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Nebraska youth wins junior steer wrestling world title

High school rodeo cowboy competes for the first time in Las Vegas

Nebraska cowboy Sage Schrunk is the 2021 Ote Berry’s Junior Steer Wrestling World Championship Tour 16 and Under champion.

The Valentine, Neb., cowboy qualified for the competition by earning points at two sanctioned steer wrestling jackpots last year, one at Sutherland, Neb., and the other at Fort Scott, Kan.

Schrunk, the son of Richard and Becky, is also a Nebraska High School Rodeo contestant and competes in three events: steer wrestling, tie-down roping, and team roping.



The Ote Berry Junior Steer Wrestling World Tour took place in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center Dec. 7-11. Two divisions of competition took place: the 16 and Under, and the 19 and Under.

Forty-five young men competed in the steer wrestling in four rounds and a short go. Schrunk won the 16 and Under division with a time of 26.3 seconds on five head.



Sage Schrunk stands with his parents, Richard and Becky, with the prizes he won at the 2021 Ote Berry Junior Steer Wrestling World Championship. Schrunk, a resident of Valentine, Neb., also tie-down ropes and team ropes. Becky Schrunk
Courtesy photo

In Las Vegas, he rode a 9-year-old quarter horse named Howard, who was raised by Arch Ferguson and trained by Sage’s dad and Jimmy Ferguson. Sage started him in steer wrestling last spring. The horse is competent at steer wrestling because of his speed and his cowy-ness, Schrunk said. He has a few quirks in the box, but Sage will attend to those. “We have some box work to do on him, but for the most part, he’s pretty good. If I stay calm, he stays calm.”

It was Schrunk’s first trip to Las Vegas; with his family, he attended a night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and played tourist before coming home.

Sage is a junior at Valentine High School. He’s competed in the Mid-States Rodeo Association for the past two years and has qualified for the state high school finals the past two years as well. In 2020, he and his header Carter Anderson finished fourth in the state and went on to compete at the National High School Finals Rodeo, where they won a performance.

For his efforts, Schrunk won a saddle, cash and two Yeti coolers.

Other winners at the Ote Berry Junior Steer Wrestling World Championship included Garrett Curry, the 2021 regular season champion, and Cash Robb, the 2021 world champion, finals champion, and fast time champion.


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