Charly Crawford moved from 20th in the PRCA world standings into the 10th spot after the Cowboy Christmas run. Not only has he jumped into the top ten, Crawford, along with partner Joseph Harrison, broke the arena record at St. Paul, Ore. with a 4.1-second run.
Kaitlin Gustave: You won over $18,000 during the Cowboy Christmas run. Tell us about your week on the road.
Charly Crawford: Oh man it was good. Joseph (Harrison) and I had a couple of rigs out on the road. We buddied with Billy Bob Brown and Logan Medlin and they had a good Fourth so the momentum was good, and both of us were winning and making some good runs. The first two rodeos started off good, and we had some really good go’s at Cody (Wyo.) and Belle Fourche (S.D.) and missed both of them and then hickeyed a horn to place over at Livingston (Mont.). Then we drove all night to Eugene (Ore.) and had a good go there and the barrier wrapped around my rope on the left side of my horse and right when I went to throw the barrier pulled my hands down and I hit the steer in the back of the head. I went through about a four rodeo spell right there. The one at Cody (Wyo.) I was dang sure frustrated with. We had a good go there so there was no reason to miss him. Some luck was starting to drift away a little bit. I was getting good go’s and drawing good and I know how you have to really try to utilize those. Then we flew down to Prescott (Ariz.) and I got on Sailor, (my wife) Jackie’s little horse, and he did good. We made a couple good runs there and kind of got back into a rhythm. Then we went back to the short round and placed in the average and just got back to just catching again. We were 4.6 seconds and got a leg over there at Molalla (Ore.) and then ended up drawing two good ones over at St. Paul (Ore.). We won the first round and won the average—pretty good way to finish. There were still a lot of missed opportunities that I shouldn't have dropped balls on. In the same sense we both roped good, and our horses really worked good, so all-in-all we had a good week. It was really good to win St. Paul (Ore.). I grew up not far from there. All the top guys used to come over to the house and come hangout. My step-mom cooked a big dinner so everyone would come and eat. So that rodeo has been something that I’ve been a part of every since I can remember. It’s always such a big deal during the St. Paul Rodeo. I remember roping my cowboy toy and all the other guys used to rope it with me—it was just a lot of fun—a lot of memories. I’ve won it before but it never gets old to win that rodeo—all your friends and everybody you grew up with and everything right there. That was a memorable win—I enjoyed that.
KG: You broke the arena record at St. Paul (Ore.) with a 4.1 second run. Tell us about that.
CC: That was a really good steer and we used him good and never made any mistakes. I took my first shot and Joe took his first shot, and we had a really good finish. It was a great run and a good steer—everything just clicked right there. It was pretty cool doing that right there during the rodeo where it wasn't in slack so all the fans got to see it—friends and family as well.
KG: Tell us about your partnership with Joseph.
CC: Not a lot of people have heard about him if you're not from down south or in the horse show world. Everybody that I talk to from out West or up in the Northwest, he hasn't been up there, so let’s give it time. He’s extremely ropey and very good with horses. He's real distinct—keeps everything very simple and it’s just easy, he reads everything really well and he's a really happy—go-lucky guy, you can’t get him down. He’s the kind of guy that you like to have in the rig. The kind of guy you want to go with because he’s always going to be mounted. He’s able to pull off fast shots where it allows me to try and hit the barrier and if I need to take an extra swing I can because I know that he’s going to make up for it. It’s a good partnership, I think it’s a good mix.
KG: What horses did you have for the week?
CC: I had Nasty. I had him up in the Northwest and at Greeley (Colo.), Belle Fourche (S.D.), Cody (Wyo.), St. Paul (Ore.), Molalla (Ore.), and all of those. He’s a really good horse. I also had my wife’s horse, Sailor. We ended up winning Oakley (Utah) and second at Prescott (Ariz.). I brought him for the short round at Greeley (Colo.). My horses are pretty green, but they've been doing pretty good—they’ve been holding up really well so I’m pretty excited about that. This is both of their first year rodeoing. It’s fun riding nice ones.
KG: Besides being on the rodeo road, what’s been going on in your everyday life?
CC: I talk to Jackie as much as I can. We FaceTime a lot that way I can kind of see what Creed’s doing and check up on him. Also, I’m trying to practice when we can a little bit. It’s a lot of driving—a lot of down time. I’ve been really looking forward to this year and craving it. I like the horses I’ve got and I like the partner I’ve got.
KG: Will Jackie come on the road at all?
CC: I’m going to see her Sunday. We’ve got a school up in Montana together at Copper Springs Ranch. They’ve got a breakaway and team roping school. So, I’ll get to see her and hang out with Creed a little bit, and then she’ll fly back home. They’ve been having some breakaways in the Northwest at some of the ProRodeos so I’m hoping that maybe I can talk her into coming up. Hopefully that will take off, it will be cool to see the breakaway at more of the ProRodeos. I think that’d be really cool at Salinas (Calif.), Oakdale (Calif.), Red Bluff (Calif.) and some cool places like that. They're going to have it at Pendleton (Ore.) this year too.
KG: Do you two feed off each other for advice or any help when practicing at home?
CC: Yeah, we’re kind of each others eyes. She’ll kind of see where I’ve been riding too many colts and trying to help my good horses along—kind of let me know where that’s going. Also, if my swings in the wrong direction or vice-versa. I’ll watch her when she goes to struggling heeling, I can tell her about her swing or her timing. So, it’s been great. She’s really good with horses, and we kind of feed off that together. We try to look for better horses and anything to give ourselves chances where we can be competitive and win more. It’s one thing with your best friend, to be able to have so much in common with your wife. There’s so much to talk about throughout the day—sure makes for a good relationship. Especially with understanding how much I have to be gone and how much she's got to be gone. We both understand that so it helps a lot.
KG: What advice would you give to your younger self?
CC: Probably the biggest thing that I saw out here was being pretty hard on myself. You know, expecting to win too early. Before I was ready to win but just didn't know how to find the right people to get me where I needed to go. I didn't know how to do it on my own. It just took me a little while to find the right people that knew how to ride horses, knew how to win and things like that. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't be where I am today, and if it wasn't for the influential people that God put in front of me—I think it’s all a process. As long as you're trying to seek knowledge and you're trying to get better and surrounding yourself with people that are winners, you can’t help but win. That’s advice that I would give anybody. There’s so much advice out there now and so many tapes that you can watch. So much of it has to do with roping and horses and a lot of it has to do with your mentality. If you can get all three of those, you can’t be stopped. It’s just the matter of putting it to work and getting around the right people and just being relentless on trying to get better every day. I would have never believed I would be where I am today—that’s for sure. It’s definitely been a dream that I’ve had since I was a kid.