LAS VEGAS â€“ Cort Scheer entered the 2014 National Finals Rodeo with hopes of a world championship.
Instead, he pocketed more than $93,000 over the 10 days of ProRodeoâ€™s grand championship event and left Las Vegas with a big piece of disappointment. How can that be?
He needed $10,000 more.
Instead, he finished the season No. 2 in the world standings with $195,586, $9,800 behind world champion Spencer Wright of Milford, Utah. It was a fantastic finish for the gold buckle, and it came down to the final round to decide the champion.
Scheer, 28, of Elsmere, Neb., placed in five go-rounds, including a first-round victory. He also finished second in the average behind Wright â€“ they were the only two men to ride all 10 horses; it marked the second straight season Scheer finished second in the average and rode all 10 broncs at the NFR. By finishing with 764 cumulative points, he added $39,537 in average money.
Scheer, who attended Montana State University, Garden City (Kan.) Community College and Oklahoma Panhandle State University on rodeo scholarships, had a strong NFR. The main difference between first and second was their payoffs in the average. Still Wright â€“ who brought his bronc riding family their fourth gold buckle, joining big brothers Cody (2) and Jesse â€“ earned more than $145,000 in Sin City.
None of that takes away from the exceptional season Scheer had in 2014. In the PRCA alone, he had eight event titles, including big-rodeo victories in Pendleton, Ore., and Denver. He also added championships at Cinch Shoot-Outs throughout the season.
That all added up to a great way to make a living on the backs of bucking horses. But thatâ€™s what fans have come to expect of Scheer, who has been among the top 5 in the final world standings each of the past two seasons. He has consistently been one of ProRodeoâ€™s elite bronc riders â€“ the only season in which he hasnâ€™t made the NFR came in 2011 when he suffered a knee injury and finished 25th.
Where he goes from here remains to be seen, but heâ€™s proven a gold buckle is within reach.
Now he just needs to grasp it.