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LAS VEGAS â€“ Heading into Thursday night, tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett wasnâ€™t too excited about his performance at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Itâ€™s funny how quickly things change.
Jarrett posted a 6.7-second run to win the eighth go-round, pocketing another $18,630 â€“ his biggest paycheck in Las Vegas so far. In fact, the time set a new NFR record for Round 8, bettering a 6.9 that was established 12 years ago by eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield.
â€śI knew that calf was off the pace, so I gave her a little bit more of a head start than I had been, and it worked out great,â€ť said Jarrett, who pushed his NFR earnings to $56,040. â€śThe last three rounds ainâ€™t been great, but tonightâ€™s kinda made up for it.â€ť
Yes, it did. Jarrett has moved from 13th to fifth in the tie-down roping world standings, having earned nearly $119,000.
â€śUntil 2010, I never won a round in calf roping here,â€ť said Jarrett, the 2005 all-around world champion from Comanche, Okla.
The reason for that? Jarrett has focused his attention on placing in the go-rounds and collecting cash. He earned a share of the fourth-round title, then won it outright Thursday.
â€śI donâ€™t make it to the South Point a whole lot,â€ť he said, referring to the nightly Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentation that takes place nightly at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa.
He may be making more. Jarrett is 10th in the average with an eight-round cumulative time of 87.2 seconds. He knows the best way for him to make more money over the final two nights of the 2013 season is to place high in the rounds.
â€śI just worry about what I can do and just focus on that,â€ť Jarrett said. â€śI thought I was doing all right the first five rounds, and I won pretty decent, and then it just went downhill. Maybe the next two rounds will be as good as the eighth round.â€ť
LAS VEGAS â€“ When Hunter Cure first watched his horse in action, Charlie was a hazing horse.
Cure purchased the 14-year-old gelding earlier this year and transitioned him to the other side of the timed-event chute, where, now as a steer wrestling mount, Charlie has guided Cure to $63,201 in just eight nights in Las Vegas.
â€śWhen I turned that horse around (in the chute), he hit the corner and was locked in,â€ť said Cure, who won the eighth go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Thursday with a 3.8-second run. â€śI knew â€¦ he was going to leave flat and give me across the line in a good spot.â€ť
Charlie did his job well.
â€śI knew that was a good steer, but I had to get a (good) start,â€ť Cure said. â€śMy horse is getting better (in the timed-event chute) as the week has gone on. He stood sharp tonight and let me get the start, and (the steer) was good after that.â€ť
Thursdayâ€™s run marked Cureâ€™s second go-round victory this week. He also won Mondayâ€™s fifth round, which featured the same pen of steers, considered the â€śstrongâ€ť pen by the bulldoggers.
â€śIt not only helps us financially, but mentally as well,â€ť said Cure, who moved to fourth in the world standings with $128,208 â€“ heâ€™s only about $14,000 behind the leader, Reeves.
Cure, who also qualified for the NFR in 2009, is fourth in the average race with an eight-run cumulative time of 45.5 seconds, while Reeves sits seventh â€“ he fell in the aggregate standings after suffering a no time Thursday.
â€śHaving two go-round wins (after) not having won hardly any money in â€™09, itâ€™s certainly a confidence-builder,â€ť he said. â€śI want to continue pushing for the next two rounds and see how well it turns out.â€ť
What is different from four seasons ago?
â€śI feel like Iâ€™m physically a little bit stronger by working out,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™m more mentally prepared coming into this one. I knew what to expect. The mistakes I mightâ€™ve made in preparation the first time, I didnâ€™t want to make those again. I feel like this is the fruit for the labor.â€ť
Cureâ€™s work has paid off, but so has the effort produced by his hazer, Riley Duvall, who is compensated for his work by receiving a percentage of the bulldoggerâ€™s earnings. At this yearâ€™s NFR, Duvall has scored $7,900 from Cure.
â€śHeâ€™s earned every penny of it,â€ť cure said. â€śIâ€™ll get him paid before he leaves here. Iâ€™m so thankful for it.â€ť
1. Cody Teel on JK Rodeo’s Pale Face, 78.5 points, $18,630; 2. Josh Koschel, 70, $14,724; 3. Parker Breding, 68, $11,118; no other qualified rides.
1. Sherry Cervi, 13.71 seconds, $18,630; 2. Jane Melby, 13.77, $14,724; 3. Shada Brazile, 13.80, $11,118; 4. Michele McLeod, 13.84, $7,813; 5. Christy Loflin, 13.89, $4,808; 6. Kaley Bass, 14.01, $3,005.
1. Ryan Jarrett, 6.7 seconds, $18,630; 2. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Cody Ohl, 6.9, $12,291 each; 4. Trevor Brazile, 7.0, $7,813; 5. Tyson Durfey, 7.3, $4,808; 6. (tie) Shane Slack and Timber Moore, 7.8, $1,502 each.
1. Colby Lovell/Martin Lucero, 4.2 seconds, $18,630; 2. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 4.5, $14,724; 3. Kaleb Driggers/Travis Graves, 4.9, $11,118; 4. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 5.3, $7,813; 5. Drew Horner/Buddy Hawkins II, 5.7, $4,808; 6. (tie) Justin Davis/ Clay O’Brien Cooper and Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 9.1, $1,502 each.
1. Hunter Cure, 3.8 seconds, $18,630; 2. Matt Reeves, 4.2, $14,724; 3. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Stan Branco, 4.3, $9,465; 5. K.C. Jones, 4.5, $4,808; 6. Dakota Eldridge, 4.6, $3,005.