Squaw Valley, California's 28-year-old Jordan Ketscher, in just his second appearance at the Cinch Timed Event Championship, is in the driver's seat to win the $100,000 payday heading into the fifth and final round of competition at the Lazy E Arena.
Ketscher's aggregate time of 250.5 seconds on 20 head is 7.1 seconds faster than Cash Myers' 257.6 seconds on 20 head. Trevor Brazile, who has won the event seven times, is third with a 269.3 after a brutal bull dogging run that left him with ground to make up in Round 5.
"I drew pretty good and tried to do what I could on all of them," Ketscher said. "My brother and I roped together at the house and would switch heading and heeling for each other, and I calf roped. I didn't get into the bull dogging as a junior in high school. I tried for the all around more. I messed around tying at the house, and breakawayed a couple. I didn't get to trip any before I got here."
Ketscher only brought across the country his calf horse, 14-year-old Mouse. He's borrowing fellow CTEC competitor Lane Karney's head horse, Kyle Lockett's horse in the heeling, Ote Berry's bull dogging horse, and Travis Sheets' tripping horse.
Ketscher won the all-around title in 2017 at the California Rodeo Salinas, Las Vegas' Helldorado Days, Sisters (Oregon) Rodeo, and many more.
Myers won the fourth round with a time of 51.0 on five head, making up ground on the pack after a long heeling run in the third round, at 31.8 seconds, that bumped him to the back of the pack. He had led after the first two gos.
"You can't really game plan too much," Myers said. "It could go good, it could go bad you've just got to take it as it comes. Honestly, the way the draw comes out, this arena, and this set up, seven seconds can go by fast... Trevor is right behind me, and there's a lot of top guys right there."
Brazile is 18.2 seconds behind Ketscher and 11.7 seconds behind Myers. The 18.9-second run he made int he bull dogging dropped him behind Myers, and Myers gained another .6 second on Brazile in the tripping.
Clayton Hass is fourth at 282.4 on 20 head, and finished third in the go-round tonight with a 55.0 on five.
Notably, two of ProRodeo's top headers went out because of injury in the last 24 hours at the Lazy E Arena. Current PRCA world standings leader Clay Smith, who was in the top five of the CTEC field after Round 1, broke his fibula in a steer wrestling wreck, putting him on crutches and forcing him to draw out of the rest of the competition–only after the Broken Bow, Oklahoma, cowboy tripped his second-round steer in 24.5 seconds on one leg.
Erich Rogers, the PRCA's reigning world champion header, had a brutal jump in the steer wrestling in Round 3 that cost him an undisclosed injury to his right knee, which will likely require surgery. Rogers still roped his tripping steer, too, in 22.3 seconds, allowing his horse to drag the steer nearly to him before tying him down. Rogers still tried to head in Round 4 but missed on his first loop and stopped the clock in 20.4 seconds. He also heeled, and stopped the clock in 6.8 seconds but got a plus-5 for a leg.