LAS VEGAS – When a lot of money is on the line, it takes experience to handle the challenges and anxiety that comes with it.
Ryan Jarrett understands. Now in his seventh qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the Comanche, Okla., cowboy has been through the rigors of ProRodeo’s grand finale and has experienced every emotion possible. This is his business, so that’s the approach he takes every run.
“When I get to the arena, I go check the draw, then I’ll look at the videos of the previous go-rounds to see what that calf does,” said Jarrett, the 2005 all-around cowboy who grew up in Summerville, Ga. “I’ll set a small game plan and try to go win some money.”
It’s worked fairly well so far. On Wednesday night, Jarrett roped and tied his calf in 7.9 seconds to finish third in the seventh round, earning $10,895 in the process. He pushed his NFR earnings to $31,950.
“Clint Robinson missed that calf in the second round, and Cody Ohl tied him in 8.0 and didn’t win any money in the fifth round,” said Jarrett, who has earned $106,708 this season. “I thought he was pretty decent, and I was glad to have him. I’d take third every night.
“We’ve got three more go-rounds. I sure hope I can get some more of the pie.”
That’s fairly important. Rodeo cowboys travel tens of thousands of miles a year to finish the regular season among the top 15 in the world so they can qualify for the NFR. Then they’ll race for their share of the $6.125 million purse. The contestants in each event with the most money won through the season are crowned world champions.
“There’s nobody walking away with the winning just yet,” Jarrett said.