GOODING, Idaho – While Brodi Jones and Jason Warner have aspirations of making the National Finals Rodeo and battling for world titles, their plans for 2022 are a little closer to home.
The team ropers sit 11th in the Wilderness Circuit standings in their respective disciplines, and they’re now fighting to secure a spot in the regional finals, which will take place this fall. Only the top 12 in each event advance to the championship.
They made a move in the right direction during Friday’s second performance of the Gooding Pro Rodeo, stopping the clock in 5.4 seconds; they are in fifth place with just one performance remaining.
“Right now, it’s real important (to do well), because we’re right there in the bottom of the bubble,” said Jones, 26, the header from Grantsville, Utah. “We’re just trying to get every check we can to keep climbing the ladder.”
The circuit is made up contestants and rodeos primarily in Utah, Nevada and southern Idaho, so this is a big step in the right direction for the two men that began roping together a little more than a year ago.
“The money always helps,” said Warner, 42, of Rigby, Idaho. “It’s so expensive to be out here. You’re always trying for the world standings if you can do good enough that you can get into the NFR come December. Every dollar helps, because we spend plenty of it traveling down the highway going from rodeo to rodeo.”
Each man has pocketed $4,786 so far this season. Sitting 11th in the circuit means there’s no room for error. If they remain in fifth place in Gooding, they could add at least $2,500 to their earnings.
They did a little homework on the steer they had been matched with via a random draw and realized they needed to be in attack-mode.
“We knew our steer was going to be fairly sharp, meaning he would leave the chute fast and want to get away, so we were aggressive,” Warner said. “My partner’s always aggressive on the barrier, and we just made the best run on him that we could.”
Having looked at the steer’s history helps.
“We knew he was going to hang off to the right and stay straight,” Jones said. “When we took off, the barrier kind of got me, so I just bombed (a throw) over there and got him.
“Roping with him just makes my job simple, because all I have to worry about is turning them. If I’m turning them, they’re usually getting caught. It makes my life a lot simpler.”
It is the only team sport. While Jones focuses on making good head catches, he must them turn the steer so that the animal is in a good position for Warner to catch the two hind legs and stop the clock.
“(Jones) always takes care of me,” Warner said. “Some guys I’ve heeled for in the past would just (rope the steer and immediately dally to the saddle horn) and just rowel out of there. With him, they’re always really heel-able.”
When he can make a secured heel catch, the clock stops faster, and the better they do that together, the more money they win.
Gooding Pro Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Caleb Bennett, 89.5 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Game Trail; 2. Bronc Marriott, 86.5; 3. Tim O’Connell, 85.5; 4. (tie) Cooper Cooke and R.C. Landingham, 85; 6. Cole Reiner, 84.5; 7. Jess Pope, 83; 8. Dean Thompson, 82.5.
Steer wrestling: 1. Bridger Anderson, 3.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Trell Etbauer and Connor McKell, 3.7; 4. Gavin Soleau, 3.9; 5. (tie) J.D. Struxness, Grady Payne and Dalton Massey, 4.0; 8. (tie) Justin Kimsey and Coby Brown,4.1.
Team roping: 1. Tanner Tomlinson/Patrick Smith, 5.0 seconds; 2. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.4; 3. (tie) Pace Freed/Cole Wilson and Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 5.0; 5. Brodi Jones/Jason Warner, 5.4; 6. Wyatt Murray/Whitt Crozier, 5.9; 7. Jade Stoddard/Matt Williams, 7.5; 8. Tanner James/Max Kuttler, 9.6; 9. Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 9.8; 10. Jr. Dees/Levi Lord, 10.1.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Stetson Wright, 88 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Dry Creek; 2. (tie) Tegan Smith, Dawson Dahm and Jack Bentz, 83; 5. (tie) Allen Boore, Kole Ashbacher and Lucas Macza, 82; 8. Wade Sundell, 81.
Tie-down roping: 1. Matt Shiozawa, 7.6 seconds; 2. (tie) Ladd King and Brayden Roe, 8.1; 4. Kincade Henry, 8.3; 5. Cole Eiguren, 8.4; 6. John Douch, 8.5; 7. Marcos Costa, 8.6; 8. Shane Hanchey, 8.7; 9. Cooper Martin, 8.8; 10. Shad Mayfield, 9.0.
Breakaway roping: 1. Taylor Hanchey, 2.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Shelby Boisjoli, Carley Christian and Mattie Turner, 2.3; 5. Candida Eldridge, 2.5; 6. (tie) Josey Murphy and Janey Reeves, 2.6; 8. (tie) Shelby Logan, Beau Peterson and Shelly Scrivener, 2.7; 11. (tie) Italy Sheehan, Braylee Shepherd and Bailey Patterson, 2.8; 14. (tie) Bailey Kieckbusch, Samantha Fulton and Zoie Bedke, 2.9.
Barrel racing: 1. Michelle Darling, 16.88 seconds; 2. Ivy Saebens, 16.89; 3. Stevi Hillman, 16.93; 4. Anita Ellis, 16.95; 5. Ashley Castleberry, 17.02; 6. Nicole Driggers, 17.07; 7. Tarryn Lee, 17.09; 8. Macee McAllister, 17.10; 9. Jennifer Kalafatic, 17.12; 10. (tie) Shelley Morgan and Cheyenne Wimberley, 17.18; 12. Lauren Butler, 17.20; 13. Lynette Clyde, 17.22; 14. Sadie Wolaver, 17.24; 15. Savannah Bennett, 17.26.
Bull riding: 1, Garrett Smith, 86 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Wired All D; 2. (tie) Dawson Gleaves and Shane Proctor, 82.5; 4. (tie) Jordan Spears and Hayes Weight, 82; 6. (tie) Stetson Wright and Cole Fischer, 79.5; 8. Tyler Ray Tayler, 77.