arenâ€™t many out there like that.â€ť
DODGE CITY, Kan. â€“ For the better part of the last three years, Jacob Oâ€™Mara has spent more time on the disabled list than any athlete would like.
Itâ€™s especially hard for rodeo cowboys, who have no guaranteed contracts. The only way they make money is to win it, and Oâ€™Mara has been at his Baton Rouge, La., home a lot more than heâ€™s been on the rodeo trail.
â€śIâ€™ve had a lot of down time and a lot of home time, but I wouldnâ€™t take it back,â€ť he said. â€śIf God wouldnâ€™t have put me through and allowed me to go through the things I did, I wouldnâ€™t be where I am today spiritually and a lot of my personal live. Iâ€™m thankful for that.â€ť
He has returned with a vengeance, winning Tuesday nightâ€™s Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls title. He rode 4L and Diamond S Rodeoâ€™s Lil Warrior for 86 points to win the championship to earn $4,963.
Oâ€™Mara won Roundupâ€™s bull riding title in 2011 and parlayed that into a qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He finished the year fifth in the world standings, but that was followed by a series of injuries that have left him away from the game he loves for months at a time.
â€śI feel good right now,â€ť said Oâ€™Mara, who was ranked 33rd in the bull riding standings heading into this week. â€śI had to take a couple weeks off in June because I bruised my rotator cuff, but I came back strong. I had a decent Fourth (of July run); I placed in the middle of the pack but felt like I was riding good.â€ť
As is the case with any sport, there are definite slumps that come along. He experienced a short one last week.
â€śIt lit a fire in me to come back here,â€ť he said. â€śBeing familiar with this rodeo and having had success here, itâ€™s a comfort zone. Iâ€™m glad to get that fire underneath me and want to let it roll from here.â€ť
Oâ€™Mara was just a half point better than 2011 world champion Shane Proctor of Grand Coulee, Wash., who finished second. Dustin Bowen of Waller, Texas, placed third with an 83.5, while Dodge City-born bull rider Tyler Hessman of Beaver, Okla., finished in a three-way tie for fourth with Brett Stall of Detroit Lakes, Mich., and Caleb Sanderson of Hallettsville, Texas, with 83s
A little more than two months remain in the 2015 regular season, and cowboys must be in the top 15 in the world standings if they want to play for the biggest pay in the game at the NFR.
â€śWeâ€™ve got enough time left, but itâ€™s crunch time,â€ť Oâ€™Mara said. â€śIf Iâ€™m going to make a shot for the NFR, Iâ€™ve got to keep the ball rolling.â€ť
Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls
Dodge City, Kan.
1. Jacob O’Mara, 86 points on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Lil Warrior, $4,963; 2. Shane Proctor, 85.5, $3,805; 3. Dustin Bowen, 83.5, $2,812; 4. (tie) Brett Stall, Caleb Sanderson and Tyler Hessman, 83, $1,268 each; 7. Reid Barker, 82, $662; 8. (tie) Guthrie Murray and Trevor Kastner, 81, $248 each.