Just because Nick Sarchett team ropes only a few weekends a year doesn't mean he takes the event any less seriously than when he qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1996-97.
"I'm not trying to make the NFR anymore," said Sarchett (pronounced Sar-CHAY), a third-generation Arizonian who ended his full-time roping career in 2000 and last year became a sales representative for an equine products corporation. "The 280 days on the road in a pickup, that's the part I don't miss. But I do miss competing and the adrenaline rush more than anything."
It's that competitive fire that keeps Sarchett competing, even if it's only at a handful of rodeos. In 2004, even though his job kept him busy logging miles throughout Arizona and New Mexico, Sarchett and partner Travis Bard still roped well enough to qualify for the Turquoise Circuit Finals Rodeo, held earlier this year in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
The two entered just eight rodeos, the minimum to meet the criteria for making the circuit finals. While they didn't rank high on the list of top 15 teams in Lake Havasu City, two spots for the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo were just waiting for the aggregate champions.
That's where Sarchett and Bard took over. The two placed in all three rounds and ran away with the aggregate title, winning the crown by three seconds.
For Sarchett, a third trip to the DNCFR definitely highlights his spring.
"Pocatello is awesome," Sarchett said. "This is a great opportunity for guys like us who want to compete but can't get to many rodeos. We barely made it to the circuit finals, but now we can win a lot in Pocatello. I'm pretty excited."
Sarchett grew up in suburban Phoenix and roped only once a week until he earned his driver's license at age 16. It wasn't until Sarchett went off to school at Central Arizona College in Coolidge that he roped on a daily basis.
He filled his permit in 1992 and was the PRCA Resistol Team Roping Rookie of the Year in 1993. After finishing 22nd in 1995, Sarchett joined forces with Randy Polich, and the two scored aggregate titles at such rodeos as the San Antonio Stock Show, Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo and the Caldwell (Idaho) Night Rodeo en route to NFR qualifications in 1996-97.
Sarchett switched partners following the 1997 NFR, finishing 29th in 1998 and 19th in 1999.
Throughout his full-time career, he was an endorsee for a rope and equine products company. Sarchett parlayed his success in the rodeo arena into the professional forum. He spent several years following the end of his full-time rodeo career by training horses and conducting clinics throughout several Western states.
In February 2002, he got married. These days, he and his wife, Jody, have their own house. Nick enjoys the change and being closer to home.
That still hasn't curbed his passion for roping even if his priorities and motivation have.
"I still like to win and compete," Sarchett said. "When I was rodeoing for a living, you take it harder and more personal when you don't win. You have a whole different outlook on life. Now, I'm not doing it for a living anymore. There's not as much pressure on myself and I don't have to rely on winning like I used to, but I'm still out there to win."
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