Kenny Green Pattersson, 30, of Sweden, placed ninth in the #12 Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale with a time of 32.70 seconds on four head, worth $45,000 with none other that World Series of Team Roping's own Troy Shelley—making it all look easy after only having two and a half month's worth of experience on live cattle.
"The first time I came over here I was roping in Arizona and met Troy," Pattersson said. "He told one of his friends to ask me if I wanted to rope in Vegas and I asked, ‘Who’s Troy Shelley. Can he rope?’ because I didn’t know him. Everyone told me that was a pretty good shot. So I figured if it was a good shot then I would rope with him for sure. I just trusted everybody else. I don’t know a whole lot of people over here so I’m just really happy that I got to rope with Troy."
Pattersson is one of the two ropers to come from Sweden to rope steers.
"I have only been team roping for two and a half months all together," Pattersson said. "Including roping here at the Finale. We rope the tie-down roping and dummy put on competitions doing that. I’ve been doing that since I was about 12 years old. It’s still a lot different compared to team roping and roping livestock. I came over last year and roped for about a month and then went back home to work until summer."
Pattersson reached out to Debby and Darren Chick for a place to stay and practice before heading out to Las Vegas.
"For some reason a lot of my friends had been staying up at Todd Fitch's (Debby Chick's brother) house," Pattersson said. "They got to talking about me and Troy roping at the World Series Finale and said, ‘If you need to see someone that ropes a bunch, our family down in Salado, Texas ropes a lot.’ I asked my friend if she still thought they would let some Swedish people come over there to Texas, and she told me to try and give them a call. I called Julie Fitch and she gave me the number to call Debby and Darren. One day I just called Darren and said, ‘I’m going to rope with Troy Shelley for a bunch of money, I need to practice a bunch before that. Is there any possibility for me to come practice before that?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, you can come stay with us no problem.’"
Before heading out to Texas, Pattersson sold his house in Sweden to have some extra cash in his pockets. And his stay at the Chicks' residence led him to the 8-year-old gelding that would help shape his young team roping career.
"It’s kind of a dream come true too," Pattersson said. "One of Garrett (Chick's) friends came over one day and they needed help to sell this horse. I’ve been riding the practice horses and I could catch pretty good on them, but I couldn’t handle the steer that well. Garrett liked the horse and I asked if I could try him out. I kind of fell in love with that horse. I said, ‘Hey, I’ll buy him. I’m going to spend this much in entry fees so I need a good horse.’ So I bought the horse less than a month ago. I asked the Chicks before I bought the horse if I did buy him, if I could leave him with them. Garrett said he’ll ride him for me and take care of him."
Before heading to Las Vegas to rope with Shelley, Pattersson and Garrett loaded up and went to Wickenburg, Arizona to rope in some jackpots.
"Garrett and I left and have been roping up in Wickenburg," Pattersson said. "We did really good over there. I won about $30,000 before we came over to the Finale so it’s been a blessing to be out here."
Pattersson will head back to Sweden to be with his family for Chirstmas and hopes to get a ground dummy to continue working on his heading before coming back to the States in February.
"I’ve been adjusting my delivery a bunch," Pattersson said. "I’ve been splitting the horns because I deliver like a calf roper. The last few weeks I’ve been figuring it out. When I go home I don’t have any chance to practice a whole lot. We don’t have any team roping dummies in Sweden. I need to set up something on the ground for me to practice for myself. It’s going to be hard but I’m going to try and keep it up." TRJ