By: Kendra Santos
Four-time World Champion Steer Roper Scott Snedecor has won it all and done it all in his signature event over the years. He knows all about life on top of the rodeo world. But before this week’s $553,000 Rodeo Corpus Christi, this cat daddy of a cowboy had never walked away from a rodeo winner’s circle packing a surfboard as a prize.
“Besides a gold buckle, this surfboard is one of the coolest trinkets I’ve ever won,” said Snedecor, who’s 47 and came to the Texas Gulf Coast from three hours away in Fredericksburg, Texas. “You don’t see many surfboards in ropers’ houses, but I finally got the monkey off my back and this baby’s going on our fireplace mantle. I’m scared of water, so I’m not going to use it. But the Corpus Christi surfboard is so cool.”
Scott had teased his fellow steer roper, friend and Rodeo Corpus Christi committee kingpin Walter Priestly for years that he wanted to order one of the super-sweet surf rides, because winning one didn’t seem to be in his deck of cards. Snedecor changed the current on that trend with his 9.52-second sizzler in the Showdown Round here at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in nearby Robstown, where all preliminary rounds are being held. He won second in Rounds 1 and 3, and added to the $10,000 Showdown Rounder pocketed checks totaling $13,900 on the day.
“This is a great opportunity,” Scott said of the $55,000 added in steer roping alone. “The committee here steps out, above and beyond, as does the WCRA. If you rope steers, you have to nominate enough events to get down here to Corpus. To get to run four head with no entry fees is too big a chance to miss out on.”
The top four cowboys on the WCRA Leaderboard, based on nomination points earned, received a bye into the Showdown Round. That little mulligan came in handy when Snedecor went out of the average in Round 2. He finished first in the sudden-death Showdown Round in a sizzling 9.52 seconds aboard his 13-year-old bay bomber Goose, followed by National Finals Steer Roper Neal Wood at 9.94. WCRA Leaderboard #1 Trey Wallace placed third in 10.45, and Neal’s son, fellow NFSR qualifier and 2021 Steer Roping and Overall Resistol Rookie of the Year Slade Wood finished fourth after roping and tying his last steer in 10.92 seconds.
Twenty-time NFSR qualifier Scott—who’s won the average at steer roping’s ultimate event three times and won well over $1.5 million in his cowboy career—has had his wife, Kelli, by his side through thick and thin. It was a fitting Mother’s Day for her, and though their 23-year-old son Colton’s been busy working in Washington, D.C., daughter Kallyn, 18, made the family trip to Corpus Christi with her folks.
“Kelli’s been behind me and the kids 100 percent in whatever we want to do,” her happy husband said of the smile that’s been counted on in contestant family seating sections coast to coast for decades now—Kelli never, ever complains about the rodeo-wife-dreaded condition also known as bleacher butt. “She married into this deal (24 years ago), so she knew what was coming. And she hasn’t backed off on me one bit. She’s definitely my #1 supporter, and our family wouldn’t run very good without her.”
This is the second year the WCRA has come to town. The perfs will kick off Wednesday evening at the American Bank Center, which sits right on the water in town.
“Hats off to the Corpus Christi Committee and the WCRA,” said Snedecor, who trains horses at home when he’s not out on the rodeo road. “Walter (who’s himself a steer roper and team roper, and at one time traveled with “Sned”) and his crew do an amazing job. This was the best set of steers we’ve roped this year, the ground was great, no entry fees—I love roping down here.”