The ninth round of the 2009 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was way beyond one for the record books. Fact is, none of us lucky enough to have witnessed world-record history with our own two eyes will ever forget it.
The 3.5-second world team roping record previously held by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy, set in San Angelo, Texas, in 2001, had stood a pretty impressive test of time. But on this night it was broken twice in five minutes. Gunslinger JoJo LeMond and 2008 World Champion Heeler Randon Adams shot it down with a 3.4-second run, and the capacity crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center went wild.
But JoJo and Jory barely got out the back gate before the magical mark met its maker—again. Chad Masters and Jade Corkill brought the packed house to its feet with their 3.3-second blur. Reed Flake had the steers here in Las Vegas that year, and Jade didn’t want to head back home to Fallon, Nevada, without the 3.3-second steer. So he asked Reed if he’d sell him.
“I gave him $465 and loaded him up,” Jade said. “I’d never bought another steer I had at a rodeo like that before, but I had to have him and I would have regretted it if I hadn’t taken him home. We never threw a rope at him again. I’m pretty proud of that.”
The Corkills call him “3.3, and he’s about as big as a bucking bull,” Jade said.
Old 3.3 is turned out at the Corkill family ranch, where he roams with the cows who produce their roping herd. He’ll live out his life of luxury there in Fallon, and when he heads to Heaven Jade plans to “mount his head for my man cave, so he’ll never be forgotten, like most steers.”
Mr. 3.3 was user friendly that night in 2009, but is not so nice now.
“He’s really mean,” Jade laughs. “If you walk up to the pen, he’ll paw at you like a bull.”