GUNNISON, Colo. – Jacob Edler has a college degree, but his education continues in professional rodeo.
The lessons are coming to fruition, and he proved it Friday night at the Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo. He wrestled his steer to the ground in 3.7 seconds and owns a lead of seven-tenths heading into Saturday’s final performance of this year’s championship.
“I’ve been struggling the last couple of weeks,” said Edler of States Center, Iowa. “Stars finally lined up, and I was 3 (seconds). It’d been a long time since I’d been a 3. You just have to keep yourself stable mentally, because your turn’s going to come around. You’ve just got to be ready to take advantage of it.
“It’s just another rodeo closer to where I want to be at the end of the year as far as my goals go, and I hope we can just keep the consistency going through the year.”
Edler finished his college education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where he finished as the runner-up to the national champion in 2016. Now he’s gaining his education while traveling the rodeo trail with two-time world champion, Hunter Cure, and 2019 National Finals Rodeo qualifier Blake Mindemann.
“I’ve learned so much from them,” said Elder, who sits 27th in the steer wrestling world standings. “They’re the ones that told me that being consistent in your bulldogging is what’s going to get you there at the end of the year.”
The “there” he’s referring to is the NFR. It’s next step in every cowboy’s goal toward winning those cherished world champion’s gold buckles.
“I used to be sporadic, having a $5,000 week here and a dry week there,” he said. “Hunter told me you cannot do that. You have to catch money every week.”
That’s why he’s in a position to earn that spot to Las Vegas, and the money he will win in Gunnison will go a long way toward that. Not only that, but there are still two and a half months remaining in the 2019 regular season with many opportunities to cash in.
The tough part is that only the top 15 on the money list in each event at the end of the regular season advance to the NFR, and the bulldogging field is always one of the toughest to fill. By the time the season comes to an end, there are typically 10 cowboys on the bubble to fill the final few spots to compete for the world title.
The key for Edler is horsepower. He knows he has something special in Cure’s horse, Charlie.
“Hunter’s won two gold buckles on that horse,” Edler said. “That horse actually had a near career-ending injury two years ago, where he almost cut his foot off on some wire. They sent him to Copper Springs Ranch (in Montana). Brian Anderson (the property manager) reshod that horse, and they put a lot of time and effort into that horse to where he’s world class again.”
Charlie got Edler to the steer in a hurry, then the cowboy went to work. As he reached for the animal, Edler was a bit behind, but got to his feet in a hurry and threw the steer down in one fluid motion.
“That steer just let off, and I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “I thought the best thing I did there was not panic. I just caught his head, got forward and laid him down flat.
“I think I have all the ability to make the National Finals Rodeo, but I need to stay consistent.”
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Casey Colletti, 87 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Sun Catcher; 2. Logan Patterson, 84; Skyler Erickson, 80.5; 4. Craig Wisehart, 79.5; 5. (tie) Tucker Zingg and Bobby Reynolds, 78; 7. Justin Pollmiller, 74; 8. Will Martin, 64.
Steer wrestling: 1. Jacob Edler, 3.7 seconds; 2. Kade Greer, 4.4; 3. (tie) Austin Eller and Chisum Docheff, 4.7; 5. Joseph Buffington, 5.0; 6. (tie) Gage Hesse and Bill Claunch, 5.7; 8. Gage Greer, 6.2.
Team roping: 1. Wade Kreutzer/Kyon Kreutzer, 5.6 seconds; 2. Brit Ellerman/Trey Johnson, 5.7; 3. (tie) Clayton Van Aken/Cullen Teller and Casey Tew/Jason Johe, 5.8; 5. Philip Schuman/Josh Fillmore, 6.0; 6. (tie) Travis Bounds/T.J. Watts and Braxton Morgan/C.L. Morgan, 6.3; 8. Ken McKibbin/Jorge Cruz Ibarra, 6.6.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Tyler Beebe, 83.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s -528; 2. Lefty Holman, 79; 3. (tie) Ryder Sanford and Wyatt Hageman, 78; 5. Parker Kempfer, 77.5; 6. Joey Sonnier, 77; 7. Trent Burd, 75; 8. Bready Nicholes, 68.
Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Justin Smith and Jarrett Oestmann, 9.1 seconds; 3. Robert Mathis, 10.4; 4. Brice Ingo, 10.7; 5. Stuart Hoar, 12.5; 6. Justin Hindman, 13.6; 7. Hadley DeShazo, 14.5; 8. Jase Staudt, 17.4.
Barrel racing: 1. Nicole Waggoner, 17.58 seconds; 2. Chris Gibson, 17.65; 3. Shaylee Hindmann, 17.94; 4. Katie Jolly, 17.96; 5. Trudy Petersen, 18.22; 6. Bethany Gabel, 18.43; 7. Charity Hoar, 19.48; no other qualified runs.
Bull riding: 1. Trevor Kastner, 89 points on United Pro Rodeo’s East Side; 2. Nathan Hatchell, 86.5; no other qualified rides.