BELLVILLE, Texas – The 2019 ProRodeo regular season was a big learning experience for steer wrestler Jacob Edler.
“I was excited to have the year that I had, but I had higher hopes and expectations,” said Edler, who finished the campaign 23rd in the world standings with more than $55,00 in earnings. “This is the best year I’ve ever had and the brokest I’ve ever been. I’ve come to find out you’ve got to be in the top 15 to make any money in this game.”
Only the top 15 in the world standings in each event advance to the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale. It’s a goal for every cowboy that competes for a living, and Edler fits that bull well.
He’s already off to a good start for the 2020 season, which began Oct. 1 – he placed in Hempstead, Texas, last week and sits atop the leaderboard this week at the Austin County Fair and Rodeo after posting a 3.7-second run during Thursday’s opening night, sharing the lead with Cody Harmon, who competing in Wednesday’s slack.
“The end of the 2019 season didn’t fair out, so since Oct. 1, I’ve been hungry and ready to get after 2020,” said Edler of State Center, Iowa.
He had a little help from his horse, Rattle, owned by fellow steer wrestler Matt Reeves. It takes solid teamwork between horse and rider to make it work, and he was also assisted by Cameron Moorman, who served as the hazer.
“I’ve had quite a bit of success on her,” Edler said. “She just fits me like a glove.”
That’s important, because the first key to a fast time is to have an equine partner that can get the cowboy to the steer in a hurry and in position. Everything else that happens falls on how well the cowboy handles his business, something the Iowa man has learned. This past year, he gained a great education while traveling the rodeo trail with two-time world champion Hunter Cure.
“Hunter’s a winner in everything he does,” Edler said. “I’m glad I got to see him on the road, in the practice pen and even out there working by my side. No matter what we’re doing, we’re going to do it right and try to do it as perfect as we can, and the results show.”
Even though he’s been part of ProRodeo for eight seasons, he’s still relatively young in some aspects of the game. Three years ago as a senior at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, he finished second at the College National Finals Rodeo to teammate J.D. Struxness. The two traveled after that, and Struxness made the first of three qualifications to the National Finals Rodeo.
“I have climbed mountains since I first started,” Edler said. “I was a kid from Iowa with a mullet halfway down my back. I was shell-shocked when I went to my first PRCA rodeo. The only reason I’ve gotten to where I am today is the people who have taken the time and seen the potential in me and helped me.
“That year, I don’t know how we got anybody to the NFR. We might have been more focused on having a good time than bulldogging, but it’s a process that you’ve got to grow up and mature through it. When it’s your time, you’ve just got to be ready for it.”
Austin County Fair and Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Cole Reiner, 82.5 points on Rocky Mountain Rodeo’s Rawhide; 2. Leighton Berry, 77; 3. Yance Day, 74; 4. Tucker Zingg, 61; Tyler Johnson, 59; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Jacob Edler and Cody Harmon, 3.7 seconds; 3. (tie) Kodie Jang and Jacob Talley, 4.3; 5. Shayde Tree Etherton, 4.4; 6. Dylan Schroeder, 4.9; 7. Maverick Harper, 5.2; 8. Gabe Soileau, 5.3.
Team roping: 1. Lightning Aguilera/Brady Norman, 4.1 seconds; 2. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 4.2; 3. Colby Lovell/Corey Hendrick, 4.6; 4. Shane Philipp/John Philipp, 4.7; 5. Caleb Smidt/Logan Moore, 4.8; 6. Joe Hub Baker/Chuck Butler, 5.0; 7. Aaron Macy/Jason Johe, 5.1; 8. (tie) Lane Ivy/Dillon Wingereid and Jess Tierney/Joel Oden, 6.5; 10. Landon McClaugherty/Joel Hurta, 10.5.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jarrod Hammons, 81.5 on United Pro Rodeo’s Sky Fall; 2. Cole Elshere, 80; 3. Chet Johnson, 78; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping: 1. Zack Jongbloed, 8.1 seconds; 2. Tanner Green, 8.6; 3. (tie) Shad Mayfield and Cade Swor, 8.7 each; 5. Landyn Duncan, 9.2; 6. King Pickett, 9.6; 7. Benny Mosley, 10.1; 8. Reid Zapalac, 10.2.
Barrel racing: 1. Lisa Thornton, 15.45 seconds; 2. Taylor Langdon, 15.50; 3. Shelley Morgan, 15.54; 4. Fallon Taylor, 15.55; 5. (tie)Kelly Tovar, Cassidy Champlin and Lori Todd, 15.59; 8. Deb Guelly, 15.65; 9. Amanda Slaughter, 15.66; 10. (tie) Abby Phillips and Shelby Bates, 15.69; 12. Amy Jo Reisdorfer, 15.70.
Steer roping: First round: 1. (tie) Clay Smith and Jim Locke, 9.7 seconds, $1,103 each; 3. Tuf Cooper, 10.0, $791; 4. Trevor Brazile, 10.2, $583; 5. Cole Patterson, 10.4, $375; 6. Jess Tierney, 10.7, $208. Second round: 1. Cole Patterson, 9.9 seconds, $1,207; 2. (tie) Jason Stockton and Lawson Plemons, 10.2, $895 each; 4. Tanner Green, 10.8, $583; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Landon McClaugherty, 10.9, $291 each. Average: 1. Cole Patterson, 20.3 seconds on two head, $1,811; 2. (tie) Jim Locke and Trevor Brazile, 21.1, $1,343 each; 4. Jess Tierney, 22.0, $874; 5. Tuf Cooper, 22.9, $562; 6. Scott Snedecor, 24.4, $312.
Bull riding: 1. Braden Richardson, 81 points on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Knot Head; 2. Chris Bechthold, 78.5; 3. Brett Custer, 73; no other qualified rides.