There are plenty of reasons to raise a toast to Luke Potter on his 21st birthday, Nov. 18. The biggest could be that he finished the 2020 season atop the PRCA | Resistol Rookie Standings for tie-down roping.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and it was a tough year for everyone so I was glad I pulled it off,” Potter said.
Potter won the rookie title by a margin of nearly $10,000, ending the 2020 season with $34,301. He also faired well in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, finishing 23rd.
“Throughout the whole year it was hit or miss for me and nothing clicked until mid-August, and that’s when I won most of my money,” Potter said. “I didn’t really think I would win it until the last week of the rodeo season.”
Potter had a hot streak from Aug. 29 through Sept. 6 that gave him a $9,386 boost in the race for the rookie title. He added an additional $2,932 next to his name a little more than a week later by placing second at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo in Abilene, Sept. 19.
In addition to the hurdles brought on by COVID-19 shutting down ProRodeo competitions, Potter’s horse faced some health issues.
“My horse (Boone) was sick and in and out of the vet a lot, but then I got on a good roll starting in Baker, Mont., and my horse was working great again,” Potter said. “It was a pretty big deal to me, overcoming all of that and the bad runs and not roping to the best of my ability and coming out of that slump.”
Potter managed to turn the negative experience into a positive learning experience.
“I got pretty down on myself this summer and wanted to come home, and my dad said I’d have to get a job or stay out here and keep rodeoing,” Potter said, adding that his family runs a ranch in Kansas so he’d likely have done that. “I’d love to do that, but it was more in how he said it rather than what he said.”
Potter’s dad, Grady, was a steer roper with the PRCA in the 1980s through 2000s.
“My family is for sure the biggest part of any success I’ve had,” Potter said. “My dad pushed me and knows when to let me know when I need to suck it up, and then my grandpa is my No. 1 supporter and biggest fan.”
Potter also spoke highly of Boone.
“He was hands down the biggest part of my success this year,” Potter said. “He was awesome for me all year long. It’s kind of funny, he has been passed around a few guys and was a weird fit for them, but he just fits me. He’s easy, scores good, is really strong in his stop and allows me to win.”
Courtesy of PRCA