Decatur bulldogger K.C. Jones gave a strong performance during Thursday morning’s steer wrestling slack round at the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo in Bridgeport.
Strong out of the gate, Jones stretched off his black mare onto the back and around the bone-colored horns of a barreling steer. He rolled the dark steer in a cloud of red clay dirt and dust, pinning the animal in 4.5 seconds. The time was good enough for Jones to finish the round sitting in second place.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Jones said. “The steer gave me a little trick, but I feel it’s good enough to finish in the top three.”
Jones was also part of the fastest time recorded in the round. He hazed for Kurt Goulding, of Duncan, Okla., who recorded a 4.0. Goulding rode Bumblebee, the horse Jones won on at the 2013 Houston Rodeo.
But other bulldoggers struggled to take down their steers drawn in good time. The third fastest time recorded was a 5.5, to Chance Howard, of Cedarville, Ark. The steers fought hard against the wrestlers all morning.
“These steers have been rugged,” Jones said. “They got some tricks to them.”
Jones is currently ranked 25th in the world.
Jones’ wife Gayle competed in the slack round of the barrel racing early Thursday morning, clocking a time of 17.06 seconds. That put her out of range of first place, which belonged to Benette Little of Ardmore, Okla., at 15.61. Little is a two-time National Finals qualifier in barrel racing.
“I get more nervous when (Gayle) goes than I do when I go,” Jones said.
Steer wrestling wrapped up Thursday afternoon. Decatur cowboy Trevor Brazile placed first in the average with a total of 32.3 seconds over three rounds. He earned $1,929 for his efforts. He also won money on all three rounds by placing in the top five every time. He won the second round with a 9.6, finished fifth in the first round at 12.1 and fourth in the third with a 10.6.
Although it’s early in the season, Brazile already has a commanding lead in the all-around cowboy race. His total earnings of $42,207 are more than $13,000 ahead of the next nearest competitor, JoJo Lemond of Andrews.
As the only PRCA rodeo in Wise County, Butterfield gives the sizeable contingent of local pros a place to showcase their talents close to home.
Decatur roper Clint Cooper competed in tie-down Thursday morning but finished with a no-time.
“I was late with my start,” Cooper said. “The calf got too much of a head start, and instead of getting a great start I got outrun.”
So far, tie-down belongs to Chase Williams of Stephenville at 7.7 seconds.
“It’s fun when you get to compete in a rodeo this close to home,” Jones said. “It’s a great little rodeo. It’s like an old-time rodeo. It’s a small arena, and everybody is in really close.”
The rodeo concludes 7:30 tonight at the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.