DUNCAN, Okla. â€“ Thereâ€™s not a tie-down roper in ProRodeo any hotter this time of year than Ryan Jarrett.
On Friday night, Jarrett roped and tied his calf in 7.2 seconds to win the second round at the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo. He also won the first round with a 7.5-second run, so in just two days, the Comanche, Okla., has pocketed $2,260.
â€śIâ€™ve had two really good calves so far, so I just got close to the barrier and just focused on my roping,â€ť said Jarrett, the 2005 all-around world champion who has qualified eight times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. â€śI try not to put a lot of pressure on myself and just enjoy it.â€ť
Itâ€™s working. Over the last three weeks, Jarrett has won all four rounds in which heâ€™s competed, including two go-rounds in Omaha, Neb., which took place the final weekend of the regular season. He won more than $13,000 on two runs that weekend and finished 18th in the final world standings. The trouble is, only the top 15 earn the right to compete at the NFR.
â€śNot making the finals will sure humble a man a little more,â€ť said Jarrett, whose wife, Shy-Anne, qualified for the circuit finals in barrel racing. â€śIt makes you want to do things a little different through the regular season for next year.â€ť
Now heâ€™s carrying a ton of confidence into the 2015 rodeo season.
â€śItâ€™s always helpful coming off a win like Omaha,â€ť he said. â€śI know Iâ€™ve got to be close to the barrier. Guys can be late or way to early and not have any luck. If you can get close to the barrier, you can tie any of these calves in seven seconds.â€ť
Jarrett has proven that. He leads the all-important average race with one performance remaining â€“ it begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. If he holds on for the average championship, he will join year-end champion Jerome Schneeberger of Ponca City, Okla., as the two qualifiers from the Prairie Circuit at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which takes place next spring in Ocala, Fla.
â€śI need to be in Florida,â€ť Jarrett said. â€śWeâ€™ll see how it pans out. Maybe 2015 will be double and make up for my 2014.â€ť
While he failed to qualify for the NFR, steer roper Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Okla., has secured his first qualification to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, which takes place in three weeks. On Friday, he also clinched his first Prairie Circuit Finals steer roping title, roping and tying three steers in a cumulative time of 42.8 seconds. In all, Poppino earned $2,419.
â€śIt means a lot to win this, because youâ€™ve got some of the best steer ropers in the world right here in our circuit,â€ť he said, noting that he is one of six Prairie Circuit Finals qualifiers who will rope at the steer roping finale. â€śYouâ€™ve got to draw well and rope well. I donâ€™t know that I roped that well, but I outlasted them.â€ť
Now the 23-year-old cowboy will take his momentum into the world championship event.
â€śIt helps to have done well this year because there are a lot of guys that rope well,â€ť said Poppino, the 2013 steer roping rookie of the year. â€śYou know youâ€™re competition is going to be strong, so you have to stay strong.â€ť
Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Caine Riddle, 83 points on Beutler & Son Rodeoâ€™s Sure Motion, $1,130; 2. Jared Keylon, 76, $847; 3. Yance Day, 75, $565; 4. Justin Pollmiller, 73, $282.
Steer wrestling: 1. Jacob Edler, 3.9 seconds, $1,130; 2. (tie) Cole Edge and Trell Etbauer, 4.7, $706; 4. (tie) Brandon Volker and Kyle Irwin, 4.9, $141.
Team roping: 1. A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton, 5.2 seconds, $1,130; 2. Jake Pancost/Austin Rogers, 5.5, $847; 3. Casey Hicks/Jake Pianalto, 5.7, $565; 4. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 282.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Dalton Davis, on Beutler & Son Rodeoâ€™s Painted Desert, and Hardy Braden, on Beutlerâ€™s Crossfire, 79 points, $988; 3. Wade Sundell, 78, $565; 4. Jesse James Kirby, 76, $282.
Tie-down roping: 1. Ryan Jarrett, 7.2 seconds, $1,130; 2. Trell Etbauer, 7.8, $847; 3. Trent Creager, 8.6, $565; 4. Luke Blanton, 8.8, $282.
Barrel racing: 1. Mary Burger, 15.94 seconds, $1,152; 2. Jeanne Anderson, 15.97, $864; 3. Cindy Gillespie, 15.98, $576; 4. Kyra Stierwalt, 16.10, $288.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Mike Chase, 12.0 seconds, $976; 2. Brodie Poppino, 12.4, $732; 3. Shorty Garten, 13.4, $488; 4. J.P. Wickett, 14.5, $244. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.2 seconds, $976; 2. Roger Branch, 11.8, $732; 3. Mike Chase, 11.9, $488; 4. Brodie Poppino, 12.4, $244. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 10.4 seconds, $976; 2. Jay Sellers, 10.6, $732; 3. Rod Hartness, 11.2, $488; 4. Chet Herren, 11.7, $244. Average: 1. Brodie Poppino, 42.8 seconds on three head, $1,463; 2. Rod Hartness, 23.7, $1,098; 3. Mike Chase, 23.9, $732; 4. J.P. Wickett, 24.9, $366. Year-end champion: Chet Herren.
Bull riding: 1. Ty Viers, 77 points on Frontier Rodeoâ€™s Boom-Boom, $1,130; 2. Chris McCombs, 74, $874; no other qualified rides.