ARLINGTON, Texas – Every athlete understands the need for a little bit of practice. Fundamentals are a vital part of success.
Ryan Jarrett took that to heart, even during the National Finals Rodeo. Since he’s commuting from his Comanche, Oklahoma, home every day, he decided Thursday was a good day to tune himself and his horse, Snoopy. That night, they stopped the clock in 7.8 seconds to finish third in the eighth round of tie-down roping at Globe Life Field.
“I changed some things up today; I changed my underwear and my boots,” Jarrett, a 13-time NFR qualifier originally from Summerville, Georgia, said with a laugh. “I roped at home today. I mixed it up a little bit. I’m a little bit superstitious on some things, so hopefully that will make a little bit of difference.”
The 280-mile daily round-trip is nothing new to rodeo cowboys, who essentially travel for a living getting from one rodeo to another. It allows him the chance to rest in his own home and handle his business before he makes his way to compete at ProRodeo’s biggest annual event.
Most nights, he drops Snoopy off at Outlaw Equine on the way home and picks up the gelding on the way back to Arlington. That also changed Wednesday night.
“There’s a good chance he’ll go home with me tonight, too,” he said. “The practice session went good. I guess I needed it and he needed it. Maybe we both needed a change in the atmosphere a little bit, and this gave us a chance to get dialed in a little more and be ready to win something.”
Jarrett placed in the fourth and fifth rounds, then missed placing the next two nights. His Wednesday night run, though, became viral after he through his rope backhanded and caught the calf, stopping the clock in 11.4 seconds.
“I have a bad habit that if I ever over-and-under my horse (with the rope), when I pull it back up, I swing it backwards and rope the calves,” Jarrett said. “It was not for show by no means. It’s not the first time I’ve ever done it at a ProRodeo, but it is for the NFR. Nobody in his right mind would do it.”
Even though Jarrett doesn’t have a social media account, he heard all about it, even the Tik Tok that has had several thousand views over just a few hours.
For now, though, the focus is less on a backhanded throwing motion and more on what he can do the final two nights of the 2020 season. Jarrett has caught all eight of his calves and sits fifth in the aggregate race. He’s also earned nearly $47,000 in just three nights of placing.
“It feels real good,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll slide in here and get a little more (Friday) and Saturday and call it a success.”