LAS VEGAS – He’s back.
Cort Scheer proved it quite well Friday night during the second go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, scoring an 84.5-point ride on Three Hills Rodeo’s Big Jet to share the round win with Jake Wright and Wade Sundell. It’s the second go-round victory in his second qualification to ProRodeo’s grand finale, and it was nice to collect the $14,527 paycheck this early in the NFR.
“I just feel like I’ve got some experience under my belt,” said Scheer, who first qualified for the NFR two seasons ago – he missed last year’s championship after suffering a torn knee ligament.
“I’m not going to worry about what’s going to happen, just go after them.” Of course, it helps to have animals like Big Jet, the type of horse that leads cowboys to the pay window more often than not.
“It’s a blast, and I’m drawing great,” said Scheer, 26, of Elsmere, Neb., who attended Garden City (Kan.) Community College, Montana State University and Oklahoma Panhandle State University on rodeo scholarships.
“That sets everything up right there.
“Some people are saying this is another rodeo, but I’m thinking, ‘This is Vegas.’ I want to win this thing. I’m excited about this. I want to use that to get better.”
Riding well on the biggest stage in the sport is a good way to do it. Doing so on Big Jet proves something to those who care about the sport.
“It’s one thing when you draw a horse you don’t know, but it’s another when you’ve seen a horse a couple of times,” Scheer said. “I told my dad, ‘If I ride him good, I’ve got this one.’ ”
Mission accomplished. The purse is $6.5 million, and go-round winners will earn $18,257 each night – unless they split first place three ways, of course. When the rugged 10-round slugfest ends, the contestants with the top cumulative score or time will add a bonus of $46,821.
“I’m thinking Round 3 right now,” Scheer said. “You go round by round, and that’s what makes up the average. If you start thinking 10th round, you’re going to forget the third round. You’ve got to go after them every time, and you’re not going to have to worry about it.”