Koontz earns trip to San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo
Kory Koontz of Stephenville, along with partner Manny Egusquiza Jr., finished third in the team roping heeling title race during the Jan. 21-24 Stockyards Shootout/San Antonio Qualifier at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth. The placing earned the duo a trip to the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo scheduled for later this month.
“I feel like I’m definitely blessed,” Koontz, 49, told regional rodeo columnist Brett Hoffman. “I think age is just a number. I’m just trying to convince myself that I’m just 29.”
The Stockyards Shootout featured 24 competitors in each event. Nine competitors in each event advanced to a semifinal round on Jan. 24. Then the top four advanced to a final round.
The four finalists in each event are eligible to compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's San Antonio Rodeo, scheduled for Feb. 12-13, Feb. 15-20 and Feb. 22-27 at Freeman Coliseum.
According to the PRCA, Koontz has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 22 times (1992-2007, 2010-12, 2015 and 2017-18). To qualify, a competitor must finish the regular season within the top 15 in their event.
“There are a lot of things that go into making it possible to go to the NFR,” Koontz told Hoffman. “In the team roping, you’ve got to have a great partner, someone you work well with. There’s no real recipe other than just real hard work. You’ve got to have great horses. You’ve got to put the time in. You’ve got to work on roping a way that’s successful and a way that wins. Things kind of keep changing and getting faster. And so, I just keep on working on the things I’ve got to do to keep up with the young guys now days.”
Koontz said his lifestyle of having a daily work ethic helps him have longevity as a rodeo competitor.
“I’ve got to keep making a living,” he said. “So, I just get up every day. I rope and I ride horses and I just stay busy. There’s no real secret to it. I try to eat halfway decent so I take care of my diabetes and just stay active.”