Kory Koontz – Stephenville, Texas ($74,652)
21-time WNFR qualifier
2-time RNCFR qualifier
As a little boy growing up in the panhandle of Texas, Kory Koontz probably dreamt of roping and competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
It’s likely that those dream never included competing in Las Vegas 21 times and earning well over $2 million in the roping pen. Those dreams and goals have included gold buckles and they have eluded Kory, and he has come close. He finished as the reserve world champion in 1997 behind Rich Skelton. Then he was third in 2005 and 2006.
This year Kory’s qualification has come with a young roper from Florida, Dustin Egusquiza. They started the season off with a big win at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. Then they got another win in the spring at Logandale, Nevada.
Their summer got off to a slow start, but they had wins at Pleasant Grove, Utah, Hill City, Kansas and Kennewick, Washington. When the books closed on Sept. 30, Kory was 14th in the world standings with $74,652 in regular season earnings.
Kory has had tremendous horses to depend on throughout his career. He also depends on medicine to keep him going. He has diabetes and wears and insulin monitor that regularly pumps the vital hormone into his body. He still checks his blood sugar up to 10 times per day.
Through the years, Kory has learned how to manage his diabetes and his health to perform at his peak. He knows his body very well and that will come in handy with the demands of being a contestant at the NFR. He always has time for his fans and has garnered many through his career.
He recently had a team roping school with the legendary Tee Woolman in Hamilton, Texas. As part of the Equine Champions for Christ, they had learning and practice sessions along with bible studies, fellowship and food. Sharing his faith and his skills in the arena is something that is near and dear to his heart. The longer he keeps roping the more opportunities he has to do that, especially with more trips to Las Vegas.