LAS VEGAS – There were some things in Ryan Jarrett’s roping that left him a bit uncomfortable through Rounds 2-4 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
He decided to work on them, and it seems to have made a difference. He roped and tied his calf in 8.1 seconds Monday night to finish sixth in the fifth round, pocketing $4,231 in the process. It was a nice way to rebound after three nights of struggles.
“I went out and roped (Monday) morning,” said Jarrett, the 2005 all-around world champion from Comanche, Okla. “Things felt a little out of whack. I was able to level some things out, and it paid off.”
He kicked off the 2017 NFR by winning the opening round last Thursday. Then he had long times in both the second and third rounds. He suffered a no-time on Night 4. Still, he’s pocketed a little more than $40,000, and there’s still have the championship remaining.
“I had just an OK calf and got a decent start,” he said. “The horse was really good. I feel like I made a pretty good run for what I had. I was just excited to place.”
It was more than a sigh of relief. The world’s richest rodeo features only the top 15 contestants in each event, so the competition is fierce. An 8.1-second run will typically place high at most rodeos, but it’s on the slower end in Las Vegas. The setup is fast, and so are the cowboys.
“That time has place more than once since we’ve been here,” Jarrett said. “The calves have been a little different to me, but you can’t dwell on it. I just hope for a good night the rest of the week.”
That’s important. There is $84,615 up for grabs each night, with the go-round winners pocketing $26,231. Jarrett hasn’t let the disappointment get to him, but this is also his 10th trip to ProRodeo’s grand finale, so he has plenty of experiences dealing with the roller coaster that can be the NFR.
“My plan is that I’m just going to rope my style of roping, and hopefully they’ll pay me,” Jarrett said. “I just need to make good runs, hopefully draw well and cash some more checks.
He’d like to get five more nice paychecks to close out the final five nights of the 2017 season, and he knows he’s got an ace in the hole in his horse, Snoopy.
“He’s been super good,” he said. “He’s really easy to rope on, and real level across the line. He sets me up to be good every time.”