What’s the worst thing about wrecking your truck when you’re a practicing large animal veterinarian? Your means of transportation, your office and much of your equipment is no longer available. What’s a best case scenario? You just won a new truck!!! For Scott Robinette, an avid rodeo fan and vet in Brush, CO, that was the case when his Pro Fantasy Rodeo Team for the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas ended up in 1st place to win a 2013 Ram 3500 Crew Cab with Dual Rear Wheels. Having recently been involved in the scary one-vehicle accident where road debris caused his pickup to go over the guard rail down a 25-foot drop, Robinette feels very lucky to have walked away with only minor bruises and is certainly happy to have a new truck.
Robinette’s “J Diamond” team amassed total winnings during the 10 rounds of $784,980.99 and consisted of bareback rider Kaycee Field, steer wrestler Luke Banquinho, team ropers Turtle Powell and Dugan Kelly, saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, tie down roper Shane Hanchey, barrel racer Lisa Lockhart and bull rider Cody Teel. Robinette has played the fantasy game since its inception in 2004 buying a few teams each year and winning daily money. In 2006 he was the 2nd highest money winner when two of his teams placed 2nd and 5th respectively in the average, placed in a couple of go-arounds, netting him a total of $13,000. This year he won it all!
Questioned about his strategy for picking such winning teams, Scott said he likes to pick two to three qualifiers he considers his top picks spending most of the $500,000 salary cap on them, then investing the remainder in contestants from the middle of the pack. Robinette replied, “You do the best you can in picking a team, but the truth is that if a barrel had been knocked over or my team ropers had missed in the 10th round, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. After the 9th round, my team was ranked in the top 100, but the 10th round doubled my winnings and that changed everything! I was so surprised when I looked online after the last round to see where my team ended up and discovered it was first that I made my family look at the screen to see if what I was seeing was really true!”
Robinette continued, “The leaflet/magazine that Pro Fantasy Rodeo made available to players was a great help this year. I studied just like it was a racing form for the horse races since it gave statistics, predictions, etc. I liked the idea that it gave who they thought were the top 5 to pick plus a dark horse. This is the information that is difficult for a person to gain about the contestants, especially right before the finals. I’ve played this game since the beginning and my strategy has always been to pick contestants in two or three events that are more or less a “shoe in”, then the remainder of the team members pretty much comes from the middle of the field. I wanted Sherry Cervy because she is just so consistent but decided to pick Lisa Lockhart because she’s always tough. Cody Teel has been sticking right in there and I picked Luke Branquinho because my 10-year old daughter likes it when he shakes his booty. Hanchey seemed like he was just “hungry” and Sundell, well, he just rides so darn well. If you look at my team, other than Feilds, they were all pretty much in the middle of the pack going into the WNFR.”
With a laugh, Robinette said his friends and neighbors were all mad at him for winning the 2013 truck. “I tried to get them to play the game and form a league so someone of the 10 people in our league could win the coveted “League Buckle” but couldn’t find enough supporters. Now that I’ve won, they’re mad at me because they hadn’t played! They’re all excited and can’t wait to see the truck which will arrive next week.”
The name of Robinette’s Pro Fantasy Rodeo team, “J Diamond,” was chosen in memory of his late dad, Jim Robinette, a PRCA steer wrestler who competed heavily in the 1970s and 80s, then served as a PRCA judge for most of his life. When Jim won the championship at Cheyenne Frontier Days and was awarded a diamond-studded buckle, his moniker became “Diamond Jim” and he obtained the diamond J brand.
Robinette grew up in a household where rodeo was the norm and like many such rodeo families, his mom and dad placed side bets during the NFR each year. Recalling the beginning of Pro Fantasy Rodeo, Robinette stated, “I remember how hard the owners worked to bring the idea to rodeo fans, setting up booths at team roping finals and bull riding finals. I even saw them at a popular nightclub in Denver promoting their game. I give them credit. It’s a fantastic idea and so much fun to play. Everybody should do it!”
A youth competitor in Little Britches Rodeo, Colorado State High School Rodeo and on the Colorado State University National Intercollegiate Rodeo team, Scott now devotes his time fully to his large animal vet business in Brush, Colorado and together with his wife Judy have begun to haul their 6 and 10 year old daughters to local gymkhanas.
Not only did Robinette win the truck, he also participated in the Challenge Prizes offered by Pro Fantasy Rodeo. In addition to winning the Cactus Saddlery Prize valued at $5,000, he won both the Team Hesston prize consisting of Plaza tickets for 2 consecutive nights of the 2014 WNFR (Pick from Rounds 4-8), a three-night stay at a luxury Las Vegas resort on a strip, and the Team Hesston Rodeo Prize Package. Winners of the other prize packages are listed on the website, www.profantasyrodeo.com.
In 2013 Pro Fantasy Rodeo paid out over $165,000 in cash and prizes which includes payouts of 8 places in the 10-day average, daily payouts to 6th place. Noted as the official PRCA fantasy game, it has paid out over $ 1.2 million during the past 10 years. Pro Fantasy Rodeo players can log on to www.profantasyrodeo.com to sign up for information for the 2014 game and receive the Preview PFR magazine to aid in picking next year’s team. Interested players can also click on the results tab to study the rodeo results as well as the winning PFR teams. For example, studying the results help players —a good tip to help mark how much a winning team might total might be in case there’s a tie.
As Robinette said, “Everybody should do it!”