KISSIMMEE, Fla. – After a week of hitting the local tourist attractions with his girlfriend and three of his four sons, tie-down roper Jerome Schneeberger figured, “I sort of needed to win a big check.”
Sometimes staring down a scary credit-card bill is all the motivation a guy needs.
For Schneeberger, it was powerful enough for him to put down a 7.3-second run March 27 that tied the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo record held by Matt Shiozawa (2008, 2010), and allowed Schneeberger to take the lead in the second round and the two-head RNCFR average.
If things fall right for him when the second round wraps up on Saturday afternoon at the Silver Spurs Arena, he could go into the semifinal round Saturday night with as much as $14,612 already in the bank.
“This is a great confidence builder,” said Schneeberger, 38, “but I don’t know how hard I want to go this year. I’ve always been a guy who had to practice a lot to have success, and while it feels really good to be able to rope this well without a lot of practice time, I know how quickly you can go from a high to a low in this sport.
“My boys really would like for me to make it to the (Wrangler) National Finals (Rodeo) again (the last of his 11 qualifications was in 2010). They are always after me to go rope the dummy with us, dad, go rope the dummy.”
Jaden (12), Jace (10) and Jaret (6) don’t figure to let up on him any time soon, not after sitting with Schneeberger’s girlfriend, Kylee Graves, and watching him break a record in a national championship event.
“I knew I had a good calf,” Schneeberger said. “Ryan Jarrett was 8 flat on him in the first round (tying for second). I could tell things were going fast on the run and thought I might be in the 7s. But tying the RNCFR record? That is very cool.”
The other second-round leaders to come out of the March 27 performance were bareback rider Kaycee Feild (84 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sadie’s Gal), steer wrestler Aaron Vosler (4.7 seconds), team ropers Garrett Tonozzi and Jared Bilby (4.2 seconds), saddle bronc rider Jeff Willert (81 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness-a re-ride), barrel racer Pamela Capper (16.41 seconds) and bull rider Aaron Pass (85 points on Smith Harper Morgan Rodeo Company’s Back Woods Bandit).
Feild , Vosler and Willert joined Schneeberger as the two-head average leaders in their events.
Vosler, who has a history degree from the University of Wyoming and a state certificate to teach the subject is hoping to make a little history Saturday night by becoming the first Mountain States steer wrestler to win the RNCFR since Tim Segelke in 1993.
“That would mean a lot to me,” Vosler said. “I know (Segelke) real well. He helped me a lot when I was just starting out and even loaned me his horse when I made the short round one time at Cheyenne (Wyo.), my hometown rodeo.”
Vosler hauled his horse, Flamer, all the way to Florida from the Rocky Mountains and is very grateful to fellow steer wrestling contestant Kamry Dymmek for letting him stay at his place in Kissimmee and letting Flamer roam happily in the Dymmek pasture.
“It’s really made a huge difference for us to be able compete well here,” Vosler said.
The tournament-style RNFCR format determines the national circuit champions in each event. All 24 qualifiers from the 12 circuits compete in the two preliminary rounds of the rodeo, which wrap up with the Saturday 1 p.m. performance. The top eight contestants from each event then advance to the semifinal round Saturday night, with all previous scores and times thrown out. The top four move on to the final round, a sudden‑death competition that determines the national circuit champion in each event.
Because the top four contestants begin that final round with a clean slate, each one has an equal opportunity to claim an RNCFR title.
Event winners each receive a $20,000 voucher toward the purchase of a new RAM Truck and a Polaris Ranger utility vehicle in addition to their winnings.
Wrangler Network is airing live webcasts of the rodeo’s first four performances and, after the event, highlights from the RNCFR will be televised on CBS Sports Net; see ProRodeo.com/TV for the telecast schedule.
RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo
Kissimmee, Fla., March 25-28
Bareback riding: First round: 1. Tim O’Connell, 83 points on Silver Spurs Club’s Ned Ross, $6,182; 2. Joe Gunderson, 80, $4,683; 3. Jessy Davis, 79, $3,372; 4. (tie) Kaycee Feild, Micky Downare and Austin Foss, 78, $1,499 each. Second round leaders: 1. Kaycee Feild, 84 points on Pete Carr’s Classic ProRodeo’s Sadie’s Gal; 2. Casey Breuer, 80; 3. (tie) Seth Hardwick and Steven Peebles, 76 each; 5. (tie) Chase Erickson and Tim Kent, 74 each. Average leaders: 1. Kaycee Feild, 162 points on two head; 2. (tie) Seth Hardwick and Steven Peebles, 153 each; 4. Casey Breuer, 149; 5. Jared Green, 147; 6. Chase Erickson, 144; 7. Tim Kent, 141; 8. Yance Day, Tahlequah, Okla., 140
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Wade Steffen, 4.5 seconds, $6,182; 2. Beau Clark, 4.6, $4,683; 3. Tooter Silver, 4.9, $3,372; 4. Josh Peek, 5.2, $2,248; 5. Austin Manning, 5.6, $1,311; 6. Aaron Vosler, 5.7, $937. Second round leaders: 1. Aaron Vosler, 4.7 seconds; 2. Forest Sainsbury, 5.5; 3. Kyle Irwin, 5.6; 4. Wade Steffen, 6.5; 5. Levi Guenzler, 9.0; 6. Luke Branquinho, 10.3. Average leaders: 1. Aaron Vosler, 10.4 seconds on two head; 2. Wade Steffen, 11.0; 3. Kyle Irwin, 12.7; 4. Forest Sainsbury, 19.8; 5. Luke Branquinho, 26.5; 6. Beau Clark, 4.6 on one; 7. Tooter Silver, 4.9; 8. Josh Peek, 5.2.
Team roping: First round: 1. Rob Webb/Dan Webb, 4.9 seconds, $6,182 each; 2. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Billie Saebens; Rhett Anderson/Cole Wilson, and Jade Stoddard/Ike Folsom, 5.0, $3,434 each; 5. (tie) Zach Kilgus/Justin Yost and Blake Hirdes/Joseph Shawnego, 5.2, $1,124 each. Second round leaders: 1. Garrett Tonozzi/Jared Bilby, 4.2 seconds; 2. Drew Horner/Buddy Hawkins II, 5.0; 3. Clint Gorrell/Levi O’Keeffe, 5.2; 4. Rhett Anderson/Cole Wilson, 5.3; 5. Jade Stoddard/Ike Folsom, 6.3; 6. Carmine Nastri/Shawn Quinn, 15.5. Average leaders: 1. Rhett Anderson/Cole Wilson, 10.3 seconds on two head; 2. Drew Horner/Buddy Hawkins II, 10.4; 3. Jade Stoddard/Ike Folsom, 11.3; 4. Garrett Tonozzi/Jared Bilby, 15.2; 5. Carmine Nastri/Shawn Quinn, 22.9; 6. Rob Webb/Dan Webb, 4.9 on one; 7. Coleman Proctor/Billie Saebens, 5.0; 8. (tie) Zach Kilgus/Justin Yost; Blake Hirdes/Joseph Shawnego and Clint Gorrell/Levi O’Keeffe, 5.2 each.
Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 84 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Famous Dave’s, $6,182; 2. Wade Sundell, 83, $4,683; 3. Jeff Willert, 81, $3,372; 4. Jesse Wright and Taos Muncy, 80, $1,780 each; 6. Cody Taton, 79, $937. Second round leaders: 1. Jeff Willert, 81 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness; 2. (tie) John Redig and Bradley Harter, 78 each; 4. Ryan Mackenzie, 77; 5. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw and Cody Martin, 76 each. Average leaders: 1. Jeff Willert, 162 points on two head; 2. (tie) Coburn Bradshaw and Ryan Mackenzie, 152 each; 4. Taos Muncy, 150; 5. Jesse Kirby, 142; 6. Jacobs Crawley, 84 on one; 7. Wade Sundell, 83; 8. Jesse Wright, 80.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Rhen Richard, 7.8 seconds, $6,182; 2. (tie) Jesse Clark and Ryan Jarrett, 8.0, $4,028 each; 4. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.3, $2,248; 5. Marty Yates, 8.4, $1,311; 6. Jared Kempker, 8.8, $937. Second round leaders: 1. Jerome Schneeberger, 7.3 seconds (equals record set by Matt Shiozawa, 2008, 2010); 2. Seth Hopper, 8.0; 3. Marty Yates, 8.8; 4. Joey Dickens, 9.9; 5. Jared Kempker, 10.9; 6. Bode Scott, 12.4. Average leaders: 1. Jerome Schneeberger, 15.6 seconds on two head; 2. Seth Hopper, 16.9; 3. Marty Yates, 17.3; 4. Jared Kempker, 19.7; 5. Jon Peek, 22.8; 6. Bode Scott, 23.4; 7. Doyle Hoskins, 23.8; 8. Rhen Richard, 28.1.
Barrel racing: First round: 1. Lisa Lockhart, 16.44 seconds, $6,182; 2. Lindsay Kruse, 16.45, $4,683; 3. Natalie Foutch, 16.49, $3,372; 4. Nancy Hunter, 16.53, $2,248; 5. Carmel Wright, 16.54, $1,311; 6. Cheyenne Schnelle, 16.59, $937. Second round leaders: 1. Pamela Capper, 16.41 seconds; 2. (tie) Lisa Lockhart and Nancy Hunter, 16.57 each; 4. Kassidy Dennison, 16.59; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, 16.73; 6. Victoria Williams, 16.79. Average leaders: 1. Lisa Lockhart, 33.01 seconds on two runs; 2. Nancy Hunter, 33.10; 3. Pamela Capper, 33.15; 4. Carmel Wright, 33.36; 5. Kassidy Dennison, 33.38; 6. Gretchen Benbenek, 33.66; 7. Victoria Williams, 38.29; 8. Natalie Foutch, 38.46.
Bull riding: First round: 1. Mike Adams, 84 points on Pete Carr’s Classic ProRodeo’s Footloose, $6,182; 2. Joe Frost, 76, $4,683; 3. Bart Miller, 74, $3,372; 4. Josh Frost, 69, $2,248; no other qualified rides. Second round leaders: 1. Aaron Pass, 85 points on Smith Harper Morgan Rodeo Company’s Back Woods Bandit; 2. Josh Frost, 79; 3. Lon Danley, 72; no other qualified rides. Average leaders: 1. Josh Frost, 148 points on two head; 2. Aaron Pass, 85 on one; 3. Mike Adams, 84; 4. Joe Frost, 76; 5. Bart Miller, 74; 6. Lon Danley, 72.
Total payoff: $749,316. Stock contractors: 4L & Diamond S Rodeo, Barnes PRCA Rodeo, Cowtown Rodeo, Klein Brothers Rodeo, Korkow Rodeos, MJM Rodeo, Painted Pony Championship Rodeo, Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, Pete Carr’s Classic ProRodeo, Rafter H Rodeo Livestock, Rocky Mountain Rodeo, Silver Spurs Club, Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo, Stace Smith Pro Rodeo, Sutton Rodeo, Three Hills Rodeo and United ProRodeo. Rodeo secretary: Carole Martinez. Officials: Skip Emmett, George Gibbs, Cliff Overstreet and Glenn Sullivan. Timers: Amy Muller and Mary Borgen. Announcers: Bob Tallman and Roger Mooney. Specialty act: Troy Lerwill. Bullfighters: Lucas Littles and Josh Rivinius. Clown/barrelman: Dennis Halstead. Flankman: Various. Chute boss: Gerry Byrn. Pickup men: Jeremy Willis and Shawn Calhoun. Photographers: James Phifer and Mike Rastelli.
Courtesy of PRCA