LAS VEGAS – Ryan Jarrett’s eighth trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo hasn’t gone the way he had hoped.
That started to change Tuesday night during the sixth go-round. The 2005 all-around world champion roped and tied his calf in 7.2 seconds to capture fourth place in the sixth go-round and collect his first paycheck of his year’s finale, $11,000.
“I rode a different horse,” said Jarrett, a Summerville, Ga., cowboy now living in Comanche, Okla. “I wouldn’t say I had any horse problems, but I hadn’t won anything so I decided make the switch. We’re at the halfway point of the rodeo, so we needed to change things up a bit.”
He rode Nate the first five nights of the 10-round championship. While he was solid in the opening three rounds – he finished seventh three straight times – he had two straight no-times in Rounds 4-5. So he moved over to Barney. Both equines have been solid this season.
“Barney’s been pretty good for me,” he said. “That’s the horse I won Houston on and the horse I won the match roping with Cody Ohl in San Angelo, Texas. He does his job and allows me to do mine.
“I finally had a good calf. I knew she was dang sure a good chance when I saw I had her drawn. I bobbled my (tie) and cost me some precious money, but I finally cracked the ice. I picked a night to be 7.2 in a really fast round, and that would’ve won several other rounds.”
Trevor Brazile, the most decorated cowboy in ProRodeo, won the tie-down roping round in 6.6 seconds and clinched his record 13th all-around championship. Tyson Durfey posted a 6.8, and Tuf Cooper finished in 6.9. Those times were all that stood between Jarrett and bigger money in the richest rodeo in the world – the NFR features an $8.8 million purse with go-round winners pocketing more than $26,000 a night for 10 rounds.
“I sure would’ve liked to have won a little something in those first few rounds; it’d sure make things a little better,” Jarrett said. “I’m just looking at trying to get the $105,000 that’s still available for winning first in the go-rounds. I don’t have to win all four rounds, but if they let me place in theme, I can deal with it.”
Waiting six days to earn a payday in this championship can be a tad bit frustrating. Fortunately Jarrett possesses a trait that allows him to look ahead. He doesn’t let those frustrations settle in the pit of his stomach for long.
“I can let it go, but you have to give me a little bit,” he said. “I’m usually a 20-minute kind of guy – 10 minutes before I rope and 10 minutes after I rope. After that, it’s a new game.”
Even though he has dropped from seventh to 14th in the world standings, he still likes his chances as he approaches the final four nights of the 2015 campaign. With two no-times, he knows a bonus that comes with placing in the 10-round cumulative time average race is out of the question.
“There are a lot of guys that have a chance for a world title, where it’s usually two guys and maybe a third,” Jarrett said. “The next four rounds, I’m going to be roping at these go-rounds. Those guys in the average are going to try to keep their spots in the average. Maybe things will work out, and a man can move up a little bit.”