DUNCAN, Okla. – Now in his third qualification to the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, Jarek VanPetten has learned a thing or two about the Stephens County Arena.
“I think the key tonight was getting a good start,” said VanPetten, who knocked his steer to the ground in 4.4 seconds to win the first round in steer wrestling Thursday night. “I got a really good start, and some guys were missing the barrier a little bit. In this barn, if you run them too far, it can get pretty short pretty fast.”
For his win, the cowboy collected $1,900. He’s far enough down the money list that he doesn’t have to catch year-end standings leader Stockton Graves of Alva, Oklahoma, but every dollar counts. It’s also important to get off to a good start, because the only way he can advance beyond this weekend’s championship is to win the average by having the best three-run cumulative time.
The year-end and finals-average winners in each circuit move on to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which is expected to take place next spring in Kissimmee, Florida.
“To advance on, I have to win the average,” said VanPetten of Cimarron, Kansas. “I also want to get a good start on the next year. My goal is to come down here and win the average and to go ahead to the National Circuit Finals.”
He earned his way to Duncan by competing at two dozen rodeos in the circuit, made up of rodeos and contestants from primarily Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. That’s a bunch, but he didn’t win many big checks. In fact, he won a lot of little checks at the smaller rodeos. How he got to the circuit finals didn’t matter; he took care of business on opening night.
“They said my steer was supposed to be real average and gentle on the ground,” VanPetten said. “I hadn’t seen him anywhere, but I took their word for it. I took me a pretty good start, and he was good. After watching the others, though, I think that steer stands out in that herd.”
Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Garrett Shadbolt, 85 points on New Frontier’s No 16, $1,845; 2. Blaine Kaufman, 84.5, $1,384; 3. Will Martin, 77.5, $922; 4. Mark Kreder, 75, $461.
Steer wrestling: 1. Jerek VanPetten, 4.4 seconds, $1,901; 2. Tyler Ravenscroft, 4.7, $1,426; 3. Laramie Warren, 4.8, $951; 4. Cody Devers, 5.0, $475.
Breakaway roping: 1. Darcy Good, 2.5 seconds, $816; 2. Jenna Lee Hays, 2.7, $612; 3. Emma Charleston, 2.8, $408; 4. Hannah Lee, 2.9, $204.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Hardy Braden, on New Frontier’s Boomerang, and Cody Ballard, on Salt Creek Rodeo’s Birthday Suit, 81 points $1,663 each; 3. Colt Gordon, 77, $951; 4. Ean Price, 74.5, $475.
Team roping: 1. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 4.3 seconds, $1,901; 2. Bubba Buckaloo/Rance Doyal, 4.8, $1,426; 3. Jake Clay/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.0, $951; 4. (tie) Miles Baker/Zack Woods and Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 5.5, $238 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Tyler Milligan, 8.7 seconds, $1,901; 2. Will Howell, 8.8, $1,426; 3. Paul David Tierney, 8.9, $951; 4. Ryan Jarrett, 9.1, $475.
Barrel racing: 1. Emma Charleston, 15.66 seconds, $1,901; 2. Emily Miller-Beisel, 15.68, $1,426; 3. Randi Holliday, 15.72, $951; 4. Jamie Chaffin, 15.75, $475.
Bull riding: 1. Fulton Rutland, 84.5 points on Salt Creek Rodeo’s McCraken, $2,060; 2. Lukasey Morris, 84, $1,584; 3. Trevor Kastner, 81, $1,109; no other qualified rides.