Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo: Apache's Hunter Herrin still trying to rope a championship

Hunter Herrin, a six-time qualifier to the NFR, has been a regular participant in the National Circuit Finals Rodeo each year it has been in Oklahoma City. It's one of the few rodeos that Herrin, 28, gets to rope in front of family and friends.
by Ed Godfrey Published: April 3, 2013
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Herrin is coming off his worst performance in six appearances at last December's NFR in Las Vegas, winning only $4,900.

“It wasn't my horse's fault, it was me,” he said. “Every time I had a chance to win something I found a way to self destruct and beat myself.

“I have been disappointed a couple of times before when I left there, but this one was really disappointing.”

Herrin has been one of the most consistent money earners in tie-down roping in the PRCA over the last eight years. He has only missed qualifying for the NFR twice.

In five of the six years that he did qualify to the NFR, Herrin entered the championship rodeo in the top five.

He almost won the world championship in 2008. If not for one calf kicking free, Herrin would have won the gold buckle.

“I let a world championship get away in '08,” he said. “I dang sure should have won it that year.”

Herrin is still chasing that gold buckle even though it is getting more costly to do so every year.

“People look in the newspaper and see (the money) you've won on the season but they don't realize the costs involved,” he said. “You spend $20,000 on entry fees and can easily spend $50,000 in fuel.

“Express Ranches and Bob Funk have been a sponsor of mine since 2006. They have stuck with me. It would be hard to do this without them.”

Herrin is riding a new horse this season and has cashed a small check at every rodeo thus far.

“I could be roping better but I still feel confident,” he said. “It (the rodeo life) can be draining, but I am not going to stop anytime soon.

“I am not looking for a way out yet. I am going to try to keep getting better and hopefully finish it off one year and bring a championship back to Apache.”

by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo

When: Thursday at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m; Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Jim Norick State Fair Arena

Activities: Fan Zone opens two hours before each performance. Kids can participate in mutton bustin', take roping lessons from the Oklahoma State University rodeo team and take photos with a Texas longhorn.

Thompson Square is in concert following the rodeo Friday night, and Chris Cagle will perform on Saturday night.

Tickets: Available at State Fair Box Office, State Fair web site or by calling 948-6808.

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