LAS VEGAS – Slowly but surely, Ryan Jarrett is making his way up the chart at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
After opening ProRodeo’s grand finale with the first-round victory, Jarrett went into a bit of a skid. He didn’t return to the top of the charts until the fifth night, when he finished sixth. He did it again during Round 6, when he tied his calf in 8.0 seconds to collect another $4,231.
“This is a tough place to rope sometimes,” said Jarrett, an 11-time NFR qualifier from Comanche, Okla. “Hopefully we can make some good runs and make the last four rounds really satisfying.”
Through six nights in the City of Lights, Jarrett has accumulated $44,692. He has pushed his season earnings to $140,748 and sits ninth in the world standings.
“There was sure room for improvement in that run,” he said. “I messed up my tie a little bit, but all we can do is move forward. I just hope we draw well and make another good run.”
The competition at the NFR is fierce. Marty Yates of Stephenville, Texas, posted the fastest run of this year’s NFR with a 6.9-second run Tuesday night. It takes fast times and virtually flawless runs to make everything work inside the Thomas and Mack Center, the championship’s home since 1985.
He’s had a little help while in Las Vegas. His father, DeJuan, has been in town since the beginning and has cared for Jarrett’s horse, Snoopy. Jarrett’s wife, Shy-Anne, has tried to bring some normalcy to his life while living in Sin City for two weeks.
Now he hopes to make the steps he needs to better his performance.
“I’m not roping up to my expectations,” he said, noting that he has taken some time to get a little practice. “I rode my horse and made sure things felt good. There’s nothing in particular that I’ve been working on; I just tried to make it feel a little more fluid.”
His first chance to test it again is Wednesday night during the seventh round.