PRATT — At the age of 24, Cole Patterson, of Pratt, has defied the odds in many ways, from making it to the National Finals for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in the steer roping event, winning Resitol's Rookie of the Year award, to his horse winning the PRCA Horse of the Year honor.

Patterson, the son Shelly and Rocky Patterson, has been involved in the rodeo industry for as long as he can remember. His dad, Rocky, is a four-time World Champion steer roper, and Patterson has been following in his footsteps since he was a teenager.

“I think I was 14 or 15 when dad let me tie my first steer, and he only let me tie about two or three,” Patterson said in an interview with ProRodeo Sports News. “He told me that was all I could tie until I graduated college.”

Using his father’s words as some of his motivation, Patterson got his associate’s degrees in agriculture and in business from Western Oklahoma State College, then transferred to Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he got his bachelor’s degree in agriculture business in May of 2018. During his time in college, he participated in team roping and tie-down roping, as he did when he was in high school.

After he graduated from college, he decided to try professional rodeo. Right away, he had a goal most people would think unimaginable: to qualify for the national finals to compete with his father.

“It was a goal from day one to qualify with him. It’s very rare that you get to compete with any family members at that,” Patterson said. “Very few people get to experience something like that.”

Young Patterson has traveled all across the midwest and the west for rodeos. The Cheyenne, Wyoming rodeo was his biggest success this year, where he took home a little under $7,000.

With all of his earnings from the 2019 season, Cole will go on to compete at the national finals; a goal he says every cowboy has.

“Everybody, when they start out at the beginning of the year has one goal, and that’s a world championship, just like any other sport,” Patterson said.

The national finals, being 10 rounds total over the course of two days, take preparation on the part of the competitor, both physically and mentally.

“Lots of practice, try to get in the best shape possible, try to have my horses as ready as possible, and try not to overthink it,” Patterson said. “The same thing we’ve been doing all year.”