Jacobs Crawley wins saddle bronc competition at Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo | TSLN.com

Jacobs Crawley wins saddle bronc competition at Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo

WACO, TX – The plan over the last three years at Texas A&M was for Jacobs Crawley to lay the groundwork on two career paths – to complete work on his degree in industrial and systems engineering while also working his way toward the top ranks of professional rodeo.

While the primary focus was always on earning that sheepskin, Crawley hasn’t exactly ignored his studies as a saddle bronc rider, and it begins to appear that graduation day in both pursuits may well be coming as early as December.

A commanding win in the Jan. 6-8 Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo, following a shared title in the Mesquite Championship Rodeo just after Christmas, is the latest evidence that Crawley may be ready to engineer himself a berth in the next Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“You are learning as you go,” Crawley said, “finding your style and trying to keep growing as a rider. You just have to take the reins and figure out what works and what doesn’t. You try not to stay stagnant at one point for any length of time. I’ve been busy with school, but still growing as a bronc rider.”

His growth has been steady, with a lean toward the spectacular. In his first three years of college, Crawley has climbed from 91st in the world standings in 2008 to 53rd in 2009 and 28th a year ago. At the quarter pole of the 2011 season, he is 17th.

Crawley takes none of this for granted. He is committed to the craft of his event and knows exactly how much competition is out there to overcome and how much more he has to learn.

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“There are a million things I’d like to take from 30-40 bronc riders,” Crawley said. “I hate to be cliche, but everybody wants to be like Billy Etbauer. I’d love to be as aggressive on every ride as Billy, have as much try as Heith DeMoss, set my feet and lift like J.J. Elshere. I love every bit of it. I’m just glad to be able to do something I love.”

Because of his jump in the standings last year, Crawley will be able to get straight into all the big winter rodeos, but he will continue to divide his time between his schoolwork at A&M and competition, both for the Aggies and on the ProRodeo road, until the current semester ends in May. He’ll take two courses, design and ethics, in August to stay on pace to get his degree in December, around NFR time.

While the win at the Extraco Events Center didn’t impact his world ranking – earnings from circuit finals and the DNCFR don’t count – Crawley did bank $3,534 to help with his travel budget and provide an ever bigger boost in confidence, winning his first Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo over Wrangler NFR veterans like Bradley Harter and Sam Spreadborough.

“It was awesome,” Crawley said. “I was anxious and excited at the start. Last year, I placed in all three rounds and I got real close (before finishing fourth), so I was confident I could do well. The rodeo always has great broncs and a lot of great stock contractors. You are competing against all the guys you know. It’s a lot of fun.”

Crawley won the first round with an 83-point ride on Lancaster & Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Prairie Bird – with younger brother Sterling Crawley and Spreadborough tied for second. He then placed in the next two rounds to claim the average title with 239 points on three head – eight better than second-place finisher Travis Edwards.

“I was told (Prairie Bird) was usually a bareback horse; a big paint from Lancaster & Pickett that they just bought,” Crawley said. “Jake Brown said he was real good in bareback, and Jake’s like an encyclopedia on horses. Sure enough, after a few moves at the beginning, he gave me lots of big jumps and performed great.”

In the second round, Crawley drew Flirting with Distaste of the Carr Pro Rodeo string, and had “a fight just to stay on her; a difficult eight seconds.” Crawley was nearly bucked off at the six-second mark, lifted up in his left stirrup, but somehow got settled back in the saddle for the whistle.

“That gave me a couple of points’ lead after two rounds, and I drew Resistols Top Hat (of Stace Smith Pro Rodeos) in the final round,” Crawley said. “She jumps real high like you want. Given where I stood, and the horse I’d drawn, I knew I had a good chance if I could just take care of business.

“I’d never ridden her, but I’d seen her a couple of times on television at the Wrangler NFR. She fits the bill just across the board. She’s everything you want in a bucking horse.”

A good steady ride on Top Hat produced a score of 80 points and put Crawley in the top spot. It qualified him for his first trip to the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, March 31-April 3, where he will be joined by regular-season circuit champion Spreadborough.

Texas traditionally leads all states in total number of competitors at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but even by Lone Star State standards, the tie-down roping field in Waco was absolutely loaded.

Nine of the 15 entered had been to at least one Wrangler NFR, including seven-time World Champion Fred Whitfield and three-time World Champion Trevor Brazile. Together, they accounted for 55 Wrangler NFR qualifications.

Emerging out of this very deep pool of talent was Houston Hutto, who tied with Stetson Vest for the win in round two on his way to winning the average title with a time of 27.1 seconds. Hutto is a three-time Wrangler NFR qualifier who is trying to get back into the sport’s elite event after a three-year absence.

Steer wrestler Todd Suhn averaged 3.7 seconds over three rounds to win the average title, and the other winners at Waco were bareback riders Clint Cannon and Wes Stevenson (244 points each on three head), team ropers Chris Lawson and Casey Chamberlain (19.9 seconds on three head), steer roper Lawson Plemons (38.1 seconds on three head), bull rider Ryan Shanklin (240 points on three head) and barrel racer Annesa Self (48.36 seconds on three runs).

WACO, TX – The plan over the last three years at Texas A&M was for Jacobs Crawley to lay the groundwork on two career paths – to complete work on his degree in industrial and systems engineering while also working his way toward the top ranks of professional rodeo.

While the primary focus was always on earning that sheepskin, Crawley hasn’t exactly ignored his studies as a saddle bronc rider, and it begins to appear that graduation day in both pursuits may well be coming as early as December.

A commanding win in the Jan. 6-8 Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo, following a shared title in the Mesquite Championship Rodeo just after Christmas, is the latest evidence that Crawley may be ready to engineer himself a berth in the next Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“You are learning as you go,” Crawley said, “finding your style and trying to keep growing as a rider. You just have to take the reins and figure out what works and what doesn’t. You try not to stay stagnant at one point for any length of time. I’ve been busy with school, but still growing as a bronc rider.”

His growth has been steady, with a lean toward the spectacular. In his first three years of college, Crawley has climbed from 91st in the world standings in 2008 to 53rd in 2009 and 28th a year ago. At the quarter pole of the 2011 season, he is 17th.

Crawley takes none of this for granted. He is committed to the craft of his event and knows exactly how much competition is out there to overcome and how much more he has to learn.

“There are a million things I’d like to take from 30-40 bronc riders,” Crawley said. “I hate to be cliche, but everybody wants to be like Billy Etbauer. I’d love to be as aggressive on every ride as Billy, have as much try as Heith DeMoss, set my feet and lift like J.J. Elshere. I love every bit of it. I’m just glad to be able to do something I love.”

Because of his jump in the standings last year, Crawley will be able to get straight into all the big winter rodeos, but he will continue to divide his time between his schoolwork at A&M and competition, both for the Aggies and on the ProRodeo road, until the current semester ends in May. He’ll take two courses, design and ethics, in August to stay on pace to get his degree in December, around NFR time.

While the win at the Extraco Events Center didn’t impact his world ranking – earnings from circuit finals and the DNCFR don’t count – Crawley did bank $3,534 to help with his travel budget and provide an ever bigger boost in confidence, winning his first Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo over Wrangler NFR veterans like Bradley Harter and Sam Spreadborough.

“It was awesome,” Crawley said. “I was anxious and excited at the start. Last year, I placed in all three rounds and I got real close (before finishing fourth), so I was confident I could do well. The rodeo always has great broncs and a lot of great stock contractors. You are competing against all the guys you know. It’s a lot of fun.”

Crawley won the first round with an 83-point ride on Lancaster & Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Prairie Bird – with younger brother Sterling Crawley and Spreadborough tied for second. He then placed in the next two rounds to claim the average title with 239 points on three head – eight better than second-place finisher Travis Edwards.

“I was told (Prairie Bird) was usually a bareback horse; a big paint from Lancaster & Pickett that they just bought,” Crawley said. “Jake Brown said he was real good in bareback, and Jake’s like an encyclopedia on horses. Sure enough, after a few moves at the beginning, he gave me lots of big jumps and performed great.”

In the second round, Crawley drew Flirting with Distaste of the Carr Pro Rodeo string, and had “a fight just to stay on her; a difficult eight seconds.” Crawley was nearly bucked off at the six-second mark, lifted up in his left stirrup, but somehow got settled back in the saddle for the whistle.

“That gave me a couple of points’ lead after two rounds, and I drew Resistols Top Hat (of Stace Smith Pro Rodeos) in the final round,” Crawley said. “She jumps real high like you want. Given where I stood, and the horse I’d drawn, I knew I had a good chance if I could just take care of business.

“I’d never ridden her, but I’d seen her a couple of times on television at the Wrangler NFR. She fits the bill just across the board. She’s everything you want in a bucking horse.”

A good steady ride on Top Hat produced a score of 80 points and put Crawley in the top spot. It qualified him for his first trip to the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, March 31-April 3, where he will be joined by regular-season circuit champion Spreadborough.

Texas traditionally leads all states in total number of competitors at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but even by Lone Star State standards, the tie-down roping field in Waco was absolutely loaded.

Nine of the 15 entered had been to at least one Wrangler NFR, including seven-time World Champion Fred Whitfield and three-time World Champion Trevor Brazile. Together, they accounted for 55 Wrangler NFR qualifications.

Emerging out of this very deep pool of talent was Houston Hutto, who tied with Stetson Vest for the win in round two on his way to winning the average title with a time of 27.1 seconds. Hutto is a three-time Wrangler NFR qualifier who is trying to get back into the sport’s elite event after a three-year absence.

Steer wrestler Todd Suhn averaged 3.7 seconds over three rounds to win the average title, and the other winners at Waco were bareback riders Clint Cannon and Wes Stevenson (244 points each on three head), team ropers Chris Lawson and Casey Chamberlain (19.9 seconds on three head), steer roper Lawson Plemons (38.1 seconds on three head), bull rider Ryan Shanklin (240 points on three head) and barrel racer Annesa Self (48.36 seconds on three runs).

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