LAS VEGAS – If he could go back in time, tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett would love to have figured things out at the National Finals Rodeo a little sooner.
He started off hot, finishing third in the opening round to collect more than $16,000. Then things went cold. He wasn’t getting a good start out of the timed-event box, and it slowed his chances of placing at the always-difficult NFR.
Things go fast in Las Vegas, and the only way for Jarrett to earn money was to finish among the top six in the rounds. After placing in Round 1, he failed to earn a payday the next six nights. He recovered, though, to close out the 10-day championship, placing in each of the final three nights. He closed out his NFR with an 8.7-second run to finish sixth, worth another $4,354.
“I was hoping for more (Saturday) night,” said Jarrett, 37, originally from Summerville, Georgia, but now living in Comanche, Oklahoma. “I was just late on the barrier, and I was just glad to hang on for a sixth-place check.”
He ended the NFR with $46,577 in Las Vegas money, pushing his 2021 salary to $138,510. He’s a veteran who understands that every day provides lessons that he can use in the future. He’s had fantastic NFRs, including his first in 2005, when he walked away with the all-around world title. Then there have been years like this one, where he placed in four rounds but on the lower end of the pay scale.
“You have to take the good with the bad,” he said. “You plan for a little better, hope for a little better next time. I’m not real impressed with 2021.”
He will change his focus a bit for next season. He will compete at the big rodeos that kick off the new year and see where that takes him. His primary focus will be competing while his wife, Shy-Anne, and daughter, Jurnee, with him. It will allow his wife an opportunity to compete as well.
“I’d love for the winter to go real well and come summertime not have to rodeo like a wild man,” Jarrett said. “I’d like to ease around and just go to the ones I want to go to. I’ll also do a little breakaway roping and barrel racing in between with Shy-Anne and Jurnee.”
Family time is special, and he plans to have more opportunities to have it soon.