Even though he’s quite comfortable in eastern Oklahoma, J.P. Wickett could easily find his way to the southeastern New Mexico community of Lovington.
Each of the past two seasons, Wickett has earned the steer roping title at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo. That’s been a key reason behind his qualifications to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping the past two seasons, but it’s not the only reason. One does not qualify for a National Finals event 14 times without great success in the arena.
And get this: Wickett is your reigning national champion, having staked that claim this past spring during the Chute Help National Circuit Finals Steer Roping in Torrington, Wyo. It’s just one of the many accolades the Oklahoma cowboy has earned in his career, which began two decades ago.
Wickett first qualified for the NFSR in 1996, then didn’t return for five seasons. He hasn’t missed one since 2001. Last November, he placed in five rounds and finished fourth in the average. He’s hoping to repeat that feat, if not build upon it, this weekend.