ARLINGTON, Texas – Jacob Edler knows what his job is and how to handle his business.
He’ll let everything else take care of itself. In the midst of a steer wrestling world championship race, the State Center, Iowa, cowboy is handling his tasks one night at a time at the National Finals Rodeo at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Through eight nights of ProRodeo’s championship event, he has placed six times, including the last four consecutively.
He has earned $78,750 in those eight days and sits No. 1 in the average race with a cumulative time of 34.7 seconds. He’s also third in the world standings with $124,357, about $10,000 behind Texan Matt Reeves, who has held the top spot since March.
On Thursday night, he knocked his steer to the ground in 4.0 seconds to finish fourth in the round, earning another $11,000 in the process.
“I knew this pen of steers that a 4.0 was going to win something, but it would be toward the bottom of the round,” Edler said. “I haven’t worried about where I am in the money, where I am in the average. I’ve just been trying to hit the start, do my job and let the chips fall where they may.
“The PRCA hires people that can do all the math way better than me. I’m going to do what I know to do and let them do all the math.”
He doesn’t have to add anything up when it comes to bulldogging. He has been around the steers that were in the second, fifth and eighth rounds for several weeks, so he was ready. He’d also seen that steer go in its two previous runs; he knew the animal would veer off to the right toward his hazer and possible put everything out of position
“Dirk (Tavenner) and I had a game plan,” he said “I knew he was going to do his part and get that steer blocked off, and I knew (his mount) Mabel was going to get me up slick on that steers back. I knew when I moved that steer’s head, he liked to be thrown down. I got the right go, got him laid down and finished fourth.”
Confidence is certainly key when it comes to competing at an elite level, and Edler has a bunch of it right now. He realizes that there are just two nights left in this magical season that has him battling for the Montana Silversmiths gold buckle.
“I feel like this is the sharpest my mind’s been all year,” Edler said. “I haven’t let a whole lot bother me this week and stayed in a good place mentally, and I plan on staying in that place for two more rounds.
“The coolest part of this is actually getting to participate in my first NFR. I’ve dreamed of doing this forever, and it’s happening. I’m very grateful for the success I’ve had up to this point.”