Jerome Schneeberger has seen the bright lights of Las Vegas many times, but he always comes back to Manhattan.
The Ponca City, Okla., native and 11-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier has arguably the best professional resume of any cowboy at the Kaw Valley Rodeo this weekend, but said he’s always been a circuit-rodeo guy, making Manhattan an annual destination.
“I’ve had good luck here in the past, and I’ve won good money here,” Schneeberger said. “I’ve been coming every year since ‘96 I think, the first year I had my card. I’ve been here every year, it’s a good rodeo and it’s not too far from home. I enjoy coming.”
The defending champion in tie-down roping from a year ago, Schneeberger didn’t record a time in the event after his calf got away from him.
“It’s the luck of the draw,” he said. “You have those days. If it was perfect, then everyone would be doing this. That’s part of it, and we’ll go to the next one.”
Schneeberger, who had his four sons in tow with him Friday night, said he has a busy week ahead with rodeos in Phillipsburg and Abilene, among others.
“Next week is kind of a busy week - a lot of circuit rodeos close by,” he said. “I’m taking it easy now - I’ve got four boys to raise and that’s enough to keep you close to home. I’ve been gone and they’ve been gone, tonight was the first night we’ve had an outing in a while.”
Bryce Loyd (Haysville) posted the best tie-down roping score Friday night at Wells Arena, finishing in 11.9 to move into second place on the weekend.
In bull riding, Logan Hunter (Woodward, Okla.) posted the first score of the weekend riding atop Best Yet to an 88. Guthrie Murray (Miami, Okla.) also posted a score, riding to an 84. Last year’s bull riding event was won with a score of 82.
In team roping, Zac Small (Afton, Okla.) and Tyler Worley (Miami, Okla.) finished in 6.7 seconds to win the night.
Ari Anna Flynn took the weekend lead in Barrel Racing during slack in a time of 17.45, finishing ahead of Bailee Snow (Miami, Okla.), who finished in 17.51.
Tanner Brunner (Ramona) posted a 3.9 in steer wrestling to take the weekend lead, with Orrin Michael Fontenot (Lake Charles, La.) right behind in 4.1 and Stockton Graves in 4.5.
In saddle bronc, only Gulley Finnell (Pryor, Okla.) posted a score, riding to a 73 atop Slim Jim.
Austin Graham (Eucha, Okla.) scored an 85 atop Blue Yonder to take the weekend lead in bareback riding heading into Saturday’s finale.