The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Rodeo Team is sending Tie-Down Roper Joshua Pool to the College National Finals Rodeo during the second week in June. Pool, a 4.0 GPA sophomore agriculture business major, will compete against 39 of the top riders in the nation at the rodeo. The rodeo is held in Casper, Wyo., each year and Pool’s qualification marks the sixth time Coach Kolby Ungeheuer has sent a tie-down roper to the national event. “It is an absolutely greatly accomplishment for Josh and for the NEO Rodeo team to qualify for the CNFR,” said Ungeheuer. “With no separation from junior college and senior colleges at our regional events, it is so hard each and every year to qualify someone to this National Event. I think Josh will have a great chance of doing well at the CNFR and hopefully come home with a National Championship!”
A native of Bartlesville, Okla., Pool began roping at sixteen. Roping took Pool to Vinita for his senior year of high school and he eventually moved to Fairland to attend NEO. “I managed to place at the last four rodeos of the season and that really let me slip in and make the College Finals,” said Pool. “I am very excited because doing well in Casper can give a person a chance to earn sponsors.”
Pool wants to rodeo as long as his resources will allow before he begins a career in portfolio or finance management. However, ensuring that he remains injury free is a major factor in his ability to compete. “During the spring season, I hurt my knee in the short round at the Manhattan, [Kan.,] rodeo,” he noted. “I didn’t do any good a Fort Scott after that, but was able to get back in form for the last four rodeos.”
“Josh might not say it, but he has had a really strong year,” added Ungeheuer. “He excelled during our spring season and the region only takes three riders in each event.” Ungeheuer is confident in Pool’s chances and hopes that he will be able to bring home a national championship for the rodeo team. Set for June 10-16, the competition is sure to put him to the test. For more information about NEO Rodeo or NEO Agriculture, contact the department at 918-540-6368 or McKenzie.Nygren@neo.edu.