Diabetes fails to slow Sudan, Texas, team roper

Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo Kory Koontz and Keven Daniel had a time of 10.1 seconds in team roping during Friday’s performance of the PRCA Pioneer Days Rodeo at the Curry County Events Center.

By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico

It’s taken awhile for Kory Koontz to get into the swing of this year’s PRCA season. But the Sudan, Texas, native knows the drill all right.

With over a million dollars in prize money to his credit over the years, Koontz has qualified for the National Finals Rodeo 14 times. Even though the current season for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit is almost half over, Koontz and his partner, Keven Daniel of Franklin, Tenn., are just now hitting rodeos that serve as qualifiers for the NFR in Las Vegas.

On Friday, at the second night of the Pioneer Days PRCA Rodeo, Koontz and Daniel got a five-second penalty in the team roping competition and essentially kept them out of the running to win at the Clovis event.

But there’s plenty of more rodeos before the season ends, according to Koontz.

“I started a little slow this winter and took some time off in the spring,” Koontz said. “I have a son who’s 18 and he just graduated, so I spent some time at home.

“I’ve done some clinics and those sort of things. This was actually one of my first rodeos coming back,” he added. “But we’re excited to get going and get back to National Finals. There’s still lots of money out there left.”

Koontz has diabetes and has to wear an insulin pump. He has to change the device every three days, but he said it doesn’t hinder what he can do as a competing cowboy.