Pratt Cowboy Suffers Steer Roping Career Ending Injury

For the Love of Horses

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Rocky Patterson, a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) world champion steer roper in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2016, said he will likely retire after suffering an injury during the M.M. Fisher Junior Memorial Steer Roping on March 10, 2024, in Andrews, Texas.
The 58-year-old steer roper from Pratt, Kansas, tore his ACL in his right knee in the fourth round when getting off his horse. Patterson underwent surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the season.
“I heard it pop and I knew it was gone,” Patterson said. “I knew it was serious before I hit the ground.”
Patterson, currently 16th in the PRCA Standings with $12,445, plans to continue riding but will likely retire from competitive rodeo after the seven-month recovery time.
“I’ll still ride but this will probably be about the end of it, you know for me in steer roping,” he said. “I’m getting pretty old and it’s hard to compete with those 25- to 30-year-olds whenever you’re almost 60 anyway, before you have something like that happen.”
Patterson is one of the best steer ropers in PRCA history, qualifying for the National Finals Steer Roping 28 times (1994-95, 1997-20221, 2023). Only ProRodeo Hall of Famer Guy Allen has more steer roping qualifications at 33.
Patterson also has won three National Finals Steer Roping average titles in 1999, 2001, and 2023, tied for third on the all-time list.
The Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell, graduate, earned the PRCA Resistol Steer Roping Rookie of the Year title in 1992.
“To be really honest I don’t like the thought of it,” Patterson said of retirement. “You know it was coming someday and Father Time is undefeated.”
Rocky Patterson is the father of Cole Patterson, who won PRCA Steer Roping World Championships in 2021 and 2023.
Cole Patterson is presently atop the world standings with $42,152.
Rocky Patterson plans to stay involved in the sport, while following the career of his 28-year-old son.
“I like to watch steer roping in general, but I like to watch him make a good run,” he said.
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