The dairy industry will have to change its slogan.
How does “Got Gold?” sound?
Pretty good for Ryan Jarrett.
The Georgia cowboy became the new poster boy for the dairy industry, winning the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world all-around title for 2005.
Jarrett, who turned 22 on Dec. 28, became the first cowboy from Georgia-and the first from east of the Mississippi River-to win professional rodeo’s most coveted buckle.
Jarrett and his father DeJuan run the family 750-acre dairy farm in Summerville, located in the northwest part of the state.
Jarrett was the only two-event qualifier for the $5.25 million dollar Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, competing in steer wrestling and tie-down roping. He also was header during the regular season, but sold his head horse to finance his all-around run.
He won a total of $263,664 for 2005, $114,717 of that at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“It’s some accomplishment,” said Jarrett, while holding the gold buckle. “They’re kicking your butt every once in a while and sometimes, you kick theirs. That’s the way it goes.”
Jarrett left plenty of bruised posteriors in his wake during his 10 days in Las Vegas.
“It was a round to round rodeo,” Jarrrett said of his approach. “I just wanted to go from steer to steer, calf to calf every night and let the rest take care of itself. If it’s supposed to happen, it will happen.
“I had to do what Ryan Jarrett does best. And that’s back in the box, come out and do the best I can every time out… whether it’s in Kalamazoo or the Thomas and Mack Center.”
The 2004 Resistol tie-down roping rookie of the year placed in six rounds of his specialty and won the average with a total time of 89 seconds for 10 calves. Jarrett won $80,516 in tie-down roping aboard his six-year-old horse Country, which he purchased in the middle of the year.
“He kind of fell into place for me,” said Jarrett. “It’s amazing how things work out.”
Jarrett collected an additional $34,200 in steer wrestling by placing in two rounds-he shared first place in the fifth round with eventual world champion Lee Graves of Canada-and placing fifth in the average.
“That was on Caesar, a horse owned by Chad Van Campen of Colorado,” Jarrett said. Van Campen was also his hazer.
“That’s all right, I’ll gladly pay that money,” Jarrett added with a laugh about paying Van Campen for his horse and hazing. “That’s a good team to be on. Chad takes care of everything.”
Jarrett vaulted into the all-around race by winning $19,000 at the Pace Picante Classic in Dallas, Texas, to close out the regular season in mid-November. The money won vaulted him from out of the top 15 to ninth in the Jack Daniels world steer wrestling standings. He qualified 13th in the tie-down roping standings. “That was a little tense. A couple of guys had a chance to knock me out,” Jarrett said of the final weekend.
Jarrett is quick to credit Greg Winham, of Rush Springs, Okla., for his success. “My other zip code,” Jarrett joked. “He’s my mentor.”
Jarrett began competing in rodeo at the age of eight, “We have rodeos in Georgia,” he said. “It’s just tough to bust out here (in the West).”
He joined the PRCA in 2004 and promptly won the Southeastern Circuit’s year-end title in steer wrestling and claimed the average titles in tie-down roping and team roping (with Casey Cox) at the Southeastern Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Jarrett finished 28th in the final tie-down roping standings in 2004 and 17th for the all-around.
This year, Jarrett won all-around titles at Ellensburg, Wash., and Lufkin, Texas. He won the steer wrestling titles at the Pace Picante Challenge in Omaha and the Classic in Dallas, as well as in Lufkin and Duncan, Okla. Jarrett added tie-down roping titles at Cody, Wyo., Richmond, Ky., and Franklin, Tenn.
He also won $19,343 during Cowboy Christmas, the second-most money for any competitor.
His 2005 all-around title ended a run of three straight by Trevor Brazile, of Decatur, Texas.
“Trevor Brazile left some big shoes to fill,” Jarrrett acknowledged of the responsibility the gold buckle brings. “I’ll just keep doing what I do best.
“And start all over again next year.”