Back Again

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

After finishing last year in the crying hole, I planned to stay close to home this year and rodeo around South Dakota—unless I had some luck at the Badlands Circuit Finals. Well…

by J.J. Elshere

I finished the 2018 season ranked number 16, what they call the crying hole. I said then that in 2019 I was gonna stay close to home and rodeo around South Dakota—unless I had some luck at the Badlands Circuit Finals. Well, I did good enough at the Badlands Circuit Finals to compete in March at the National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida. At Kissimmee, I drew good broncs and magically got ’em rode, and they paid me for them, I guess. I won more than eleven thousand at Kissimmee, which jumped me up in the standings.

Soon after Kissimmee, I went to Houston and San Antonio and won a little more money.

I have five sons, and two of them are rodeoing. Over the summer, I spent three or four weeks watching my boys compete. Thayne competed in the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in the bareback and bull riding. My oldest, Talon, a saddle-bronc rider, competed in the National High School Finals Rodeo. I figure I’ve had my turn getting to compete in the National Finals, and my boys watched me, so it was my turn to watch them. Thayne finished in the top twenty, and Talon finished in the top four.

Once I got back to rodeoing, what really gave me a boost was winning big at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs. I left there with at least ten thousand won and thought, Heck, I better get serious about making the National Finals.

Now, with less than a week left, I’m currently ranked fourteenth with a little more than $87,000 won. But Colt Gordon and Isaac Diaz are close behind. Isaac’s doing great. He was down there quite a ways in the standings, but he’s been plucking good ones and riding them right and winning.

I’m entered in five more rodeos this year. I find out soon which broncs I draw. Stay tuned!

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