Dover cowboy Nick Sartain has one gold buckle. He wants another.
In 2009, Sartain was the world champion header in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, something he dreamed about since first picking up a rope when he was kid.
“Everything kind of lined up good,” Sartain said of his world championship run in 2009. “I had a great partner and a great horse.”
His partner in the team roping that year was Kollin Von Ahn, who is formerly of Durant but now lives in Blanchard.
“When you get a gold buckle like that, it just brings everything into perspective,” said Sartain, who grew up in Yukon.
“Mine was very humbling. I started thinking about all the people who hadn’t won a gold buckle who were great team ropers before me. But I want to win another one. I don’t want to quit there.”
Sartain, 35, has qualified to the National Finals Rodeo four times in the roping, including last year that didn’t end with a world title but with a very good payday.
He won one round and placed in four other rounds, earning more than $70,000 at the NFR and finishing sixth in the world standings and third at the NFR.
He now partners with Texas cowboy Rich Skelton, and both are currently fifth in the PRCA standings this year.
Sartain is making his ninth appearance in the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which concludes Saturday with 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie.
But his team roping partner for the National Circuit Finals is Reagan Ward of Edmond, the heeling champion from the Prairie Circuit.
Sartain said the two cowboys had roped together at a few jackpot rodeos before but had little experience working together before this week. However, very little adjustment was needed, he said.
“He came up here and we practiced for a couple of days and I feel like we got it ironed out just about right,” Sartain said. “It’s not that big of an adjustment to make because he ropes so well.”
Ward, 25, has yet to qualify for his first NFR, but Sartain says that will change soon.
“He is just getting going good,” said Sartain of Ward, who normally team ropes with his younger brother Andrew.
Sartain and Ward posted the second fastest time after Thursday’s first-round action and will have their second run Saturday afternoon at the Lazy E Arena. The top eight times after two rounds advance to Saturday night’s championship round, which is a sudden death format.
“If you have a hiccup, you’re out,” Sartain said.
Sartain has had better luck in the NFR than he has in the National Circuit Finals, a rodeo he has never won. Being a world champion and a national circuit champion would certainly look good on the resume.
“Hopefully we will make another good run (today) and have a shot at it,” he said.