Jake Clay and Billie Jack Saebens teamed up to compete in the 2021 Pro Rodeo season and took home their first big win together at the Ellensburg (Washington) Rodeo, held Sept. 3—6. Clay and Saebens roped three head in 15.8 seconds, earning them $4,525 a man.
“Jake did such a good job getting out at the barrier,” Saebens said. “He went a coil away on every steer. We were lucky enough to have three that stayed relatively straight. It felt pretty easy. It’s pretty hard to win there, so it was pretty cool to get it done.”
After a 5.0-second run that split third place in the first round with Jace Mitchell and Daxton Jim, Kal Fuller and Cullen Teller, and Nelson Wyatt and Levi Lord, worth $1,640 a man, the team stopped the clock in 5.9 second on their second steer for fourth callback in the short round.
They drew a solid steer in the short round to win the round with a 4.9-second run, adding $1,000 to each man’s weekend earnings.
“I didn’t think that we could really win it,” Saebens said. “A couple of the steers that were after us were pretty darn good, so I thought we could go catch our steer and whatever happens, happens. It turned out that we had a good one and everyone else’s kind of sucked.”
Clay turned steers on his buckskin head horse, while Saebens heeled on Kevin. The 16-year-old, black gelding was the 2017 Top Heel Horse of the Bob Feist Invitational and helped Saebens qualify for the Wrangler NFR in 2016 and 2017. He’s recently recovered from two off-seasons battling suspensory-ligament injuries and is back in the rig to finish out the remainder of the 2021 Pro Rodeo season.
“I wasn’t hauling that much, so I left him at home,” Saebens said. “Whenever I went to Dodge City (Kansas), I caught a ride for him out there and have been riding him ever since. He’s been sound and working great. It’s been fun riding him again.
“He’s been sound, but not 100%,” Saebens continued. “I rode him this winter and he was sound enough to ride, but it just didn’t feel right. I left him turned out just being a horse for five or six months and that really helped him.”
Now, Clay and Saebens, who are 22nd with $44,518.90 and 37th with $29,640.47 in the PRCA World Standings, are using the rest of the season to prepare for what lies ahead in 2022.