Pendleton Win Puts Jonathan Torres in Top 15

A first-time trip to the NFR has become a real possibility for Florida’s Jonathan Torres, who became the No. 15 heeler in the world after winning the 2022 Pendleton Round-Up with brother Joshua.

WT Bruce

Brothers Joshua and Jonathan Torres cashed out over $15,000 each this weekend, with their biggest hit coming from Oregon’s Pendleton Round-Up held Sept. 14-17, 2022.

That landed younger-brother Jonathan inside the top 15 of the ProRodeo heelers world standings in the down-and-dirty final stretch of the 2022 ProRodeo season.

“Let ‘er Buck!” Pendleton Round-Up ProRodeo Team Roping Tracker

“At Pendleton, you just can’t be scared,” Joshua, 33, said. “You gotta really cowboy up. That’s the name of the game at that rodeo. That was our third time there. You have to just put it all out there on the line, try and win something. So, we tried to do that there.”

The Ocala, Florida, brothers were fifth in the first round with a 5.6-second run for $2,647 each and, going into the short round, they were fourth in the average with a total of 11.9 seconds on two. After making the only clean run in the final round with a 7.2-second run, they won the average with a total time of 19.1 seconds on three for $8,302 each.

“Watching the short round, it’s almost good and bad,” Jonathan, 30, said. “Everyone legs and it’s just like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is crazy right now.’ And then it’s your turn and you’re just telling yourself, ‘Do your job.’”

Following their win at Pendleton, the Torres brothers continued their hot streak, splitting seventh at Albuquerque, New Mexico’s State Fair & Rodeo with a 5.9-second run for $1,375 each, and splitting sixth at St. George, Utah’s Lion’s Dixie Roundup with a 5.4-second run for $1,052. Their total payout for the week was $15,189 each.

“It was a great week,” Joshua said. “We definitely needed it, that’s for sure. We hadn’t been roping very good for a little while and we’ve been trying to get it back together.”

At Pendleton, Joshua headed on his 9-year-old, Peptoboonsmal-bred gelding, Homer. Jonathan and Lane Mitchell originally partnered on the sorrel as a heel horse prospect, but he turned out to be better on the head side.

“The horse is his own deal. He’s tough. He’s a cowboy horse, really,” Joshua said. “Throughout the season, he’s gotten better and better. Just a little bit more mature. He’s definitely given us a little bit of a chance and I like to have him in my trailer, that’s for sure.”

On the heel side at Pendleton, Jonathan rode Biggie, a bay gelding that he bought from Brock Hanson in 2016 and sold to JC Flake last year. Biggie was offered back to Torres when his main horse, Willy, was put down after breaking his leg during the Lake County Round-up in Oregon earlier this month.

“It feels great to have my good horse back, I am really happy about that,” Jonathan said. “I was pretty devastated a couple of weeks ago just because that’s the best horse I had. I needed a good horse to win.”

As a result of these three wins, Jonathan is now the No. 15 heeler in the ProRodeo world standings with earnings of $82,465, putting him on the verge of qualifying for his first National Finals Rodeo.

“I’m No. 15 and I honestly just need to stay in the top 15,” he said. “Driggers asked if I was nervous and I mean, I’m not really nervous ’cause I don’t have anything to lose. This is the best year I’ve had. We both could always do better but, in the spot I’m in right now, I am just trying to give it all I got till the end. When it’s over, we’ll see how the chips fall. I hope I can finish it off.”

Joshua is now ranked No. 29 in the standings, with earnings of $62,600.80.

“I know that mathematically, I don’t have a chance to make the Finals at all. There’s a lot of steers that I should’ve caught that would’ve made a big difference. The only thing you can do is either get better or just not do it anymore. It’s one of those deals that you gotta pick one or the other. This year’s been up and down just like every other year. It’s been a good year. I’ve had worse years. We’ve had fun. Has there been tough times? Yeah, that’s for sure. A lot of tough times, but that’s part of it.”

A total of three rodeos remain on the brothers’ schedule for the final stretch of the 2022 ProRodeo season: Mona, Utah’s Young Living Last Chance Rodeo, California’s Poway Rodeo and San Bernadino, California’s Sheriff’s PRCA Rodeo.

“It’s all a big mental deal,” Jonathan said. “Now, I’m giving myself a chance. I just need to tell myself that I’m here for a reason, so I need to finish it off. That’s obviously a lot easier said than done, but that’s what’s running through my mind right now. It’s crazy how this deal always comes down to the end.”

Click here to see the current ProRodeo world standings.

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