Local bronc rider places at NHSFR

Nathan Oster

Jake Schlattmann made the most of his second National High School Finals Rodeo appearance, placing seventh in saddle bronc at the national competition held last week in Gillette.

The Greybull High School senior to be and son of Dean and Sara Schlattmann improved on his finish from 2021, when he didn’t qualify for the short go after getting bucked off on his first ride and scoring a 46 on his second.

“I definitely wasn’t as nervous this time,” he said.

It showed, as he posted scores on all three of his rides.

His first produced a score of 70, which put him in the mix to make the short go but still left him a bit disappointed.

“I wanted to win – everybody wants to win, right? – but after the first horse, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to score enough to do that,” he said. “At that point, I just wanted to make the short go and place.”

He achieved the former and gave himself a shot at the latter by posting a 67 on his second ride.

“I actually felt better about that one than the first one,” he said. “That horse bucked hard – he was way harder to ride.  I was pretty proud just to do that.”

The short go featured the 20 riders from the first two rounds.

Schlattmann felt good about the horse he drew, having talked to someone “who won a round at the NFR on him,” but still knew he’d need to be on the top of his game to place.

He ended up posting a 70, ninth best among finalists.  His aggregate score for the three rounds was 207, which was seventh best in the nation. 

Statler Wright of Beaver, Utah won it with 229, followed by Thayne Elshere of Hereford, S.D., with 226 and Cooper Lane of Keller, Texas with 223.

Leif Meidell of Harrison, Neb., was fourth with 221.5, Slade Keith of Stanfield, Ariz., was fifth with 212 and James Perrin of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada, was sixth with 207.

Schlattmann said a few of them, including the winner, are seniors. They won’t eligible to compete in the 2023 NHSFR, where Schlattmann hopes to go out with a bang as a senior himself.

He can see the progress he’s made, saying, “I can ride horses that buck harder a lot better now, and I feel like I can spur horses better than I could a year ago, too.”

But he’s not satisfied as an NHSFR placer. He wants to win it all and intends to keep attending rodeos he’s hit in the past in Kaycee and Buffalo and plans to compete during the upcoming football season, just like he did a year ago.