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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Knox closer to earning way to finals after win

Jeb Knox and Jerome Schneeberger may be on opposite ends of the rodeo spectrum, but that didn’t matter Sunday afternoon.

Knox, a saddle bronc rider from Prosser whose career may be winding down, and Schneeberger, a calf roper from Oklahoma whose star is shining brightly, helped the three-day Spokane Interstate Fair PRCA rodeo end with a bang.

Knox, a consistent winner on the Columbia River Circuit, rode Ms. Naomi to an 80 to tie Randy Jones of Eagle Point, Ore., for the top score, each picking up $1,084.01.

It’s a big win for Knox, who is battling to make the top 12 and earn another trip to the CRC Finals this winter.

“I’ve cut back, this is about my 25th rodeo,” said Knox, who usually has about 70 in this time of year. “I got married and got a real job.”

Knox, 29, is working for the power company, his dream of making it to the National Finals Rodeo fading away.

Schneeberger, 28, is a six-time NFR qualifier, finishing second in 2001. He’s got another trip at hand, sitting eighth in the world standings. The cowboy from Ponca City, Okla., added $1,415.07 to his total by winning tie down roping with a 7.9-second run.

“I was right here so I thought I would come and I’m in the running for the Dodge points (and the use of a pickup for a year),” said Schneeberger, who was at Ellensberg and Walla Walla last week and Puyallup and Lewiston this weekend. Cowboys pick up points for winning rodeos sponsored by Dodge.

Schneeberger credited his time to luck, but there might be a little bit more to it than that.

“It was a lot of luck,” said the cowboy who is a two-time collegiate champion, a gold medal winner at the Command Performance at the Salt Lake Winter Olympics and set the arena record in Pendleton, which starts this week, last year at 7.9.

“I knew the calf would be good. I almost broke the barrier … but it turned out good.”

Schneeberger is traveling with his wife Haley and 20-month old son Jaden, which makes it easy to keep going.

“I don’t see no quitting in me,” he said. “Right now I’m having a lot of fun, it that stops I might think about getting a job.”

His only concern at the moment is the arrival of his second child due in November, which could mean a number of sleepless nights at the NFR.

Meanwhile, Knox is waiting for children, hoping they’ll like the rodeo life and he can haul them around as his parents did for him.

First he’s hoping to get back to the circuit finals as he rallies, having just won the rodeo in Coeur d’Alene last month.

He tied for the Spokane win without ever seeing Ms. Naomi.

“Usually I like to get a game plan,” he said. “I asked a few guys but it didn’t seem like anyone knew what she was like. But it doesn’t matter what the horse does, you have to try to do your thing, stick to the basics and be aggressive. I knew the horse was bucking pretty good. I wasn’t riding as good as I wanted to until the end.”

No other winners came out of Sunday’s performance.

Clayton Foltyn of El Campo, Texas, won bull riding Friday with an 87 on Open Heart, good for $1,264.29.

Matt Weishoff of Mollalla, Ore., had a 78 on Bradley on Friday and Saturday Larry Sandvick of Billings matched that on Showtime, to tie for first in saddle bronc riding, earning $942.36 each.

A 5-second run by Justin Davis on Friday in steer wrestling was good for $1,272.88.

Cody Echevarria of Moscow and Travis Immel of Spokane made a run at that on Sunday, going 5.2 and 5.2, respectively.

Immel stepped in in team roping with Larry Gleave of Cheney and went 6.8 seconds. That was good for fourth and another $286.15. World leaders Britt Bockius of Herefore, Texas, and Steve Purcella of Claremore, Okla., were 5.1 on Friday, winning $1,144.60.

Cindy Woods of Newberg, Ore., was 16.93 seconds in barrel racing on Saturday to win $880.49.