By Frank J. Buchman
Most dads like for their sons to follow their interests in life.
They typically don’t even mind if their son is actually better than they are.
That’s the way it is with Rocky Patterson, a world renowned professional steer roper from Pratt.
His son Cole Patterson with the very best teacher in the world has followed in his dad’s boot steps.
Cole Patterson, also of Pratt, became the world champion steer roper climaxing the National Finals Steer Roping (NFSR) at Mulvane.
Claiming his first world championship gold buckle in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Cole even had to beat his dad. He did so quote handily in the two-day, ten-head yearend championship finale
Yet, Cole Patterson, 26, is still a major distance behind Rocky Patterson in professional steer roping accomplishments.
Rocky Patterson, 56, has won four world champion steer roper titles while qualifying for the yearend finals 26 times. This was the third time Cole has qualified for the finals, and his first world championship buckle.
Coming into the finals with a $39,415 lead in regular season standings, Cole was never threatened to claim his first career world title.
Cole earned an NFSR-record $85,726 to finish atop the world standings with $190,242, a single-season steer roping earnings mark. That broke the single-season steer roping earnings record of $142,350 set by his father Rocky in 2016.
“The hardest one to get is the first gold buckle and to get it this early is big,” Cole Patterson told the Pro Rodeo News following his major accomplishment.
“A lot of work has gone into this,” Cole said. “I want to try and reflect on everything. To think just four years ago I was learning how to do this.”
His NFSR earnings broke the mark of $70,651 set by Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas, in 2016. Cole Patterson also won the average with a 97.7-seconds time on nine head to collect $27,347.
Scott Snedecor, Fedricksburg, Texas took second place in the world standings with $95,951, which was $94,291 behind Cole Patterson.
Rocky Patterson finished 10th in the world standings this year with $63,029. Still, Rocky has won world steer roping championships in 2009-10, 2012 and 2016. Unofficially, he’s collected more than a million dollars as a professional rodeo steer roper.
The Pattersons are the third father and son to win steer roping world titles. They join John McEntire (1934) and Clark McEntire (1956-57, 1961) and Charles Good (1975) and Gary Good (1979).
Rocky was quite pleased to have his son win the world championship like he has done before.
“Watching Cole win a gold buckle is something else,” Rocky said. “It is special to get to compete with him and then get to watch him put on a dominating performance. You can teach anybody to do this, but they have to be willing to bang their head against the wall.”
Feeling was mutual for his world champion son. “Anytime I get to rope with my dad, I try not to take it for granted,” Cole said. “He’s one of the best to ever do it and he taught me everything. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher, a better dad. He’s helped me every step of the way.”
Cole was riding Tigger, 16, the 2021 Steer Roping Horse of the Year as recognized by the American Quarter Horse Association.
“A lot of what I have been able to do comes back to this horse,” Cole said. “I feel like I have an unfair advantage when I saddle Tigger. That’s not a knock on anybody else’s horse. There are so many good horses, but this horse definitely has something special about him.”
Cole placed second in Round 1 (10.3 seconds); fourth in Round 2 (12.2); and then won Round 3 (9.5). He followed that up with second-place finishes in Round 4 (11.2) and Round 5 (9.9).
Failing to place in Round 6, Cole rebounded to take fourth in Round 7 (11.6). Then, he clocked 9.9-seconds to win Round 8. In Round 9, Cole took third with 11.2-seconds.
The only drama left for Cole in Round 10 was to see if he could beat the NFSR 10-head average record. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, roped and tied ten head in 111.3-seconds at the 2015 finals.
Cole needed a 13.5-seconds run, and he came up short with a no time. “Missing that last one is probably going to keep me up a few nights,” Cole said. “That just shows how good Trevor Brazil is.”
Cole still won the average and he and Rocky became the fifth father and son to accomplish that feat.
Completing the top 15 yearend 2021 PRCA steer roping placings: Snedecor, $95,951; Jess Tierney, Hermosa, South Dakota, $89,646; J. Tom Fisher, Andrews, Texas; $88,401; Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Oklahoma, $84,371; Slade Wood, New Ulm, Texas, $82,307; Vin Fisher, Andrews, Texas, $73,599; Landon McClaugherty, Tilden, Texas, $71,757: Thomas Smith, Barnsdall, Oklahoma, $67,398; Rocky Patterson, $63,029; Taylor Santos, Creston, California, $55,810; Cash Myers, Kansas native from Welda now of Athens, Texas, $55,730; Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas, $51,571; Garrett Hale, Snyder, Texas, $51,504; and Mike Chase, McAlester, Oklahoma, $44,471.
Cole Patterson, 26, Pratt, is the 2021 world champion steer roper winning $190,242 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association this year. That broke the single-season steer roping earnings record of $142,350 set by his father Rocky Patterson in 2016.
Rocky Patterson, 56, Pratt, was tenth in the professional steer roping world standings this year with winnings of $63,029. He won world steer roping championships in 2009-10, 2012 and 2016. His son Cole Patterson is this year’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world champion steer roper.