I made the National Finals Rodeo 10 times in my career—more than I ever imagined as a kid growing up dreaming about rodeoing.
I know that’s not a world title—it wasn’t everything—but I was satisfied with the fact that I did well throughout my career. I’ve always told myself that, no matter what, I needed to know when the time came so I didn’t sacrifice family over dreams. I had 43 years to win a world title, and I’m good with what I accomplished. I got to rodeo for way longer than I ever thought I would. I’m totally satisfied with where I was, and I watched too many guys lose everything—their families, their homes—all chasing a false idol. If that’s the dream, you’ll never be satisfied.
For me to be the best husband and father, I couldn’t rodeo. In 2020, I had the best partner I’d ever had and the best horses I’ve ever had. I was thinking I’d go one more year. But then a month later, Jackie said she was pregnant, and there was no way I wanted to rodeo anymore.
I know most of the time it’s the wives who have to sacrifice, but I’ve already gotten to do everything, and now my wife gets to do it, too.
I’ve gotten to do everything I’ve wanted to do, and Jackie’s stuff in the breakaway is just taking off. There was no way for me to take that from her. That’s what she’s dreamed of her whole entire life. You know when you know. It tickles me to see her doing this, and I can see the bigger picture. She may not get to see the peak of this sport, but breakaway is rolling and it’s hot. I know how hard it will be for her with two kids on the road and one at home, and I want to do everything I can to make it easier on her.
Plus, I’m wasn’t going to miss my daughter Kaydence’s senior year. She is learning to win and she’s finding a passion. She needs miles and diesel smoke, and I know how to do that. This is what I’ve learned how to do my whole career, and now I can do it with my own kids.
Jackie Crawford: 5 Things I Want My Daughters to Know About Rodeo
This is Kaydence’s chance now. This is Jackie’s chance. It’s exciting, and I’m honored to play my part in it. I know how hard the girls try; I see it every day. Iron sharpens iron—getting to be around those people who are great. And I can get my kids in front of that so they can figure out who they want to be, instead of me just always telling them.
At the end of the day, who you are as a person is what matters. There’s so much more to life.