Situation: Winning run from the Elizabeth (Colorado) Stampede Rodeo
Time: 5.2 seconds
Outcome: Won the rodeo, worth $1,963 a man
a) J.B James:
We had been practicing for a while, and our practices were good. When we went somewhere, it was like we didn’t go compete like our practice runs were. For the last few weeks, we’ve been making that run where he’s scoring great. The better start you get, it tends to even out. If the steer is strong or slow, you tend to have a better go at them. In this run, [J.B] got a great start and it was a good steer. He was sure enough aggressive and was in great position. When you’re closer on a shorter rope, it makes the steers handle faster and cleaner, so it makes my job way easier.
I think that was about a foot and a half under the barrier. It was pretty short for a pro rodeo. The steers were all good. I think they maybe had one or two runs on them, so I think that makes it as even as it can be. Obviously, they’re not all going to be the same but, when they’re fresh, the headers have to do a good job. If the header does a good job, then the heeler can usually get them heeled. If they’re fresh and the header doesn’t do a good job, then it makes it really hard to heel them.
We had a video of him. We’d seen him go on video before and knew he was just good—not super slow, not super fast—just a good pace and ran a good pattern. Those steers at that rodeo were pretty fresh, and J.B. usually does a pretty good job with fresh steers.
My position was good. I got really guilty in California of creeping in too early and kind of cutting across. I have really been working on being patient and letting the run develop. You can kind of see in this shot, my position with my horse is pretty good but, my body position, I’m kind of leaned forward, chasing. That was a bad job on my part.
The main thing is that I’ve wanted to make sure I gave myself some room. When I left the box, I thought, “Just stay away from the steer until it was my turn, let my partner do his job and then it will make it easier to do mine.” The main thing I was thinking was to keep my space.
f) LEFT HAND:
That horse is good enough that if I can shake myself when I leave the box and get a little distance, he doesn’t require a whole lot of riding from me. If I get too narrow leaving the box, then I tend to have to ride a lot and move a lot, which takes away from the roping. Leaving the box, I’ll maybe even push him off to the right to get a little distance. Once you set him where you want, he doesn’t require much left hand at all.
That horse is a 13-year-old horse (Rooster) that belongs to Jake Howe. I rode him a little bit last fall. I called to borrow him. I picked him up at the roping in North Dakota. I seem to get along with him. He fits me really well. He has a lot of foot speed and is really cowy—can really run. J.B.’s head horse is extremely fast so, having a heel horse that can keep up is really important.
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