Riding at Cheyenne Frontier Days is a dream come true for many cowboys. The history of the rodeo, the excitement of the crowd, and the quality of the rough stock makes for one of the best rodeos in the country.
Cort Scheer, a saddle bronc rider from Elsmere, Neb., recently finished second at the Daddy of ‘Em All by just one point behind Cody DeMoss of Heflin, La. He finished the week with a total score of 254 on three head. He tied for eighth in round 2 with a score of 84 points, and was also second in the short go with a score of 89.
“It was awesome to have the privilege of riding with that many good guys and good broncs. The stands are amazing there as well,” Scheer said.
He continued, “Cheyenne is amazing because of the legacy of the rodeo. You always hear about it, and see pictures growing up. It’s a big treat riding there. It was some of the best broncs that I’ve seen.”
Scheer grew up in the middle of Nebraska riding bronc and roping calves, and never being far from the rodeo scene. He won the all-around title in Nebraska his senior year of high school, and competed in college before going pro.
“My dad rode broncs and bulls, and I wanted to get into it like him. When I first started, I rode in his old saddle. I was only an eighth grader or maybe a freshman when I started. I picked up a lot of advice from everywhere. I’ve been really blessed with people helping me out, and I’ve been drawing really well lately,” he said.
Last year, Scheer was having his best year, before blowing out his ACL and meniscus, which forced him to take the rest of the year off. After surgery and rehab, he came back this year stronger than ever, and ready to compete.
“To come out here really was so great. It sucked sitting out last year, and it was hard. But it was the smartest thing to do. I wanted to be able to walk when I was 40,” he said.
Scheer actually won the rookie bronc riding title at Cheyenne when he first started, and he still remembers that day. “That was one of my more favorite wins,” Scheer said.
Scheer travels all over the country with his traveling partners, Tyler Corrington of Hastings, Minn., and Chet Johnson of Sheridan, Wyo. “I don’t get to go home a lot because of my schedule right now, but those guys are great to travel with,” he stated.
Scheer is grateful for his ability to compete, especially after his injury last year. “I’m pretty blessed with the situations I’ve been set up with. It’s been easier with the family and friends that I have,” he said.
Another cowboy who competed well at Cheyenne Frontier Days was Jay Pixley of Sundance, Wyo. Pixley was the champion in the steer roping event, and the win for him was unexpected.
“It was good. I mean I won! I’ve never won before there. I am a nobody. I won the badland circuit a couple of years ago, but I’ve never won a major rodeo before, so this was a big deal for me,” he said.
At the end of the day, Pixley brought home more than $10,000, which was the biggest check that he has ever won. “Usually I’m broke and frustrated by this time, so it was so great to come out on top,” he said.
Pixley has been roping for many years, but it’s not his full time job. “I work as a contractor and rodeo on the side. I enjoy the atmosphere and the good people, especially the steer roping. It’s a bunch of family and a lot of people my age. It’s not as competitive, and we all support each other. I enjoy being around the horses and the livestock as well,” he said.
He has roped at Cheyenne for the past three years, and this was the first year that he made the short go. During his second round, he tied his steer in 29.7 seconds, which barely made the limit of 30 seconds. “My second run I was long, and I barely got him tied before the buzzer. He just kicked and kicked. I could hear people screaming to hurry up, and that’s the fastest I’ve ever tied after that,” Pixley stated.
During the short go, Pixley was the only steer roper to rope and tie during the finals. “I’m glad to have it. There was some luck there, especially with steer roping. If they can’t get it on their horns and can’t get them caught, it’s hard to win,” he said.
He continued, “I’ve never made the short round, so I was pretty excited to just make that. When I got him tied down, I thought it would be enough and then everyone else fell apart and I was the only one.”
The win is special to Pixley, because his family was there and because it was in his home state. “My family was surprised and happy. We never talked about me actually winning it. We were just happy to be going. The kids missed a kids rodeo on Sunday because they wanted to be there. I have such a supporting family and wife,” he said.
He added, “My family enjoys it, and it’s our time to be together.”
Several other Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming cowboys also competed well at Cheyenne Frontier Days. In the bareback bronc event, JR Vezain of Cowley, Wyo., placed first in the first round, and finished tied for sixth in the average. Steven Dent of Mullen, Neb., tied for fifth in the first round. Mac Erickson of Sundance, Wyo., was tied for seventh in round one. Casey Colletti of Pueblo, Colo., finished fourth in the second round, second during the short go and fourth overall.
In the team roping event, Jay Tittel of Pueblo, Colo., and Wade Masters of Durango, Colo., finished fifth in the first round, fifth in the finals and third in the average.
In tie-down roping, Trever Thiel of Greeley, Colo., was first in round one, sixth in the finals and second in the average.
The barrel racing event saw Kelly Yates of Pueblo, Colo., place seventh in round one. Christy Loflin of Franktown, Colo., was ninth in round one, second in the finals and second in the average.
In the bull riding event, Dustin Elliot of North Platte, Neb., finished third in the second round, tied for first in the finals, and fourth overall. Kanin Asay of Powell, Wyo., was fourth in the second round. Cody Samora of Cortez, Colo., was seventh in round 2, fourth in the finals and fifth in the average.
In the steer wrestling, Kyle Whitaker of Chambers, Neb., was sixth in the finals and eighth in the average. The total payout for Cheyenne Frontier Days was $821,631. ❖
“Cheyenne is amazing because of the legacy of the rodeo. You always hear about it, and see pictures growing up.”