CASPER — One of two University of Wyoming Cowboys placed in the College National Finals Rodeo short go Saturday night in Casper.
Brice Patterson turned in his top bareback riding performance of the week, and for nearly the entire short go round he had the best mark at 81.5 points. In the end, he split third to place seventh in the average.
The Bozeman, Montana sophomore said he competed earlier in the afternoon at the Chris LeDoux Days rodeo in Kaycee but did not do very well. He said his lone ride helped him, calling it “the perfect warmup” for his short go appearance at the Ford Wyoming Center.
He drew Café Risqué and was “excited because he’s been electric in the past.” And when the horse broke out of the bucking chute, Patterson was prepared and did everything right, spurring high at every jump.
“I knew that I would have to get an impossible score in order to win the deal, so I decided that I was going to go out there and just give it everything that I had,” Patterson said. “Having a good draw, I knew that it would help me let it all hang out there and do the best that I possibly could.”
Patterson, who was the region’s top bareback rider this past season, marked on all four CNFR rounds, accumulating 297.5 points.
The second UW Cowboy to qualify for the short go was Austin Hurlburt in steer wrestling, and just like Patterson, he went for broke. He knew that he had to be fast for a chance at a national title. The Norfolk, Nebraska senior was seeded fifth coming into the finals with a three-run total time of 19 seconds, 5.8 seconds behind the leader.
“The first four guys ahead of me had quite a bit of wiggle room on me, and I knew I was going to have to be fast,” he said. “When the announcer said that I had to tie the arena record to take the lead, I thought I better get out of here (the box) in a hurry. When I left, I didn’t think I got out, everything happened real quick.”
Just as he was ready to slide over to catch the steer’s horns, Hurlburt’s horse broke left, and the steer veered right. He missed catching the steer’s horns, leaving the UW Cowboy with a no-time.
“If everything would have come together it would have been good, but shoot, I can’t say much more,” he said. “I just thank teammate Chadron Coffield for hazing for me, and I thank Beau Clark for coaching me. I couldn’t be more proud than wearing the brown and gold.”
Hurlburt and Patterson were the only members of the UW rodeo teams to qualify for Saturday’s short go.