In an effort to slow his rodeo schedule, reigning world champion heeler Cory Petska will rope with six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo header Colby Lovell, who cut back his rodeo schedule in 2017 and plans to do so again this year.
Erich Rogers still has yet to determine who he'll rope with for the remainder of the season. Petska will finish the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo with Rogers, then return to the Potter family's ranch in Wisconsin to help run their 2,000 head of yearlings, Petska said, until Reno.
"We’re going to spend more time up there and help them take care of that stuff," Petska said. "Rogers wants to really rodeo and make the Finals. I don’t. If we have a decent winter, and we have a chance, great. But come Cheyenne, I’m done. Rogers needs somebody whose heart is all the way in it, and that’s all they want to do."
Lovell and Petska rodeoed together at the beginning of 2011, winning the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo before parting ways. Petska decided to rope over the summer run that year with fellow Arizonan Matt Sherwood, and they went on to make the WNFR. Lovell roped at the WNFR that year with Tennesse-native York Gill.
Rogers and Petska have roped together since 2013. Neither are in the top 50 in the PRCA's world standings as of Feb. 14.
Lovell last made the WNFR in 2016 with Travis Graves. He rodeoed with Ty Arnold in 2017 and will do so again until Reno. The pair won the average at Dodge City, Kansas. Lovell also won the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association Finals average in 2017 with Corey Hendrick.
Lovell won the Winter Classic Open at Robertson Hill Ranch with Blaine Vick in early February, and won the Open Roping at the Seth Broesche Memorial the next day.
The Madisonville, Texas, header sold off most of his head-horse herd, including his signature palomino, Fast Time, to Luke Brown, when he slowed his rodeo schedule in 2017. Now he's counting on a 20-year-old gelding named Big Red he bought from Kaleb Driggers, and will be on the hunt for another good one for the summer run.
Petska sold the bay mare that he won Cheyenne aboard, but still has his world champion horse Chumley in the trailer.