ARLINGTON, Texas – Steer wrestler Jacob Edler is quietly having a solid run at the National Finals Rodeo.
He’d like to make a little more noise.
Through the first five rounds, the State Center, Iowa, cowboy has placed three times and earned $35,385 at Globe life Field in Arlington. Part of that came after his 4.1-second run during Monday’s fifth go-round, where he finished fourth. That was worth $11,000. He has five nights remaining in the 2020 season, and he’d like to add to that total considerably.
“I feel great with my bulldogging,” said Edler, who attended Western Oklahoma State College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University on rodeo scholarships. “I feel really good about the starts I’m getting, but it seems like the mare I’m riding is starting not to find cattle. I’m going to make a horse change.”
That begins Tuesday. He will mount Mabel, a 9-year-old sorrel mare owned by fellow bulldogger Garrett Henry. Fellow NFR competitor Stetson Jorgensen has been riding the red rocket and has earned nearly $50,000. Jorgensen also leads the aggregate race with a cumulative time of 23.3 seconds on five runs.
It’s a solid move for Edler, who finished as the runner-up to his national champion teammate, J.D. Struxness, at the 2016 College National Finals Rodeo while competing for Northwestern. He is tied for second place in the average with Bridger Anderson, a senior at the Alva, Oklahoma, university.
“I just need to be a little tighter to the steer,” Edler said. “It seems I’ve been jumping at steers the past few days. I know a guy doesn’t want to think about the average right now, but I’m dang sure going to have the mentality to go after the go-rounds. I also want to have no doubts that I’m able to get my hands on all five of the steers I have left.”
Monday’s paycheck was his biggest so far, but in terms of the NFR payout, he’s nickel-and-diming his way toward the top. Go-round winners pocket $26,231 each night, and rodeo is all about crowning the champions with the biggest bank account; dollars equal points, and the contestants with the most money won at the conclusion of the season will earn the Montana Silversmiths gold buckles.
“Throughout the year, you’ve got to consistently win checks,” he said. “When there’s an opportunity to win a check, you need to do your job and consistently keep plucking your way. When go-round chances come your way, you need to take advantage.
“There’s way too much money up every single night to back off and really think about the average. In bulldogging, everything starts off with the kind of start you get. I plan on blowing the barrier out every night and being fast. The average pays a lot of money, but the go-rounds do, too, and every dollar counts toward that gold buckle.”
He’s in the hunt for it, along with Anderson, who has enlisted Ranger rodeo coach Stockton Graves to be his hazer.
“This is all pretty neat and it’s been fun practicing with Bridger and Stockton leading up to this and getting to be around them all this week,” Edler said. “We’re going to represent Northwestern all the way through.”