LAS VEGAS – Heading into Thursday night, tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett wasn’t too excited about his performance at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
It’s funny how quickly things change.
Jarrett posted a 6.7-second run to win the eighth go-round, pocketing another $18,630 – his biggest paycheck in Las Vegas so far. In fact, the time set a new NFR record for Round 8, bettering a 6.9 that was established 12 years ago by eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield.
“I knew that calf was off the pace, so I gave her a little bit more of a head start than I had been, and it worked out great,” said Jarrett, who pushed his NFR earnings to $56,040. “The last three rounds ain’t been great, but tonight’s kinda made up for it.”
Yes, it did. Jarrett has moved from 13th to fifth in the tie-down roping world standings, having earned nearly $119,000.
“Until 2010, I never won a round in calf roping here,” said Jarrett, the 2005 all-around world champion from Comanche, Okla.
The reason for that? Jarrett has focused his attention on placing in the go-rounds and collecting cash. He earned a share of the fourth-round title, then won it outright Thursday.
“I don’t make it to the South Point a whole lot,” he said, referring to the nightly Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentation that takes place nightly at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa.
He may be making more. Jarrett is 10th in the average with an eight-round cumulative time of 87.2 seconds. He knows the best way for him to make more money over the final two nights of the 2013 season is to place high in the rounds.
“I just worry about what I can do and just focus on that,” Jarrett said. “I thought I was doing all right the first five rounds, and I won pretty decent, and then it just went downhill. Maybe the next two rounds will be as good as the eighth round.”