STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Jacob O’Mara knows what it takes to compete at the elite level in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
The bull rider from Prairieville, La., burst onto the national scene last year, when he finished runner-up in the race for the Resistol Bull Riding Rookie of the Year. This year, he’s taken it up a notch more, sitting in the top 10 in the world standings. His win during the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo in Stephenville this past weekend was just another notch in his belt of accomplishments.
“Winning that rodeo helped me out a bit,” said O’Mara, who collected his third victory this season and has earned more than $36,000 in 2011.
O’Mara scored 83 points by matching moves with the bull Charlie’s Bandito from Carr Pro Rodeo, the Dallas-based livestock firm that produced the Stephenville rodeo. Owner Pete Carr said the bull has been one of the most consistent in his herd.
“Charlie’s Bandito is one of those rider-friendly bulls that turns back in the gate and gives a guy a good chance to be some points,” Carr said. “We had near capacity crowds Friday and Saturday, and they got to see a really good rodeo.”
O’Mara was just one of several top contestants to earn Cowboy Capital of the World titles in 2011, joining all around winner Monty Eakin; bareback rider Bill Tutor, who rodeo Carr’s Patron for 77 points; team ropers Luke Brown and Martin Lucero, who stopped the clock in 3.7 seconds; tie-down roper Houston Hutto, who had a 7.7-second run; barrel racer Cassie Moseley, who posted a 14.59-second sprint; and saddle bronc rider Sam Spreadborough, who had an 83-point ride on Carr’s Deuces Wild.
“I like that horse,” Spreadborough said. “That’s the second time I got on him. I placed in a round on him in Houston. Everything just went right for me.”
That’s the way it needs to happen to win in rodeo. It’s important to have good animals on which to compete, but there must be a marriage, of sorts, for it all to work out.
“I didn’t know anything about that bull,” O’Mara said. “He was just a good bull. He turned back to the left (just out of the gate) and took another jump, then went back to the right. He felt great.”
The feeling roughstock cowboys get while attempting to ride bucking animals is important, but making the right moves is the most important part. Of course, the best set up is to have a great animal underneath them, which is why Carr Pro Rodeo events are a big hit among contestants.
“I like Pete’s events,” said Spreadborough, an Australian now living in Snyder, Texas. “His horses are always good, and his pens are pretty even. You’ve got a chance to place on anything you can get on when you go to his rodeos.”