Colorado’s JB James will rope with nine-time WNFR qualifier Cesar de la Cruz for the 2018 season, with sights set on the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The long-time friends will rodeo in both the US and Canada in 2018,
Kaitlin Gustave: Are you going circuit rodeo more or travel?
J.B. James: I’m going to do both. I’m for sure going to try and go to circuit rodeos and make the Circuit Finals. We’re going to try to Canadian rodeo a lot—that’s going to kind of be our plan. We’ll for sure come back to the states but mainly stay up there for the big ones and come back here. It’s pretty easy to fit our circuit in out of any of them.
KG: What are your goals for this season?
JJ: The main goal, just like everyone else is to make the NFR—so definitely that. To make the Canadian Finals as well and get enough rodeos in for the All-American as well.
KG: How did your partnership with Cesar come about?
He had finished out the year last year with Brandon Beers, and I called him and asked what he was going to do next year and he wasn’t 100-percent sure yet. We’ve always have been good buddies and just decided to try it out. So far we haven’t had the greatest luck. We’ve been catching a lot of cows, and we’re confident—I think it’s going to be a good deal.
KG: What horses do you have on the road?
JJ: I have a horse that I got from Randon Adams named Transmission. He was out for about half the year last year and he’s coming back this year, so I’m super excited about that. I have a bay horse named Nacho that I got from Clay Logan, and I just bought a bay the other day from Levi Grantham that I’ll have. Those three horses will be what I’ll be riding.
KG: Which horse do you think you’ll ride the most?
JJ: At the long scores I’ll probably ride Transmission. For short scores I’ll probably ride Dragon, the one I got from Levi.
KG: How has the year started out for you?
JJ: I think that the rodeos we’ve been to we’ve made decent runs but just not good enough. We’ve placed in a couple different rounds and the second rounds we seem to have a little bit of trouble with lately. That’s what we’ve went home, worked on and prepared for. We’re super excited to go to California—you catch, you get paid. I’ve always done pretty good in California so we’re pretty excited to go there and do that.
KG: Which rodeos are you looking forward to most?
JJ: I’m going to say Cheyenne (Wyo.). It’s one of everybody’s favorites. I’m super excited to go to Salinas (Calif.) and probably Reno (Nev.)—it’s always a good one. If you do good at Reno, it kind of gives you a drive to go to the next one when the Fourth of July starts right after that.
KG: Is there anything that you are working on with your roping?
JJ: I’ve been going to Speed’s (Williams) a lot. He understands the game more than anybody. I’ve been going over there and working on keeping my horses working every single time. I had a rough spell going for a little bit where my horses weren’t ducking but I wasn’t getting full potential out of all of them. That’s kind of what I’ve been working on is getting the maximum out of my horses every time.
KG: What do you do got downtime on the road?
JJ: I would say maybe on the road going to movies and just hanging out. It’s kind of nice when you go to other places and there’s places you can go fish or something like that.