Qualifying for "The Daddy's" Short Round with Jake Long

Jake Long breaks down his second performance steer at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.
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Jake Long setting a gate to catch two feet with his rope as his horse is sliding to a stop at the Cheyenne Frontier Days.
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Situation: Second performance of the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days

Time: 9.0 seconds

Outcome: Placing fourth in the round, worth $588, qualifying to the Championship round

a) Steer:

The first time that he went, we thought he was a little bit better speed wise but he went left pretty hard. I tried to really stay back off of him and give him a chance to run straight. He actually kind of picked up speed and took us down the arena a little farther than we were anticipating. I kind of pushed on around to try and get him heeled fast.

b) Handle:

Dustin did a great job. He ran in there pretty close to him. The round was pretty easy when we went, so we didn’t really want to take too many chances. He went in there close and kind of feathered him around there about as pretty as you could and made it really easy for me to spot him up.

c) Eyes:

Right there I’m just looking at the feet—more toward the right hock, but kind of both feet just as a whole picture.

[Read More: Take the Shot with Jake Long]

d) Setup:

The setup can be as hard as any place to rope and it can be as easy as any place to rope. A lot of it has to do with your partner and your steers. This year, we have been pretty fortunate on the drawing. We’ve had three of them that have stayed kind of middle of the arena and it sure makes it a lot easier over there. As far as my partner, he’s done a great job running in there and set every one of them up extremely easy for me. This year it’s been easy because we’ve been on the better end of the steers. If you get on a set of steers that are really trying to hug that left wall, it gets really, really tricky to rope in there.

e) Mentality:

I think this year is a little bit different. We went 8-flat in our first performance. In years past, you would kind of just go make sure you catch the second one and set yourself up for the short round. This year, they paid fresh day monies in each round separately with an average. So, with a steer that runs and takes us down there a little bit, my job as a heeler is to push around there and take a risk for the team to help us be fast.

[Read More: Hazing Tips with Jake Long]

f) Horse:

That horse is Ironman. He is 14 years old. He’s been my backup horse for about five or six years. He’s really doing a good job. He’s got a lot of speed for closing the gap and lets me judge my distance.

g) Loop:

That’s pretty much what I want my loop to look like when I rope the saw horse or when I’m working on that. I have pretty equal parts on both sides of the legs. It really allows for that steer to kind of do whatever he wants to and I’m still going to be able to get him roped right there.

[Read More: Heelers Patience in the Corner]

h) Position:

I thought I got in a great spot. You can tell that I got that steer heeled the first legal hop and so I had to follow him out around the corner a little bit more to get in that position. If I would have been a little weaker on that position then I would have to had been reaching around.

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