Colorado’s Scott Smith and Nebraska’s Garrett Nokes have roped a lot of steers together. In the last 35 years, they’ve amateur rodeoed and jackpotted across the High Plains, when Nokes wasn’t busy bull dogging in the PRCA. But no steer was ever as sweet as the one they roped December 12 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in 8.66 seconds in the short round of the #12 Ariat Finale.
That high call steer brought their aggregate time to 30.82 seconds on four head, besting the second place team of Jeff Veazey and Trevor Peterson who roped four in 31.10 seconds.
Smith, 57, remembers Nokes, 42, as a kid heading on a paint pony that wasn’t as big as the steers in 1982.
“It’s cool to win something like this with a friend,” Nokes, who steer wrestled at the 2005 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and now coaches rodeo at Mid-Plains Community College in McCook, Nebraska, said. “Because you know it’s changing your life and you know it’s changing their too. It might put more pressure on you, but I’ve roped with Scott enough that we both knew, riding in there today, that we was going to go for it.”
“Shoot, we didn’t even talk about it,” Smith added, who works in the oilfield for Xcel Energy.
Smith was riding a 17-year-old gelding, Jet, who he’s owned since the big sorrel was a 2-year-old.
“I bought him because he is a son of Comprende, who is a son of Jet Deck,” Smith said. “He’s one of the last of them. After all those years, I got the name Comprende Jet for him. I used to rodeo on him, and I know him really well.”
The horse is a big part of the Smith family, as Scott’s wife Nancy met him in the warm up pen and hugged the horse right after she hugged Scott.
“She used to run barrels on him when I took a few years off heading,” Smith said of his wife of 27 years.
Nokes’ wife, Laura, was so elated after the win she could barely speak. She was so nervous between their third steer and the short round (Nokes qualified in the final rotation), that she didn’t speak to her husband.
“I figured after two years of dating me, and never griping about being broke and rodeoing, I better put a ring on her finger,” Nokes, who steer wrestled at the 2005 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, said. “She’s been so supportive. She teaches special ed, we have to kids, Trevor, 12, and Parker, 9, and she’s been awesome. Every time I want to go to a roping or entered a rodeo, I don’t have to run nothing by her. We’ve been very supportive of each other. She’s a hell of a partner in the deal.”