Slump Buster

Tie-down roper Scott Kormos, 10th-ranked in the Jack Daniel's World Standings, caught a break from Mother Nature and used some cowboy try to prevail at the $116,302 Kitsap County Fair & Stampede in Bremerton, Wash. (Aug. 25-28).

Up in the first and last performances, Kormos missed the rain and muddy conditions that hampered many of his counterparts during slack and later in the rodeo.

"They'd been calling for rain all week and we had a dry run," said Kormos (Teague, Texas). "Slack was the next morning and they said it rained all night. They came back two days later and those guys still had to rope their second ones in the mud. When we went back over there it was dry again."

Still, Kormos needed to be sharp because the two calves he drew didn't cooperate. His first-round calf ducked back left into a corner, but Kormos and his horse, Hick, managed to post a 9.1-second time, which was good enough for second place.

His second-round calf stumbled coming of the chute.

"She did a nose-dive and I thought, 'oh, no,'" Kormos said. "I'm pulling the whole time I'm going to the barrier. Somehow, luckily, I got out. I have no idea how. I thought I smoked the barrier. It was a little nerve-wracking."

The victory — 17.6 seconds on two head — earned Kormos $3,508. The third-year PRCA hand has now won a career-best $58,821 with three months, two Pace Picante ProRodeo championship events and the Wrangler NFR left in the season. He sits 22nd in the Wrangler Tour standings with two stops remaining on the 12-city tour. The top 12 contestants qualify for the $500,000 Pace Picante ProRodeo Challenge in Omaha, Neb. (Sept. 23-25).

"Last year I think I roped a little too conservatively," said Kormos of his 2003 campaign, in which he won a disappointing $29,542 after a stellar rookie season. "Instead of going at them a lot more, I tried to lay back a little and rope for the aggregate.

"I've tried to rope every calf this year for what he is. I'm going to try to win something on every calf and let the aggregate take care of itself."

Kormos' success includes wins this year in San Angelo, Texas; and Hamel, Minn.

"I need to keep roping until the season is over," Kormos said. "I'd like to make those tour finals; that would be a bonus."

Kormos, however, isn't looking too far down the road.

"There are so many guys from 10th to 25th who have a great shot," Kormos said. "Then you throw the tour finals in there and anything can happen."

If the Wrangler NFR field were to be decided today, however, Kormos and his two traveling partners — Justin Maass and Cade Swor — would be making their hotel reservations in Las Vegas.

Maass sits 13th, while Swor is 15th.

"Justin has over $50,000 won now and Cade is doing great," Kormos said. "We got to laughing the other day. I told Cade that every time you nod your head
they are writing a check. That guy is just a talent. He's an athlete. He's big, stout and can rope. He's just amazing. Justin has probably won about $10,000 in the last week.

"I think we all feed off of each other. One guy gets going and that makes the other guys want to get on a roll."

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