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Chet Herren has strong Day 1 to lead NCFSR in Torrington, Wyo.

The Pawhuska, Okla., cowboy has qualified for the National Finals Steer Roping 17 times (2002, 2006, 2008-2022) and won more than $1 million in his career.

However, Herren has never won the National Circuit Finals Steer Roping. He did his part to change that Saturday.

Herren clocked 46.9 seconds on four head to lead the average after Day 1 at the Goshen County Pavilion.

“I got lucky, and I drew four good steers that Coy Thompson brought,” Herren said. “The steers I ran were really good.”

The 2022 National Circuit Finals Steer Roping concludes at noon (MT) Sunday.

The cowboys competed in four rounds Saturday and then two more rounds Sunday. The top eight finishers in the six-head average advance to the semifinal round. The top four finishers in the semis move on to the four-man sudden-death finals.

Herren placed second in Round 1 (11.7 seconds); split the Round 2 win (11.3 seconds) and then placed third in Round 4 (12.2 seconds). He failed to place in Round 3 but had a solid time of 11.7 seconds. He earned $3,508 for his performance on Saturday.

Herren leads the average followed by Billy Good (63.2 seconds on four); John Clark (66.4 on four) and Hank Hollenback (82.8 on four).

“I’m just going to try and do what I do (on Sunday), and hope it is good enough” said Herren, who won the average at the 2002 NFSR. “That would be really cool if I could win this.”

Herren was riding Tiger, 12, a horse he has owned for a couple of years.

“He worked well today,” Herren said. “You also have to take your hat off to this committee. They tie the steers, they feed us, and they treat us really well. You always want to win something, and I have never done very good here, but all the steer ropers look forward to this (event) because the committee is so good and Coy Thompson brings really good steers.”

Scott Snedecor, a four-time world champ, captured the Round 1 win with a 11.2-second run. Garrett Hale and Herren split the Round 2 win at 11.3 seconds each. Ora Taton, the 2020 NCFSR champ, won Round 3 with a 10.9-second time. Cody Lee won Round 4 with a 12.0-second run.

Cole Patterson, the two-time reigning NCFSR champion, has a 41.3-second time on three head in the four-head average. Patterson received a no time in Round 4. That leaves him seventh in the average.

“It went better than the last couple of years here in the first day, but I couldn’t get a roll started,” Patterson said. “I didn’t have a very good one in (Round 4) and I was just trying to get him tied down and save my mulligan for (Sunday) in case I needed it, but I used it up so I will have to rope better (Sunday).”

Patterson rode his horse, Dunny, 11 on the first day and then will ride his award-winning horse, Tigger, 18 on day two.

“Tigger has been good here in Torrington,” Patterson said. “I’m excited for Sunday. I have not ridden Tigger since San Antonio (in February).”

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